Skiing in the Pyrenees: say Hola to your next Spanish ski holiday

Take to the slopes and enjoy the feeling of freedom and luxury in Canfranc, Spain’s hottest ski destination


Spain may be best known for its sunbaked summers and delicious tapas but, did you know it is actually a hot spot for Skiing. The Spanish Pyrenees are one of the best-loved spots to take to the slopes and for locals, no winter is complete without a visit. There are so many ways to enjoy skiing in the Pyrenees, but our favourite is to be based in the idyllic town of Canfranc. Here you can enjoy an authentic skiing experience while enjoying 5-star luxury in the newly opened Canfranc Estación, a Royal Hideaway hotel.

The best time to enjoy skiing in the Pyrenees

The Spanish Pyrenees ski resorts are heaven for powder addicts keen to enjoy the adrenaline rush without paying through the nose for it. Typically, these resorts stretch along the border between France and Spain and zig-zag through the tiny country of Andorra. Peaks can tower as high as 3,400 metres and since Spanish skiing is still relatively undiscovered in comparison to France and Italy, you can enjoy crowd-free skiing, especially during the low season. The season begins mid-late November with mild snowfall. Yet, for a guaranteed dusting that makes putting your snow boots on worth your while, late December until April is the ideal time to enjoy this winter wonderland

What to know about Canfranc ski culture

Situated in the heart of the Aragonese Pyrenees, Canfranc is a practical and picturesque base for those keen to explore the two major ski resorts of Candanchú and Astún. Yet, did you know there are actually two Canfrancs? 

Did you know there are actually two Canfrancs?

The town of Canfranc (Canfranc Pueblo) was founded in the 11th Century but thanks to the arrival of the train station, the 20th century saw increased development around the station and the Canfranc-Estación town was born. They are only 4 km apart from one another and each offers a picturesque place to enjoy skiing in the Pyrenees. Visitors to the town can also enjoy other outdoor pursuits such as trekking along the Camino de Santiago.

The town of Canfranc offers fantastic walking routes to explore, some of which form part of the Camino de Santiago

Candanchú ski resort

Just a stone’s throw away from Canfranc, you can find Candanchú - one of the largest resorts for skiing in the Pyrenees. Split into four zones of varying difficulties, this family-friendly resort is one of the best Pyrenees ski resorts for those seeking adventure and comfort. It is home to 27 lifts and with 45 pistes of 860 vertical descent to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice when deciding where to ski. 

Astún ski resort

If you are looking to enjoy intermediate-advanced level activity holidays in the Pyrenees, Astún is the place to be. This is a slightly smaller resort than Candanchú which makes skiing in the Pyrenees a more exclusive experience. Visitors can explore 27 pistes of 640 metres of vertical descent. Plus there is a small area for snowboarders. It is worth noting that there is very little here for beginners to try since the slopes can be treacherous. 

The emblematic building of Canfranc station is now the Barceló Canfranc Estación, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

Where to enjoy Apres-Ski on your Spanish Pyrenees holidays

Imagine enjoying a glass of Tempranillo while watching the sun setting over the Spanish Pyrenees. There is no better place to bring this idyllic plan to life than the newly opened Canfranc Estación, a Royal Hideaway hotel. Situated inside the emblematic Canfranc International railway station, this 5-star luxury hotel marks the start of a new era for this historical landmark. After a day skiing in the Pyrenees, luxuriate in the warm and elegant, art deco-inspired interiors.

After a day skiing in the Pyrenees, luxuriate in the warm and elegant, art deco-inspired interiors

Here rich materials such as wood, brass and sumptuous velvets provide a welcoming contrast to the frosty snowy vistas. Live out your Grand Budapest Hotel fantasies and check yourself into one of the 104 bedrooms to witness the historic glamour for yourself. 

The interiors of the Canfranc Estación, a Royal Hideaway hotel, offer a warm welcome after a day on the slopes

A brief history of Canfranc station

The station first opened its doors in 1928, quickly becoming a major transport link between France and Spain. During World War II, trains continued to flow in and out of the station, but instead of passengers, they transported gold and tungsten. In 2002, it was declared a Site of Cultural Interest and it is recognised as one of the most important railway stations to be built in Europe during the 20th Century. In 2022, Barceló Hotel Group decided to renovate all 241 metres of the building, restoring this emblematic building to its former glory.

Restore sore and tired muscles in the Canfranc railway station hotel’s spa

Skiing in the Pyrenees is tough work and can often leave our muscles feeling a little worse for wear. However, anyone familiar with Royal Hideaway hotels will know that there is no scrimping on luxury experiences and Canfranc Estación is no different. 

Venture down into the basement of this Canfranc hotel and you will discover a world of wellness set to make your body feel as light as a feather

Venture down into the basement of this Canfranc hotel and you will discover a world of wellness set to make your body feel as light as a feather. This 420-square-metre space features a gym, four specialised treatment rooms and a 200-square-metre water circuit. Book a massage or a relaxing facial and relax after a long day on the slopes.

It is time to live a new era for the Canfranc train station. All aboard for Canfranc Estación, a Royal Hideaway hotel!

Live the magic of Canfranc and dine in an old train carriage

While there are many traditional dining spots tucked away in the old town of Canfranc, nothing beats the novelty of dining in a vintage train carriage. These carriages have been renovated by the Canfranc Estación Royal Hideaway hotel so that their early 20th-century luxury can shine once again. Visitors will find the choice of two restaurants (one gastronomic and another a la carte) to choose from after a day skiing in the Pyrenees. And, with Eduardo Salanova and Ana Acín at the helm, we can expect nothing less than exquisite Aragonese traditional cuisine. No other Pyrenees resorts offer an experience quite like this so make the most of your fairytale stay and enjoy dinner with a view.