The Best Ski Resorts in Spain by LFStyle

For Skiing Heritage: La Molina, Pyrenees

LaMolina

Spain’s very first ski resort (dating back to 1909), this iconic Catalan gem is connected to the larger Masella and offers 122km of runs. Conveniently divided into four areas, this bijou resort boasts 53 runs including a “self-timing kilometre speed run” for speedy skiers and a snazzy Snow Park with a super 100m half pipe for daredevil snowboarders – the biggest in the Pyrenees.

There are plenty of fun activities for non-skiers too, including husky rides, circuit sledging and an amazing treetop adventure park, Parc de les Arbres open year round.

Despite being well established and a popular day-trip destination from Barcelona, it’s worth knowing that La Molina remains fairly off-the-beaten track for many international tour operators, so knowing some Spanish or Catalan is recommended..

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Eat: Many of La Molina’s menus feature uninspiring sandwiches and burgers, and real mountain fare is more difficult to come by than anticipated. However thankfully, it doesn’t get any more alpine than at La Ferme de Montagne, a wooden chalet-style family run establishment serving up French (Haute Savoie) dishes with Catalan flare inspired by owner Jordi’s travels to the Alps. Think oozy raclette and mountainous portions of tartiflette with crispy salty bacon bits. Delicious. (www.lafermedemontagne-restaurant.cat) For something a little more local, head to El Bosc for delicious grilled meat or if you’re going the whole hog, a traditional Catalan Calcotada. (www.elbosc.com)  For a morning coffee + freshly baked pastry, pop into Bar Granja La Molina. Later in the day? Make it a café con baileys, to really warm your cockles! (www.facebook.com/BAR-Granja-La-Molina) By reservation only, enjoy a delicious meal on the mountain slope, by Volta Muntanya Sagrada at Costa Rasa. (www.lamolina.cat/es/invierno)

la molina costarasa

Apres-Ski: This year for the first time, Costa Rasa (a cafe just off the Roc Blanc chairlift at 2000m) is hosting a pop-up lounge bar with Cava Mestres. The upper terrace is ideal for enjoying the stunning views and the best gin and tonics – grab a perch and “chill-out” (if you’ll pardon the pun). (www.lamolina.cat/es/invierno) La Molina harbours a more low-key, peaceful après ski atmosphere, primarily based in the capital of the La Cerdaña region, Puigcerdá. A delicious glass of vino tinto is about as wild as it gets, sink into the local rhythm and enjoy!

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Stay:  Contemporary Guitart ApartHotel & Spa offers stylish modern apartments for up to 8 people. They have a wonderful glass-covered indoor swimming pool which is particularly lovely when it’s snowing outside. (www.guitarthotels.com ).

The friendly, family run Adsara is a more traditional, old-fashioned hotel built in 1934, with splendid panoramic views of the valley and a woodland location so pretty, you’d be excused for wondering if you had arrived in Narnia. They place a particular emphasis on entertainment for younger kids with plenty of family fun. (www.hoteladsera.com)

NiudelsFalcons

If you don’t mind driving to the slopes, quirky little chalet Niu dels Falcons is a unique find off the beaten path. The owner Louisa is a fantastic host and the interior is eclectic (think mismatched upholstery not unlike a grandmother’s cabin, cowhides, a roaring fire and walls adorned with vintage skis and  memorabilia). They also boast an impressive whisky collection! (www.niudelsfalcons-xalet.com)

Transport: Just 175km from Barcelona, La Molina is easily accessed by car. However train company RENFE offers fantastically affordable day trip packages for just 41€, conveniently including return train journey from Barcelona-Sants, the bus to the slopes, a full day’s ski pass, plus (some may say most important of all) insurance.

For an even more wallet-friendly day-trip, Barcelona-based bus company Sagales offer a return bus journey, ski pass and insurance every Wednesday for 34€ (dare we say, worth calling in sick for?)

View properties for sale in nearby Barcelona on the Lucas Fox website

For Scenic Pistes “Day & Night”: Masella, Pyrenees

Masella

This spacious resort is a handy 137km (or a 90 minute drive) from Barcelona, with some of Spain’s most scenic runs, snaking through pine forests. Linked to La Molina via a handy Telecabina, Masella is close to the French and Andorran borders, overlooking the picturesque Cerdanya Valley.

With 68 skiable kilometres with the Dues Estacions zone, this is a bigger resort than many within such close proximity to Barcelona and thus a great resort for a romantic long-weekend getaway. La Plana is the longest run in the Eastern Pyrenees at 7km long! Perfect for slaloming with your beloved.

Masella Ski Map

Known as the “nocturnal ski capital of the pyrenees”, 13 of Masella’s pistes are also fully floodlit, so you can enjoy the incredibly unique and exilerating experience of skiing at night!

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Eat: For a hearty feast, head to rustic El Tiro, where the friendly hosts enthusiastically serve up traditional fare with an elegant twist – a great wine list too. (www.eltiro.cat)

SKIBAR Masella

Apres-Ski: Masella’s infamous (and only) 80’s style après-ski bar “Skibar” is now sufficiently dated as to be kitsch and thus, actually feels pretty cool (you half expect to spot John Candy with Jamaican bobsledders in tow)! Don’t expect a live saxophonist or any dancing on tables, but for a tasty tapas snack and unwinding at the foot of the pistes, it’s a friendly pitstop spot in the confusingly named village of Alp (www.facebook.com/skibar.masella)

Masella, Pyrenees

Stay: In the neighbouring village of Pullans, Hotel Muntanya Spa is a pretty, family run establishment set with a charming old stone facade. With simple Pyrenees-themed bedrooms and Jacuzzi terrace with sweeping mountain views – perfect for a romantic getaway. (http://www.prullans.net)

Transport: Bus company Sagales offer a round trip from Barcelona city centre every Sunday for €45 including a ski pass and all important insurance!

http://www.masella.com/

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For Feeling On Top of the World: Boi Taull, Pyrenees

BoiTaull

The highest ski resort in the Pyrenees, Boi Taull sits at a heady altitude of 2,020 metres (rising to 2,750) above sea level. This makes for a consistent record of snowfall with fluffy, generally idyllic snow. There are plenty of pistes (49 to be exact), covering 44km and it’s location slightly further from Barcelona (270km to be exact) means it is usually nice and quiet.

boi tauell

Eat: For a hearty feast in the Vall de Boi, Restaurant La Granja is unbeatable, with a great roaring fire crackling in the background and lovely alpine interior – you really feel like you’re up in them mountains! (www.facebook.com/BistroBarLaGranja)

beersboitaull

Apres-Ski: This sleepy mountain region, unsurprisingly doesn’t harbour a wild party scene. We suggest unwinding on the terrace and sampling the range of Belgian beers on offer at Cerveseria Tribulosi. Dip into a warming fondue and keep an eye out for the owner, who is quite the character! (www.vallboi.cat)

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Stay: Boi Taull has several hotels onsite ranging from 2-4*, including the more upmarket spa Aparthotel Agusta  (www.boitaullresort.com/hotel-augusta/).

Transport: There is an affordable ski bus from the town of Lleida, with astonishing discounts with the Catalan young person’s discount card, Carnet Jove. www.boitaullresort.com/skibus

View properties for sale in Girona on the Lucas Fox website

For Skiing like Royalty: Baqueira Beret, Pyrenees

Mountains

Nestled in the scenic Val d’Aran, dotted with charming villages and winding terrain, Baqueira Beret has been dubbed the most glamorous resort in Spain, yet remains relatively off the-beaten-track for foreign skiiers. King Juan Carlos himself owns a lavish chalet here, which is put to good use with regular weekend visits from Spain’s royal family.  With a variety of runs spanning an impressive 146km and catering to all abilities, do not be put off by the regions’ famous run titled Escornacrabes, meaning “the place where goats die…”!

Often compared to the glitziest French and Swiss resorts, Baqueira Beret remains astonishingly affordable (though still significantly more costly than many of its Spanish neighbours). The resort is also famed for its affordable heli-skiing (starting at €290 euros for two drops pyreneesheliski.com). There is a great British-run ski school and snow cover is also renowned as some of the best in Europe.

For those who prefer soaking in the sunshine and awesome views with a cortado, to hurtling from the sky at great velocity, the gastronomy here is an absolute delight too (as is the decidedly more Spanish schedule in contrast with many of France’s most famed resorts).

Baqueira

Eat: Head to Arties’ Tauèrnes Urtau for a feast of Tapas and Pintxos (urtau.com). La Tasca del Pastor in the neighbouring village of Vielha is another low-key gem, where the chef throws together delicious tapas on an open-air stove behind the counter as delighted (hungry) patrons cheer him on (www.facebook.com/La-Tasca-Del-Pastor).

MoetWinterBequeira

Apres-Ski: For a well-earned aperitivo and a glass of bubbles, head to the recently inaugurated Moët Winter Lounge, the glamorous pop-up taking Orri by storm at 1850m above sea level. Think La Folie Douce meets the Mediterranean for more laid-back vibes.
(www.facebook.com/moetwinterloungebaqueira)

ValdeNeu2

Stay: Val de Neu is the resort’s most upmarket 5* hotel set right on the slopes. With a wonderful spa and champagne bar, you won’t want to ascend from the mountain. (hotelbaqueiravaldeneu.com). The tiny boutique Hotel Val de Rude is also conveniently located slope-side, with yet another divine spa and great breakfast (hotelvalderudabaqueira.com). Slightly further afield in the pretty medieval village of Arties, the cosy Parador de Arties is supremely chic (www.parador.es/en/paradores/parador-de-arties)

Transport: The nearest airport is Toulouse, a 2-hour journey by bus. Carrier (carrier.co.uk/destinations) offers a seven night stay at Val de Neu, starting at £740pp during the low season (early December and April), including flights and breakfast. Keep your eye out for a great last minute deal, but do watch out for bears in Springtime (our fluffy friends have been successfully reintroduced into the wild).

www.baqueira.es

View properties for sale in Girona on the Lucas Fox website

For Skiing within a stone’s throw of Madrid: Puerto de Navacerrada

Puerto de Navacerrada Madrid

One of Spain’s very first ski resorts (it opened in the late 1940s), Puerto de Navacerrada is the highest mountain pass in the Sierra de Guadarrama. In fact, Madrileño aristocrats were frequenting the area to enjoy its crisp, fresh air and beautiful, dramatic pine forests as far back as the 1700s.

The closest resort to Madrid (just 65km), Navacerrada is a picturesque, compact resort with around 5 miles of trails. Being just 10km from the larger Valdesqui  resort in the neighbouring valley, visitors can enjoy a variety of runs without straying far from an abundance of great restaurants and cosy taverns. With some of the best conditions including plenty of untouched powder, it can get pretty busy at weekends. During the week, however, there is next to no traffic or queues for the lifts!

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Eat: Bringing a corner of the alps to Navacerrada, La Petit Raclette is a pretty alpine cabin complete with flowery window boxes, checked table cloths and cheese galore on the menu! The Terraza Jardin Felipe is a rustic, romantic little gem, as is the pretty, “shabby chic” El Reloj.

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The area has an abundance of characterful local inns, serving up hearty warming fare – indeed, a little further afield in Rascafria or La Granja you’ll find some of the most delicious roast lamb and crispy sucking pig in the region! ( www.restaurantefelipe.com / www.elrelojrestaurante.com )

marquee bar

Apres-Ski: Pop in to Marquee Bar for a post-slalom cerveza (of which they serve many). It’s a fantastically atmospheric local pub, with live music and plenty of raucous singing! Before making your way back down to Madrid – with the capital’s incredible bar scene on your doorstep, we’re sure you’ll have no problem enjoying “el Apres-ski Madrileño”! (www.facebook.com/Marquee-Bar) Staying in the area? Head to the chic lounge bar Escaparte (at the Hotel ArciPreste de Hita) for a chilled glass of bubbles.(www.hotelarciprestedehita.com/restaurante)

arciprestedehita2

Stay: Hotel ArciPreste de Hita is a chic boutique hotel, lounge bar and spa nestled in a picturesque pine forest. Stylishly revamped, the décor is contemporary but distinctly cosy, with a gorgeous terrace overlooking the valley complete with fur blankets. It’s the perfect location for a romantic weekend getaway! (www.hotelarciprestedehita.com)  Another good bet is  the small but luxurious Hotel & Spa Isabel de Farnesio, a more traditional style hotel set within a converted 18th Century building.  (hotelisabeldefarnesio.com)

Transport: The resort is just 60km from Madrid city centre, and a one hour’s drive from Madrid’s Barajas Airport. Take A-6 as far as Collado Villalba, followed by the M-601 to Puerto de Navacerrada. Alternatively, take the 691 bus from Moncloa Bus Station. There are also speedy RENFE connections.

For more of an organised group excursion, Club Amistad is Madrid’s largest and oldest ski club. They organise all-inclusive trips to neighbouring resorts as well as weekend trips further afield. (clubamistad.com)

www.puertonavacerrada.com

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Great For Snowboarders: Port Ainé

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Located just beneath the Pic de l’Orri peak, 95 percent of Port Aine’s slopes are North-facing, which means plentiful and generally excellent snow quality even when other resorts are sheepishly rolling out their snow canons. Smaller than many resorts, there are 32 kilometres of pistes, however a dedicated snowboarding zone offers plenty of exciting trials even for the most skilled and discerning of snowboarders.

Good news for skiiers too, as the three separate stations of Port Aine, Espot and Tavascan have teamed up to form “Skipallars”, with a combined lift pass (www.skipallars.cat).

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Eat: The restaurants here tend to be fairly unimaginative, with standard “snack bar” fare, though the vast suntrap terrace at slope-side Cota 2000 makes for a lovely coffee-stop. In Rialp, Pizzeria Gallfer is a friendly local “pizzeria de pueblo”, order a selection of pizzas for everyone to share and dig in! For a more upmarket treat, try  Michelin-starred Fogony in neighbouring town of Sort around a 30 minute drive away. (www.fogony.com)

Apres-Ski: Without much in the way of bars, aforementioned Pizzeria Gallfer makes a good spot for watching the football or unwinding with a cold caña.

hotelportaine

Stay: The Port Ainé Hotel 2000 is a good family (and pet!) friendly three star hotel conveniently located right at the foot of the slopes, for minimum hassle. www.portaine.cat/es/invierno  In the village of Rialp, Hotel Victor offers a more upmarket setting with bright, contemporary rooms. Owners Sonia and Victor are great hosts and really know their way around the kitchen! www.hvictor.com

Transport: There is currently no public transport to the slopes, though according to the Ayuntamiento’s website, they are working on this. Roads are generally well maintained for easy access by car and it is just over 2 hours from Lleida.

View properties for sale in Girona on the Lucas Fox website

For Day-Tripping from Valencia: Javalambre and Valdelinares

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Yes, there is indeed skiing within an hours drive from Valencia! The mountains near Teruel are 2,000 metres above sea level and boast a cool 7.5km of runs. Each of these tiny  ski resorts is set within a pine forest and thus offer a lovely alpine atmosphere, with some challenging red runs for the intermediate city-dwelling skier. Not quite large enough for a full weekend, each of these spots is ideal for a day-trip escape from the hustle and bustle of Valencia’s historic city centre. You can even be home in time for a sunset dip in the Mediterranean!

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Eat:  On the slopes, the restaurants are more exciting and varied than most typical self-service style establishments. Restaurante Lapiaz serves pretty good pizza and Italian food, or alternatively grab a quick sandwich and a strong coffee at Sabina Café.

Burguer El Portillo is off limits to beginners, located down a pretty tricky intermediate run in a charming cottage with a lovely sunny terrace. Make sure to warm up with Churros and Chocolate at Chocolate Lapiez! (www.javalambre-valdelinares.com/comer-en-pistas-javalambre-valdelinares.html)

Popular with the skiing crowd, Fuenjamon is a tiny, super traditional Spanish restaurant located a few meters from the Town Hall Square in the pretty village of Mora de Rubielos. Exceptional tapas and delicious local meats and cheeses. (www.fuenjamon.com) However, why stay and eat on the mountain when you have one of Spain’s gastronomy hotspots less than an hour and a half away? Plot your next move with our Destination Guide to Valencia

sanmiguel

Apres-Ski: Stay for a few beers at the San Miquel Peak Bar, and soak in the stunning views before heading back down the mountain for a delicious aperitivo in Valencia’s old town.

If you really want to go from one extreme to another, head to last place you’d expect to find yourself after a day on the slopes  – Valencia’s ultra exotic tiki bar Hawaika, for a creamy pina colada served in a gigantic ceramic pineapple! (www.facebook.com/hawaika)

Stay: Make a weekend of it and stay at La Trufa Negra, a high-end stone-fronted boutique hotel in Mora de Rubielos. Perfect for a romantic getaway, the restaurant is great and they have a wonderful Spa. (latrufanegra.com) .

Palau

Otherwise, head back down to Valencia in time for dinner and stay at Hospes Palau de la Mar – a glamorous yet affordable boutique hotel occupying two former historic palaces in the heart of the old town.(www.hospes.com/en/valencia-palau_mar)

Transport: Both Javalambre and Valdelinares are easily accessible by car from Valencia city centre  + the “bus blanco” makes regular round-trips.

www.javalambre-valdelinares.com

View properties for sale in Valencia on the Lucas Fox website

For All the Family: Formigal, Aragonese Pyrenees

walking mountain

Around 170km from Zaragoza (and just 8km from the French border), this rapidly expanding ski area is one of the country’s largest, conjuring up a buzz in recent years with its new kid on the block status, rivalling many of the more established resorts in the region. Run by Aramón in collaboration with the local government, Formigal has received an impressive €110 million facelift, with 21 ultra modern lifts linking the four valleys.  The resort boasts around 140km of skiable terrain, with 6 green runs, 18 blue runs, 30 red runs and 39 black runs. For advanced skiers, the nearby resort of Candanchu, has plenty of steep black runs too.

This uber family-friendly hotspot boasts dedicated “Family Zones” on several pistes, colourfully marked with snails grinning on their cartoon skis. There are also several crèches and kids clubs thoughtfully dotted through the valley, including a “snow garden” with magic carpet! With chocolaterías abound, expect many a chocolate + churros stop mid-run too. This resort does feel decidedly Spanish, unlike ultra international neighbour Andorra – with primarily Spanish speaking staff, so be aware that Anglophones sometimes find the language barrier tricky to navigate (though kids’ language skills will come on a treat in just a few days!).

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Eat: Vidocq is a fantastic find – serving up traditional local fare, with a very modern twist! Don’t be put off by the long, unwelcoming austere hallway – this is one of Formigal’s best kept secrets. They serve a mean G&T (www.facebook.com/vidocqformigal)  Asador Casa Jaimico is a warm, cosy nook with some of the friendliest service, and a great homely place for a long loud meal filled with laughter.

Glera

For a really unique dining experience, reserve a much coveted table at Glera – a tiny cottage that holds just 14 diners, only accessible by snow mobile! They whip up delicious mountain stew and serve a great selection of champagne and beers (cooled directly in the snow outside – how dreamy!). You must have a minimum party of 10 people, and the pick-up is at 7.30 sharp in the Anayet car park (so no getting waylaid by aforementioned G&Ts)..

Marchica

Apres-Ski:  Despite being marketed to families, a lively young crowd affords Formical’s base village a great atmosphere, with several sociable slope-side hangouts including La Terraza de Sarrios, a great terrace to kick-off some well-earned après-ski! There is a great pop-up scene in Formigal, previous seasons have seen the likes of the icy “Igloo Bar” and a Mongolian base-camp style tent pop-up restaurant, La Yurta! The region’s most renowned apres-ski bar is chill-out/pub Marchica, with a vast terrace and great ambience (www.facebook.com/MarchicaFormigal). Those seeking a more laid back evening should head up to the San Miguel Pop-Up Bar at the top of the Batalladero lift, for a few relaxed beers, overlooking some sensational views to the sounds of some Balearic-influenced lounge music.

If you’re ready for more, however, swap your ski boots for dancing shoes as the party continues at nightclub Tralala, with live sessions and resident DJs.

eskimal

Formigal and neighbouring Panticosa are also home to one of Spain’s largest outdoor music festivals, Festival Eskimal (or “Eskimo”) at the end of January. (www.aramon.com/esquimal)

Stay: As the resort has been purpose-built, there aren’t any quirky boutique style hotels to be found just yet but the accommodation is sociable, great for kids and I dare you not to feel a childlike thrill from the 10-minute train journey to the slopes, alongside delighted Spanish families!

Transport: Aramón has chartered its own weekly flight from Gatwick to the new airport of Huesca-Pirineos, and laid on a free 90-minute coach transfer, as well as offering free ski, snowboard and boot hire, and a free child’s lift pass for every adult lift pass. There is also great access by road from nearby Zaragoza (and the resort is actually only a 3.5 hour drive from Madrid).

For a more upmarket feel, just around the corner: Panticosa, Aragonese Pyrenees

chalet

This pretty ski resort tucked into the sharp peaks of the Aragonese Pyrenees is just around the corner from Formigal, yet boasts a distinctly Nordic feel (including ample terrain for cross-country skiing). The resort sits within a breath-taking glacial circle and the charming village’s cobbled streets and 13th century buildings give Panticosa a unique historical character that many of the less attractive resorts from the 60s ski boom tend to lack.

An unexpected bonus, Panticosa was a prominent spa town throughout the 19th and early 20th century, and many of the beautiful spa buildings and baths remain.  Luckily for skiers, Panticosa is part of the Aramón group, meaning the lift passes are combined with Formigal, so you can enjoy the best of both!

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Eat: A great traditional steakhouse in the village is  Meson Sampietro – try the lamb “costillas” with potatoes (heaven on a platter after a long day’s skiing). Restaurante Navarro & Emotion in the Navarro Hotel serves great vegan options – a rarity in these here parts (and plenty for meat-eaters too) (www.hotelnavarro.com) Sample local delicacies at Sallent de Gállego.

In pretty neighbouring town of Tramacastilla de Tena, both Casa Blasco and La Era de Berdon are great too. (www.apartamentosblasco.com / www.facebook.com/La-Era-de-Berd)

Cobaxo Panticosa

Apres-Ski: A great spot for a well earned Gin and Tonic is Cobaxo, at the base of the “gondola” with a fantastic terrace and the odd “themed party”! The real après-ski here lies in the centuries-old thermal baths, so retire from the early and recline in a fluffy robe at one of Panticosa resort’s famed spas (www.panticosa.com).

balneario panticosa granhotel

Stay: The recently revamped Panticosa Resort Gran Hotel is set within a beautiful, original 1896 Belle Epoque property built around the town’s original Balneario spa resort. There is a fabulous library complete with roaring fireplace, avant-garde restaurant and its own thermal spa – all set within pretty vast gardens (www.granhotelpanticosa.com). The smaller, more budget-friendly Hotel Saboco is another great option in the town centre, with complimentary train to and from the slopes.  (hotelsabocos.es)

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Just a 10 minute drive away, Hotel El Privilegio de Tena is a chic, upmarket boutique hotel with a beautifully atmospheric spa of its own.  (elprivilegio.com)

Transport: Aramón has chartered its own weekly flight from Gatwick to the new airport of Huesca-Pirineos, and laid on a free 90-minute coach transfer to neighbouring Formigal. There is also great access by road from nearby Zaragoza (and the resort is actually only a 3.5 hour drive from Madrid).

For High-Altitude Fiesta: Sierra Nevada

sierranevada

Europe’s most Southernly ski resort (it is further South than Athens), the Sierra Nevada’s name derives (most imaginatively) from the mountain range it occupies.

Referred to as the “Costa del Sol on Snow”, the resort is something of an anomaly being just 60 miles inland and a 20 mile trip from historic Granada (on the clearest of days you can just about spot the town’s terracotta rooftops in the distance).  This unique geography means almost guaranteed blue skies, attracting a mix of stylish young Brits, locals and Scandinavians.

The setting is breathtaking; at 3,300m above sea level, skiers are regularly carving above the clouds, but make no mistake – the feel remains distinctly Andalusian, with flamenco music blasting from the sunny terrazas as chefs stir enormous pans of oozy saffron-hued paella.

Paella (shutterstock_145145842)

During the week, the atmosphere is laid-back with upmarket après-ski and gets livelier at weekends, with a warm, animated crowd seeking adventure and fiesta from the decidedly quieter off-season coastal areas. Don’t expect to be up at dawn and on the pistes anytime before 11, here you’d be hard pressed to find a cup of coffee before 9am, but the nocturnal energy of the crowd is what makes this resort so unique!

Eat: The polar opposite of the Pyrnenees resorts, where meals are eaten late compared to the Alps, but seem absurdly early by Sierra Nevada standards! For a jolly tapas crawl with a difference, head to Plaza Pradollano (it gets lively from 5-8pm before the locals head for a siesta followed by “real” dinner). El Campo Base de la Sierra has welcomed the likes of Sean Connery through its wooden doors, and never disappoints. (www.facebook.com/El-Campo-base-de-la-SierraAsador la Vinoteca is a simply wonderful little gem, run by a charismatic ski instructor called Alberto. Delicious Spanish food and a great atmosphere. (www.facebook.com/asadorlavinoteca)  Still hungry? The Olive Press have put together a handy guide on where to eat in Sierra Nevada.

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Apres-Ski: Bringing delicious Veuve Cliquot champagne to the numerous thirsty skiers of Sierra Nevada, the Nevada Cliquot Terrace champagne bar was the first of its kind in Spain. This cosy cottage-style bar will have you quaffing bubbles in no time, with a sunny terrace, table football zone and live music.  I am parched just thinking about it. (www.nevadaterrace.com)

Veuve Cliquot Snow

Later on, enjoy the sunset from one of the terraza bars in Plaza de Andalucia (La Visera here also does a great interpretation of a full English breakfast!).  Cosy up by the outdoor firepit at Crescendo, a chilled out lounge bar next to the Parador chairlift, perfect for easing you into the Spanish late nights. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crescendo-Lodge)

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Stay: Newly opened outpost of the Marbella Club family, El Lodge is a chalet style boutique hotel with twenty rooms offering sheer luxury (and private Jacuzzis)! This dreamy Alpine-style hotel is filled with thoughtful details from gorgeous stone walls to divine upholstery draped in thick furry throws (all courtesy of renowned interior designer Andrew Martin).

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With a monumentally chic kids club, spa, outdoor swimming pool and sundeck surrounded by sparkling snowy dunes, you’ll need to be dragged to the slopes! (www.ellodge.com)

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Transport: The resort is fantastically well geared for motorists from the region, meaning roads are clear and parking abundant.

www.sierranevada.co.uk

View properties for sale on the Costa del Sol on the Lucas Fox website

Other Notable Mentions Go To:

For Cross-Country Skiing: Tavascán

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The only Catalan resort that offers both alpine and cross-country skiing. A meandering 8km cross-country track allows you to take things at a gentler pace and absorb the area’s incredible natural beauty.

(All transport information here: http://www.tavascan.net/la-vall)

www.tavascan.net

Another great resort for kids and beginners: Val de Nuria

Marmota

Val de Nuria in Girona province is close enough to Barcelona to be perfect for a daytrip, with 11 diverse ski slopes to enjoy and a great kiddie club.

(Accessible via direct train from Barcelona-Sants to Ribes de Freser, then the direct cremallera rack rail to Vall de Núria. Train tickets and a day ski pass costs 29€ and a train ticket plus a whole weekend ski pass costs just 49,30€)

www.valldenuria.cat/en/winter

For skiing in your lunch break: Snow Zone Madrid

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The only indoor ski resort of its kind in all of Spain, Madrid Snow Zone is one of the largest in the world! Located in the Xanadu shopping centre, the mini indoor frozen wonderland has 18,000m2 dedicated to skiing and snowboarding and is open 365 days a year. Divided into two sections, one for beginners and one for experts, time slots start from one hour – great for getting in some practise or simply escaping your daily grind!

How to get there: By bus from Principe Pío Station, take bus number 528 – 534 – 539. By car take highway A-5, exit 22 and 25.

www.madridsnowzone.com

For quieter pistes near Madrid: La Pinilla

pinilla

Just over the border in Castilla y Leon, La Pinilla is further from Madrid (around 120kms away). If you can make it up and out slightly earlier (at times easier said than done in the notoriously sleepless capital), you’ll find that this resort’s more remote location ensures quieter runs and fluffier snow.

www.lapinilla.es

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