Now that the clocks have gone back, the temperature has gone down a few degrees in most of Europe and summer holidays seem like a distant memory, many families will be turning their attention towards Christmas and, specifically, a trip to the snow over the festive period…
While Spain is not the first country in Europe you might think of when planning a ski trip, there are some superb resorts which make for a refreshing alternative to the much-acclaimed – yet arguably overpriced – French, Italian or Swiss Alps.
At the top of this list is Sierra Nevada in Granada. Whilst it may not have the same fame as Val Thorens, Tignes or Courchevel in neighbouring France, Sierra Nevada is winter sports lover’s paradise for the following reasons:
At Sierra Nevada, perfect “bluebird days” are par for the course. A blend of soft powder, clear blue skies and intense sunlight, even when temperatures in the snow elsewhere have plummeted, make for ideal skiing conditions. In other words, the pistes are spectacular AND you can feel your fingers and toes. Winning.
What’s more, this year’s snow coverage has already started in earnest, meaning that – if it carries on – this season is set to kick off sooner than it did in 2017. Watch this video to see it for yourself!
Perhaps the most important factor for many people contemplating a ski trip is the price, especially if they are bringing the whole family. Not everyone can afford a stay at a luxury ski-in-ski-out resort in Verbier, for instance, as well as the costly travel and transport implications.
With daily adult ski passes available from just €45.50, junior passes from €30 (advanced booking discounts are also available via the official website) and very reasonable equipment hire, a trip to Sierra Nevada won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Being situated close to both Granada airport and Málaga-Costa del Sol international airport means that the mountains are easily accessible from hundreds of European destinations, while flights are frequent and – importantly – cheap (due to low season air fares being applied).
Great for all levels
Firstly, it must be pointed out that there is no bias against snowboarders (as is the case at several of the resorts in the Alps), so all are welcome on the slopes. Furthermore, the wide variety of slopes makes it ideal for beginners and infrequent skiers/riders, while experienced practitioners are more than provided for.
There are 131 runs, which cater for all levels of difficulty, and the 1,100-metre slope altitude is the highest in Spain from top to bottom, meaning that it also boasts the most varied riding of any Spanish resort.
To give you an idea of its international pedigree, Sierra Nevada hosted last year’s freestyle ski and snowboarding world championships and the alpine world ski championships in 1996.
Another huge draw is the resort’s proximity to the beautiful Costa del Sol, whose beaches with golden sands and enviably warm climate year round are just two hours away by car. So, if you have a house here on the Coast, you can go up to the mountains for a day on the slopes and be back by the evening for a beachfront dinner.