Skiing is a winter sport that many people enjoy. Whilst some families enjoy relaxing on the beach or exploring a historic city center, others love nothing more than heading out onto the slopes and feeling the wind on their face as they hurtle down a pristine ski slope. Europeans are lucky in that they benefit from a plethora of vast mountain ranges that are dotted with high-quality ski resorts. Mountain ranges such as the Alps, Apennines, and the Dolomites are all famed for their beautiful scenery and skiing opportunities.
Spain is a country that is often overlooked for winter sports – tourists mainly visit fine Spanish cities such as Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao, or head to the southern and eastern coasts for a little sun. If you are looking for a Skiing holiday in Europe however, look no further – Spain actually has two magnificent Ski resorts that are known as some of the best on the continent!
Sierra Nevada - Andalucía
The Sierra Nevada mountain range is located in the Andalucía region of Spain and is one of the highest in Europe. Many people often forget that Spain actually has a series of vast mountain ranges as they tend to focus on the countries golden beaches and gorgeous coastline. This mountain range, however, is a fantastic place to Ski and can be reached by car from major airports such as Alicante. Ski resorts such as Sierra Essence have amazing accommodation, all the ski equipment you could need, and access to some of the mountains finest ski slopes.
The Skiing resort of Sierra Nevada is split into six main areas – Veleta, Borreguiles, Loma Dilar, Laguna de las Yeguas and Parado y Rio. Each area is accessible by a myriad of ski lifts (30 in total) and there are approximately 103 pistes to choose from. With over 94km of skiing area, this resort certainly has a great deal to offer and avid skiers generally visit between the months of December and April.
If you are staying in the southern region of Spain, Sierra Nevada is easily accessible. For example, if you hired a car from Drivalia, you could travel to this ski resort from either Alicante airport or Valencia and even stop at some of the gorgeous coastal towns on the way. Alicante has a great deal to offer and a twin destination holiday could be perfect – stay a while at a gorgeous resort on the eastern coast, and then head on down to Sierra Nevada at your own pace to enjoy some intense skiing – there you have the best of both worlds!
Baquiera Beret - Pyrenees
Another Spanish gem that is often overlooked, Vaqueria Beret is only a few hours’ drive from Girona and is one of the most spectacular ski resorts in the Pyrenees. This part of Spain has a fascinating history and is often referred to as a backdoor into the country from neighboring France.
The ski resort at Vaqueria was only truly developed in the 1960's but since then it has grown exponentially and now boasts a superb range of facilities and some gorgeous pistes. Vaqueria currently has 146km of groomed ski runs and an ample amount of ski lifts. The skiing area is split into three main parts – Baquiera, Beret, and Bonaiguie – each section is clearly defined and has a set of well-connected and distinct ski runs. Most of the resort is at a height of 1800m or more which makes for fantastic snow coverage during the ski season and you will rarely have to wait in queues when skiing.
Furthermore, this town has some excellent hotels such as Hotel Montarto and Hotel Val De Ruda and generally has a charming vibe and atmosphere. There is also a variety of restaurants and tapas bars in the nearby charming village of Viella.
Due to its location on the northern border of Spain, Baquiera is actually ideally located to travel from either Girona or Bilbao. Drivalia has a car-hire service at both of these popular Spanish cities and the journey (without stops) would take between 4-5 hours. Travelling in a hire car from either of these locations will provide a memorable journey through some simply fantastic scenery and would be a great way to start your skiing adventure in the Pyrenees.
There you have it - two very different ski resorts in two very different regions of Spain, both accessible by Drivalia car-hire. Each resort has its own charm and style but offers the very best skiing opportunities in the continent. What are you waiting for? Get your ski gear on this year and head onto the slope!