Spain Skiing

Spain skiing offers great adventure among the country’s prominent and abundant mountains. To many skier's delight, there are numerous world-class ski resorts in Spain offering all levels a taste of the Spanish hills. Spain takes second place as the most mountains European country, after Switzerland, offering the likes of magnificent peaks of Puerto de Navacerrada and throughout the Pyrenees. Surprisingly, even in the warm southern coastal region, the Sierra Nevada’s make Spain skiing a possibility.

To escape for a few days of skiing between visiting the key points in Granada, Madrid, and Barcelona is entirely possible. Sierra Nevada ski resorts in Spain include Pradollano, located close to Granada. The hills close to Madrid take little more than an hour to reach by public transportation, making them highly accessible from the popular tourist area and capital city. Spain skiing here is best for mid-level skiers for which the less technical slopes are ideal. At the height of a hot summer, Spain skiing is still possible via the indoor runs at a popular shopping mall south of Madrid. Almost anywhere there are ski resorts in Spain there is also ample opportunity for renting all types of gear.

Sierra de Guadarrama is an extensive mountain range spilling into Madrid province and featuring Pico de Peñalara at its highest peak of more than 7,000 feet. The range includes Valdesqui—south of Segovia and north of Madrid—Puerto de Cotos, La Pinilla, and Puerto de Navacerrada. Single day and multiple day passes are available. Cheap passes can sometimes be snapped up through vacation packages that might include accommodation at one of the many nearby rentals. Even further north of Sierra de Guadarrama is the resort of Valdezcaray in the La Rioja region where the mountainous backdrop reveals ideal skiing terrain. Leon’s San Isidro and Cantabria’s Alto Campoo ski area are more popular ski resorts in Spain.

The Pyrenees in northeastern Spain are the most popular, and considered the best of all Spanish ski resorts. They are close to Pamplona, San Sebastian, and Barcelona and compare to some of the bigger Alpine ski resorts in Europe. The Pyrenees can be divided into two distinct regions, the Aragon Pyrenees and the Catalan Pyrenees. Both are home to numerous ski resorts and feature a variety of difficulty levels. In the Aragon Pyrenees, ski destinations include the tough hills of Candanchu, small and quiet Cerler, and relatively undiscovered Panticosa. The Catalan mountain region of the Pyrenees presents the biggest and most famous resort of Baqueira-Beret, La Molina (which is Spain’s most mature ski spot), and Masella, which makes a great day trip from Barcelona.

Apart from the popularity of Sierra de Guadarrama, its easy proximity makes it a great destination for a day or two of skiing. If a ski vacation is the focus, heading into the Pyrenees is the perfect solution for an active and exciting getaway. Snowboarding has become an equally celebrated mountain endeavor and boards and boots are available for rent along with skis. Trains accommodate those journeying a considerable distance to hit the hills while buses do the trick for closer ski resorts. Both present attractive routes making a beeline to top Spain skiing areas.

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