Spain Guide


Candanchu Ski Resort

The ski resort of Candanchu is located in the Spanish province of Huesca in the Pyrenean mountains of Aragon. You won't find it in many of the big tour operators' brochures but this little known resort offers some excellent ski ing amid the stunning scenery of the Pyrenees. Together with the neighbouring resort of Astun, there are nearly 90 kilometres of pistes including some tough black runs to challenge the most proficient of skiers.

The resort is on the Spanish French border in the centre of the Pyrenees, 385 kilometres north west of Barcelona which is the nearest major international airport. It's a popular winter weekend getaway for Spaniards and also attracts a small band of European and even American faithfuls who are attracted by the combination of good ski ing and the absence of international tourism.

The village of Candanchu is at an altitude of 1,560 metres and the highest peak in the resort rises to 2,400 metres. There are nine green runs, eight blues, 14 reds and 17 blacks. The runs are served by six chair lifts and 19 drag lifts. The resort has a snow park, ski jump, half pipe for snowboarders and a good range of cross country trails for skiers of all abilities.


The newer Astun ski area is almost adjacent (you can use the same ski pass) and offers another 43 kilometres of prepared slopes consisting of three greens, 12 blues, 18 reds and 10 blacks.

With more than 30% of the slopes in Candanchu designed for expert skiers, this is a paradise for those looking for some hard ski ing. The runs are relatively short but you'd be hard pushed to find tougher off piste ski ing even in the best known Alpine resorts.

Facilities within the resort include restaurants, cafes, bars, a disco, the usual equipment hire shops and a ski school with 95 instructors. There are sauna and massage facilities to ease your aching muscles after a hard day's ski ing and if you're travelling with kids you can leave them in the care of the Candanchulandia nursery which accepts children between the ages of six months and six years old.

There are three hotels in the resort, an "aparthotel", an hostal and four youth hostels (Albergues Juveniles). There's plenty of self catering accommodation to be found in and around the resort and a good choice of hotels and hostals in the historic town of Jaca, 15 minutes drive south of Candanchu.

Jaca is well worth a visit with its impressive 16th century Ciutadella fortress, built on the outskirts of the town by order of King Felipe II when he feared invasion by the French. The beautiful French city of Pau, the pilgrimage site at Lourdes and the neighbouring ski centres of Formigal, Panticosa and Cerler are all within easy reach of Candanchu.