Spain Guide


Sierra Nevada Ski Resort

Sierra Nevada, located in the province of Granada in the south of Spain, is Europe's most southerly ski resort. It's the best known and best equipped of all the Spanish ski resorts with 48 pistes covering 70 kilometres. You won't find another resort where you can ski in the morning then play golf in the sunshine or relax on a Mediterranean beach in the afternoon.

The resort is 32 kilometres to the south east of Granada which has an international airport. Malaga's international airport, with charter flights linking to the major European capitals is 160 kilometres to the west. You reach the resort via a steep, winding mountain road which can be hazardous when icy; expect traffic delays near the top in peak season periods.

If you arrive early in the morning you may be lucky enough to get a free parking space by the side of the road leading into the resort village of Pradollano. Otherwise you'll need to use the underground car park which has capacity for 2,800 vehicles but is expensive for long term parking (something to consider if you plan to bring your own car or hire one). Check whether your hotel or self catering accommodation provides parking.

The resort provides slopes for all levels, from complete beginners to expert skiers. You can ski here for five months of the year thanks to the 320 snow cannons capable of producing nearly 2,000 cubic metres of snow per hour. There are four nursery / green runs for beginners, 21 blue runs, 23 reds and four blacks. Experts can enjoy some sensational off piste ski ing with spectacular views of the Mediterranean and (on the clearest days) of Morocco.

The 20 lifts consist of two gondolas, 13 chairlifts, three T bar drag lifts, one conveyor belt and one rope drag.

There are several ski schools in the resort offering private and group lessons for skiers of all abilities. Snowboarders are also well served with a special park where there are jumps and half pipes. There are endless off piste areas to practise power riding after fresh falls of snow. Regular competitions are held throughout the season on both a national and international level.

Four restaurants provide drinks, fast food and a la carte meals on the slopes and the resort village of Pradollano is chock a block with bars, restaurants, creperies and croissant shops. When the sun goes down, you'll find the village a lively nightspot with plenty of music bars and clubs.

There's a good range of accommodation in the village from luxurious hotels with first class facilities including health and fitness centres to cheaper hostals and Alpine style self catering apartments. If you've got a car, you might prefer to try one of the hotels or cheap hostals which pepper the mountain road leading up to the resort. They're less crowded, more "Spanish" and generally less expensive than accommodation in Pradollano.

During your stay here, try to take time out to visit the city of Granada with its fabulous Alhambra Palace the most spectacular legacy of the Moorish sultans who ruled the kingdom of Al Andalus for nearly 800 years. It's one of the top tourist attractions in Spain and the beauty of its architecture will take your breath away. The Alpujarras region on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada is also well worth a day trip. It's a spectacular region, used by the Moors as their final stronghold, where ancient villages cling impossibly to the mountainsides and the way of life continues much as it has done for centuries.