Six Spanish Ski Resorts to Rival Your Usual Alpine Getaway

Six Spanish Ski Resorts to Rival Your Usual Alpine Getaway

Pintxos and well-groomed pistes go hand-in-hand at these Spanish ski haunts.

Scroll through a list of
ski destinations
and right at the end off your group brainstorm
someone might, maybe, suggest Spain. Don’t be too hasty in your
dismissal though, while France is chintzy and Austria’s powder is
premium, Spanish slopes offer challenging runs and great après-ski
at a fraction of the cost.


1. Baqueira-Beret

Spanish Pyrenees

As the biggest and most visited ski resort in Spain,
Baqueira-Beret’s name precedes it. Located in Val d’Aran on a
remote cleft in the north of the mountain range, Baqueira-Beret’s
slopes are suave – and rather stately. Of a morning, you can expect
to ski alongside any number of the Spanish royal family (King Juan
Carlos has a holiday home here). Expect long runs of all standards
with exciting, off-piste variations. Plus, for the best food and
wine this side of a ski lift, head to Cinco Jotas Grill for lunch and Ticolet for
fine-dining.


2. La Molina

Spanish Pyrenees

For those with a penchant for heritage ski – be it vintage
ski-resort posters or 1970s-style fondue sets – La Molina is sure
to entice. Revel in the historical surrounds of Spain’s very first
ski resort, now something of an iconic Catalan gem. A great spot
for mismatched-level skiers who don’t want to compromise on the
quality of their skiing, slopes here offer wide, gentle runs and
steep, winding trails. Linked to nearby Masella in the Arc 2,500
area, you can also enjoy the marked piste outside your immediate
area. The chicest two-in-one we’ve come across to date.


3. Masella

Spanish Pyrenees

A 90-minute drive from Barcelona,
when the pace of a city break becomes too much to handle you can
head for the hills. Belonging to Alp’s municipality, Masella’s
scenic pistes are navigable at any time of day, making those early
alarm calls not as pivotal to a ski break as you might think.
Overlooking the Cerdanya Valley – the nocturnal ski capital of the
Pyrenees – Masella is a great spot for night owls, as its heady
crowd of revellers can attest.


4. Sierra Nevada

Pradollano

Great for spa trips, snowboarding and Spanish
tapas, Sierra Nevada – near the historic city of Granada – is a
high-altitude fiesta. Translating as “snow-covered mountain range”,
the ski area on the northwestern slopes of Veleta is the third
highest peak in peninsular Spain. Adding to its accolades, it is
also the most southerly ski resort in Europe. Plunge down 107km of
pistes and stop for lunch at Ruta del Veleta. Order their marinated sardine
coca over raff tomato relish with pea ice cream and toasted corn
flour and retire for the rest of the day.


5. Port Aine

Catalan Pyrenees

This wallet-friendly valley enjoys powdery snow and a
near-perfect terrain for snowboarders. Located beneath the Pic de
l’Orri, 95% of it’s slopes are north facing – meaning excellent
snow quality is pretty much a sure thing. A lesser-known spot for
skiing, Port Aine still serves up some of the best beginners and
intermediate slopes in the Catalan Pyrenees, with 28 longish runs
to explore. While first impressions may not be great – the cafés
and restaurants are a bit shabby and rental gear here is limited –
the skiing and setting even things up; and the green run, Bella
Vista piste boasts views to warrant its name.


6. Panticosa

Aragonese Pyrenees

A must-try spot for the charmed chalet dweller, Panticosa is
“Pyrene” chic (read: a little rough around the edges). Tucked away
in the sharp peaks of the Pyrenees, Panticosa makes its skiers work
for their après-ski. A prominent spa town in the 19th and
early-20th centuries, many historical spa buildings and baths still
remain in the locale. Neighbouring Formigal, it’s foolish to
conquer one resort and not the other; plus as Spanish ski resorts
go, Formigal really holds its own in the night-skiing stakes.

ski chalet roofs in sers chevalier

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