The Sierra Nevada ski resort
Spain is associated, in most people's minds, with sun and sand, and it comes as a surprise to many to discover that Spain also has some of the best ski resorts and winter sports centres in Europe. It comes as an even bigger surprise when they find out that the best of these is in Granada, just an hour's drive from the golden beaches of the Costa Tropical! Here you can spend the morning skiing or snowboarding in this winter wonderland, then drive to the coast (an hour-and-a-half's drive through some of the most spectacular scenery in Spain) and spend the afternoon sunbathing on the beach at Almuñecar or Almería - virtually all year round (the Costa Tropical has an average of 320 days of sunshine a year).
Skiing at night
The Sierra Nevada ski resort has over 60km of ski and snow-boarding slopes with 45 pistes and 6 off-piste routes. There are 2 cable cars, 12 chair lifts and 5 ski lifts. There is a four-storey underground parking complex with spaces for 3,000 vehicles. The resort is open from 9am to 5pm weekdays; however, there is night skiing - on floodlit slopes - on weekends and bank holidays.
The Sierra Nevada Ski resort is the most southern in Europe. Set in the Penibetico range and 32 km from Granada, it has sign-posted slopes for all levels and excellent quality snow. It also has a cross-country skiing track, snow park with half-pipe and a recreational area for non-skiers, and dogsled rides. There is a sports centre where you can relax and get a massage after a hard day on the slopes.
The Sierra Nevada resort enjoys brilliant sunshine most of the winter and is subject to high-altitude thermal inversion, which blankets the area in a layer of warm air, making it the warmest ski resort in Europe, where it is possible to enjoy a drink or a meal sitting outside, even at night during mid-winter. At its highest point, the resort is more than 10,000 feet above sea level (3,300m). The views from the resort are breath-taking. From the Valeta peak, on a clear day, one can see across the Mediterranean to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, in north Africa.
The village, Pradollano - which is the hub of the resort - offers every service and facility a visitor could wish for. Skiing equipment can be rented at very reasonable rates, and expert ski instructors are available to give private and group tuition, usually without prior appointment. There are shops in the village selling everything from ski and snowboarding equipment and accessories to clothing, jewellery, toys, footware, stationery, books, pharmaceuticals, electrical goods, banking, food and drink. There is an abundance of bars, restaurants and snack food outlets, and a number of excellent hotels right in the centre of the village. There is a regular bus service to and from Granada city (details tel: + 34 958 249 111 and + 34 915 484 400), and a taxi service (Granada taxis, tel: + 34 958 280 654. Sierra Nevada taxis, tel: + 34 958 480 185, 649 826 524, 608 058 709, and 608 058 048).
Sierra Nevada quick facts
Resort Village: Pradollano (at 2100m/6889feet)
Nearest City: Granada (37km)
Season Length: December - April
Skiable area: 91 km
(87 km Alpine skiing - 4 km Cross-country skiing)
Number & Types of Slopes:
* Green ski runs: 8
* Blue ski runs: 33
* Red ski runs: 34
* Black ski runs: 4
Night Skiing?: Yes
Snow quality: Excellent
Other features: Halfpipe for snowboarding, parking lot for nearly 3,000 cars
Competitions, contests and events|
2nd "M José Rienda" Downhill Trophy.
Andalusía Youth/Adult Downhill Championship.
Ladies' World Cup Alpine.
Salomon National Ski-Cross Trophy.
Ballantine's National Snowboard Trophy. Slope Style snowboarding.
Andalusia Snowboard and Telemark Championship.
32nd National Veterans Downhill Trophy.
Sierra Nevada Club Booking Office
Plaza de Andalucía, 4
Tel +34 902708090 /Fax +34 958249146
Weather Report Centre Tel: + 34 958 249 119