Sierra Nevada and Skiing

Skiing-in-Sierra-NevadaAndalucia, along with parts of New Zealand, is one of the only places in the world where you can spend the morning skiing in Sierra Nevada and then with a quick 2 hour burn in the car have lunch and spend the afternoon taking in some spring sunshine on the beach! Spoilt for choice!

Sierra Nevada is in the province of Granada, and is the highest and most southerly resort in Europe. It isn’t far, only 25 minutes, from the beautiful historic town of Granada itself, and has one of the longest skiing seasons in Europe. In fact this year snow has fallen already as I write this (November) and the station is planning to open at the beginning of December.

Skiing often can continue until the beginning of May as a result and also due to its ease of access; airports, railway and motorways are nearby, it is a very popular resort during the whole season and particularly during the school holidays! Be warned, the queues for the lifts can be a bit boring.

Sierra Nevada is part of a World Heritage Site and also is a National Park, so spending a holiday there doesn’t just mean skiing; there is the fantastic scenery, flora and fauna to keep the less than keen skiers occupied.

The skiing station, called “Sol y Nieve”, is a purpose built complex completed several decades ago. It was revamped in the nineties but still is not your average ski centre, it’s a bit of a concrete jungle with massive underground parking facilities reminiscent of a shopping mall! But this means that it has a much more relaxed carefree approach than some traditional Alps resorts.

There are over 86 kilometres of pistes ranging from the absolute beginners to the expert black pistes for the fearless. Three ski schools cater for the resort and classes can be on an ad hoc daily or a weekly basis. Equipment can be hired from the schools to save those of you who haven’t skied before forking out loads, then finding it’s not quite the addictive lifetime enjoyment you thought it would be! Children are well catered for too. For the smallest there is a nursery and for those ready to learn there is a special school the ”Dreamland School” to start them off and take them up to the stage when they can join their parents.

Unlike some more traditional resorts snow boarders are welcomed. In fact the Parque Sulayr has been set up in the Borreguiles station to provide a special space where snowboarders and freestyle skiers can practise their jumps without disturbing others. All the 86 kilometres of piste are situated in 6 zones around the Borreguiles site and are all served with restaurants and bars so you don’t need to go off-piste back down to Pradollano, the main resort area.

The après-ski in Sierra Nevada is rather special too. The relaxed Andaluz touch means that there is something for everyone and at Andaluz-not French-prices. Restaurants range from pizzerias to International with of course smoking and non-smoking options.

Finally accommodation! Flats and chalets can be rented for self catering or there are many hotels in the resort itself. Granada is also an option due to its proximity and for those of you who may not want to join in the party atmosphere, which can go on till the small hours; this may be a better idea!

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