With a name that literally translates to “snowy range” it’s no surprise that Sierra Nevada, in Andalucía, is renowned for its abundant high altitude snowfall. What’s more interesting is that its location makes it one of the most southerly places in Europe you can ski.
Ski in the Sunshine
While many ski resorts enjoy their fair share of time in the sun, Sierra Nevada is officially the sunniest in Europe. With its vast accessible ski region encompassing six linked areas with a combined 100+ kms of pistes (greens, reds, blues and blacks) and more than 30 operational lifts, it’s become one of the premier high altitude resorts in Europe – and amazingly, it’s almost within arms’ reach of the Mediterranean! All that sun doesn’t have an effect on the quality of your skiing however, because the entire resort is facilitated with an artificial snowmaking system as a backup.
Ski in the Moonlight
Subject to the weather and snow conditions, you can also take part in the thrilling experience of night skiing in Sierra Nevada. With a fluid timetable, but usually between 7.30 and 9.30 pm several nights a week, the expansive 500m El Rio piste is illuminated by the power of massive floodlights. You’ll glide down the slopes under a starlit sky with the twinkling lights of Grenada and the Alhambra in the distance. It’s a truly unique and inspirational experience and, in fact, Sierra Nevada was one of the first resorts in Europe to institute night skiing. While many have followed suit, there’s nothing quite like doing it where it all started.
Ski Off the Beaten Track
The backcountry around Sierra Nevada is some of the most diverse and dramatic landscape you’ll ever encounter on skis – or snowshoes or snowboard!
There’s a designated cross-country trail close to the resort, and skiers of any ability can tackle the not-too-taxing 5.8km circuit. It’s a great place to introduce younger members of the family to the fun of cross-country skiing or get yourself psyched up for something a little more adventurous…
While not an activity suited to the novice, those with the energy, courage and skills can set off with a guide to explore the surrounding off piste area, including the slopes of mainland Spain’s highest peak, Mulhacen. With a huge network of trails, you can experience the exhilaration of muscle burning ascents, stomach dropping descents, virgin snowfields, vast deserted tracts and rugged peaks that make up this incredible region.
How to Get to Sierra Nevada
The closest airport to Sierra Nevada is Granada which is around two hours’ flying time from the UK. Once you land, it will take you just over an hour by road on a convenient Granada airport transfer to get you and your ski equipment straight to the door of your accommodation. Shuttle Direct operates a fast, direct service from Granada to Sierra Nevada on a shared or private basis. You can book online and our drivers will be there to meet you at the airport. It couldn’t be easier!
If you’ve got a little more time on your hands and you want to make a road trip out of it, you can drive from the UK to Sierra Nevada comfortably in two days. From Folkestone, take the Eurotunnel across to Calais, and break the journey to Spain with an overnight stop in France. Once over the border to southern Spain, Sierra Nevada is about 160km from Malaga, passing through Granada. When you leave Granada to begin the ascent to the Sierra Nevada, you’ll be driving on the highest road in Europe – with spectacular views to match!
Where to Stay:
Inside Plaza Sierra Nevada – For the budget conscious traveller with high standards, the Inside Plaza Sierra Nevada offers relaxed, modern, self-catering accommodation with style. The contemporary apartments feature picturesque views over the mountains and valley, fully equipped kitchens, free Wi-Fi and central heating. Ski storage is available onsite and you’re just a five minutes’ walk from the ski slopes.
Apartamentos Trevenque – With excellent facilities and a location that’s second to none, the Apartamentos Trevenque set you right in the heart of the spectacular Sierra Nevada. The accommodation features a kitchenette for self-catering, TV and DVD, private bathroom, and beautiful views across the valley or mountains. You can store your ski equipment onsite and the complex also has a games room and laundry. All this just 50 metres from the ski lifts!
El Lodge Ski & Spa – In the most breathtaking location imaginable, nestled amidst the ski slopes of Sierra Nevada, the charming El Lodge Ski & Spa is a luxurious escape that leaves nothing to wish for. Rooms feature spectacular floor-to-ceiling views and even a tablet and iPod dock. Onsite facilities include a luxury spa and wellness centre, sun deck and several restaurants.