Nearly 5 million people go skiing in Spain every year. So, when it comes to skiing, the Spaniards like to do so in their backyard, so to speak. You see, Spain has 33 ski resorts and some 1,164 kilometres of slopes. Therefore, many Spanish people simply stay in Spain when they go skiing. However, those who do venture a little further usually do so into neighbouring countries, for example, France and Andorra. So, if you want to hit the same pistes as the Spanish, read on…
Where do Spaniards go to ski?
1. Sierra Nevada, Spain
The Sierra Nevada ski resort is in the province of Granada in southeastern Spain. The ski area is on the northwestern slopes of Veleta, which is the third highest peak in peninsular Spain and the most southerly ski resort in Europe. The small town of Pradollano is nestled in the valley. Skiing here means lots of sunny, bluebird days, and wonderful views out over the plains of Granada.
2. Alto Campoo, Spain
Alto Campoo is a ski resort with peaks at over 2,000 metres above sea level located in the Campoo Valley in Reinosa in northern Spain. Those small, it is a truly local resort and the views are magnificent. From the Pico Tres Mares, the Cornón or the Cuchillón, you can see the wide lands of Castile, the Picos de Europa and even the Cantabrian Sea in the background.
3. La Molina/Masella – Alp2500, Spain
With 145 km of slopes, La Molina and Masella ski resorts constitute one of the largest areas for skiing in the Pyrenees. The area is close to the border with France and is just a 2-hour drive from Barcelona or you can reach it by train. This makes it a super popular resort with Spaniards on the weekends. One of the best things about these ski resorts is the wonderful combination of sun, snow and wide diversity of landscapes.
4. Baqueira Beret, Spain
Baqueira Beret is the royal family’s ski resort of choice – they own a chalet here. So, with slopes fit for a king and queen, it is very popular with regular Spaniards too who come here to rub shoulders with the elite. Baqueira Beret is a playground for off-piste skiers and is home to some of the best itinerary runs in Europe. If you are feeling brave, make sure you tackle Escornacrabes, the most notorious ski run in this Spanish resort.
5. Font Romeu Pyrénées 2000, Spain and France
Font Romeu Pyrénées 2000 is a small resort with 43km of runs. It is the perfect spot for beginners. The ski resort borders Spain, France and Andorra and is on the peaks of the eastern Pyrénées. The combination of Spanish and French makes this resort feel rather special and on the slopes, you’ll find a good mix of locals and French skiers who come here to what they call ‘France’s sunniest ski resort’. It is a top place for skiers who want a bit of sunshine with their snow.
Neighbouring Andorra is a wonderful destination for skiing, especially because you can drive from Spain and load up the car with all your ski gear. Skiing in Andorra is a mix of open and tree-lined and the resorts are very popular with families. The food in the Andorran ski resorts is also fabulous with cuisine that has been influenced by and assimilated French and Catalan cuisines.
7. Cerro Catedral, Argentina
When the Spanish are itching to go skiing in the summer, they head to Argentina, where it is winter, and hit the slopes of Cerro Catedral. This resort is located 19 kilometres from San Carlos de Bariloche, and inside the Nahuel Huapí National Park, in Patagonia. Argentian is a popular destination with Spaniards because they speak the same language and have similar loves: great football, dancing, wine and food.