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Eight amazing ski resorts in Spain

The Local Spain
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Eight amazing ski resorts in Spain
Spain's main ski slopes are located in Andalusia, Castilla y León, Aragón and Catalonia. Photo: AFP

From the Pyrenees to the Sierra Nevada, The Local looks at some of the best places in Spain to hit the slopes and enjoy the après-ski, as well as all the opening and closing dates of this seaon.

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The first snow of the year has arrived in Spain, which means that ski season has begun. If you've put summer way behind you and have already dug out your winter gear, here's where you should go and when.

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1. Benasque


Photo: yimix / Flickr Creative Commons

Nestled within the Posets-Maladetas nature reserve in the Spanish Pyrenees, Benasque is perfect for those who prefer skiing of the cross country variety. There are routes to suit all abilities from experienced to beginners, that wind through scenic oak, birch and beech forests. Benasque partially opened on December 6th. 

2. La Molina

Photo: Kibo M / Flickr Creative Commons

Less than two hours by car from the beaches Barcelona, this is a busy, bustling resort with a lot of history. The home of Spain's first ski-lift and ski-school, it also hosted the 2011 Snowboarding World Championships. It offers 61km of pistes divided into 54 runs, a park for beginners and the biggest half-pipe in the Pyrenees. The opening date is still pending for this year, but it will be operational until April 10th 2023. 
 

3. Masella


Photo: Josep M / Flickr Creative Commons

Close to the French and Andorran borders on the northern slope of Tosa d’Alp overlooking the Cerdanya Valley, Masella is located only 90 minutes away from Barcelona. The resort has 65 pistes of all levels, spread over 75km. Like La Molina, the official opening date is yet to be announced, but it will stay open until April 10th, 2023. 

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4. Baqueira-Beret 


Photo: Inigo Zubia / Flickr Creative Commons

Spain's biggest and most visited ski resort, with 153km of pistes, is found less than four hours from both Barcelona and Zaragoza, in the Aran and Àneu Valleys of the Pyrenees. Skiers flock here because of the resort's good snow record and to enjoy more than 50 local, rural villages of stone and wood houses, many of which feature beautiful Romanesque churches. This year its season runs from November 26th to April 10th, 2023. 

5. Navacerrada


Photo: Pablo Yunyas / Flickr Creative Commons

Located 52km (32 miles) outside Madrid, Navacerrada is the closest ski resort to the capital, making it perfect for a day trip. It is divided into two areas, the upper area with intermediate/difficult pistes and the lower area with intermediate pistes. The resort also boasts a slalom stadium and ski jump. The ski resort is not yet open this year, but dates will be announced shortly. 

6. Formigal 

Photo: es.topsportholidays.com / Flickr Creative Commons.

A resort in the Aragónese Pyrenees, Formigal offers 137km of pistes over 90 runs. Its north- and west-facing slopes give it a good snow record and its location within driving distance of a number of cities in the northwest of Spain and southeast of France drives its popularity. Formigal also has snow gardens and facilities for younger skiers, and hosted the 2008 Alpine Junior World Ski Championships. The ski season at Formigal started on December 2nd and will run until April 9th 2023. 

7. Sierra Nevada


Photo: Álvaro Salas Ordóñez / Flickr Creative Commons.

The most southerly ski resort in Europe, the Sierra Nevada ski station is located outside Granada, on the northern slopes of Veleta, the third-highest peak in peninsular Spain. It is the highest ski resort in Spain; the season can last from late November until early May. The resort has over 100km of alpine ski runs. Just a short drive from the Mediterranean coast makes it one of the few places in the world where you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon! The resort has one of the longest ski seasons in Spain this year, opening on December 3rd and running until May 1st 2023. 

8. Valgrande-Pajares 

If you fancy discovering a lesser-known part of Spain, then Asturias has a resort with 25km of pistes within an hour's drive of both Oviedo and León. Ideally suited for beginners. This station is not yet open and dates are still to be announced. 

READ ALSO:  A weekend in Spain's Formigal: Guide for skiers and snowboarders

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