Early snow sees November opening for Spain’s ski resorts

The first of Spain's ski resorts opened last week after a polar blast brought unexpectedly early snow.

Early snow sees November opening for Spain's ski resorts
Resorts across Spain's mountain ranges have already opened for the season. Photo: Formigal Aramon Resort

La Masella in Spain's eastern Pyrenean region became the first ski station to open in all of Spain, inaugurating the season last Wednesday with two lifts open.

Snow coverage of about 25cms was topped up by artificial snow machines at the resort in Girona region of Catalonia at the start of a season that is expected to last until Easter week in April next year.

The resorts of Astún (Huesca) and Punto de Nieve Santa Inés (Soria) also opened last weekend.

Formigal, a resort in the Aragon region of the Pyrenees, near the border with France, opened on Friday.


With 25 pistes open offering 31 km of runs and in glorious sunshine, it was a great start to the season.

Nearby Panticosa opens on Saturday.

And so too does Candanchú (Huesca), which will open on November 23rd.

Slopes much further south on the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Granada are due to open this coming weekend.

The popular resort of Baqueira Beret, also in the Pyrenees will be opening on Saturday and is offering a discount to early skiers.

Skiers in Asturias will have to wait a little longer with the resorts of Pajares y Fuentes de Invierno not opening until Friday November 29.

The same goes for Espot Esquí and Port Ainé, in Huesca province of Aragon; Vallter 2000 and Vall de Núria, in Girona, Catalonia; Leitariegos and San Isidro, in the Picos de Europa in León; and the Sierra de Béjar-La Covatilla in Salamanca province.

A few resorts in Spain have yet to set the opening date.

Snow has been falling heavily in Madrid’s two resorts Puerto de Navacerrada and Valdesquí so it won’t be long before they are up and running. And the same goes for La Pinilla, just an hour north of Madrid over the border in Segovia province.

Slopes in AltoCampo (Cantabria), Javalambre-Valdelinares (Teruel), La Pinilla (Segovia), Lunada (Burgos), Manzaneda, (Ourense) Port del Comte (Lleida), Tavascá (Lleida), and Valdezcaray (La Rioja) have all yet to set an opening date.

READ ALSO: Eight amazing ski resorts in Spain

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Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.