Feliz Navidad – or if you’re skiing in Catalan country, Bon Nadal! Christmas is the most wonderful time of year in Spanish ski resorts, where you can experience local festivities and if Santa delivers good weather – fabulously sunny skiing.
Resorts in Spain host their main Yuletide celebrations on Christmas Eve, usually featuring an exciting appearance from Santa and a big feast before Mass in the local church. Christmas Day’s a bit more like Boxing Day for Brits, focused on relaxing with your nearest and dearest and enjoying the slopes, good food and vino.
Hotels are the main ski accommodation in Spain, and range from spectacular 5* star lodgings to simpler 3-star hotels, offering some of the cheapest Christmas skiing around.
If you want your Christmas week to be as relaxing as possible, a half board package will see your breakfasts and suppers served on-site throughout your stay. Or to cram in Spanish culture and sample the yuletide celebrations in local restaurants, a B&B deal will include breakfast to fuel you up first thing, then give you the freedom to eat out when and where you choose come lunch and dinnertime.
December marks the start of the ski season in most Spanish resorts, and from year to year, snow conditions can vary from a thin blanket of natural snow to lots of perfect powder.
The slopes of Sierra Nevada are an exception and have usually been open a month or so when Christmas comes around. They’re brilliantly high - beginning at 2100m and going up to 3300m and come kitted out with 350 snow cannons and 725 hydrants to keep the pistes topped up. Baqueira Beret is generally good for snow reliability too, with slopes from 1500m – 2510m and 654 snow cannons.
Besides a good range of skiing and snowboarding terrain, the Spanish ski resorts have a bundle of snowy and non-snowy activities to enjoy over your Christmas holiday.
Explore the surroundings on foot, horseback or ski-do, go ice skating or have a go at tubing or tobogganing. If you’re staying in Sierra Nevada, you can easily visit Granada to sample the Christmas markets and Nativity scenes.
Or for a more relaxing past-time, head to a spa in one of the 4 or 5-star hotels and treat yourself to a massage, swim or soak in a bubbling hot tub.