See in the New Year on the slopes of sunny Spain, celebrating with awesome tapas, copious amounts of cava and feel-good skiing
New Years Eve or Nochevieja is a big event in the Spanish ski resorts, where the tradition is to eat twelve grapes – one at each strike of the clock. Often resorts put on a torchlit descent and big firework display, with parties in local bars and feasts laid on by restaurants.
Hotels are our main type of accommodation in Spain’s ski resorts, and you’ll find all shapes and sizes from small, simple 3-stars to luxurious 5-star hotels with spas and swimming pools. Some come on a half-board package, which makes budgeting for your New Year’s holiday simple: breakfasts and suppers are included for the week, so you just have to pay for snacks or lunches on the mountain. If you prefer to get to know the resort and local culture, a B&B package will prepare you for the day with a hearty breakfast, then free you up to try local restaurants for the rest of your meals.
Late December - early January is often the coldest time of year in the Spanish ski resorts, though compared to the highest French resorts and ones in North America, temperatures are comfortably mild.
If there’s been a good build-up of snow in the preceding weeks the slopes should be in excellent nick. On years when the snow gods haven’t been so generous, bigger resorts like Sierra Nevada and Baqueira Beret are dotted with hundreds of snow cannons which provide artificial cover.
The ski areas have plenty to occupy if you don’t want to budge from the slopes – including the longest slopestyle in Europe (in Sierra Nevada) if you want to set yourself a New Year’s challenge. There will almost certainly be fireworks on the 31st, and for the ultimate New Years Day, heli-skiing is a lot more affordable here than elsewhere on the continent.
To continue Christmas festivities, look out for winter-wonderland activities like husky sled rides, horse riding on the snow and ice skating. Or begin the year feeling wonderfully pampered after a stint in a slope-side spa…