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Sierra Nevada

There aren’t many resorts where you can ski in the morning, and be lazing on a beach come afternoon. But Sierra Nevada’s one of them – up in Europe’s second highest mountain range, with the Mediterranean coast within an hour’s drive.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Long ski season • Near Granada • Tapas centred apres • Lovely wide pistes

Great for: • Families • Beginners • Intermediates

There aren’t many resorts where you can ski in the morning, and be lazing on a beach come afternoon. But Sierra Nevada’s one of them – up in Europe’s second highest mountain range, with the Mediterranean coast within an hour’s drive.

Sierra Nevada Resort

European ski resorts don’t get more southerly than this one, accessed from the Andalucian village of Pradollano in south Spain. It’s part of the Sierra Nevada massif, which is one of the highest mountain ranges in Europe – second only to the Alps.

It’s hard to find another resort with a location quite like Sierra Nevada, 32km from the historic city of Granada and within easy reach of the Mediterranean coast. The beaches of the Costa Tropical can be reached by car in about an hour, with big name beach destinations like Malaga and Marbella within a 2.5-hour drive. On a clear day, you can see over the Mediterranean to Morocco from the Laguna ski area, which is loved for its spectacular surrounding peaks.

The resort’s inspiration was the idea of a ‘Finnish Granada’, letting locals make the most of the snowy, sunny climate. They certainly have been, and this has grown into one of the nation’s most popular ski resorts.

Pradollano serves as the hub of the ski resort, less pretty and more practical with high rise apartments and hotels within walking distance of the lifts.

When it comes to getting here, Granada airport is 47 km away (around an hour’s drive) and Málaga airport 172 km away (the journey takes around 2 hours). If you’re travelling by rail, the nearest stop is Granada train station which is 40 km from the resort.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Andalucia, Spain

Established: 1964

Open: November - April

Downhill: 106.8km/117runs

View our detailed Sierra Nevada snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Sierra Nevada snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Granada airport (GRX)47km, 1 hour
Málaga airport (AGP)172km, 2 hours
Sevilla airport (SVQ)291km, 3 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 49km 47%

  • 51km 48%

  • 5km 5%

Top Altitude:3300m
Bottom Altitude:2100m
Resort Altitude:2100m
Longest run:2.2km
Slope Orientation:NW
Vertical Drop:1200m
Skiable Vertical:105km
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 5cm
  • Base
  • 40cm
  • Forecast
  • 80cm

Web Cam

Sierra Nevada web cams
Downhill Runs:106.8km/117runs
Beginner slopes:47%
Intermediate:48%
Advanced slopes:5%
Lift Pass Price: €213 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts:

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Sierra Nevada

With famously wide pistes and Spain’s biggest vertical drop, there’s plenty to explore in Sierra Nevada. New additions to the area include the Pista del Mar and Pista del Bosque family slopes, which are dotted with marine and mountain animals and often host fun activities. Del Bosque’s alpine garden caters well for the tiniest learners.

Beginners and improvers can take the gondola up to Borreguiles where the Veleta II, Emilie Allais and Borreguiles lifts serve a number of gentle green runs. The British Ski Center provide excellent tuition for all levels.

The Lomar de Dilar area has a good mix of easy and challenging runs that are often quieter than Borreguiles. Long, wide, cruisey blues stream back to the village, and there are links to the Fuente del Tesoro and Neveros black pistes which host big slalom events (including the World Cup Giant Slalom). This is also where you’ll find the Sulaya snowpark (one of Europe's finest) with its four slopesyle sections, ski/snowboard cross and half pipe.

Red run skiers will love the quiet Laguna de las Yeguas area, which is swimming in high altitude, intermediate friendly pistes. When you’ve exhausted that side of the mountain, ski down to San Juan where dozens of runs including the area’s longest, Aguilla, stream down towards the Pradollano base station.

The Rio run is a favourite – a rolling, motorway slope - but can get crowded during peak times.

You’ll find easy to reach off-piste between the pisted areas, with good terrain for less experienced skiers in the Loma de Dilar Borreguiles sectors. Seasoned freeriders can head out to the San Juan and Laguna de las Yeguas valleys for Juan’s huge bowl and Laguna’s couloir-like descents. Mix pisted and unpisted terrain for a full valley run down Cauchiles, or conquer the long Tubo de Cauchiles gulley with its natural half pipes and drop offs. According to local expert Giles at British Ski Center: “One thing off-piste skiers learn about in Sierra Nevada is to manage regularly changing snow types and conditions. It is not your typical "powder" resort so you should not expect to always find conditions like this. Instead, the off-piste often offers challenges that ultimately boost your own confidence and level of skiing through experimentation and repetition to the point that you start welcoming and enjoying types and conditions of snow that many people would immediate shun and shy away from!”.

One of the Sierra Nevada's most exciting features, night skiing was introduced in 1994 with lighting along the El Rio slope (3km/545 vertical drop), and this is normally open Fridays and Saturdays. There is also a Slalom course (1,100m vertical drop). Skiing and lift schedules are established according to the time of sunset. However, a minimum of an extra two hours of skiing will be available along a freshly groomed course.

Sierra Nevada Apres Ski

For food and drink , Pradollano Plaza’s tapas bars (we like La Muralla) are buzzing after the slopes close. The resort really livens up later on in the evening around 11pm, with bars like Soho and Cha Cha opening for drinks and dancing until the early hours.

Restaurante la Antorcha is a good spot for lunches and dinners, where you cook your meat on a hot stone at the table. Tito Luigi’s does good pizzas and La Visera is a favourite for burgers and other international dishes.

One of our favourite après ski activities is getting the snow groomer up to the El Veleta summit, where you can watch the sun set over Granada and the coast of southern Spain. Snowshoeing excursions run in the day and evening, and if you’re here as a family, the kids will love the snowmobile circuit near the Jara Chairlift and the sledging at Borreguiles.

The Montebajo Sport Club is a fantastic facility of 3,000 square metres. The club's five floors include a 130 person capacity conference room with simultaneous translation equipment and full range of audio-visual equipment, recreation hall, meeting rooms, work rooms, Gymnasium with workout programmes, aerobics, weight training and state-of-the-art equipment, multi-purpose gym for practicing indoor sports, massage rooms, saunas, turkish baths, jacuzzi, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and solarium. Centro de Alto Rendimiento - High Performance Athletic Training Centre (CAR), located at 2,320 meters above sea level, has been specially designed for the high altitude training of athletes of all disciplines. The centre, in an ideal location for testing the limits of the human body, has the latest state-of-the-art equipment which it provides for athletic federations and clubs as well as individual athletes for a perfect training programme. High altitude training has been scientifically proven to provide physiological and constitutional benefits to athletes. The CAR is also available to the resort´s visitors, skiers and other athletes during special times, according to the centre´s regular athletic training programme. The centre's facilities include a 6-lane indoor running track with a 130m straight sprint track. It has an adjoining track room for high, long and triple jump and pole vault and a multi-purpose gym for volleyball, basketball, handball, tennis, badminton and indoor soccer as well as a weight and power lifting room. The sports medicine facility is equipped with electrotherapy, strength and clinical analysis testing facilities.

When the snow melts there are outdoor jogging tracks at 1,800, 2,300 and 2,600 meters altitude, 6-lane outdoor running track, 400 metre artificial turf field and a shot putt area. Throughout the winter season Sierra Nevada also offers a number of different activities including table tennis, hang-gliding, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, rollerblading, scuba diving classes, ski/golf packages and adventure skiing.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Sierra Nevada

When is the best time to ski Sierra Nevada?

Known to open for business as early as November, and stay that way to the end of April, the ski season here's usually excellent. An army of 350 snow cannons cover 44 runs and 35km of piste here, providing a layer of manmade snow whenever Mother Nature needs a helping hand. First tracks and night ski programs let skiers enjoy a full day’s worth of skiing, or more. If you ski here in the springtime, while the high north facing slopes tend to hold onto the white stuff, it’s also warm enough to head down to the coast for some beach time in the middle of your ski holiday – something you can’t do from many ski resorts. Giles from British Ski Center says: “The altitude and typically dry climate of the region lends to preserving the snow for longer periods (hence one of the longest seasons on Europe). The lack of relative humidity in the atmosphere means that moisture content penetrating the snow is always kept to a minimum and so the snow takes much longer to turn sticky and slushy as is typical for late season skiing in many lower altitude resorts! Sierra Nevada really comes out on top for its "Spring Snow"...from mid-march onwards, by timing things correctly and choosing the correctly orientated slopes, the off-piste conditions of silky smooth buttery spring snow is a pure dream and unlike anything I have ever experienced anywhere else on snow!”.

Peak Dates

Spend Christmas in Sierra Nevada and save some time to explore the festive lights of Granada city, with its traditional markets and belenes (nativity scenes).

See in the New Year in Sierra Nevada’s lively tapas bars and night clubs, or get an early night and have the slopes to yourself on January 1st…

The area brings out its best offerings for families during Half Term in Sierra Nevada, where all ages can ski, snowboard, snowmobile and sled their socks off.

If you’re struggling to choose between the mountains and the beach, Easter in Sierra Nevada is a brilliant compromise – ski in the morning, then drive down to the Costa Tropical for an afternoon by the sea. Browse Sierra Nevada Easter ski holidays ‣

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Families in Sierra Nevada

From the amazing kid’s menu at the Chikiclub restaurant, to the animal themed trails of Pista del Mar and Pista del Bosque – not forgetting fun activities like snow tubing and snowmobiling – there’s tons here for families.

GroupsGroup Holidays Sierra Nevada

With 100km of slopes for different abilities and all manner of things to do off the piste – whether it’s exploring the city of Granada, driving down to the beach or sampling the tapas centred Apres ski… Sierra Nevada is a great option for groups wanting to ski in Spain.

More Sierra Nevada Holiday Resources


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