Pros

Vibrant Spanish culture gives a different experience from the Alps.

Low prices for food and drink.

Few crowds outside peak times.

Cons

Access can be difficult, with lengthy drives to reach Pyrenean resorts.

Still lots of old lifts, but improving.

Spanish resorts vary enormously, so it’s difficult to generalise. Nearly all the main ones, though, are benefiting from recent investment. Baqueira-Beret, Formigal and Sierra Nevada have respectably sized and varied terrain that compares favourably with many smaller Alpine resorts.

Key parts of the appeal of Spanish skiing are the relatively low cost and the relaxed ambience, with a distinct emphasis on eating, partying and posing. Most resorts are in the Pyrenees. The villages are built more for convenience than charm – but they do offer a wide range of lodging set in some stunning scenery. 

There is a group of worthwhile resorts in the west, between Pau and Huesca. Formigal is now the largest, and making a steady comeback on the wider market. Candanchu and Astún nearby are popular on the Spanish market. The downside is access, which can be tricky from France if snowfall closes key mountain passes. There are long drives up from Spanish airports, too, but weekly charter flights to Huesca have cut some transfer times. 

The other main group of Spanish Pyrenean resorts, just east of Andorra, includes La Molina and Masella (Alp 2500).

In the south of Spain is the high resort of Sierra Nevada – a quite different experience, close to Granada – a two-centre trip is tempting. 

 

 

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