Europe’s most southerly ski resort, Sierra Nevada, stands out on its own high above the Mediterranean in the south of the country above the historic city of Granada, home to Spain’s most popular attraction, the UNESCO world heritage site of The Alhambra. It has a great snow record, 107km of runs for all standards, a good network of chairlifts and gondolas and even a British run, English speaking ski school,. With Spanish sunshine, the beach only an hour away, a youthful outlook and low priced dining and apres ski it’s also very different to the Alps.
Easy To Reach
A new BA service from London City to Granada means you’re on the slopes in under an hour. As they’re both relatively small airports you can normally get through them quickly. If London City isn’t convenient it’s usually a case of driving to Malaga – to which there are numerous flights with many budget airlines from most UK airports – and either renting a car or taking a bus on the two hour transfer.
Sunshine, Snow and Daylight
Sierra Nevada’s southerly location means it gets more daylight than resorts in the Alps or further north – it can add up to over an hour more daylight in mid-winter. The resort also clocks up some 320 sunny days a year, so your chances of sunny days on the slopes. But snow is normally not a problem and Sierra Nevada’s NW facing slopes normally clock up an ever deep base through the season, backed up by a mighty arsenal of 350 snow cannons.
The spectacular YHI Spa within the Melia Sol y Nieve hotel is a real attraction in its own right and open to non-residents. The largest mountain spa in Spain, it’s a kind of adult water theme park, as well as a high class relaxing spa, it’s Spain’s largest mountain spa and covers a huge 2,500 m2 with hydrothermal circuit including Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, 4 whirlpools (2 with oxygen therapy), sensation showers, flotarium, pediluvial and (If you can face it) a cold plunge bath.
British-run Ski School
The long-established, first class British Ski Center , run by Brits John and Giles, both holders of the top level “Diplomado” instructor qualification from the Spanish Ski Federation is based at Intersport Rio Sport. Along with tuition for all abilities, it’s also a one-stop information shop for all things Sierra Nevada covering everything from transfers, accommodation, rentals and lift passes to recommending the best tapas bars and restaurants.
Up To Five Star Deluxe Accommodation Options
Accommodation options range from budget B&Bs and apartment complexes to really high calibre five luxury options. The four star Melia Sol y Nieve, home to that spa, is one of the resort’s leading hotels; and one of the most famous hotels is Rumaykiyya a unique five-star, slopeside hotel and the highest ski hotel in Europe at 2400m. There’s also the uber-chic El Lodge , an exclusive 20 room ‘above five-star’ Alpine chalet-style hotel that opened you this year.
Sierra Nevada has around 120 ski runs served by nearely 20 lifts – most of them chairlifts or gondolas. There’s a wide choice of ski rental shop[s sand ski schools including the highly recommended British Ski Center (britishskicenter.com). There’s accommodation for all tastes and budgets including the 5*El Lodge (ellodge.com) or Rumaykiyya (vinccihoteles.com) and the 4* Melia Sol y Nieve hotel (melia.com/Melia-Sol-y-Nieve