Many people only associate Spain with sand and sun and are surprised to find that Spain also offers a wide range of winter sports. Spain's number one location for winter sports, the Sierra Nevada is located just two hours away from the Costa del Sol.
Located above Granada, it has the best snow and the longest season in the country. Sierra Nevada defies many concepts associated with skiing, it has practically guaranteed sunshine, the best spring snow conditions in Europe, and is still reasonably priced compared to many of its European counterparts.
One can look forward to five months of snow. Sierra Nevada has 94.8 kilometres (inc. Snowboard Park) with over 103 runs. There are 27 lifts (2 Gondolas; 14 Chairlifts (6 Detachable); 2 T-bar drag lifts; 8 Conveyer Belt, 1 rope drag). The ski resort is open from 9am to 5pm although you can ski at night on Saturdays and bank holidays from 19.00 to 21.30hrs (subject to weather /snow conditions). Night skiing was introduced in 1994 with lighting along the El Rio slope (3km/545 vertical drops).
The snowboard park contains a half-pipe, full range of jumps & rails and small lift. 1 Mini-Park. The runs include: 16 Green runs, 36 Blue runs, 42 Red runs and 9 Black runs. The longest run is El Aguila a 5.9 kms run. There is also a 4 kilometre Cross Country Ski circuit. The resort has a vast number of Snow making canons which can create over 32kms of piste which can extend the season.
As one of Europe's highest resorts it has a typically long season, traditionally opening at the end of November and running through to the end of April or even into the first week of May. Sierra Nevada literally means "Snowy Mountain Range", and it includes some of the highest peaks in Europe, not to mention the highest concentration of peaks over 3,000m in the country. The Mulhacen at 3,482m is the Iberian Peninsula's highest.
The Sierra Nevada ski resort offers its visitors a wide and ever expanding range of facilities as well as a ski terrain to suit skiers and boarders of all standards.
Families will enjoy quality accommodation and children's facilities such as the recently developed Mirlo Blanco recreation zone, for those that do not want to ski, with activities including Ski Bike, Inner Tubing, Ice Skating and the new "Roller-Sled".
The Sierra Nevada offers two crčche's 1at "Snow Garden" in Borreguiles the main ski area the other at the base of the Al Andalus Gondola in the village both are well-run establishments with fully trained staff to look after children up to seven years old.
Pradollano - The resort village
Sierra Nevada's village area with its alpine-style buildings, offers a variety of services, one of the village's most important features is the four-storey underground parking complex with a capacity of 2,880 vehicles.
The resort offers (with more each year) quality apartments and hotels in a range of categories which include Jacuzzi, squash, workout areas, sauna and indoor swimming pools. Should you need it there is a fully equipped Medical Centre is situated to the left of the Telecabina Al-Andalus, and down the stairs. There is a pharmacy in the main square, opposite the ski pass ticket offices. The ski schools of which there are many offer lessons to all abilities in many languages.
There are a number of super markets located throughout the resort, although you will find the ones in the area of the main square offer the best selections.
There are also shops, night clubs, pubs and bars, discotheques etc., banks with ATM´s, sports and fashion boutiques, gift shops, magazine and newspaper kiosks, ski rental, photo-developing services, hairdressers, car rental, taxi service and a village bus.
The approach to the village is by good well sign posted road which winds up the mountain from Granada. The road is open most of the year however you may need snow chains at times (it is worth checking be for you drive up). The Guardia Civil (Traffic Police) do put traffic control points in during bad weather, you will be turned round if you don't have chains.