Skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain is one of the most thrilling things to do in Andalucia in winter. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or it’s your first time, Pradollano, Sierra Nevada has something to offer.
The Sierra Nevada ski slopes run down Veleta Peak, the second highest in Sierra Nevada National Park at 3398 masl. and the third highest in mainland Spain.
This might sound intimidating if you’re a newbie skier but don’t fret. There are easy slopes to choose from in abundance!
Sierra Nevada Spain’s ski season usually runs from November to May and is one of the longest seasons in Europe. Who would have thought, being located in Spain’s sunniest region, Andalucia?
Yet here we are, heading to Granada Spain, skiing is one of the best things to do in the winter, and in this post, I’ll let you in on everything you need to know to have a successful skiing trip.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
I’m Linn Haglund, the face behind Amused by Andalucia! I’ve been based in Andalucia, Spain for the last 10+ years, mainly in Seville and Costa del Sol while exploring the region extensively. Since 2022, I’ve slow-traveled in my van with my fiancee and dog, spending significant time in each place to truly get to know all the hidden corners of this exciting and diverse region. I’m here to help you uncover Andalucia too!
- Andalucia in winter
- Granada in winter
- Malaga in winter
- Malaga in December
- Christmas in Malaga
- Seville in winter
- Marbella in winter
Table of Contents
Best time to ski Sierra Nevada Spain
The best time to ski in Sierra Nevada Spain is from January to March with guaranteed optimal skiing conditions.
However, the ski season in Sierra Nevada Spain usually starts in mid to late November or early December, depending on the season’s snowfall.
The slopes close between April and May depending on snowfall, but sometimes it stays open until early June.
The best way to be sure if it’s open when planning your skiing holidays in Sierra Nevada Spain at the beginning or end of the season is to check snow reports and dates here.
I also recommend going mid-week and outside public holidays if possible because weekends and Spanish holidays are guaranteed to be jam-packed!
How to get to Pradollano Sierra Nevada
From Granada, Sierra Nevada ski resort is easy to reach with a couple of buses in the morning and returning in the evenings. This makes it one of the most popular day trips from Granada. You can check departures here.
If you drive, you can park in the big indoor parking lot you get to once you reach Pradollano. Prices are reasonable for the day, but if you’re staying for several days, I suggest looking for street parking near your hotel. Especially if you have lots of gear to carry.
Driving from Granada takes 50 minutes and from Malaga, it’s only 2 hours.
Where to stay: Ski resorts in Sierra Nevada Spain
There are plenty of Sierra Nevada ski resorts. Spain, especially the south, is not the first place you think of, but you can rest assured you will have the full experience. Here are some of my favorite places to stay and ski resorts in Sierra Nevada Spain.
WHERE TO STAY:
LUXURY: Hotel Maribel – this hotel offers everything you can ask for from a ski resort in Sierra Nevada Spain to make your vacation perfect. Ski in ski out makes it easy to hit the slopes, after-ski on-site is epic, and you can relax your muscles at the spa department.
MID-RANGE: Inside Plaza Sierra Nevada – a fantastic apartment hotel with fully equipped kitchens. perfect for families or groups of friends who want the commodity of making food at home. Besides, they are pet-friendly. Located in Plaza Andalucia, it’s within walking distance from the skiing slopes.
BUDGET: Hostal Yeti – a great budget option in short walking distance from the ski lift. They serve a good breakfast and have free parking outside.
Ski hire in Sierra Nevada Spain
If you need to rent gear for your ski holidays in Sierra Nevada Spain, there are plenty of rental places all across Pradollano village.
You can even rent gear right at the entrance of the ski lift. However, in the busy period, you might save some time booking in advance as it gets very busy (trust me on that!) and the most used sizes run out quickly.
I’ve always used my own gear, but some of my friends have usually rented both onsite and booked in advance, which has been really smooth.
Skiing lessons in Sierra Nevada
If you’re a new skier or you want to learn how to snowboard, I highly recommend taking skiing lessons in Sierra Nevada Spain.
The beginner slopes are super great (even me, who’s pretty new on snowboarding – basically because I don’t go often enough – enjoy the slopes without catching too much speed and actually stay on my feet!)
You can either book an instructor onsite if there are any available. They offer both group lessons and private lessons.
I recommend the private lessons if you’re a quick learner or have tried it before, as they will tailor the lessons to your needs which is a lot easier when there aren’t heaps of other newbies to look after at the same time.
If you want to save yourself the hassle of looking for an instructor when you get there, you can book an instructor in advance for either snowboarding or skiing lessons.
Skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain
Skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain is truly lots of fun. Being high altitude you have views for days, just like it should be on any skiing holiday.
There are 24 ski lifts in Sierra Nevada both from Pradollano village and from the top of the lift, there are chair lifts taking you up further to both advanced and newbie slopes.
There is a restaurant and bar at the level where you change lifts where you can enjoy a cold beer in the sun or grab something to eat when you’ve burned enough calories on the slopes.
Of the 130 slopes in the ski resort, Sierra Nevada boasts 70 beginner slopes 53 red slopes, and 7 black ones. Besides, there are 4 snow parks.
Kids can also play and go sledding straight from Pradollano town, no ski lifts needed.
Cross-country skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain
There is also cross-country skiing available in Sierra Nevada. Personally, I’ve never tried the slopes in Pradollano (or even seen them – but I’ve been ensured they’re there!)
However, there’s also another great spot for cross-country skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain, in the Almeria part of the national park.
Puerto de la Ragua sits at 2000 meters of altitude and is located in a mountain pass dividing the Granada and Almeria provinces.
In beautiful, natural surroundings, you can enjoy 15 kilometers of prepped cross-country slopes in the winter.
Other things to do in Sierra Nevada ski resort
Snowshoeing is a fun way of walking in the snow. As a Norwegian, it’s quite embarrassing that I was around 30 the first time I tried it, but it’s so much fun!
There are snowshoeing tours taking you on hikes around the snowcapped mountains up to 2500 meters of altitude. It’s a fabulous way of seeing this incredible landscape from a different perspective.
Hike Los Cahorros de Monachil
In the lower Sierra Nevada mountains there isn’t any snow and one of the top things to do in Granada in winter is to hike the fun trail of Los Cahorros de Monachil.
Taking you across hanging bridges, past waterfalls, and through a canyon, this is an interactive hike that will stay an unforgettable travel memory.
Enjoy drinks and tapas in Pradollano
Pradollano, Spain’s southernmost ski resort town is full of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy drinks and tapas after a long day on the slopes or on a resting day.
There’s a great vibe in the town and you find groups of friends, couples, and families alike enjoying the bars after skiing.
Take a day trip to Granada
While spending your days skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain can be eventful, I suggest taking a day trip to Granada to explore the historical city.
On a day trip, you get the chance to visit the famous Alhambra fortress, palace, and gardens. But there’s also time for strolling around the old neighborhood of Albaycin and visiting the Cave House Museum in the Gypsy quarter of Sacromonte.
There are daily buses taking you to Granada in less than an hour.
Reflections on skiing in Sierra Nevada Spain
Summing up, any Sierra Nevada ski experience is doomed to be epic! I’ve been there multiple times and always come back down to the coast re-energized (but glad to be back at the beach and warm weather!)
Besides, the ski season Sierra Nevada Spain offers is unmatched. It makes it even easier to plan a skiing vacation as you have many months of availability as the snow in Sierra Nevada Spain lasts for so long.