If you simultaneously want to go skiing , admire the centuries-old buildings of ancient cities and visit the sea beaches, then a better place than the Sierra Nevada (Spain), just not find it. This is a unique area in Andalusia, where a powerful mountain range directs its peaks to the sky, and only about 30 kilometers the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. The ski resort of Sierra Nevada is the southernmost in Europe, the sun is always shining here, and the air temperature during the day even in winter does not fall below +2 degrees.
Location and attractions
The resort is in a very convenient place: from here only forty minutes drive to Granada and one and a half hours to Malaga. A little further stretches the ancient Cordoba with its architectural monuments and Seville, famous for its flamenco show. Although it is unlikely you want for the sake of city tours for a long time to leave the resort of Sierra Nevada. The mountains are the main thing here!
First-class ski slopes are waiting for those who decide to conquer them. And hikking hikers are rushing to the peak of Mulassen - the highest mountain in the Pyrenees. If you come to this picturesque mountain area in the summer, you will not be bored either: you can wander through the gorges, hills, banks of rapids, arrange a bike trip or visit local villages, and also take pictures of ibex (goats with large horns).
Sierra Nevada is located at an altitude of 2.1 thousand meters above sea level. The season lasts from November to April, and not only advanced riders come to ski and snowboard, but also those who only recently discovered this occupation, as well as families with children. The resort has become very popular due to well-planned routes, which have repeatedly become a venue for various international competitions, and a thoughtful infrastructure. By the way, in 2017, Sierra Nevada (Spain) will take the world championship in snowboarding and freestyle.
Of course, the scale of this resort can not be compared with the Alpine giants. There are only six skiing areas and fifty four trails with a total length of 62 kilometers, of which 18 red and blue trails, 5 black and 4 green. Elevation differences reach somewhere 1200 meters.
At the peak of Veleta (the second highest mountain in this region), the longest - six-kilometer - El Aguila route begins, and ends in the Pradollano, the center of the Sierra Nevada resort. The mountains here are different in height, which makes it possible to provide skiing zones for professionals, for beginners and even for kids (in the area of Dream Land there are experienced coaches who will help teach the child to ski). Beginners can also register for a course (group or individual) of ski training and be trained with Russian-speaking instructors.
The experts have the opportunity to evaluate the local snow park, the mighty La Visera, Acropark, equipped with a route for parallel slalom, half-pipe. On the slope of El Rio there are two lighted trails with a length of 1100 and 3300 meters - they will surely be liked by those who like to go skiing in the evening (routes are illuminated in January and February from 19.00 to 21.30).
After skiing, Sierra Nevada offers to visit infrastructure facilities. Here you will find 45 restaurants and bars, night clubs, entertainment centers, discotheques, shops. Also on the territory of the resort there is a skating rink and a sports club with a Turkish bath and a swimming pool. Among other things, the Sierra Nevada gives those who want to ride on rubber "cheesecakes", cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiles and even hang-gliding (in the spring).
It is framed by the majestic snowy peaks of the center of the resort, here is also a ski village. In Pradollano there are several ski schools, in which there are points of hire of sports equipment. For the smallest skiers, there is a kindergarten. The town is full of hotels, clubs and shops. In the evening, all the buildings are illuminated with bright illumination, people go out for walks to the snow-covered streets, occasionally peering into the tapas bars to have a bite and warm up.
Sierra Nevada National Park
Arriving at a ski resort, be sure to visit this nature reserve. It covers an area of 86 thousand hectares and is the largest national park in Spain, containing the most impressive landscapes of the country with rivers, green hills, mountain peaks and gorges. On the territory grows up to 2 thousand species of plants, some of which are threatened with extinction, so the Spaniards are jealously guarding them. The fauna of the national park is also unique: it has about 120 species of butterflies, over 60 species of birds, mountain goats, foxes, wild boars, martens and Spanish goats.
All the local hills are entwined with trekking routes of tourists, which are interesting for fans of outdoor activities. Once in the park, do not miss the opportunity to visit the botanical garden and the Tibetan monastery, and also go on an excursion to the observatory.
Reviews of tourists
Skiers who visited the resort of Sierra Nevada, note that the tracks are more suitable for professionals, but also lovers will find where to try their hand. Tourists say that the territory is not too large, sometimes there are queues near the ski lifts, so the resort is suitable for those who want to not only ride, but also to travel on excursions. Russians are glad that there are Russian-speaking instructors in ski schools, so there is no problem with communication. Those who come to the Sierra Nevada with their children positively evaluate the work of the kindergarten and nursery, the staff who look after the kids are well trained and have medical training.
Among the negative moments, tourists celebrate an expensive ski pass (pass to the ski lifts). In the season 2014-2015. Its cost for one day for an adult is 45 euros. People who visited the resort during the holidays or on holidays complain that it is too crowded, you can stand in the queue for half a day before you get on the track.
But, as tourists note, all minor troubles are brightened up with a wonderful atmosphere and doses of adrenaline, which everyone gets to get on the skis. And in clear weather, the slopes offer stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlas Mountains.