Where are the Best Places to Go Skiing in Spain?

Hit the slopes on your trip to Spain

 Spain isn't most people's first choice when it comes to skiing. But with ski resorts in five distinct regions of the country, skiing in Spain is hot stuff. Well, not literally.

For high class skiing in Spain, you can't beat the Pyrenees, with ski resorts all along the border with France, while for the sheer novelty of skiing in the south of Spain and being able to go to the beach on the same day, the Sierra Nevada is perfect. There are also ski resorts near Madrid, in the north-west of Spain (in Galicia, Leon and Cantabria), La Rioja and Teruel.

Why Ski in Spain?

Hardcore skiers in Europe will always head to the Alps to hit the slopes, but ski resorts in Spain have several advantages over their more famous cousins in Switzerland and Austria:

  • Skiing in Spain is cheaper than in most European resorts
  • Combine culture and skiing in a resort close to one of Spain's iconic cities
  • With numerous budget airlines flying to Spain, it is often more convenient to get to a Spanish ski...MORE station than to resorts in other countries

See also: Spain's Must-See Sights: City by City

  • 01 of 06

    Pyrenees

    Skiing in Candanchu, Spain
    ••• Skiing in Candanchu, Spain. Mikel Ortega/Creative Commons

    The Pyrenees are second only to the Alps for good skiing in Europe. Though a Pyrenees Skiing Day Trip from Barcelona is possible, most people make skiing the main objective of their vacation if they come to the Pyrenees.

    Nearest Airports to Pyrenees

    In most cases, you're best off flying to Pau or Lourdes in France. However, if you're visiting Masella or Vall de Nuria in the Catalan Pyrenees, Perpignan or Girona are closest.

    For visits to Andorra, Perpignan or Carcassonne are the best airports.

    The Pyrenees can be divided into four regions - Aragonese Pyrenees, Catalan Pyrenees and Andorran Pyrenees. (The French Pyrenees are dealt with by About France Travel.)

    There are too many ski resorts to go into full details on them all here. Click on the links below to visit the official websites.

    Ski Resorts in Aragonese Pyrenees

    There are five ski resorts in the Aragonese Pyrenees.

    Ski Resorts in Catalan Pyrenees

    There are ten ski resorts in the Catalan...MORE Pyrenees.

    Ski Resorts in Andorran Pyrenees

    There are seven ski resorts in Andorra.

  • 02 of 06

    Granada

    Skiing in the Sierra Nevada in Spain
    ••• Skiing in the Sierra Nevada in Spain. Nacho Castejón Martínez/Creative Commons

    Europe's southern-most ski resort and home to Spain's highest mountains, towards the end of the season it is possible to ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon on the Costa del Sol.

    Southern Spain isn't normally associated with snow, but the combination of the Sierra Nevada's altitude (it is the highest part of Spain) and proximity to the Mediterranean means a good combination of snow and relatively warm weather. In recent years, however, snow machines have had to be brought in to guarantee snow throughout the season.

    Pradollano, Sierra Nevada Skiing At a Glance

    • Altitude: 2100m/6889 feet.
    • Nearest City: Granada (37km)
    • Nearest Airport: Granada, though there are more flights to Malaga.
    • How to Get There: There are a couple of buses from Granada bus station to Pradollano, the ski village in the Sierra Nevada. They tend to leave Granada at 8.00am and 10.00am and return in the evening at 4pm and 6.30pm. Check at the bus station to make sure departure times haven't...MORE changed. The journey takes around an hour and a round trip costs around 10 euros. Buy tickets from the ALSA window at the station (you can't buy on board).
    • Season Length: December - April
    • Number & Types of Slopes:
      • Green ski runs: 8
      • Blue ski runs: 33
      • Red ski runs: 34
      • Black ski runs: 4
    • Night Skiing?: Yes
    • Other features: Halfpipe for snowboarding,
  • 03 of 06

    North-West Spain

    Skiing at San Isidro, Leon, Spain
    ••• Skiing at San Isidro, Leon, Spain. Viktoria Urbanek/Creative Commons

    The north-west of Spain is more known for rain than snow, but with a number of mountainous regions, there is usually some potential for skiing in winter.

    I wouldn't advice planning your vacation around skiing here. Instead, check when you are in the area if there is going to be snow, but plan a vacation around the wonderful sights of Leon, Oviedo and the Galicia region.

    San Isidro, Leon Skiing at a Glance

    • Nearest City: Oviedo (66km) and Leon
    • Number & Types of Slopes:
      • Green ski runs: 2
      • Blue ski runs: 8
      • Red ski runs: 11
      • Black ski runs: 3
    • Night Skiing?: No
    • Other features: Snowboarding.
    • http://www.san-isidro.net/

    Skiing in Alto Campoo, Cantabria at a Glance

    • Nearest City: Santander
    • Number & Types of Slopes:
      • Green ski runs: 4
      • Blue ski runs: 9
      • Red ski runs: 10
      • Black ski runs:
    • Night Skiing?: No
    • Cost: half day - 17€; full day - 25€; 5 days - 100€
    • Other features: Ski school, medical center, equipment rental, restaurants, cafeterias.
    • http://www.altocampoo.com/

    Skiing in Manzaneda, Galicia...MORE at a Glance

    • Number & Types of Slopes:
      • Green ski runs: 4
      • Blue ski runs: 10
      • Red ski runs: 3
      • Black ski runs: 0
    • Night Skiing?: No
    • Other features: Swimming pool, nightclub, equipment rental, teleski, cafeterias and restaurants.
    • http://www.manzaneda.com/
  • 04 of 06

    Madrid

    Indoor skiing near Madrid
    ••• Indoor skiing near Madrid. Snowticias.com/Creative Commons

    Ski near the Spanish capital! As if there wasn't already plenty to do in Madrid, you can hit the slopes too! Plus, with an indoor ski center in the Xanadu shopping center, called SnowZone, you can ski all year round.

    Ski Resorts near Madrid

    There are now three ski resorts near Madrid (Valcotos closed down permanently).

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Teruel, Aragon

    Ski slopes in Teruel, Aragon, Spain
    ••• Ski slopes in Teruel, Aragon, Spain. Visit Aragon/Creative Commons

     The least iconic name of all the places on this list, in fact Teruel's ideal location between Spain's three biggest cities (Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia), makes it an ideal destination fro a spot of skiing. 

    The nearest airports to these ski resorts are in Valencia or Zaragoza.

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    Skiing near Valdelinares, Teruel at a Glance

    • Nearest City: Teruel (66km - 1h20 by car), though Valencia isn't far (147km - 2h by car). Nearest villages for cheap accommodation are Valdelinares and Alcala de la Selva
    • Number & Types of Slopes:
      • Green ski runs: 2
      • Blue ski runs: 3
      • Red ski runs: 3
      • Black ski runs: 0
    • Night Skiing?: No
    • Other features: Snow cannons to guarantee snow throughout the season. Cheap accommodation in nearby towns and villages.
    • Web: http://invierno.valdelinares.nievedeteruel.com

    Skiing near Javalambre, Teruel at a Glance

    • Nearest City: Teruel (50km), though Valencia isn't far (134km - 1h45 by car). The nearest town (where you can get cheap...MORE accommodation) is Camarena de la Sierra (12km from resort).
    • Number & Types of Slopes:
      • Green ski runs: 3
      • Blue ski runs: 4
      • Red ski runs: 1
      • Black ski runs: 0
    • Night Skiing?: No
    • Other features: Snow cannons to guarantee snow throughout the season. Cheap accommodation in nearby towns and villages.
    • Web: http://invierno.javalambre.nievedeteruel.com
  • 06 of 06

    La Rioja

    Skiing in La Rioja, Spain
    ••• Skiing in La Rioja, Spain. Zaloa Etxaniz/Creative Commons

    La Rioja is most famous for its wine (and more recently for emerging as one of the best cities in Spain for tapas). But who knew you could ski there?  

    Skiing in Valdezcaray, La Rioja at a Glance

    • Nearest City: Logroño
    • Number & Types of Slopes:
      • Green ski runs: 4
      • Blue ski runs: 6
      • Red ski runs: 10
      • Black ski runs: 2
    • Prices: 25€ per day (high season)
    • Night Skiing?: No
    • Other features: Snowboarding, ski school, restaurants and cafeterias at three altitudes.
    • Web: http://www.valdezcaray.es