Sierra Nevada Ski Resort
Most of the people don´t think about skiing when talking about Spain. Spain is more known for sun and beaches and not for winter sports. Pradollano, also known as 'Sol y Nieve' or just Sierra Nevada, is Europe’s most southern ski resort. From end of November until April or even May you can go skiing or snowboarding beneath the Veleta, with 3.396 m Spains 3rd highest mountain. Especially towards the end of the season you can enjoy sunny days of skiing, but the snow conditions at the end of the seasons are rather bad. Pradollano is about 30 km away from Granada and about 40 km air-line distance from the coast.
Skiing or snowboarding in Sierra Nevada is a really unique experience, from the highest points of the pistes, only about 100m beneath the top of 'The Veleta' you can enjoy some breathtaking views over the Costa Tropical, the Mediterranean Sea to the Coast of Northern Africa. On days with good weather conditions you can have some most incredible panorama views with a visual range of 250 km and more.
In 1996 the Alpine World Ski Championships were hosted in Pradollano, therefore the whole resort wa completely refurbished, including lifts, hotels, restaurants, parkings and the access to Sierra Nevada.
Facts & figures about skiing in Sierra Nevada
- The base elevation (Pradollano) is at about 2.100 m and the top elevation is at about 3.300 m, the vertical is about 1.200 m
- About 106 km of prepared alpine skiing runs of all levels (Green 16, Blue 40, Red 50, Black 9)
- A total of 22 lifts (2 Cable cars, 17 Chairlifts, 2 T-bar lifts, 2 Magic carpets)
- 189 snow cannons for snow production
- New in season 2011/2012 is the Snowpark Sulayar with a 165 m long and 6 m high Half-Pipe and various ramps and other obstacles.
How to get there
There is bus connecting Granada and Sierra Nevada, the price of for an one-way ticket is 5 Euros and a the round trip ticket is 9 Euros. The service is run by Autocares Bonal, Montefrio (Poligono Industrial Juncaril) 1, 18220 Albolote (Granada).
- Bus from Granada to Sierra Nevada: Departure at Granada bus station. Monday to Friday: 8:00 h, 10:00 h and 17:00 h. Saturday Sunday and Holidays: 8:00 h, 10:00 h, 15:00 h and 17:00 h.
- The buses from Sierra Nevada to Granada: Sierra Nevada buses departure from the parking. Monday to Friday: 9:00 h, 16:00 h, 18:30 h. Saturday Sunday and Holidays: 9:00 h, 13:00 h, 16:00 h, 18:30 h
Sierra Nevada is about 45 minutes by car from the city of Granada, take the A-395 and follow the signs. In Sierra Nevada are three parkings, one underground parking (Plaza Andalucía) directly in Pradollano which is quite expensive, the parking fee is calculated by minute with a maximum between 16 and 20 Euros a day depending on the season.
The second one is called "Km 31" and is located before entering Pradollano, the parking fee is 5 Euros a day. This parking is about 10 minutes walk away from Pradollano.
The third one is situated in the higher parts of the resort, near the youth hostel "Interjoven". The parking fee is also 5 Euros. From this parking you can access the pistes directly by the lift "Virgen da las Nieves", there is also a bar and a ticket sale. You should keep in mind that at this parking there is no possibility to rent equipment.
You don´t need to carry your equipment all the way to Spain just for one or two days of skiing. In Pradollano and Granada there are lots of shops where you can rent equipment (skis, snowboards, clothing and everything else you may need). The prices starting from about 15 Euros for a beginners set (including skis, boots and poles).
The prices are 36 Euros in low season and 44 Euros in high season. You can buy your lift pass directly in Pradollano at the ticket sales. To buy your lift pass in the internet you will need to create an account and get member of "Sierra Nevada Club". The advantage is that you will get a reduction of 20% on your first lift pass and you will be able to participate at the "Día del Esquiador" which is every Wednesday and the lift pass is only 32,50 Euros and a reduced parking fee in Plaza de Andalucía of 15 Euros.
If you are student at an university you can participate in the "Subidón", more information here.
Restaurants, Bars and Aprés-Ski
In Pradollano are lots of restaurants, bars and cafés offering almost any kind of food, traditional Andalusian food, Pizzas, Hamburgers and more. There are also a lot of sunny terraces in Pradollano where you can relax and enjoy the alpine atmosphere.
There are also some discotheques, cocktail bars and pubs for some Aprés-Ski action.
If you want to stay over night in Sierra Nevada you can choose from a wide offer of all kind of accommodation, from small and cheap Hostels up to 5* Hotels of major Spanish Hotel chains. Check out Sierra Nevadas official website for special offers and bookings.
- The best days in Sierra Nevada are from Monday to Friday. These days are not two crowded and you can enjoy skiing without losing too much time in queue lines.
- Avoid Weekends and holidays, mostly overcrowded and long queue lines. If you have to go a weekend try to be there as early as possible to avoid traffic jams and waiting time at the ticket sales.
- The best time of the year is from December to middle of February.
- Every Saturday in January and February from 19:00 h to 21:30 h Sierra Nevada is opened for "Night Skiing" (15 Euros, more information here)
- A good place to rent equipment is "José Luis Sáez - Alquiler de esquis", Edif. Enebro - Plaza Andalucía (Frente Hotel Telecabina) Tel. 958 481198. Really good equipment at fair prices.
- One of my favorite bars is "Bar Las Gondolas", Plaza de Pradollano, Edificio Genciana 3B. Here you can relax on the sunny terrace and enjoy good food at good prices.