Not far from the Costa del Sol, 160 km from the airport of Malaga (and 32 km from Granada), fourteen peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range rise.
Here, from the end of November to the end of April, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy excellent slopes of the resort of the same name, which is notable for the fact that it is the southernmost ski resort in Europe, located just a few tens of kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea.
The Sierra Nevada are the highest mountains of the continental part of Spain (Mount Mulhacen, 3479 m - is the highest point of the Iberian Peninsula) and the southernmost region of mountain snowfields in Europe (20 local mountains exceed 3000 m). Part of the mountain system is allocated to the Sierra Nevada National Park, which has the status of an international biosphere reserve.
The snow fields of the Sierra Nevada resort are formed by the wings of the glacier of the Veleta peak (Veleta, 3398 m, the third highest in Spain), and the slopes of the slopes lie at an altitude of 2100 meters, which provides a stable snow cover for 5 months a year - and this is literally 20 km from palm trees and beaches of the Mediterranean coast. The center of the Sierra Nevada resort is the town of Pradollano, which is, as it were, framed by snowy peaks. It consists mainly of hotels, apartments, sports equipment rentals, ski schools, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, cafes, and discos.
Both professional athletes and amateurs come to ride in the Sierra Nevada, and even the Spanish monarch Juan Carlos.
Bright sun, dry snow and well-planned slopes of all difficulty categories are the main advantages of Sierra Nevada, the southernmost ski resort in Europe. Ski stations, most of which are located in areas adjacent to national parks or protected areas, are distinguished by high-quality technical facilities and excellent hotel and entertainment complexes. The assessment of the slopes of the Sierra Nevada resort for beginner skiers is 2 points, for amateurs - 5 points, for 'pros' - 4 points, apres-ski - 5 points.
During the snowy season (end of November - beginning of April) the temperature at the foot of the mountain fluctuates between +5..+10°C, on the slopes - 0..+5°C,
Trails and lifts
In the Sierra Nevada, 87 km of slopes are equipped (11 'green', 35 'blue', 36 'red' and 5 'black', some are illuminated), divided into 6 ski areas (Veleta, Laguna De Las Yeguas, Borreguiles, Lomar Dilar , Rio Monachil and Parador), and the longest track - El Aguila (5.9 km) - is considered the best in Spain. Compete on the parallel slalom track at Acropark, designed for both snowboarding and freestyle, and try your hand at the mogul La Visera track. The total length of the tracks is 84 km.
Connoisseurs will appreciate the snow park with a special snowboarding track and a half-pipe. Night skiing leaves an unforgettable impression, especially for which two tracks on the slope of El Rio are equipped. The length of one of them is 3 km, and the height difference is 545 m. Thrill-seekers in the Sierra Nevada are waiting for night skiing on a slalom track with a height difference of 1100 meters.
The slopes are serviced by 24 lifts capable of carrying 47,800 people per hour, as well as 428 snow cannons. The operation of the lifts is coordinated depending on the time of sunset.
Ski resort Sierra Nevada:
A 4 km long cross-country skiing track has been built. There are separate areas for telemark and a skating rink. Several routes for mountain biking are suggested.
And after a hard day on the mountain slopes, you can relax in entertainment or spa centers, in numerous cafes, restaurants, bars or clubs. The developed infrastructure of this resort allows you to satisfy any request.
Sierra Nevada National Park
The protected lands of the Sierra Nevada National Park begin nearby - 862 sq. km of the purest mountain rivers, gorges, stone screes, glacial lakes, snowy peaks and terraces planted with almond trees. Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1986, it also serves as a kind of attraction for the ski center, from where excursions are constantly sent to the park.
In addition to skiers and snowboarders, these regions are very popular with climbers and fans of eco-tourism (especially in summer).