Winter Sports in Barcelona
There are many excellent skiing resorts close to Barcelona in the Pyrenees. Most of them are well within driving distance of Barcelona and if you don´t have a car, then you can go arrice by rail or bus. In terms of after-ski nightlife, the Pyrenees do not quite match up to the Alps, but for 1-3 day trips there are many great places for excellent skiing at affordable prices. If you are travelling by car remember to bring snow chains.
Stick with the right colour run for your level; you know it makes sense! Green: Beginner. Get used to the feel of skiis and boots on one of these. Blue: The gentle incline gives you enough momentum for snowplough curves. Red: These vary from sweet to quite evil, be prepared. Black: Experts and fools speed down these steep mogul-ridden pinnacles of the downhill ski challenge.
Vall de Nuria
With 11 slopes and 4 lifts, Vall De Nuria is ideal for a day trip. Plenty of facilities and services are available, including ski school, equipment hire, snow parks, and medical services. A group ski / snowboard lesson costs €16 (max 6 pers) for 2 hours, whilst a 1 hr private class will set you back €29. Highly recommended for beginners, at least you’ll know what you should be doing when you get off a chairlift and stare down that slope! Snowboarding is also a must, often considered to be easier for people who have never been skiing. Non skiers can enjoy the snow with activities like cross country skiing, sledging and snowshoe outings.
How to get there: Train from Barcelona Sants to Ribes de Freser, then rack rail (cremallera) to Vall de Nuria
Further Info: www.valldenuria.com
Not only is this probably the oldest ski resort in Spain, but it is also the closest to Barcelona. The mountains are over 2500m high, much like the Alps, so the snow conditions should be pretty good. Divided into 4 different ski areas, there are a total of 42 ski slopes and 16 lifts. There is a self-timing kilometre speed run for those up to the challenge, and any boarder who has mastered the “staying upright” technique can let rip with the tricks at the Snow Park, featuring a 100m superpipe. Much entertainment is also guaranteed for onlookers!
How to get there: Train from Barcelona Sants to La Molina, then connecting bus to the La Molina slopes
Further Info: www.lamolina.com
Grandvalira - Andorra
This is the biggest and most legendary resort in Andorra, with spectacular landscapes and panoramic views. Slightly further away, but with 193km of ski slopes of all levels and plenty of good boarding runs, it would be well worth making a weekend of it.
Grandvalira is an amalgamation of the Pas de la Casa, Gran Roig and Soldeu El Tarter resorts, and a skipass for the whole area is available. Self service bars and restaurants are scattered throughout the resort for when you feel like a break.
How to get there: All 6 points of access to the resort are along the Carretera General 2, aka the “road to France”, along the Valira d’Orient river valley. Nearest train station is La Rabasseas.
Further Info: www.grandvalira.com