As an avid ski fan, I’ve been longing to test skiing in Spain for years. Together with my husband and my parents we’ve finally made it to one of the top Spanish ski resorts – Baqueira Beret.
Skiing in Spain
Why Baqueira Beret?
For the winter holiday season, my parents came to visit me here, in Spain, and we agreed to plan a skiing trip in the Spanish Pyrenees. Despite being an expat in Spain for 10 years, it was my first time skiing in Spain. Mainly because my husband is not a ski fan, so we´ve always opted for warmer places to experience winter in Spain, or European Christmas Markets.
Therefore, none of us have had any ski resort experience in Spain. Although we´ve been previously skiing in lots of other different places – Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Andorra, etc. So, picking one of the most popular ski resorts in Spain – Baqueira Beret, seemed like a good start.
The only thing I knew about Baqueira Beret before this trip was the fact that the Spanish Royal Family used to ski there. So, I admit I was curious to test the place in order to see whether skiing in Spain can live up to the other European ski resort experiences.
Top ski resorts in Spain
Except Baqueira Beret, there are quite a few other ski resorts in Spain – Sierra Nevada, Formigal, La Molina-Masella, Cerler, Candanchu, Vall de Nuria, Port del Comte.
The ski pass in Spain (for an adult) runs around 30-50 euros per day, with Baqueira Beret and Sierra Nevada being the most expensive ones.
The majority of Spanish ski resorts are located in the Pyrenees, with the highest ski areas being around 2,500-2,600 meters. Except for Sierra Nevada ski resort, which is situated in Andalusia.
This is exactly why the next time we go skiing in Spain, we’ll head to Sierra Nevada. You can literally ski in the morning and take a swim in the afternoon, as the slopes there are normally open from the end of November till the end of April. Plus there are so many cool places to visit in Andalusia.
About Baqueira Beret
Baqueira Beret ski resort is located in the Catalan Pyrenees, in Lleida’s Val d’Aran. It includes 4 700 acres of the ski area, with slopes for all tastes and preferences. It´s usually open from mid-December till mid-April.
The nearest airports are Toulouse, Barcelona, or Zaragoza.
The resort includes three valleys – Baqueira, Beret, and Bonaigua: all interconnected with each other by 167 km of slopes and 29 lifts.
The local gastronomy of Baqueira Beret has a distinctive French influence, and there’s a good range of fine mountain restaurants and lively tapas bars to try all the delicious regional specialties.
What I loved about Baqueira
Pretty much everything.
While Baqueira Beret is one of the most expensive ski resorts in Spain, I felt like the quality of lifts, slops, and rented skis were absolutely worth the money.
If I compare Baqueira Beret to nearby Andorra or other ski resorts in the Pyrenees, it also felt significantly less overcrowded. At least it was so during our family getaway on the first week of January (which is supposed to be the peak season).
Our getaway to Baqueira Beret was one of the tastiest trips ever. The local gastronomy is known for its French influence, and there are lots of trendy mountain restaurants, lively tapas bars to try the regional specialties.
Even the food stands and slopeside restaurants had some tasty snacks: let´s say everything had a slightly-gourmet-Spanish touch. If you´re spending a day on the slopes, those moments when you can gather with your family, warm up a bit and enjoy a nice meal together, are part of the skiing in Spain experience as well.
Accommodation in Baquera Beret is quite pricy for Spain, although relatively inexpensive compared to the Alpine resorts. You have lots of options – from holiday rentals to luxurious hotels.
Personally, I loved that there were lots of cute wooden houses and flats near Vielha. We picked one in Casau.
On the last day of our getaway, there was a huge snowfall. So that you understand – Casau officially has 60 inhabitants, and we´ve never seen anyone on the street there. Therefore, we were quite concerned about being able to leave at all. But to our surprise, a snowplow tractor has removed snow from all the tiny local roads first thing in the morning.
- activities for non-skiers
As I’ve already told you my husband is not a ski fan, so we initially planned to combine our skiing in Spain with some winter activities for non-skiers. We´ve tried snowmobile tours and dog sledding (which I was initially questioning for ethical reasons, but to my surprise dogs were literally having a blast running and competing, as we were divided into two sleighs). Both were some of my most adventurous experiences in Spain.