The Sierra Nevada meaning "snowy range" in Spanish, is a mountain range in the region of Andalusia in Spain. It is located in the Province of Granada and the most southern skiing location in all of Europe. The mountain range contains some of the highest points in Europe with Mount Mulhacén at a height of 3,479 metres (11,414 ft). The popular Sierra Nevada ski resort of Pradollano can be reached within a few hours drive from the Costa de Almeria. This makes it possible to ski in the Sierra Nevada in morning and sunbath on a Spanish beach in the afternoon.
Being so far south means the Sierra Nevada has more hours of sunlight than any other European Ski Resort. It also means you are able to gain a superb ski tan from a winter climate where the days are typically blue skies, blazoned with sun. The ski resort has a long season running from November to May. This is in part due to the resort organisers who work hard to prepare the runs during the night and the resort's superbly equipped advanced snow making systems which nearly guarantees skiing, even if it does not snow a single flake.
The pistes are wide open and the runs are long and gentle which lend themselves to the intermediate skier. For the more advance rider there is ample off-piste skiing. Starting from Pradollano (the ski village) you will find 20 ski lifts leading to a choice of 51 runs covering 65km which include 4 green (4km), 23 blues (26km), 20 reds (27km) and 4 blacks (4km). The first lifts take all skiers to the main hub, Borreguiles, about 1,500 feet above the main village. Borreguiles is surrounded by beginner terrain and great teaching slopes. Ski schools, restaurants and cafes are grouped together here. The Veleta Peak is the highest point at 3,398 metres (11,148 feet) above sea level. Weather permitting the Ski lifts are open to the public from 09.00hrs. - 16.30hrs daily and Friday and Saturday evenings for floodlit night time skiing.
The village of Pradollano is the main resort centre feeding the Sierra Nevada slopes. It has good facilities from banks to supermarkets, medical facilities, hairdressers, shops, disco pubs, restaurants, bars and a conference centre. The resort also boasts an underground car park with a capacity for 2,644 vehicles, the largest underground car park in Spain. Those wanting a bit more culture may prefer to stay in the university town of Granada which is a 25 minute drive away. Ski hire and ski lessons are available from a variety of sports shops within the resort. Lessons are about 40 Euros and hour but make sure you find an English instructor or some-one who speaks fluent English or you could be disappointed
Hotel availability will vary throughout the season. We arrived in Pradollano on 7th February without pre-booked accommodation. We were offered rooms in four hotels before choosing the Media Soly Nieve which provides excellent accommodation and has the advantage of being the nearest hotel to the ski lifts.