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Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada Granada
Spain | Región: Penibetic Mountain Range

Sierra Nevada is one of the most unique resorts in the world, given its location and its exceptional environment, presided over its mountain range by Mulhacén (3481mts) and Veleta (3398mts). It is placed in the Sierra Nevada National Park, in the Penibetic System, in the villages of Monachil and Dílar (judicial district and province of Granada, Spain). It was known during its first years as Solynieve Ski Resort, a name already in disuse.

A short distance from the Andalusian city of Granada, Sierra Nevada has 105 kilometers of slopes distributed over 117 trails. The ski resort is managed by CETURSA, and provides one of the widest and most attractive ski areas in Southern Europe.

History of the ski resort Sierra nevada

During the 19th century, only a few amateurs with rudimentary material, made excursions to the most suitable areas. These adventurers had to make great efforts due to the lack of suitable lifts.

It was at the end of the 19th century, when the Granada-born writer Ángel Ganivet, Spanish consul in Helsinki, commented in his “Cartas” (”Leters”) to a Granada newspaper the idea of creating in Sierra Nevada what he called Granada’s Finland, thus stimulating the birth of snow sports on the summits of the mountainous massif. The most experienced were pretty sure that Sierra Nevada presented excellent possibilities for snow and mountain sports.

Little by little, the possibilities of the Granada mountain range were seen as an important tourist center, although its size was not enough calibrated at the time.

As early as 1964, the Granada City Council devised the Sierra Nevada Municipal Promotion Plan and tourist development began with the creation of the “Sol y Nieve” urbanization.

Since the beginning of the century, the resort has been the home of numerous sport events; the different types of skiing and other sports such as paragliding, athletics, cycling and mountain biking.

Sierra Nevada, the largest skiable slope in Spain

The resort stands out for having the largest ski slope in Spain (1.200 meters). The width of its slopes (19 green slopes, 45 blue slopes, 53 red slopes and 7 black slopes) and the daily tread on the slopes (380 hectares conditioned by machines), with layouts for all levels, clean, wide and without obstacles.

Sierra Nevada is a reference in sustainability, protection and conservation of its environment and it hosted authentic glaciers back in the era. The southernmost ski resort in Europe offers skiing in Sierra Nevada in excellent snow facilities. Only two hours, even less, from the coast and also few kilometers from the historic city of Granada.

The Sierra Nevada ski resort is in the process of renovating its ski lifts to improve the customer experience. The resort is facing the installation of the new ski lift and a modernization process. A way to update a resort that hosts international events every season on the front line. Not to mention the thousands of tourists who come looking for snow, but also the good weather in southern Spain.

Moreover, the resort’s mountain director, Eduardo Valenzuela, is known to have been a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee, the International Ski Federation, the congress Cimas, the organization Atudem, the European Committee for Standardization TC 242, and the Juveman Mountain Club, making him one of the people with the most extensive and prestigious professional trajectories in Spain.

Sierra Nevada, the southernmost ski resort in Europe

A colossus in the middle of the Cordillera Penibética, bordering Vega de Granada, the Alpujarras, Campo de Tabernas and La Hoya de Guadix. Sierra Nevada is considered the southernmost ski resort in Europe; It has 22 ski lifts with capacity for 48.204 users that guarantee fast access and a good distribution of skiers and snowboarders on its slopes.

Its magnificent views from the Collado Alto to the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Moroccan Rif, are remembered by all its visitors.

Moreover, Sierra Nevada can also be considered as the southernmost massif in Europe to have housed glaciers. Of these previously mentioned glaciers remains a relic in the Corral del Veleta, its rocky glacier.

Sierra Nevada bets on competition

The resort hosted in 1996 the Alpine Skiing World Championship, as well as several dates of the Alpine Skiing World Cup, whose competition hosted its first final in 1977. In addition, it has been a candidate as the main venue for the Winter Olympics.

The International Federation of University Sports (FISU) has entrusted Sierra Nevada resort with the celebration of the Winter Universiade Granada 2015 -although some trails would also took place on the cross-country ski slopes of the Port of La Ragua, as well in the city of Granada itself. Thus it takes the lead from the Slovenian resort of Maribor, in charge of the one in 2013. Picking up the lead as well from the Turkish resort of Erzurum, which has held it in 2012.

In May 2012, Sierra Nevada was designated to host the 2017 FIS World Snowboard and Freestyle Championships by the council of the International Ski Federation (FIS), the world’s leading winter sports body, during the congress held in Kangwonland ( South Korea). Sierra Nevada was one of the first ski resorts that unified the Snowboard and Freestyle world championships.

This ski resort is managed by the public and private capital company Cetursa Sierra Nevada, SA. It actually has good services for practicing  and learning winter sports, but it also offers other possibilities, such as sled rides for Nordic dogs, a snowpark or the recreational park of the Fuente del Mirlo Blanco.

During summer, all kinds of outdoor and mountain sports are practiced (cycling, horse riding, hiking, climbing, etc.). In addition to the facilities dedicated to accommodation, we find these dedicated to the resort services: clinics, kindergartens, offices, ski schools, etc.

How to get to the ski resort Sierra Nevada

The ski resort is well connected to the city of Granada. In addition to taxi service (both of them, from the city and the resort itself), by a regular daily bus line, which departs from the Granada Bus Station.  On high season weekends, Cetursa itself also offers its users another bus service to and from Granada.

During July and August, the ski resort is also operative, if the weather conditions are suitable. At least a gondola lift and a chairlift, to facilitate access to the high peaks. If you are a mountain bike lover, you can carry on your bike on the lift as well.