Sierra Nevada is Europe’s most southerly ski resort which has previously hosted the World Alpine Ski Championships. It is one of Europe’s highest resorts with a surprisingly good snow record considering the generally warm, sunny weather. From the top of the Veleta skiers are treated to a spectacular view across to the Mediterranean Sea and on the clearest of days as far as the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
The resort itself is a lively place with a good range of hotels, bars and restaurants and a lively night life. The weekends can get busy and should be avoided if you have that option and national holidays attract many visitors especially over the Christmas period and during ‘Semana Blanca’ which usually falls around Carnaval in February. Some skiers prefer to stay in the city of Granada which lies 32km away and is home to the beautiful Alhambra Palace. There are daily buses from the city to the resort at Pradollano but on busy days there can be a lot of traffic.
Getting to Sierra Nevada
You can arrange Sierra Nevada transfers from any of three Spanish airports. Granada is the most convenient with transfers from the airport to the ski resort in no more than one hour. Unfortunately, there are few international flights to this airport. Malaga is the next best choice followed by Almeria.
Granada – Sierra Nevada
Distance: 53 Km / Estimated Transfer Time: 1 Hour
Malaga – Sierra Nevada
Distance: 165 Km / Estimated Transfer Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes.
Almeria – Sierra Nevada Airport Transfers
Distance: 207 Km / Estimated Transfer Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes.
A cheaper option than arranging private transfers is to collect a hire car at your airport then drive to Sierra Nevada. Be aware that you might need chains if there’s been a recent heavy snowfall. These aren’t provided with the rental.
Sierra Nevada Hotels
Pradollano is the town which is home to the ski resort in Sierra Nevada. It is built on the side of a mountain and has hotels all the way up. There is a chairlift which goes from the centre of town up to the Parador and has two jumping off points. This does stop at about 7pm. Advanced booking of accommodation is highly recommended as the resort tends to fill up especially at weekends when many skiers come up from Granada and during Easter week when people come from all over Spain and Europe.
Sierra Nevada 4 Star Hotels
Melia Sierra Nevada
The 4 star Melia Sierra Nevada is located in the centre of Pradollano just 100 metres from the ski lifts. It is a modern hotel with all the facilities you would expect. It has a heated swimming pool, a gym, a sauna, a jacuzzi and a Turkish bath for relaxing after a day on the ski slopes. Entertainment is available for children in the mini-club from 5pm until 9pm. The buffet restaurant offers breakfast and dinner while the a la carte restaurant serves lunch and dinner. There is also a snack bar which is open all day and a piano bar open in the evenings.
Melia Sol y Nieve
The Melia Sol y Nieve is also located in the centre of Pradollano. It has rooms for one to four people and suites all of which have views of the town or the mountains. The Mulhacen Bar, which has lovely views, is a perfect spot for aprés-ski and is open from 10am until midnight. There is a restaurant within the hotel which offers both a la carte and buffet service and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel spa has a pool, saunas, steam bath, jacuzzi, gym and massages available to help relax after a day’s skiing.
Sierra Nevada 3 Star Hotels
Santa Cruz Hotel
The Santa Cruz hotel is located 9 kilometres from Pradollano on the road from Granada. It has 66 bedrooms and 25 bungalows with open fire place, central heating and hydromassage bath. There is a bar, restaurant, 2 football pitches, tennis court and a gym for those not exhausted after skiing all day.