Did you know that some years ago, Barcelona’s council started a project to submit the city’s candidature to host the Winter Olympic Games? The project was temporarily laid aside, but, as shocking as it might sound, it could have been possible because, it is perfectly feasible to go to ski from Barcelona in a one-day trip. From the beach to the snow in only 3 hours! Indeed, the Catalan Pyrenees (including Andorra) offer a wide range of activities to enjoy the mountain in winter: ski resorts, snowshoes trails and cross-country skiing stations,…
The Pyrenees mountain range is extended for more than 400 km and the Catalan skiing areas can be divided in 3 main sections: from East to West, Cerdanya (Girona), Andorra and Vall d’Aran (Lleida). Cerdanya area is the closest area from Barcelona and has two main ski resorts, one in each slope of the mountain: La Masella and La Molina. What makes this station very interesting is the fact that it can be reachable by train from Barcelona. There are combined train tickets and ski passes and you even get discounts for ski rentals. Molina and Masella have ski slopes for all levels and the highest summit is at 2.445 m.
On the West side of the Pyrenees, around 4 hours far from Barcelona by car, there are two main ski resorts in Vall d’Aran: Baqueira-Beret and Boí-Taüll. Baqueira is the largest resort in Catalonia, most appealing to expert skiers because it has more difficult and longest slopes. Boí-Taüll is a small station, more suitable for beginners. What makes Vall d’Aran most attractive is its beautiful landscape and its traditional villages, really worth to visit after skiing or spending some days in the area.
Finally, there is Andorra, which offers the largest resorts and an extended range of hotels, shopping stores and other leisure activities. Grandvalira is one of the biggest ski resorts in Europe, with more than 200 skiable kilometers and 118 ski slopes for all levels. It has the most modern facilities and also a large Snow Park for snowboarders. On the other side of Andorra’s valley, there is Vallnord, a smaller ski resort but with many free ride slopes and much less crowded than Grandvalira.
Apart from these main ski resorts, there are other stations to practice cross-country skiing, areas where it is possible to do free riding and many areas where you can just walk with snowshoes or enjoy playing with sledges.
Some ski resorts already opened last weekend and the rest will do so next weekend. The season kicks off at the beginning of December and finishes at the end of March. Ski lovers have now 4 months ahead of snow to enjoy their favorite sport. Winter is coming and we are all ready to enjoy it!