Sierra Nevada Ski Station
Pradollano village at Sierra Nevada
Province of Granada,
|Nearest city||Granada – 27 km (17 mi.)
Malaga – 120 km (74mi.)
|Vertical||1200 m - (3,937 ft)|
|Top elevation||3300 m - (10,827 ft)|
|Base elevation||2100 m - (6,890 ft)|
|Runs||115 - 100 km (62 mi.)
Green - 16
Blue - 40
Red - 50
Black - 9
|Lift system||2 Cable cars
2 T-bar lifts
2 Magic carpets
1 Ski tows
|Snowmaking||31 km² (12 mi²)
The Sierra Nevada Ski Station is a ski resort in the Sierra Nevada in the province of Granada in southeastern Spain. The ski area is on the northern slopes of Veleta, the third highest peak in peninsular Spain. This is the most southerly ski resort of Europe.
The resort hosted the 1996 Alpine World Ski Championships, and regularly hosts high-level races of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. It has been selected to host the 2015 Winter Universiade, the world university games.
Sierra Nevada is Europe’s southernmost ski station, and the highest in Spain. With its high elevation, the skiing season can last from late November until early May. Particularly towards the end of the season you can enjoy long, sunny days of skiing, although wind can be a problem due to Veleta's prominence and few trees. The resort is situated 27 km (17 mi.) from the city of Granada, and is accessed by the A-395. It is also less than 100 km from Motril, on the Costa Tropical, which means skiing and swimming on the same day is an option. Nearest bigger city is Malaga, is accessed by the highway A-7/European route E15 (Malaga-Motril), highway A44/ European route E902 (Motril-Granada) and then route Granada-Sierra Nevada Ski Station.
At the foot of the slopes there is a resort village, Pradollano, which stretches up a hill to the north of the pistes. The bottom of the village is at about 2100 metres above sea level, while the top is at almost 3400 metres above sea level. Pradollano is home to a large number of shops, including many that sell or rent ski equipment, souvenir shops and a small supermarket. There is also a variety of ski schools, restaurants, cafés, bars and nightclubs.
The mid-station Borreguiles, which is served by two cable cars that run from the bottom of Pradollano, is at 2675 m (8776 ft). Here there are a few cafés and restaurants, a ski school, a few hire shops and lockers.
The resort is run by a private-public enterprise called Cetursa Sierra Nevada, S.A..
By far the main attraction for visitors to the resort is the 100 km (62 mi.) of alpine skiing runs. With abundant snow, it is possible to ski almost anywhere on the mountain, as the whole resort is above the tree line. It should be noted that the resort does not carry out avalanche blasting, and skiers are generally advised against leaving the pistes due to avalanche risk. As the resort mainly caters to locals, and less to people visiting for a whole week, it is much busier at weekends. There are rarely any queues mid-week outside the main Spanish holidays (first week of December, Christmas through to 6 January and Easter). Even at weekends, queues are generally fairly short if the whole resort is open, allowing skiers to spread out across the mountain.
In recent years the resort has made an effort to increase the number of services it offers, including expanding the Mirlo Blanco recreation zone, which now has an ice rink, toboggans, ski-bikes, mini-skis and a track for wheeled toboggans.
In summer you can go walking, cycling, horse-riding and mountain climbing in the area. One of the cable cars and one chair-lift are kept open in July and August, making it relatively easy for hikers to reach the summit of Veleta. On a clear day, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Africa from the peak of the mountain.
Also during the summer months, the National Parks office runs a microbus service from Hoya de la Mora, just above the resort village, to Posiciones del Veleta, at 3,100 metres. The service includes a guided commentary about the geology and ecology of the Sierra Nevada.
A bus service connects the resort to the main bus station in the city of Granada, with the journey taking approximately 45 minutes. The bus station is on Avenida de Juan Pablo II. During the skiing season, weekday buses run from the bus station to the resort at 08:00, 10:00 and 17:00, returning at 09:00, 16:00 and 18:30. At weekends and on public holidays they leave Granada at 08:00, 10:00, 15:00 and 17:00, and return at 09:00, 13:00, 16:00 and 18:30. Outside the skiing season, there is a daily bus to the resort at 09:00, while the bus back down leaves at 17:00.
There is also a microbus service that shuttles between the bottom and top of Pradollano, as well as a chair-lift suitable for non-skiers that connects the bottom, middle and top of the village.
The resort is located 32 km from the centre of Granada and is only a 50-minute drive.
The ski season normally lasts from the beginning of December until the end of April or beginning of May. Artificial snow machines now mean that the resort can open for skiing even when there is no natural snow. Andalusia has a very high proportion of sunny days even in the winter and usually it is possible to ski with beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures. It is possible to ski in the morning and sunbathe at the beach in the afternoon on the same day.
The highest summit of the Sierra Nevada range is Mulhacén at 3,481 metres, the highest ski lift and piste goes to just below Veleta which is at 3,398 metres.For more information about the Sierra Nevada ski resort (accommodation, ski schools, classes, transports, etc.), see 
- "Sierra Nevada - Estacion - En pista - Pistas". Sierranevada.es. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- "FIS Calendar". FIS-Ski. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- Article published: 09.06.09. "Europe's Most Southerly Ski Area Open For Spanish Ski Team Training". Skiinfo.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- "Sierra Nevada. Estaciones de España. Snowboard y esqui". Snowpipe.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- Microbus services in the Sierra Nevada
- "Sierra Nevada Bus - Timetables, Companies and Ticket Prices". Lovegranada.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09.
- Sierra Nevada Ski.com - (Spanish) - ski station website