Skiing’s not the first thing people usually think about when coming to Barcelona, but that only means more unmarked tracks for the few ‘oddballs’ looking to hit the slopes. Don’t let the absence of a ‘white Christmas’ fool you. Barcelona is nestled between the beach and the Pyrenees mountains and there’s plenty of great resorts and decently challenging hills to keep the avid skier or snowboarder satisfied during the winter months.
Here’s a few ski resorts easily accessible from Barcelona either by car, bus or train:
1: La Molina – This resort is actually hosting the 2011 Snowboarding FIS World Championships in January. For some reason the sun’s always guaranteed to shine in La Molina. It’s about 1.5 hours away by car from Barcelona, the slopes are diverse, there’s always snow, whether natural or man made and it’s just a really fun day trip or two day skiing excursion if you feel like staying overnight.
2: Andorra – The smallest country in the world and only three hours away from Barcelona by car or bus, this is an enjoyable weekend getaway. Not only does it have more than five major resorts from which to choose for skiing, but it’s a good place to get in some shopping as everything in the country is tax free!
3: Baqueira/Beret – About 3.5 hours away by car, Baqueira/Beret is a wonderful place to go for a weekend or even longer. The resort is connected to three major hills, offering plenty of terrain with a mix of beginner, intermediate and expert runs. The adjacent town is charming and quaint, giving off a very ‘Aspen/Vail’ type of ski town feel.
4: Valle de Nuria – A perfect day trip option if you don’t have a car. The resort is tiny, with one main lift and a few pomas, but it’s very close to Barcelona and readily accessible by train and metro. No cars are allowed inside the actual resort, you have to take the sky train which is about a 20 minute ride from the main town.
5: Masella – This resort is actually linked to La Molina and one pass usually gives you access to both hills. It has a wide variety of slopes at varying degrees of difficulty