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When winter comes, Catalonia’s Pyrenean peaks deliver a ski piste and powder punch well above their weight in resorts like Baqueira Beret, Alp 2500 and Boí Taüll, without the crowds or high costs of other European destinations…

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mountain village

The first button lift in Spain started spinning on 28 February 1943 at the Catalonian resort of La Molina. Since then skiing has been steadily growing, with new resorts, bigger, faster lifts and ever-more sophisticated services and facilities. Today, Catalonia boasts 16 resorts – 10 downhill and six for cross-country. But the skiing here is different: you’ll find exquisite Catalan cuisine, charming authentic villages and a welcoming culture.

You’ll also discover relaxing spas and thermal springs – perfect for soothing aching limbs after a day on powder-laden slopes. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Romanesque chapels of the Vall de Boi; discover the resort of Baqueira Beret, tucked away in the fascinating Val ‘d’Aran – with its own Aranese language and unique gastronomy. Lap up the scenic splendours at Alp 2500, linking the two resorts of La Molina and Masella. And all this within two hours of Barcelona!

 

Hit the slopes | try these

Baqueira Beret

Resort height: 1,500m
Summit: 2,510m
Vertical: 1,000m
Ski area: 153km

The largest ski resort in Spain, Baqueira Beret celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Situated in Val d’Aran, in the north-western corner of Catalonia, it is surrounded by peaks reaching 3,000m and is unique in having an Atlantic climate that ensures snowfalls all winter long. The Val d’Aran stands out for its architectural unity, houses built of stone, slate and wood, and beautiful Romanesque churches.

 

Alp 2500

Resort height: 1,600m
Summit: 2,535m
Vertical: 935m
Ski area: 133km

A joint Alp 2500 ski-in pass allows users to move effortlessly between the two linked resorts of La Molina – Catalonia’s oldest – and La Masella, which together form one of the region’s largest ski domains, less than a two-hour drive from Barcelona. La Masella, located in the sunny Cerdanya Valley, is renowned for its magnificent forests, while La Molina’s Pista Llarga beginner slopes have been the playpen of many experienced skiers.

 

Boí Taüll

Resort height: 2,020m
Summit: 2,751m
Vertical: 731m
Ski area: 45.3km

An unexpected gem in an extraordinarily spacious valley. Boí Taüll is the highest-located ski resort in the Catalan Pyrenees, sitting at the gateway to the Aigüestortes National Park and offering amazing views. It stands out also for the group of eight beautiful Romanesque churches that the hermitage declared part of UNESCO’s World Heritage in 2000. Its high altitude and steep slopes ensure superb snow and glorious skiing on and off-piste.

 

Vall de Nuria

Resort height: 1,964m
Summit: 2,252m
Vertical: 288m
Ski area: 7.6km

Surrounded by mountains reaching nearly 3,000m, this small but welcoming family ski resort, located in the Ripollès County, is based in the imposing Vall de Núria Sanctuary. This is an especially quiet resort, with just 11 pistes, and is accessible only by railway from Ribes de Freser, a quirk that has made it one of the most special tourist destinations in Catalonia, with a philosophy based on a respect for nature and a commitment to sustainable tourism.

catalunya.com