Ski the Pyrenees this winter
The Pyrenees has long been a favourite for those in the know.... It's cheaper, it's sunnier, it's less crowded and it's friendlier than the better known resorts in the Alps. At between 2000 and 3500 Mts they compare to the likes of Tignes and Val d'Isere and with snow cannons on all the major runs, there's guaranteed snow even if the famous Spanish sunny weather doesn't provide the natural stuff regularly.
Get used to this sight ! Blue skies and crisp cold air. During the week, you'll not find many people on the slopes. It's only at the weekend that you get an influx of local skiers from Barcelona up for the day and you may have to wait 3 or 4 minutes to get a chairlift. Waits of 30 minutes or more are utterly unheard of here and although the runs are shorter, there are runs of various difficulty for all standards.
What you will find are small and friendly resorts geared mainly for families. The closest resort to Cal Domino is Nuria located near to the town of Ribes de Freser which even though it is just 90 minutes away by car, you have the added time of a cog train to take you up to the resort itself. Nuria is a small family orientated resort and although great for small children, we don't recommend it. A short way further on from Ribes de Freser you find the combined resorts of La Molina and la Masella. Two large resorts in their own right but with combined ski passes and linking cablecars and chairlifts, give it a substantial presence in the Spanish Pyrenees.
Vertical. 935m. 3068ft
Top Elevation 2635m 8645ft
Base Elevation 1600m. 5249ft
Skiable Area 145 km
Longest run. 9km. 5.6 miles
La Molina is also the oldest ski station in Spain with it's first commercial lift opening cup in 1943 and has recently hosted the Alpine World Cup (2008), Snowboard World Championship (2011) and the Dis-abled Alpine World Championship (2013). Overall, we give it 9/10 and highly recommend it for a days skiing. We don't recommend staying there overnight though... the designers were huge fans of concrete and didn't après ski apparently. You'll find a bowling alley and a burger bar... (sound of tumbleweed blowing across the stage)
Our next favourite ski station is over the border in the French Pyrenees. Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via is between 3 and 3.5 hours away by car. You can easily get there for a days skiing, but as Font Romeu is the archetypal chocolate box ski village, we recommend finding some cheap accommodation and staying the night. You'll find many charming bars and restaurants with cheery log fires all catering to a lovely après ski atmosphere and what could be better than being sat in front of the fire with a bottle of vin de table and some filet au foie.
Font Romeu is perfectly suited for families and on the way back to Cal Domino, why not stop off at the thermal baths at St Thomas les Bains for a soak in the outside pools and a steam in their Hammam Spa.
In between la Molina and Font Romeu, you'll find a hand-full of ski resorts to suit your needs. Formigueres, Les Angles, Puyaqlador, Ax les Thermes, Ski Mijanes-Donezan, Port del Comte, Valter 2000, Cambre daze-Eyne, Bolquère-Pyrenees 2000 and La Quillane.
The only ski resorts that we don't recommend are those based in Andorra. It's purely personal, but Andorra is too far away from Cal Domino to make it a sound choice for the day, accommodation is cheap, but popular with stag and hen nights with the associated piles of vomit and other bodily fluids frozen to the pavement.... Avoid it in the Spring when it all starts to melt ! You'll find it nigh on impossible to find parking that isn't on the street which requires regular payments in coin cash which is all rather inconvenient. Being a high resort, it's mainly above the tree-line making the scenery rather dull, icy and windswept. I could go on, but I don't wish to be cruel.... Needless to say, we don't rate Andorra highly at all and it's definitely not a good place for the family.
The great thing about this part of Spain is that you can pick and mix. Use Cal Domino as a base and you can ski, mountain bike, road cycle, golf and hike. If non of that blows your skirt up, then how about shopping in Girona or Barcelona. Barcelona is only 34 minutes away by fast train from Girona Station or if you go by car, try stopping off at the Roca Village on the way back for all the major outlet shops.
You can rent the entire Villa for just €1400 per week out of season, inclusive of full private use of the Villa and its amenities (heated jacuzzi spa, pool and Sauna), all utility bills (gas, water, electricity), free 75Mbps WIFI, large safe for all of your electrical items, CCTV coded entry, bed linen, house and beach towels, our substantial welcome pack and all taxes.
For long term rentals, we charge just €510 per week (minimum rental of 4 weeks plus utility bills) and maximum occupancy of 8 people. That's just €9.11 per person, per day ! Come and go as you wish between mid-October and April, invite family and friends down for the weekends and take advantage of the Spanish sunshine this winter.
Contact us and reserve your dates.
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