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Home to the magnificent Pyrenees and a vast number of exhilarating winter activities, Catalonia is a great destination for snow bunnies this winter. The region boasts sixteen world-class ski resorts as well as a number of natural and national parks; and with some resorts located just hours away from the vibrant Catalan cities of Barcelona and Girona, visitors can easily combine a city-break with a ski one.

Here’s a round-up of some of the best ways to experience winter in Catalonia:

Get a piste of the action:

Home to 16 world-class ski resorts, Catalonia offers visitors some of the most off-thebeaten-track skiing in Europe. Known for its varied and challenging terrain amongst seasoned skiers, Baqueira-Beret in Val d’Aran provides visitors with 146km of downhill slopes and with high altitudes, great snow conditions, mesmerising views and endless free-ride areas, it’s easy to see why the resort is a favourite amongst the Spanish royal family. Baqueira-Beret enjoys a westerly aspect and position on the northern side of the mountain range in Naut Aran giving it a strong snow record. The village itself offers a mix of stunning vistas, rural charm and after a day on the slopes, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to nightlife with the resort enjoying a lively après scene as well as numerous high-class restaurants to choose from. For the really adventurous, the resort also offers heli-skiing and heli-boarding. Baqueira-Beret also caters to the non-ski market with a number of alternative activities on offer including snowshoe excursions, snowmobile rides and dog sledding.

Enjoy a city-ski break:

Located just two short hours from Barcelona, La Molina is the perfect resort for those looking to combine a city-break with time on the slopes. The resort sits at an altitude of 1,700m-2,445m and was the very first resort to open in Spain. La Molina offers 68km of skiable domain and caters to skiers of all abilities with a number of green, blue, red and black runs. The resort is also home to the biggest half pipe in the Pyrenees as well as a beginner’s snowpark and together with the resort of Masella forms the Alp 2,500 Ski Domain encompassing 121km of slopes. Of course, visitors to the Catalan capital won’t be disappointed, Barcelona has it all – incredible food and wine, fascinating architecture and culture, beautiful landscapes, sandy beaches and plenty to see and do. The Catalan Pyrenees are easily accessible from the city by car, train, or even helicopter. There is also the Barcelona SkiBus which takes guests directly to the Alp 2,500 domain with daily 6.30am departures from Barcelona during the ski season (December – March). The all-inclusive pass costs €77 per person and includes transfer by bus, ski pass for Alp 2,500, accident insurance and ski/snowboard hire. For an additional €20 visitors can also rent a ski suit, hat and gloves. The passes are available to buy at a number of locations within the city including at tourist information points as well as online at bcnshop.com or skibus.cat.

Alternatively, Vallter 2000 is just one and a half hours from Girona and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Pyrenees. Located at an altitude of 1,910m-2,535m, on a clear day visitors can see as far as the Mediterranean Sea and the glistening Costa Brava coast. After an exhilarating day of skiing, visitors can be back in the city in time for dinner. With its stunning churches and cathedrals, narrow alleyways, and city walls, Girona is an enchanting city, which recently took centre stage in season six of hit HBO drama, Game of Thrones. The city is also a foodie’s paradise and is home to the famous El Celler de Can Roca – winner of ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ 2015 award.

Attend one of Europe’s coolest events:

Every year Catalonia hosts the eagerly anticipated Marxa Beret – the largest cross-country skiing marathon race in Spain with over 1,500 cross-country skiers in competition for the 10km, 21km and 42km race titles. The event takes place in Baqueira-Beret during the first Sunday in February and is part of the Euroloppet Circuit.

www.catalunya.com

 


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Winter escapes in Catalonia
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