When it comes to winter sports The Pyrenees has long suffered as the poor relation compared to the more popular Alps. There is some excellent skiing and snowboarding to be done here but as this entire mountain range remains highly underrated the Pyrenees remains a hidden gem enjoyed by the locals and those who have been lucky enough to discover its charms.
Regions that offer Snow Sports
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Destinations within Pyrenees Atlantiques
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With little evidence of the overcrowding seen elsewhere (except possibly at weekends), these dramatic, ancient mountains can provide a far more carefree skiing experience. Development has been gradual so most Pyrenean resorts have avoided descending into ugly, characterless places and maintain an air of village charm and beauty. Substantial investment in the lift systems and the improved quality of the accommodation means the gap between the Alps and the Pyrenees continues to diminish.
In total there are over 50 resorts to choose from. In France some of the highlights are Tourmalet, the biggest linked resort with over 100km of slopes and a 1000m off piste descent from the Pic du Midi observatory. Font Romeu is one of the oldest ski resorts in Europe dating back to the 1920’s and remains a popular resort today. For après ski try the lively towns of Cauterets, Saint Lary-Soulan, Luz-Ardiden, Luchon or Les Angles.
Yes, there is good skiing in Spain too. The most famous being Baqueira-Beret, a favourite of the Spanish royal family with a good range of slopes and an efficient lift system, the oldest resort is La Molina which having recently linked with Masella provides over 100km of pistes. The other main resorts here are Formigal, Panticosa, Candanchu and Astún.
Last but by no means least, the principality of Andorra. This has long been a favourite destination for skiers originally drawn by the duty free status looking for cheap après ski and a budget holiday location. Do not be misled into thinking that this is a low grade ski area. Andorran ski schools have an excellent reputation for good English speaking instructors and the result of continuing investment in the facilities and infrastructure has led to Andorra having some of the most modern, efficient lift systems in Europe. Grand Valira is the linked ski area of Pas de la Casa and Soldeu el Tarter and has just started expanding into France. The other linked area is Vallnord which includes Pal-Arinsal, Ordino-Arcalis and La Massana. You can also try cross country skiing at La Rabassa.
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