There are several faces to Andalusia, including that of infinitely rolling hills awash with orchards and olive groves and the other of wide, open desert-like plains (found in the backcountry of the Almeria region). There are also many white villages and Moor castles to be found on mountain ridges.
The Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean sea boasts 325 days of sunshine per year and an average water temperature of 18°C . From Gibraltar to Almeria, you will find more than a dozen yacht clubs and the biggest concentration of golf courses in the world, (numbering at least 30). On the Atlantic coastline you will find the Costa de la Luz.
Spain is one of the richest geological countries in Europe and Andalusia is a perfect example of this opulence. The region is home to the largest park in the country: Dońana National Park
Combining singing, dancing and guitar playing, flamenco is an excellent example of Andalusian artistic expression. Bullfighting is an old Andalusian tradion which still takes place today, and is effectively passed on as a part of a family's heritage. Finally, as far as the arts and culture are concerned; Seville, Cordoba and Cadiz are full of museums which are sure to attract the attention of a host of visitors.
Seville has many architectural treasures to offer, such as the Giralda, declared a Unesco site, or the palace of Alcazar and its magnificent gardens.
Andalusian gastronomy is delicious.
Although many influences have played a role in its history and culture, the province of Grenada is a unique and timeless destination. In winter, visitors can take advantage of one of the best ski resorts in southern Europe, while in summer they can enjoy the magnificent beaches of the Costa Tropical, located just under twenty miles from the city of Grenada.
The resort has a lovely air to it thanks to, among other things, the Downhill Skiing World Championships held here in 1996 that served to introduce it to many Europeans. Its facilities have nothing to envy of the resorts in the Catalan Pyrenees. Indeed, the resort was chosen to host one of the stages in the World Snowboarding Championships in 2013, and in 2017 it will be the headquarters of the International Skiing Federation (FIS) during the World Skiing Championships.
Located just under 20 miles from the city of Grenada and 29 miles from its airport, its altitude (the resort is located between 2100 and 3300m of altitude) guarantees it a thick layer of snow that sometimes lasts through to late spring. In 2013, the climatic conditions were such that the ski season continued until 5 May!
Opened in 1964 under the name 'Sol y Nieve' (Sun and Snow), the resort now has a skiable area of more than 65 miles divided among 116 slopes. 17 of them are green slopes reserved for beginners, 40 are blue, 52 are red, and 7 are black. The longest slope is called "Águila", with a descent of nearly 4 miles. In terms of the ski lifts, the resort is also well-equipped, with 2 cable cars, 15 chairlifts, and 1 t-bar lift. These infrastructures make it possible to transport 48,204 people per hour.
If freestyle is more your thing, you won't be disappointed by the Superparque Sulayr. With 30 modules, ramps and obstacles specially designed for jumps, the park makes it possible to practice freestyle skiing in good conditions, with a special appreciation for the 165m-long half-pipe!
A space reserved for skiers and for beginners means that it is possible to learn to ski in complete safety, notably in the zones of Borreguiles, de Fuente del Mirlo, and Dream Land. Dream Land is particularly well adapted for young skiers, who can learn the basics all while having fun.
The resort also offers some really fun activities, like night skiing and ice skating. With 15 ski schools and nearly 400 instructors, the conditions are all there to learn how to ski in the best conditions.
Finally, it must be pointed out that a lot of effort was made to make sure that those with reduced mobility can also do some skiing, with adapted sports equipment and mechanical lifts.
Where to stay
The resort offers a wide range of establishments. Luxury 5-star hotels, family-friendly hotels, mountain lodges, and simple aparthotels: skiers will be spoilt for choice. Our preference was nevertheless The Lodge, a Scandinavian chalet at the foot of the slopes where guests can put their skis as soon as they're out the front door. The Lodge offers an impressive panoramic view from its terrace, and after a long day on the slopes, its spa (with an outdoor swimming pool, hammam, sauna and hydromassage bathtub) should have you finishing off your day in style!
In this section we offer a few recommendations for some excursions in the region that are really worth the trip!