From Beaches to Peaks: Skiing Adventures in Marbella's Backyard

When you think of Marbella, the first things that usually come to mind are the sea, sand, and sun. Marbella is renowned for its year-round pleasant climate, making it a go-to destination for those seeking warmth and relaxation. But did you know that just a few hours away, in the heart of Southern Spain, lies a skiing paradise that might surprise you?

Granada, a southern province in Spain nestled within Andalucía, boasts an unexpected gem: the Sierra Nevada ski resort. Known for its breathtaking vistas and exceptional ski slopes, this resort sits atop the Iberian Peninsula's highest mountain, El Mulhacén, standing tall at 3,479 metres. Imagine spending a day basking on Marbella's sun-soaked beaches and then, within a mere three-hour drive, finding yourself gliding down the slopes of mainland Spain's tallest mountain. It's no wonder that Sierra Nevada has become a favourite winter destination, especially for those spending their Christmas holidays in Marbella.

Despite Spain's reputation as a sunny haven, Sierra Nevada ski resort has cleverly adapted to changing climate patterns. To ensure an optimal snow experience, snow machines are brought in annually, guaranteeing pristine slopes for visitors. The ski season here typically spans from December to early April, with a unique twist - night skiing is also an option, allowing enthusiasts to hit the slopes even after the sun sets.

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One of the most advantageous features of Sierra Nevada is its accessibility. The resort is conveniently located near two major airports: Malaga Airport (AGP), a mere 2-hour drive away, and Granada Airport (GRX), just a 58-minute car ride.

The journey from Marbella to Sierra Nevada is an adventure in itself, offering scenic routes and varying travel times:
Via the A-92: Approximately 2 hours and 29 minutes, covering 220 km by car.
Via the A-7: About 2 hours and 43 minutes, spanning 240 km by car.
Via the A-357 and A-92: Roughly 3 hours and 2 minutes, with a distance of 247 km by car.

Sierra Nevada slopes:

Nestled in the valley, with sweeping views of the Granada plains, Pradollano is the charming town at the heart of Sierra Nevada, a resort of modest size. Since opening its doors to skiers in 1964, Pradollano has grown to offer a variety of restaurants, bars, ski shops, hotels, and apartments. In 2007, Sierra Nevada underwent a significant upgrade, boasting a massive refurbishment and the introduction of state-of-the-art ski lifts.

From the town, two state-of-the-art gondolas transport skiers to the base of the ski run, Borreguiles. Here, one finds the ski school assembly areas, lockers, cafes, and restaurants. This spot provides access to the beginner slopes and acts as a gateway to several chairlifts that radiate outwards, spanning the slopes of Valeta, Spain's third highest peak.

Upon arrival at the resort, you'll find an array of slopes catering to all skill levels:
Green Slopes: 19
Blue Slopes: 45
Red Slopes: 53
Black Slopes: 4
Total number of Slopes: 121

Even snowboarding enthusiasts will find their place here, as Sierra Nevada offers well-designed half pipes to hone your snowboarding skills. Sierra Nevada offers a diverse array of trails spread over 106km of manicured pistes, although off-piste or backcountry skiing opportunities are limited.

Ski Pass

Sierra Nevada offers a variety of ski pass options to fit your needs. During the low season, an adult ski pass is priced at €46,-, while in the high season, it increases to €48. Additionally, you can purchase extra insurance for emergencies at €2.50.

For teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16, ski passes are €42,- in the low season and €43.50 during the high season. For children under 13, passes are priced at €32 in the low season and €35 in the high season.

Looking for more options? The resort provides family and multi-day passes at discounted rates. A 10-day adult pass comes in at €410,-, and a 25-day adult pass is €955,-.

Considering spending the entire winter season on the slopes? An adult winter season ticket is available for €1.128,-

Night skiing in Sierra Nevada

They offers night skiing later in the season. However, depending on the conditions, it might be available only on weekends. Typically, night skiing is open on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The Rio track is lit up for night skiing by 52 powerful spotlights spread out over its 5.8km path.

Pricing from 2019 indicates that an adult night ski pass costs €18. If you wish to combine both day and night skiing, the total cost is €47.20.

Hotels & Resorts

As you plan your skiing adventure, consider these recommended hotels within Sierra Nevada:

El Lodge Ski & Spa

Discover a world of charm and luxury at Hotel El Lodge, the Sierra Nevada's hidden gem and a cherished offshoot of Marbella Club. With 20 intimate rooms, this boutique retreat combines low-key glamour with breathtaking surroundings.

Imagine Alpine-chic interiors by Andrew Martin, vintage ski posters, and cosy lounges with floor-to-ceiling windows. The outdoor pool against snowy hillsides is a masterpiece. The Sun Deck comes alive with DJs, while the warm local team ensures every need is met. Skiing is a breeze with the Iliberis school and equipment at hand.

Unwind at the vegan-focused basement spa or the al fresco pool and hot tub. El Lodge is an escape into luxury and relaxation, where every detail, from Smeg fridges with filtered water to the intimate games room, is designed for a remarkable stay.

Hotel Maribel

This beautiful hotel opened its doors at the end of 2022 and is from the famous Marbella Club Hotel. Maribel is a vibrant ski and après ski chalet at Sierra Nevada. Experience an exhilarating blend of high-altitude enjoyment, both on the slopes and beyond.

Anticipate top-tier slopes, a ski-in/ski-out deck, and post-ski sundowners. Indulge in meticulously maintained rooms and suites with breathtaking vistas of the pistes and peaks. Delight in evening cocktails, exquisite dining, and lively dancing. Immerse yourself in relaxation at the Nordic-inspired spa, where unwinding beneath the stars becomes a reality.Step into our Nordic-inspired spa, a sanctuary of relaxation seamlessly blending Finnish pine with the surrounding landscape. From saunas to hydrotherapy pools and starlit outdoor jacuzzis, it's a paradise for rejuvenation. As dusk falls, Maribel transforms into an enchanting hub of entertainment.

Whether seeking adventure or relaxation, Hotel Maribel offers an unmatched fusion of ski charm and après-ski allure. Discover Sierra Nevada's finest like never before. Welcome to - Your Maribel journey begins here.

Vincci Seleccion Rumaykiyya

​​Indulgence at Sierra Nevada Monachil Ski Resort's crown jewel – the renowned Vincci Selección Rumaykiyya. As the sole 5-star haven in this alpine paradise, we redefine luxury and convenience, granting you direct access to the slopes mere steps from your abode.

Enveloped in the charm of Alpine architecture, their hotel proudly claims its place among Europe's highest, offering unparalleled vistas and a gateway to adventure with a ski lift at your fingertips and a complimentary shuttle to Pradollano.

For the ardent skier, their expansive ski storage room ensures your gear is impeccably cared for, while the alpine lounge beckons for après-ski relaxation. Indulgence finds new heights in our treatment room, rejuvenating both body and soul. And for an effortless experience, their on-site ski rental shop equips you impeccably.

Step into rooms adorned with wooden beams reminiscent of mountain lodges, while the dining hall presents sweeping views of surrounding peaks, enhancing culinary delights.

Vincci Selección Rumaykiyya beckons – where Alpine allure meets lavish grandeur. Revel in mountainside elegance, fuse adventure with repose, and craft memories in Sierra Nevada that last a lifetime.

Parking in Sierra Nevada

Underground Multi-Story Car-Park
The most straightforward option for parking at the Sierra Nevada is the expansive multi-story car-park with a capacity for 2,880 vehicles, spanning four levels. Directed here by default, many visitors choose this option for its convenience. After parking, you're merely an elevator ride and a short stroll away from the ticket machines and the gondola. The cost for this convenience ranges from approximately €16,- for 8 hours to €25,- for a full day (24hrs).

Outdoor Parking Areas
For those looking for a budget-friendly alternative, there are three outdoor parking zones available. These areas are situated a 10-25 minute walk from the ticket counters. They are more economical, with rates ranging from €5,- to €10,- per day.

Street Parking Options Fortune might be on your side, allowing you to secure free street parking in town. Do remember that this might mean a longer walk, especially after a day of skiing with the uphill trek. Several parking areas also offer complimentary shuttle services to bring you closer to the gondola.


So, while Marbella might be synonymous with sunny beaches, it's worth remembering that just a few hours away lies a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. With its stunning slopes, accessible location, and surprising contrast to its sunny surroundings, Sierra Nevada ski resort offers an unforgettable experience that perfectly complements your Marbella lifestyle.