When it comes to skiing in Europe, people often head to the Alps, no questions asked. But… The Pyrenees mountain range offers some of the most picturesque and thrilling ski resorts in the world. Yes, really.
With its stunning natural beauty, diverse terrain, and a excellent range of modern ski facilities, the Pyrenees is a haven for both beginner and expert skiers. And better still, there are a big choice of excellent resorts which give you the opportunity to explore a different world when it comes to your winter holidays.
So if you’re thinking about checking out something different this winter, these are the best ski resorts in the Pyrenees for you to consider.
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How to get to the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees are the mountain range that separates France from Spain, so getting there is kinda easy. Basically drive to Spain (if you’re in the North of Europe) and you’ll hit the Pyrenees soon enough.
The closest airports to the Pyrenees ski resorts are:
- Toulouse, France
- Barcelona, Spain
- Lourdes, France
- Perpignan, France
- Carcasonne, France
- Girona, Spain
- Zaragoza, Spain
Of all of these, the most convenient options are Toulouse in France and Barcelona in Spain, which both offer often regular and direct transfers, especially to Andorra. Check out our guide to transfers from Barcelona.
Many of the resorts in this guide are not easily reached by public transport, so you may need to either pay for a private transfer, or hire a car.
Another option is to take a self drive ski break to the Pyrenees. From the UK and Northern Europe, the expressways through France are fast – although you’ll likely need to stop overnight and you will need to pay tolls. You can also catch the ferry from the UK to the Spanish ports of Bilbao or Santander, which will also mean a drive to the mountains.
1. Baqueira-Beret, Spain
Located in the Catalonia region of Spain, Baqueira-Beret is considered one of the premier ski resorts in the Pyrenees. With its high altitude ranging from 1,500 to 2,610 meters, it boasts excellent snow reliability throughout the season. Baqueira-Beret offers over 160 kilometers of ski slopes, and is well suited for all skill levels from beginners and up.
Additionally, the resort is well connected with several airports nearby, including Toulouse, Lourdes and Barcelona. The overall style of the resort is a mix of modern infrastructure and traditional Pyrenean charm.
Visitors can expect a variety of accommodations, ranging from luxury hotels to cozy chalets. The expected cost for a week-long ski trip, including accommodation, lift passes, and equipment rental, starts from around €600 per person.
2. Grandvalira, Andorra
As one of the largest ski domains in Europe, Grandvalira in Andorra is a must-visit destination for ski enthusiasts. With its high elevation and extensive snowmaking infrastructure, Grandvalira boasts excellent snow reliability throughout the season. The resort offers over 200 kilometers of slopes, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
In fact, we thought snowboarding in Andorra was excellent fun (check the review).
Access to Grandvalira is relatively easy, with several airports directly linked by regular transfers, including Barcelona and Toulouse. The style of the resort is modern and purpose-built, offering a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, and après-ski activities.
In terms of costs, Grandvalira is known for its affordability compared to other European ski destinations. A week-long ski trip, including accommodation, lift passes, and equipment rental, can start from as low as €600 per person (if you time it right).
3. Font-Romeu, France
Situated in the French Pyrenees, Font-Romeu is known for its sunny climate and stunning mountain vistas. The resort offers excellent snow reliability, thanks to its high altitude and extensive snowmaking capabilities. With over 40 kilometers of slopes, Font-Romeu caters to skiers of all abilities, from beginners to experts. Access to Font-Romeu is convenient, with several airports nearby, such as Perpignan and Barcelona.
The resort style combines modern facilities with a charming Pyrenean atmosphere. Visitors can expect a range of accommodations, from comfortable hotels to cozy chalets. In terms of costs, Font-Romeu offers a more affordable option compared to other renowned French ski resorts.
Like many of the ski resorts in the Pyrenees, ski packages tend to be well priced and ideal for budget ski and snowboard holidays. In fact, there are some of the best cheap ski resorts in Europe to be found in the Pyrenees.
4. Formigal, Spain
Formigal, situated in the Spanish Pyrenees, is one of the largest and most modern ski resorts in Spain. With its high altitude and extensive snowmaking infrastructure, Formigal offers excellent snow reliability throughout the season. The resort boasts over 130 kilometers of slopes, suitable for all skill levels.
Access to Formigal is relatively easy, with Zaragoza airport just a two-hour drive away, although you might be better off coming from Toulouse for the choice of flight connections.
The resort style is modern and purpose-built, featuring a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, and après-ski options. In terms of costs, Formigal provides good value for money compared to other European ski resorts.
5. Grand Tourmalet and La Mongie, France
Located in the heart of the French Pyrenees, Grand Tourmalet and La Mongie is a charming ski area that offers good snow reliability, thanks to its high altitude over 1800 metres. It’s mostly popular with French and Spanish skiers, making this a bit of a gem in the Pyrenees.
With over 100 kilometers of slopes, Grand Tourmalet/La Mongie provides a variety of terrain suitable for all skill levels. Access to the resort is convenient, with Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées airport just a one-hour drive away. The resort style is a mix of modern infrastructure and traditional mountain charm.
Visitors can find a range of accommodations, from hotels to self-catered apartments. In terms of costs, La Mongie offers a reasonably priced ski experience.
6. Vallnord, Andorra
Vallnord, nestled in the beautiful Pyrenean valleys of Andorra, is another popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The resort offers good snow reliability throughout the season, thanks to its high altitude and extensive snowmaking capabilities. Vallnord is divided into two main sectors, Pal-Arinsal and Ordino-Arcalis, offering a combined total of over 90 kilometers of slopes suitable for all abilities. Access to Vallnord is convenient, with several airports within a two-hour drive, including Barcelona and Toulouse.
The resort style is a mix of modern infrastructure and a laid-back atmosphere. Accommodation options range from hotels to self-catered apartments, catering to various budgets.
In terms of costs, Vallnord provides good value for money. Even if you’re based in Vallnord, you can also get the Andorra ski pass which includes Grandvalira, and hop on the ski bus to enjoy the biggest resort in the Pyrenees.
7. Cerler, Spain
Situated in the Benasque Valley of Spain, Cerler is a hidden gem among the Pyrenean ski resorts. With its high altitude and favorable climate, Cerler offers good snow reliability throughout the season. The resort features over 80 kilometers of slopes, suitable for all levels of skiers. Access to Cerler is relatively easy, with Zaragoza airport just a two-hour drive away. The resort style is a mix of modern facilities and a laid-back atmosphere.
Visitors can find a range of accommodations, from hotels to charming mountain lodges. In terms of costs, Cerler offers a more affordable ski experience compared to well-known European resorts.
8. Ax 3 Domaines, France
The town of Ax-les-Thermes is a pretty spa town with access to 80 kms of mostly north facing mountain pistes. There’s a good mix of beginner and advanced terrain, with some lovely wooded runs lower down, taking you back to the village. The Ax 3 Domaines ski area is basically 3 villages on the mountain, Bonascre, Saquet and Campbels.
You’ll need to either stay in Ax-les-Thermes and take the gondola up onto the mountain, or you can stay on one of the slopeside villages too. The village of Ax is well worth a visit by itself with some great little hotels.
As for transfers, Ax-les-Thermes is connected to Toulouse by train, which takes just over 2 hours. You can also drive or take a private transfer which takes around 1 hour 40.
9. Boi Taull, Spain
As the highest resort in the Pyrenees, Boi Taull definitely has some great reasons to stop by. Topping out at 2750 metres, it’s relatively snow sure, with most of the 45 kms of ski area above the tree line.
This isn’t a huge resort, and you’re unlikely to stay in the small village at the base, most likely taking the ski bus from one of the nearby towns. But, if you’re looking for uncrowded pistes, powder skiing in the Pyrenees and one of the best resorts in the Pyrenees for intermediates, this might be your pick.
10. Alp 2500/Masella and La Molina, Spain
The twin resorts of Masella and La Molina joined forces a few years back to create the Alp2500 ski area. With a combined total of 140 kms, this action packed mountain around 2 hours from Barcelona is a big draw for locals who don’t want to trek all the way into Andorra. And with the highest point at just over 2500 metres, you’re actually getting some decent snow here.
Reports suggest that Alp2500 can be windy at times, but this is more than made up for by the great terrain, easy access, nice village at the base and stunning views.
Although you can commute to the Alp2500 ski resort by bus from Barcelona, there are actually some nice hotels and resorts at the base.
Ready to head to the Pyrenees?
The Pyrenees mountain range offers a wide array of exceptional ski resorts in Spain, France, and Andorra. Each resort has its unique features, from excellent snow reliability and ease of access to modern infrastructure and affordability.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert skier, the Pyrenees ski resorts are sure to provide an unforgettable skiing experience.
Looking for the best deals on Pyrenees ski packages? Estiber are a Spanish company who specialise in packages to the French, Spanish and Andorran Pyrenees. They include lift passes with pretty much all their ski packages, and even deliver your pass to your hotel.
Their offers are often very well priced and we highly recommend checking them out if you’re looking for a deal to the Pyrenees.