Ever since the 1960s, Spain has been a world class tourist destination famous for its warm climate and beaches; in fact, it is currently the third most visited country in the world behind France and the United States. Certainly this is due to the vast amount of coastline that the country possesses and the countless historical sites that it boasts — whether it’s the rustic beaches in the North, the arid beaches of the South, the islands, the Alhambra, the mosque at Cordoba — there is something to visit at every turn. Something most people are not aware of, however, is that Spain is also a great destination for skiing. As one of the most mountainous member states of the EU, there are several areas of Spain that offer quality ski slopes all throughout the winter. Did you know, though, that you can ski right in Madrid?
Within the Comunidad de Madrid to the north of the capital lies Valdesquí. Located in the municipality of Rascafría, the slope can be accessed not only by private vehicle, but also by bus number 691 (which leaves from Moncloa) and by train (Cercanías line C9). The elevation of the Valdesquí ranges from 1,860 meters to 2,280 meters above sea level and the total ski area is 220 hectares. In total, there are 27 slopes, three of which are designated red, fifteen blue, and nine green. In addition to the skiing itself, there are also other services such as a ski lodge at the base of the slopes, a cafeteria near the summit, rentals, a repair shop, clinic, and more. For just 55€ you can spend the day skiing with rentals included. The season of course is subject to weather, so when Valdesquí opens and closes and how many slopes are open at any given time may vary.
Not interested in spending the whole day in the mountains? Or interested in skiing any time of the year? If you’re in Madrid, then your in luck. As it turns out, just outside the city to the South is Madrid Snowzone. Located in the municipality of Arroyomolinos inside the shopping mall Madrid Xanadú, it is even possible to ski in July if you want! The only indoor slope in Spain, and one of the biggest in the world, Madrid Snowzone has a total area of 18,000 square meters spread across two slopes. The main slope is 250 meters long and 55 meters wide, while the beginner slope is 100 meters long and 40 meters wide. The prices vary somewhat depending on how long you want to ski and whether or not you need to rent equipment, but there are significant discounts: on Wednesday everything is half off or there is also the possibility of skiing for two hours plus equipment rental for just 25€. Never skied before? No problem, Madrid Snowzone also has a ski school where you can learn the basics and more.
What are you waiting for?!?
It’s almost certain that you never imagined Madrid as a location where you could ski. World famous for so many things, perhaps skiing is not the most well known facet of the country. The best skiing is undoubtedly in the Pyrenees or in the Sierra Nevada, but you don’t have to leave Madrid to spend some time in the snow. Not only that, but where else can you ski 365 days a year? What are you waiting for? Time to hit the slopes!