Whenever people ask me why I came to Malaga, my answer is quick and confident: “I wanted to be warm and learn Spanish.” From what I’ve seen so far, a lot of us expats and digital nomads in Picasso’s birth city have pretty similar reasons for coming here. And while I wouldn’t dare complain about 320 days of sunshine a year, thrilling ski slopes and après-ski party chalets are seldom found by the beach. Unless you live in Malaga! This is one of a few precious spots around the world, where you can ski and go to the beach in the same day.
Our coworker Lukas, who actually did exactly that, will now have an awesome story for the rest of his life and tells me what a special experience it was, with a beaming smile.
Skiing in Sierra Nevada with TLR
A few weeks ago several of our coworking family members went skiing in Sierra Nevada – Europe’s southernmost ski resort. It was so good that it is now going to be an annual TLR event. Whether you want to join that or are just curious about what skiing in Sierra Nevada is like, our members seem to have all the info you’ll ever need. Even though I didn’t make it to the trip this year, the pictures seemed so appealing that I just had to interview the people who did. They told me all about the highlights, budgeting, and gave me a few pro tips on organizing the ultimate skiing experience in Sierra Nevada.
The idea was born when Ben, TLR’s founder, was at the Coworking Europe conference held in Warsaw, Poland. Kamil, an SEO whizz, great at online marketing, as well as web design, is a coworking family member, even though he currently lives in Warsaw. Kamil was kind enough to host Ben for the duration of the conference. One night they were getting down to what Ben lovingly called “Polish tapas” – a bottle of ice-cold vodka and an assortment of fish. As they got around to the topic of how great skiing in Sierra Nevada could be, Kamil whipped out his laptop, bought tickets back to Malaga, and the two started planning a coworking trip.
Getting to the slopes from Malaga
The easiest way to go skiing in Sierra Nevada from Malaga is by car. The route 160 km. long and takes around 2 hours. If you don’t have your own ride, sharing one through BlaBlaCar is popular in Spain. And if you’d like to use public transportation, your best bet is going to Granada first, by bus or train. You can then take a direct bus from Granada’s bus station. You’ll find comprehensive information and schedules here .
A day in Sierra Nevada
“We would wake up at 8 and eat breakfast together. Every day someone different would cook for everybody. I have to admit that I just boiled eggs when it was my turn”, laughs Kamil.
Even though the coworkers had rented an apartment far from the slopes, there was no need to drive, because a gondola in the village collects eager skiers and delivers them to the slopes. Of course, staying a bit further from the hustle-and-bustle is great budget-wise.
“We’d hit the slopes by 9 AM and warm up with the easier ones, working our way up. Whenever we’d get tired, we’d have a bite and tea in one of the establishments nearby. During the first few days, we would finish off a bit earlier, and squeeze in a few hours of work into our day. You should also know that even though the lift closes at 4:45, there is night skiing in Sierra Nevada as well. But if you’re looking for a different type of fun in the evenings – there are plenty of bars and restaurants.”
Our coworking family especially loved Tia Maria and Crescendo. Let us know what you think about them if you go as well.
How Does Skiing in Sierra Nevada Compare to Other Resorts?
Kamil has gone skiing in Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic, so he’s got basis for comparison. “Skiing in Sierrra Nevada has a great chilled out vibe – you are in Spain after all. It’s also very special that you are so close to Malaga and the beach. Compared to Poland, where I last was, skiing in Sierra Nevada is a bit more advanced.”
Ben is Austrian but been skiing in Sierra Nevada for years: “There are over 100 km of slopes, hundreds of runs, so it’s great compared even to Austria. Besides, on a clear day, you can see the coast of Africa! The only thing is that you can’t freeride on powder. There are about 4-5 big snowfalls per season, and then the slopes are maintained with artificial snow.” In terms of facilities, he feels that Sierra Nevada is slightly outdated: “There are around 20 ski lifts, as well as two gondolas. No chairlifts that warm up your bum”, laughs Ben.
Niko is Bulgarian and supervises the operations at both IBASE Digital Partners, and Infosource, where he is an executive director. Although he usually goes for the Italian mountains when he’s after winter thrills: “Skiing in Sierra Nevada was a pleasant surprise. I was able to join for just a day this time but would love to do it for longer. Of course, it’s the rest of the coworking crew that made the experience so enjoyable. Exploring the slopes and après-ski spots in Sierra Nevada with them was great fun.”
Although skiing in Sierra Nevada is not the cheapest, our coworking family members agreed that racing down the Spanish slopes is worth it.
Lukas, another Austrian, is a project manager in IT and an almost professional traveler. So he is a great person to talk to, whenever you want to get the most bang for your travel buck. “I spent €500-€600 for 4 days of skiing. Renting a snowboard, along with pants, and a helmet was around €100. The pass for skiing in Sierra Nevada came at about €180, and I paid €100 for accommodation. €200 went to groceries, going out, gas, etc.”
Our coworker Lea is from Slovenia, a country famous for its gorgeous mountains. She’s a business-savvy project manager at Flexkeeping and a language buff. “I rented skis, ski boots, sticks and a helmet for €35 altogether”, she shared.
Ben, on the other hand, spent €400 for 5 days and 4 nights, but he had his own equipment. “It’s great that if you just want to go up for a day of skiing in Sierra Nevada you can literally rent everything – down to the clothes. The ski pass is a bit expensive, around €50 per day.”
If you’re curious to try skiing in Sierra Nevada for yourself, our members shared a few pro tips, so that you can make the most out of your time there:
– Booking accommodation in advance always means more options and better prices. I’d recommend booking a month prior to your trip.
– Check out the offers on Groupon for renting equipment. I was able to rent skis and sticks for €8 because the place where I got them was further away from all the other shops.
– If you’re spending a few days skiing in Sierra Nevada, try to stop by a large shop, such as a Mercadona in Granada, to load up on food supplies, and then cook some of your meals.
– Try to go during the week if you can – there is a lot less people and the accommodation is cheaper.
– I definitely recommend skiing in Sierra Nevada with a small backpack, where you bring your own food and snacks for the slopes. The food up there is pricy and not very good.
– If you do go for lunch on the slopes, do it around 12:00 PM because then you’d be back on the snow at around 2:00 PM, when the locals lunch, and you’d have the place to yourself.
– Parking in the village for a day costs €20. But there is a parking lot called Los Penones above the village, it’s not well-known and parking is only €5 per day.
– During the week the slopes are really well-maintained. I didn’t try skiing in Sierra Nevada on the weekend, but I would love to do it next time and check out the apres-ski party scene.
“Definitely the company!”, smiles Ben: “We had a blast with all the great people from TLR. In Austria, we say that the only thing that makes a good slope better is tea with rum. In this case, it was the people.” Lea, who was the only lady in the company of 6 guys, had a lot of laughs too: “It was very fun to hang out with them, the company is always the main thing.”
Everyone seems to agree – skiing in Sierra Nevada is an excellent experience, especially when you do it with great people. Will you join next year? If you have any questions, comments, or would just like to share your own experience skiing in Sierra Nevada, we would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or get in touch with us on Facebook and Instagram.