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The Spanish Pyrenees

A valley of ragged beauty and indubitably great skiing, in the northwesternmost corner of Catalonia.

Let us introduce you to a mountainous back door into Spain, a remote cleft in the northern Pyrenees called Val d’Aran. Here you'll find beautiful the linked resorts of Baqueira / Beret, as yet undiscovered by the mainstream and a best-kept secret of the skiing community. Every winter the region enjoys some of the best snow cover in Europe...but don't tell anyone! The beauty of the terrain here lies not only in the long runs of all standards, but also in the exciting off-piste opportunities. Much can be accessed from the resorts, but for greater gains then there is the relatively low-cost heli-skiing - opening up an exclusive 400 square kilometers of terrain, where there is no-one else is about to drop in and create tracks in your powder heaven.

Ski Resorts in The Spanish Pyrenees

Away from the attention lavished on resorts in the Alps, tucked away in a far-off valley you find the Val d’Aran...not quite wholly Spanish, connected as it is to France, though part Catalan and perhaps even a little Basque. Distanced from the rest of the country by the mountains and by winter snows, It is, first and foremost very much its own place; unlike most other Spanish valleys in the Pyrenees, it faces the Atlantic, catching more storms and thus tending to have more reliable snow. The terrain is open, wide, and also tall, with a vertical drop to match anywhere in the Alps or Colorado. And it is here you find the hidden gem twin-resorts of Baqueira / Beret.

Baqueira Beret

The best ski resort in Europe? We think so.

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The Ski Season

It's Europe, so it all gets going over the Christmas period and the snow ordinarily lasts well until end-March, early April. Indeed, a wonderful snow record makes it's one the regions most reliable performers - and quiet outside of the French and Spanish holiday seasons.

Why The Spanish Pyrenees?

Why hasn't the rest of the world discovered Spain’s finest resort? Especially considering…

It's just stunningly beautiful

The Pyrenees - is there a more starkly beautiful mountain range?

The world-class infrastructure

Huge investment over recent years means fast high-capacity lifts, so rush hour queues are almost unheard of.

Affordable heli-skiing 

Spain is one of the few European countries where you can legally heliski, and the Pyrenees has fantastic off-piste to explore. And it's a great value.

Its (not-quite) Spain

The Val D'Aran is unique, but definitely more Spanish than it is French. So that means Estrella beers, tapas and a friendly and laid-back and welcome. 

Edurne Pasaban & Kabi

Different Snow work in close partnership with famous mountaineer Edurne Pasaban (the first woman to climb all of the world's 8,000 metre peaks - very friendly, very beautiful and very Basque) and her company, Kabi. The Val D'Aran is their backyard, to which we have privileged access. 

Suggested Itineraries

Our private, tailor-made journeys offer complete freedom of choice – there are no set departure dates or prices. The following are suggested itineraries only, shown to give you a flavour of what is possible and each can be tailored to suit your preferences. When it comes to price, you tell us your budget and we'll aim to keep within this.

In each itinerary, the ski resort can be swapped around. Different Snow can include ski hire, lift passes, backcountry tours, cultural excursions and activities, accommodation and transfers ... and because we are ATOL bonded, we can also include your international flights.

The Baqueira Ski Week

Baqueira / Beret

Duration: one week

A European ski holiday...but improved with a Pyrenean twist. 

from £1,130 per person, including flights

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Pyrenean Heliski Weekend

Baqueira / Beret & Val d'Aran

Duration: 5 days

Two days heliskiing and one day exploring Baqueira / Beret. The perfect long weekend.

from £1,350 per person, including flights

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Baqueira, Barça & Heliski

Baqueira, Val d'Aran & Barcelona

Duration: 1 week

Our dream holiday - Europe's best ski resort, Europe's best city & a day (or two) heliskiing.

from £1,420 per person, including flights

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Prices are indicative only and include accommodation (low season), lift passes, transfers and – because we are ATOL-bonded – your flights from the UK. Different Snow can also include ski hire, backcountry and off-piste tours, rail passes, private transfers, English-speaking guides, cultural excursions and activities.

The Spanish Pyrenees INFORMATION

Capital:  Vielha (is the capital of Val D'Aran, not Spain obvs!)

Time zone:  GMT -1

Currency:  Euro

Language:  Aranese is the principal language spoken in the Val d'Aran, along with Catalan, Spanish & French.

Ski Season:  December to April

Largest Ski Resorts: Baqueira / Beret is the largest, though Formigal is probably more famous. We don't go to Formigal or Andorra. Nor should you.

Access:  You fly to either Toulouse in France or Barcalona in Spain. Toulouse is the closer, and it's then a two-hour transfer to the Val d'Aran - either by private transfer or hire car. Different Snow can arrange both, and also include a stay in either Toulouse or Barcalona if you which to extend your stay.

Beyond the skiing:  You are in the Pyrenees! Local flavour abounds

Places to Visit

This holiday (or long weekend) need not only be about Baqueira, which in itself is a pleasantly modern resort complex. There is the Val D'Aran in it's entirety to explore - the main town Vielha is authentic and bustling, whereas the villages of Baguerge and Arties pack in the character and charm.  

To access the region you may be traveling through Toulouse, France's fourth-largest city, the old capital of Languedoc and an enjoyable, alternative city break. Come in the spring though and you can make the three-hour transfer from Barcelona work by combining your skiing with a few days warming your bones and spirits in the Gaudi-wonderworld that is the Catalan capital.