OVSC/LSSC Trip to Granada/Sierra Nevada and Torremolinos, Spain
March 10 - 19, 2018
Trip Cost $2,399 via check, $2,475 via PayPal
Extension to Barcelona March 19 - 23, Cost $839 via check, $865 via PayPal
Granada and Sierra Nevada in Brief……
Granada’s dramatic alpine backdrop is the Sierra Nevada range, which extends about 75km from west to east and into Almería province. Its wild snow-capped peaks include the highest point in mainland Spain, while the lower reaches of the range, known as Las Alpujarras (sometimes just La Alpujarra), are dotted with tiny scenic villages. From July to early September, the higher elevations offer wonderful multiday trekking and day hikes. Outside of this period, there’s risk of seriously inclement weather, but the lower Alpujarras are always welcoming, with most snow melting away by May. The 862-sq-km Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada, Spain’s largest national park, is home to 2100 of Spain’s 7000 plant species, among them unique types of crocus, narcissus, thistle, clover, poppy and gentian. Andalucía’s largest ibex population (about 5000) is here, too, frolicking above 2800m. Surrounding the national park at lower altitudes is the Parque Natural Sierra Nevada, with a lesser degree of protection. Along the southern edge of the protected area, Las Alpujarras is a 70km-long jumble of valleys along the southern flank of the Sierra Nevada. It is a beautiful, diverse and even slightly strange place. Its landscape of arid slopes, deep crags and egg-white villages look as if they were spilled onto the mountainside, the towns on the mountain’s lower belts simmer with spiritual seekers, long-term travelers and rat-race dropouts, while the higher villages have a disorienting timelessness. Even the most-visited Alpujarran towns are appealing, as the villages’ Berberstyle flat-roofed houses and the winding lanes between them look out on hillsides that have been carefully terraced and irrigated since the earliest Moorish times. With well-trod footpaths connecting each settlement, it’s a delightful area to explore on foot. Torremolinos is a Mediterranean resort town on southern Spain's Costa del Sol, known for its sandy beaches such as El Bajondillo and La Carihuela. Nightlife, dining and shopping are centered on Calle San Miguel. Away from the beachfront and its high-rise hotels are several golf courses and amusement parks, as well as pockets of traditional Andalusian culture such as the village of El Calvario.
There are few places in the world where you can ski in the morning then head to the coast for a swim in the afternoon, but the proximity of Sierra Nevada to the Med allows this. Don't be fooled into thinking that the skiing will be second rate either. 21 lifts serve 107 km of piste at the Sierra Nevada but it can get busy at the weekends with bottlenecks at the lifts. The pistes lend themselves to the intermediate but there is ample off-piste skiing for the advanced riders. Off the pistes, there are some good restaurants and lively bars. If you get bored or the snow is not as good in the Sierra Nevada, just head for a beach! A halfpipe was added to the snowpark Sulayr in 2011 (165m long and 6m high). It is the biggest in Spain. The snow junior world championship was celebrated in this park. It is the longest Slopestyle line in Europe with over 77 different obstacles and up 46 possible in any one run!
Just some of the Winter Activities available……..
Sierra Nevada Ski Area
Six Ski Areas – Veteta, Laguna De Las Yeguas, Borreguiles, Lomar de Dilar, Rio Monavhil, Parador
Features of the Area
As one of Europe's highest resorts it is very snowsure and typically has a long season. Traditionally the season starts around the end of November running through to the first week of May. The longest season on record was the winter of 2008/9 which ran from the 15th November 2008 until the 17th May 2009. Sierra Nevada literally means "Snowy Mountain Range" and it includes some of the highest peaks in Europe, not to mention the highest concentration of peaks over 3,000m in the country. The Mulhacen at 3,482m is the Iberian Peninsula's highest.
The ski terrain is majestically overlooked by the jagged glacier-formed Veleta peak at 3,398m, Spain's third highest after Aneto (3,404m) in the Pyrenees. Due to the altitude, the ski slopes are above the tree line and generally take the form of ski fields rather than narrow prepared tracks - something that favours the more nervous skier in particular as well as generally giving a sense of confidence all round, especially for off piste fanatics!
The Sierra Nevada ski resort offers its visitors a wide and ever expanding range of facilities as well as a ski terrain to suit skiers and boarders of all standards.
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Continue your time in Spain with a stay in one of Europe’s most fascinating cities! There’s a guided city tour to get you started, then time to explore on your own!
Barcelona is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in the Kingdom of Spain, as well as the country's second most populous municipality, with a population of 1.6 million within city limits. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.7 million people, being the sixthmost populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.
Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.
Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world. Now it is leading Spain in both employment rate and GDP per capita change. In 2009 the city was ranked Europe's third and one of the world's most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, and the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port,, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 40 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.