With skiing and boarding becoming increasingly popular in Spain, Sierra Nevada in southern Andalucia is a great option for those who want to try 'the Spanish way'. It is only 32km from the historic city of Granada. The locals take socialising just as seriously as the skiing, with long lunches, siestas and late nights being the norm. Skiing here is good value and the lift system is terrific. Unfortunately, the weather, as at the 1995 World Championships, can close down the whole resort. When the weather is fine, the skiing is excellent for beginners and intermediates (the runs are short, though) and the views are truly awesome. The ski school is not great for English speakers, as few of the instructors are fluent. There can also be large queues and crowds at weekends and on public holidays, as day-trippers pop up from the coast.
The town itself isn't overly pretty, most of it having been built in the '60s and '70s. However, there is a notable range of restaurants, bars and hotels. The nightlife is good fun, too, although it doesn't get going until late evening. The ambience is distinctly Spanish and if you want other activities to do, there's always the coast and its cities where you can soak up some culture.
Overall, the skiing can be great if the weather is favourable. Once you have adjusted to the Spanish way, you can have a skiing experience slightly different from the usual Alpine one…