The Sierra Nevada is located in the Penibetic mountain range in Andalucia. It is home to Europe's southernmost ski resort and is endowed with the peninsula's highest summits. The Solynieve ski resort is situated in the municipalities of Monachil, Guejar Sierra and Dilar near Granada's Costa Tropical (about 60 kilometres) and the Costa del Sol (150 kilometres). The resort's village, Pradollano, is at an altitude of 2,100 meters.
Pradollano - The resort village
Solynieve's village area has been greatly enhanced thanks to the construction of new alpine-style buildings and the environmental embellishment programme. One of the village's most important features is the four-storey underground parking complex with a capacity of 2,880 cars. Pradollano offers a variety of services including quality hotels in a range of categories, ski lodges, apartments, restaurants featuring local Andalucian and international cuisine, tearooms, sundecks, crepe and croissant shops, night clubs, pubs and bars, discotheques etcetera. A new medical centre, child day-care centre, banks with ATM's, supermarkets, sports and fashion boutiques, gift shops, magazine and newspaper kiosks, ski rental, photo-developing services, hairdressers, car rental, taxi service, pharmacy, church services, among others are available at the resort.
Ski area services
A major investment has been made in the resort's snow-making system, considered Spain's largest and one of Europe's best such facilities. Even in the case of a complete lack of snowfall, Solynieve has guaranteed the opening of the resort thanks to its excellent snow-making system. Recently the system was expanded in the upper part of the El Zorro ski course. Currently, Sierra Nevada has 200 cannons, 13 low pressure and 187 high pressure units producing 1,940 cubic meters of snow per hour, along 25 linear kilometres and 23 runs.
Snow conditions may vary depending on snowfall, but Sierra Nevada is famous for its snow grooming. Professional rangers or monitors are located throughout the snow area. Part of their job is to examine the slopes before the public opening and closing. The ski area crew uses snowmobiles for rapid transportation and its members are trained to give first aid in the case of emergency.
Four on-slope quality restaurants are available and there are a number of ski schools offering weekly courses and après ski activities. The following schools are located in Borreguiles, near the beginners area: Escuela Española de Esqui, Escuela Oficial de Esqui and Escuela Internacional. Solynieve also provides ski rental services.
Located in the Al-Andalus upper gondola station is the Rossignol Test Centre where one will find sunscreen, sunglasses, ski rental, a checkroom for storing personal objects and the famous Rossignol brand skis. A unique way to enjoy the snow in the resort is to take a dog sled ride. Finally, a skier information centre is located in Borreguiles in the control tower (Torre de Control), where the ski area crew may be notified in case of emergency.
One of Solynieve's most exciting features, night skiing, was introduced in 1994 with lighting along the El Rio slope and a few years later the Slalom course. Skiing and lift schedules are established according to the time of sunset. However, a minimum of an extra two hours of skiing will be available along a freshly groomed course.
Solynieve is Spain's pioneer resort in snowboarding. The sport has gained in popularity and the resort is working to promote this new discipline. An on-slope half pipe was built for surfers, which will be available depending on snow conditions. Specialised snowboarding shops and schools are also available in the resort. In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding, Sierra Nevada offers many other winter sports including cross-country skiing, artistic skiing (ballet, jumps, moguls), trekking and adventure skiing.