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Skiing Travel Guide: Alps vs Pyrenees

Stretching nearly 500km along the French and Spanish borders, from the Bay of Biscay in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east, the Pyrenees mountain ranges are home to some of Europe’s finest ski resorts. So if you’re currently scouring the web in search of your next family skiing holiday, consider venturing south of the Alps and into the intimate resorts and charming villages jotted along the mountainous border terrain of France and Spain.

Family skiing holiday in the Pyrenees

The Alps may offer a greater choice of resorts, however, the cost of accommodation, ski passes and equipment hire can be fairly expensive, particularly when you’re travelling with the whole family. The Pyrenees are often overlooked by skiers, many of whom are drawn to the big name resorts of the Alps. This spectacular range of mountains, however, offers an abundance of well-preserved villages, modern resorts and hundreds of kilometres of powder-filled slopes.

The cost, quality of accommodation, local attractions and ease of access are all important factors that weigh into any decision relating to your next family holiday. So in order to make your decision making process that little bit easier, we’ve created an infographic which compares everything from the price of a lift ticket to the highest skiable peaks in the Alps and Pyrenees.

The average price per night for a four person chalet in the Pyrenees, for instance, is roughly £60 cheaper than in the Alps, whilst a five day ski pass in the Pyrenees will cost you roughly £70 less.

Of course, both regions offer an abundance of spectacular scenery and fascinating attractions. The Alps are home Europe’s steepest railway; the Gelmerbahn. Hop aboard for a 106 per cent gradient as you scale over 1,800 meters in search of some truly captivating panoramic views. A visit to the Spanish side of the Pyrenees, meanwhile, enables you to drop by the ancient town of Jaca, home to medieval fortresses and tasty tapas dishes.

Hit the pistes of Andorra

You can also take the opportunity to visit the micro state of Andorra, the highest inhabited country in Europe, nestled deep in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain. Despite spanning less than 500 square kilometres in size, it none the less boasts over 300km of skiable slopes and the Grandvalira in Escaldes-Engordany just so happens to be the largest resort in the Pyrenees.

Pick up a car hire in Perpignan and take the scenic 2.5 hour drive west to the resort. Choose from 118 pistes and say goodbye to lengthy queues thanks to the state of the art lift systems that can whisk as many as 100,000 skiers up the mountains per hour. Oh, and did we mention that Andorra is a haven for tax free shopping?

Check out more comparisons, tips and interesting stats below and start planning your next skiing adventure today!




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