|Baqueira-Beret ski resort|
|Written by ski|
Baqueira-Beret ski resort near Barcelona
Updated Oct 2014.
Baqueira-Beret ski resort is the biggest and most fashionable ski resort of the more than thirty ski resorts in Spain. Baqueira is in the Pyrenees mountains in the most north western corner of Catalunya with a unique location in the Val d’Aran which is the only Atlantic facing valley in the Pyrenees. This means superb skiing on an high altitude area of over 120km with 33 lifts. Baqueira-Beret is the furthest resort from Barcelona with a driving time of around four hours to cover the 300 kilometres.
Pictures Baqueira-Beret ski resort
Top Hotels in Baqueira, Spain
The town of Baqueira itself is 1500 metres above sea level. The modern lifts take you up another thousand meters to over 2500 metres on six mountain peaks and ridges. Baqueira-Beret’s Atlantic facing location high in the Pyrenees means that Baqueira-Beret usually has consistent and heavy snowfall throughout the season. You can often find two to three metres here when other ski resorts closer to Barcelona are relying on artificial snow or are still waiting for the first snowfall. The amount of snow means excellent skiing of course, but remember check the weather forecast and pack snow-chains if the forecast is snow.
The resort consists of three connected areas; Baqueira, Beret and Bonaigua. If you are staying in one of the villages outside Baqueira towards Vielha, then a good tip is to take a left turn just as you come in to Baqueira and take the 10 minute extra drive up to the Orri or Beret parking places. Beret is not a town, just an enormous parking place in valley at 1850 metres over sea level and with restaurants and lifts waiting to take you up into the Beret area of Baquiera-Beret. At Beret you can find hours of skiing for all levels with excellent beginner and intermediate runs as well some a couple of more challenging black runs off the top of the 2516m peak of Tuc Deth Dossau peak. If you want to base yourself between Baquiera and Beret then park at the Orri parking place just before Beret which gives you a choice of chair lifts to either Beret or Baqueira slopes.
The lifts in Baqueira take you up to the top of the Cap de Baqueira mountain that offers more challenge for intermediate and expert skiers with a good variety of red and black runs to choose from. From here you can ski west over towards Beret or east towards Bonaigua. The whole area of Baqueira-Beret has an abundance of off-piste or free-ride ranging from very easy right beside the pistes to very difficult. Many of the free-ride areas are visible from the pistes and lifts, providing exciting entertainment for those who prefer to stick to the pistes. The Beret area also has a wonderful nordic skiing circuit of 7km called Circuito de Fondo.
Most of the Baqueira-Beret lifts are express chairlifts, but there are still some slower three and four person chair lifts in operation. No doubt these will be replaced in the coming years. There can be slight queues on connecting lifts, but usually only a five or ten minute wait.
Baqueira-Beret is very trendy resort which attracts both the Spanish and international jetset including the Spanish royals. This means that prices are high by Spanish standards, but it's still good value compared to resorts in the Alps. Like many Spanish ski resorts Apres ski is more subdued than the Alps, partly because there is less drinking and partly because many visitors choose to stay in one of the cosy old villages many of them with lovely Romanesque churches, like Salardú, that line the valley road between Baqueira and the town of Vielha. Many also stay in Vielha itself, which is quite a large town located 14 km down the valley from Baqueira with many hotels to choose from making it a good base for skiing in Baqueira-Beret.
If you are driving up from the town of Sort then you can reach Baqueira-Beret from the opposite end of the valley – coming in past the Bonaigua station. But if there has been recent snowfall then you risk that the road from Bonaigua to Baqueira could be closed either due to snowfall or avalanche risk. You can park your car at Bonaigua and ski the whole area from there, but be aware that there are no ski rental facilities at Bonaigua and the parking place is not very big. And if the road is closed and you have hotel reservations in Baqueira or further down the valley, you will have no option but to drive the long way round, through Sort and El Pont del Suert and up to Vielha - a journey of around 3 hours. Saturdays and Sundays are naturally the busiest at Baqueira-Beret with people driving up from Barcelona for the weekend, but the area is so large that even then the pistes do not feel overcrowded.
Top Hotels in Baqueira
Hotel Mauberme in Salardu near Baqueira
Hotel Casa Irene in Arties near Baqueira
Hotel AC Marriot Baqueira
Hotels in Vielha near Baqueira
Snow report Baqueira-Beret
Driving time and distance from Barcelona
Distance from Barcelona: 329km. Driving time: 4 hours without stops
Driving route Barcelona - Baquiera-Beret
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