Pyrenees Ski Holiday

Independent skiing in Cerler | View photos »

Fantastic skiing without pretension, queues or overpriced food in the ‘hidden valley’ resort of Cerler, a slice of authentic Spain but with snow. This self-guided trip includes private lessons, lift passes and kit hire.

Customisable trip from 7-8 days » i

Prices from £850 - £950 per person

Map of the area

"Friendly and unspoilt"

"Friendly and unspoilt"

The village is friendly and unspoilt with unpretentious local restaurants serving delicious food. We can't imagine finding a better skiing experience elsewhere. Chris S

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Sample itinerary

Travel to the Pyrenees

Fly to either Zaragoza or Barcelona where you pick up your car. The drive up to Cerler takes around 2.5 hours from Zaragoza, closer to 3.5 from Barcelona. Cerler is in what’s known as the ‘hidden valley’, access is by one road that cuts through a gorge. The drive is quite scenic, especially as you approach the heart of the Pyrenees. On arrival you will meet up with a Pura guide who will help you check in, get you kitted up and hand over lift passes.

Get skiing!

Lifts are open from 9am to around 5pm daily but we usually start at around 10am for the best conditions. Both skiers and boarders are very well catered to in Cerler. The café at Cota 2000 is really the hub of the resort, everyone ends up back there periodically. There are terraces where you can sit out and watch the slopes ahead of you.It also means that if you want to split up to for a while, it is easy to meet back up again.

Ski and relax

With 71km of skiable runs on 60 pistes, served by 18 lifts, Cerler is great for a wide range of skiing abilities. Relax this afternoon after skiing. The village is easy and safe to explore on foot, though there’s little by way of entertainment besides snow- based activities and a handful of bars and restaurants. There is a great little bar in the heart of the village which tends to act as a social hub (from 8yrs to 80yrs) which has table football and a pool table and a good restaurant upstairs.

Ski and relax

The lifts are a 5-10 minute walk away from the hotel, across the village. People either walk or you can drive the short distance to the lifts each morning. Because this valley is really not known outside Spain, you will find prices for meals and drinks are very reasonable. Good quality and good value lunches can be taken in the heart of the resort or down in the village. Some return to the slopes afterwards, others choose to spend the mid-afternoon just relaxing.

Ski and relax

In the event that the weather closes in, we’ll do our best to give you options. You might like to have a relaxed day down in the town of Benasque, try snowshoeing, or just relaxing. Sometimes, if bad weather is localised, we can help you find another nearby resort which is open. We have occasionally used the resort of Baqueira/Beret which is about 1½hrs away by road.

Ski and relax

Full day to ski or board. The resort is every bit as good for snowboarding as it is for skiing.

Ski and relax

Enjoy your last day on the slopes, returning your kit this evening after your last run.

Travel home

Return to the airport today where you drop off your car and come home.

About this trip

Summary

Fantastic skiing without pretension, queues or overpriced food in the ‘hidden valley’ resort of Cerler, a slice of authentic Spain but with snow. This self-guided trip includes private lessons, lift passes and kit hire.

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How adventurous?

Activity
1 2 3 4 5
Comfort
1 2 3 4 5
Culture
1 2 3 4 5

Physical adventure

This is a ski holiday so the focus is, naturally enough, on the ski slopes. Cerler is a great environment for both skiers and boarders. The trip is great for couples, friends or families of pretty much any skill level - in fact it is particularly good for mixed ability groups because of the physical layout of the slopes. Cerler has 71km of terrain, 60 pistes and 18 lifts. With 1,140m between the resort's highest point and it's lowest, Cerler has the greatest vertical range of any Pyrenean resort.

For improving beginners and intermediate skiers
returning after a long break, there is a really pretty
piste that runs down from the heart of the resort at
Cota 2000. It has lots of variety, is nice and wide, and
you’re based in the heart of the resort, not stuck out
of the way.

For intermediate to good skiers, there is a huge choice
of long and varied blue and red runs. One of the
beauties of Cerler skiing is that from almost any point
in the resort you’ll have a good choice of routes to
take depending on your mood and conditions.

For the more advanced or adventurous skiers, there is
plenty of more challenging skiing on piste and trails,
especially on the Ampriu side of the resort.
Cerler has the biggest skiable descent in the
Pyrenees: over 1,100m from the top of Gallinero down
to the bottom of El Molino without having to stop to
take a lift. It takes a bit of stamina, but you’re
rewarded with a glorious descent.

The slopes are generally very quiet and you have
plenty of room to go at your own pace. There is none
of the barging, posing and frenetic energy which
characterises many resorts.

The lift infrastructure is mostly very modern. Lift passes are smart cards which stay in your pocket to can as you pass through the turnstiles onto a lift. There are rarely queues at the lifts in Cerler so you can explore freely without having to worry about waiting in line. The amount of skiing you do in a day is therefore determined by your appetite, not the time wasted queueing and jostling.

The amount of time you do or don't spend on the pistes is therefore up to you. It should be said that Cerler, being so high, can suffer from buffeting by high winds leading to closure. When this is the case you can either sit out a day or head about an hour to the north and the larger resort of Baqueira-Beret which, being north facing, has a different weather pattern.

During your time in Celer, you will stay in a modern 3* hotel in the village, it is not a fancy hotel by any means but it is clean and comfortable. From the hotel to the bottom slopes is a 5 minute walk or so. We always keep ski equipment at the store by the bottom lift so you don't have to lug gear back and forth.

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Cultural adventure

This is a ski holiday so culture isn't the major deciding factor. And yet, it's the very 'Spanishness' of Cerler which makes it so special. Rather than a ski resort with a village/town attached, this is very much a real Spanish village with a ski resort attached. Indeed, it was the residents of the village who decided to start the resort - heading up into the hills some decades back with shovels and pick axes to place the beginnings of the ski lifts.

Cerler is unique in the Spanish Pyrenees in that there is no pass into France. It makes it an effective dead end, only accessed from the south. This means that it is much quieter than other resorts in the mountains. It is also rare to come across anyone who isn't Spanish on the slopes. Which is what gives it the friendly, unpretentious and relaxed atmosphere.

It also means that the food you eat both on the slopes, and down in the village, is of a high standard and sensible price, as you would expect in Spain but in stark contrast to many other ski resorts.

You are welcomed on arrival in the resort to receive your lift passes, equipment and to be helped to get your bearings. It won't be long before you are rubbing shoulders with the locals in the only bar in the village!

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Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Practicalities

There is a detailed itinerary for this trip, in the form set out above. Please get in touch and we can email that to you.

However, as a tailor made trip, in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you, we really need to discuss things with you first to find out how many of you there are, experience levels, when you want to travel, etc.

In the form set out above, the holiday price includes accommodation, rental car, breakfasts, lift passes and equipment rental. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best flight routings are to and from Barcelona (airport code: BCN).

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Prices from

£850 - £950 pp

Customisable trip length

7-8 days

Next steps...

Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure

01273 676712

or request a callback »

The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

rated 92% excellent

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