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Fantastic skiing without pretension, queues or overpriced food in the ‘hidden valley’ resort of Cerler - a slice of authentic Spain but with snow. This is the perfect ski trip for families, couples or friends who appreciate space on the slopes, no queues at the lifts, and a relaxed après-ski atmosphere.
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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 we help you check-in, get you kitted up and hand over lift passes so you can get a quick start in the morning.
Each day we include two hours of private lessons/coaching to make sure you get the most out of your time here. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Full day to ski or board. The resort is every bit as good for snowboarding as it is for skiing.
Enjoy your last day on the slopes, returning your kit this evening after your last run.
Return to the airport today where you drop off your car and come home. Your flights home need to be in the afternoon in order that you can leave the resort safely in daytime.
Note: This is just an itinerary idea and we'll therefore tailor everything to you.
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
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.
This is a Pyrenees 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 its lowest, Cerler has the greatest vertical range of any Pyrenean resort. 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 to the hotel every day.
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.
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 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. This means that the amount of skiing you do in a day is 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.
Being a small Spanish village tucked away from the busy resorts, accommodation choices are somewhat limited. During your time in Cerler, you will stay in a modern 3* hotel in the village; it is not a fancy hotel by any means but it is very clean and comfortable. For larger groups of friends or families, the hotel also has apartments, which are well equipped. This gives you the flexibility to do a little self-catering, as well as dine out in the village, which has some surprisingly good restaurants. Typically we would still include your breakfasts in the hotel to save you having to deal with this each morning.
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, and makes it stand apart from your typical ski holiday. 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!
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. We would love to prepare a personalised proposal for you to consider so why not call us on 01273 676 712 and we can get started? To do this properly we want to understand the things you care about and the things you don’t need.
The holiday prices are guidelines based on two/four people sharing, and include accommodation as detailed, breakfast daily, and car hire for one driver. They also include lift passes, equipment hire (ski or board), 2 hours of private tuition daily for 6 days, and local information. 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.
International flights are quoted separately for this holiday. The most common flight routing is to fly into and out of Barcelona (airport code: BCN), though Zaragoza is also a possibility and actually nearer Cerler (airport code: ZAZ).
Departs any day to suit you, from late December through early April. The guideline price assumes two people travelling with a compact car, sharing a small hotel apartment. We can book larger cars & apartments for families as well as transfers for small groups; please contact us to discuss your needs.
Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure
The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.
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