Ski tourism. One of the tourist attractions in winter
Snow sports are consolidating their position as one of the main attractions, with an infinite number of ways to have fun.
The Pyrenees Mountain system accounts for 61.2% of visitors to ski resorts. The 2021-2022 season got off to a good start with good expectations after the first snowfalls at the beginning of December. After a Christmas period with very variable weather in which not 100% of the available slopes and lifts were in operation due to lack of snow, good expectations have been generated this January due to the new snowfall forecasts, which should help to recover the level of visitors and skiers from before the pandemic.
Ski tourism has become one of the main resources for the winter season and is particularly significant in the Girona Pyrenees, which has five ski resorts offering more than 200 kilometres of slopes and first-rate facilities and equipment. Alpine skiing, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, sledging… there are many activities available. Due to their location, tradition, conditions and services, the counties of Ripollès and Cerdanya offer an enormous range of possibilities and have become a natural territory for all those who want to make the most of the snow and this sport. They are very family-oriented ski resorts and work to link skiing with sport and leisure in a natural way. Their range of activities is so extensive that you will need days to enjoy them all. La Molina, Masella, Vallter 2000 and Vall de Núria are the benchmark for alpine skiing, and Guils Fontanera is the favourite resort for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts. The five resorts have become a point of reference, especially for the quality of their facilities and services. In addition, the connection between La Molina and Masella, with more than 135 kilometres of ski slopes, forms the most important ski area in the Pyrenees, while Vallter 2000 and Vall de Núria are the paradigm of family ski resorts, which perfectly combine attention to their users with careful preparation of their ski slopes and complementary activities. And Guils Fontanera, for its part, is highly appreciated by its skiers, who know how to appreciate the exceptional nature of a unique area that allows them to enjoy the snow in a different way, with more contact with nature and at a more leisurely pace.
Thanks to their proximity to the Costa Brava, the ski resorts of the Girona Pyrenees enjoy a mild climate and mostly clear, sunny skies, a circumstance that makes them unique in Europe and constitutes a real added value for the most comfortable skiing, and now also with all the necessary safety measures to ensure that this winter you can breathe nature safely.
Due to their uniqueness and ease of access, Girona’s ski resorts are also the venue for international competitions, such as the World Ski Championships, and are a training centre for many athletes who find in this mountain range the ideal place to prepare in the best conditions for the demanding races on the competitive calendar.
More than a century of history and the future in your hands
At the beginning of the 20th century, skiing became a new leisure and sporting activity, and La Molina has been one of the great protagonists of these one hundred years, being the oldest ski resort in Spain. This has been followed by the other resorts in Girona, which have always worked to innovate and improve the services they offer, and to provide mountain tourism with added value. Today, the ski resorts of the Girona Pyrenees have modern mobile applications that allow users to keep up to date and be well informed about everything there is to do, and there is no shortage of things to do. We’re not just talking about weather information and the state of the slopes, but also about the endless possibilities for fun in the different ski resorts in the Girona Pyrenees.
Digital ski passes to avoid congestion
One of the new measures implemented last season, which has been very well received by users, is the introduction of digital systems and mobile devices for booking and purchasing ski passes and other services to speed up procedures and reduce queues. In addition, all the safety measures and protocols can be consulted in advance on the official websites of the Girona Pyrenees ski resorts, social networks, posters, and information screens, and on the resort maps.
In general, the entire Catalan Pyrenees Mountain range offers a wide range of activities suitable for all ages and all seasons of the year. The different proposals have a notoriety and proximity to nature and architecture, as you can enjoy the natural spaces and Romanesque architecture, spa (thermal baths) and traditional gastronomy adapted to each season, although it is in winter when there is a greater concentration of visitors and sportsmen and women who want to enjoy snow tourism and skiing.
The great biodiversity of the Catalan landscape manages to extend the tourist season from the practice of winter sports, especially skiing in all its variables, and activities for the rest of the year that allow rafting, sailing both near the sea and in rivers, canyoning, hang-gliding or hot-air ballooning and climbing, to name a few. Catalonia has become a privileged destination for the practice of nature tourism and ecotourism, another activity that allows you to explore any of the two biosphere reserves in the territory (Delta del Ebro and Montseny).
In Catalonia there are different organisations and associations that promote activities in contact with nature. Nordic walking has recently become very well-known due to the increase in the number of people practising it. There are different companies and organisations that carry out leisure activities and activities to improve technique to practice Nordic walking. This sporting activity was initiated by Finnish skiers who used the technique of cross-country skiing, which they put into practice during the summer to train and be in better shape for the winter season. Cross-country skiing is recognised as one of the most health-promoting sports. Its main function is to walk. It incorporates specially designed poles for propulsion that help to walk with more speed, activating almost 90% of the body’s musculature. As technique is very important to get the most out of both the activity and the health benefits, it is necessary to practice beforehand with some classes or technical sessions in which a qualified and accredited instructor or technician provides the necessary knowledge.
In addition, different activities and outings are organised that allow you to fully enjoy Nordic walking. Among them, Bendhora has a programme of activities every season, together with practice and learning sessions or competition days.
The International Nordic Walking Federation was created in Finland in 2000. In Spain, the first entity was registered in 2005, with its headquarters in Catalonia, under the name of Associacio Esportiva Nordic Walking Catalunya, currently based in Esplugues de Llobregat (Barcelona).
Cycling, water sports, hiking, horse riding and hot air balloon flights are other proposals for active tourism in contact with nature.
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