Statistics tell you that Baqueira-Beret has 33 lifts, 120km of piste and a 1000m vertical drop, but that’s only a small part of the story. The three main areas are Baqueira, Beret and Bonaigua, with queues are almost unheard of. The skiing truly suits all standards, with decent nursery slopes for beginners, and plenty of easy cruising terrain as well as steeper slopes for advanced intermediates. The easily accessible off-piste in the Bonaigua and Beret sectors rival the best of Switzerland and France.
The lifts are modern (mainly chairs) and doorstep skiing is possible from the newer hotels. The gondola was extended in recent years to provide the main means of mountain access and takes skiers up to the mid-mountain station at 1800m. The Spanish are slow to begin skiing each morning and rush-hour queues are almost unheard of. The moderately extensive ski area covers four linked mountains that offer a substantial vertical drop. Most is given over to comfortable cruising terrain, but there are all sorts of variants, with some sharp little drop-offs at the edges of runs, and plentiful off-piste opportunities.
Couloirs and tree skiing for experts
There are five challenging itinerary runs including Escornacrabes (“Where Goats Tumble”), Baqueira’s most infamous couloir, which can test even experienced powder hounds to the full. Deth Lac de Baciver is another itinerary. Some of the best runs here are through the trees, so it would be wise to hire a guide. You can also book a day’s heli-skiing in groups of four accompanied by a UIAGM guide – it’s one of the cheapest places to do it in Europe.
There are easy green runs in the Baqueira and Beret sectors, although the quieter Pla de Beret is preferable for beginners. The other green runs are at the top of the main chair above Baqueira. Freestyler skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the good terrain park, complete with its tabletops and rails, as well as a half-pipe.
For more information see our feature Are You Bold Enough to Try Baqueira?