three skiers standing still looking out over valley on a baqueira beret ski slope
baqueira beret town at dusk with a church steeple dominating the scene against a backdrop of snowy mountains


Highest Lift
Kms of Piste

Baqueira Beret sits at the head of the Val d’Aran in Catalonia, and is Spain’s biggest and, many would say, best resort with 165km of ski slopes served by a modern and efficient lift system. The terrain is high – mostly over 2,000m – ensuring good snow on mountains regularly pummelled by snowstorms, with a skiable vertical of 1,100m. And then there’s the backcountry… Now Baqueira is on the Freeride World Tour, it’s no secret that Baqueira-Beret is something of a freeride haven (see the FatMap below), its location, the quality and quantity of snow, making it the best in the Spanish Pyrenees.

Baqueira, Beret, Baciver and Bonaigua make up the four ski areas of Baqueira-Beret ski resort; Baqueira is the central station where, at its base, most of the action happens, with ski schools, rental shops, hotels and a lively apres scene. With a speedy gondola and multiple chairs, many start the ski day here, though you can easily drive to and park at the Beret and Bonaigua bases. 

One of the best things about skiing Baqueira-Beret is that Spanish will likely be the only language you hear on the slopes; Spaniards skiing Spain, which means weekends are busy but with a great atmosphere, and weekdays considerably more quiet – expect the slopes to yourself. Of course, it being Spain, Baqueira is a place for eating and drinking very well, for not a lot of money. It’s tapas until dinner at 10, with more relaxed drinking and dancing to follow. Which, in turn, means late mornings for most and empty slopes for early risers. Que bueno.

Winding down the mountain from Baqueira is a string of beautiful villages, from Salardu down to popular Vielha 20 minutes away. While Baqueira has big hotels around its base area, many choose to stay in one of these small, charming villages. Each has a church, of course, with a handful of restaurants and a village life of its own. A bus is meant to go every hour, but it runs on Spanish time… Driving is by far the best way to get up to the ski hill each day. Though parking is pretty easy, with numerous huge underground carparks, it can get a little congested at the start and end of the ski day. Taxis are thin on the ground (and expensive for Spain), but thumbing a ride tends to work out well.

Baqueira is known amongst the Spanish to be the upmarket resort of the Pyrenees, the king of Spain indeed choosing to ski here, but it’s still a bargain compared to much of the Alps: a one-day ticket in Baqueira is €62 compared to Sierra Nevada at €38; Val d’Isere costs €63, Zermatt €100. And eating and drinking is considerably less than at its Alpine counterparts. There’s no shortage of local and traditional fare in Baqueira, but what sets it apart from the (Spanish) rest is its amenities; an extensive lift system, a slope-side champagne bar and modern hotels popping up around Baqueira’s base. Even Lionel Messi is opening a hotel, so it must be worth the hype…

Fall-Line’s Tips 

  •  A €6-a-day locker located under Baqueira’s lift station means you can dump skis and more easily hitch hike or catch the elusive bus
  • To avoid queueing for lift tickets in the morning, a hack would be to pick up the electronic BaqueiraTICKET from any ski hire, hotel or shop, which lets you top up/buy online and go…
  • Itinerary route to Mont Garri refuge, when snow permits, for both top skiing and food
  • Skirt the rowdy après at Baqueira Bar 1500 and head downhill 50 metres for more local après of tapas and beer at bustling bar Croak.
  • Online Ed. Katie Bamber’s all-time favourite mountain restaurant is found in Salardu village’s Taverna Eth Bot where it’s €40 a head, all-in, for free flowing table wine and a rustic set menu of three courses, in an old barely-converted barn
  • While the scope for heliskiing in the Alps is limited, in Spain you can take off, ski and land anywhere within the 400 sq/km of heli terrain, that just so happens to be right next to Baqueira, really opening up the wild Pyrenees.


How do you get to Baqueira-Beret?

The best way to reach Baqueira-Beret is by car. Once you’ve arrived in Baqueira, a car is handy, too, with poor public transport around the resort and its connecting villages. From Calais, the drive should take 12 hours (1,100km). But the quickest route is to fly and rent a car (airport transfers aren’t set up and taxis cost several hundred euros). 

Best option: Fly to Toulouse and rent a car; Baqueira is a little over a two-hour drive from Toulouse airport, but beware of city rush hour traffic which can affect the time it takes to get on the open road. The drive becomes interesting and more scenic once you’re in Spain and headed up towards the mountains.

The closest airport to Baqueira Beret is Lleida-Alguaire Airport (ILD), which is about an hour and a half drive from the resort. You can find a few flights to Lleida from London, but it’s more common to fly to Toulouse or Barcelona.

Baqueira is a four-hour drive from Barcelona.

By Train You can travel by train to Lleida, then take a bus or taxi to the resort. Buses run several times daily. Saint Gaudens train station in France is an option, still a 1.5-hour drive from Baqueira.


Resort information provided by Altitude Holidays