Ski season is underway!   Some of you will instantly decide this sort of activity is not for you whilst others will have waited since last year to wax your board and head off to the snow-capped peaks. 

This brought me to thinking of the old wife’s tale, surf and ski or sunbathe and ski in the same day?  If one listens or reads what the good folks who promote tourism for California tell us, then yes.  It is.  But is it?  And if it is, what can we offer here in Andalucia vs The Golden State?

The yanks like to call the sun and ski in a day thing, a TWOFER.  I am confident that those who ski, or snowboard are less interested in heading back to the beach to don their shorts.  The call of Après Ski outweighing thoughts of SPF.  However, I am also confident that some of you adventurous types will look upon the TWOFER as a rite of passage, an experience one must (experience) and therefore, the TWOFER will be on your bucket list.

There are several ski resorts we could choose to highlight our differences in Spain V America, but as we have only one mountain range in the whole of Andalucia (who needs more when it’s this good?) and those thirsty for a brain tweak, this is the southernmost skiing one can do in all of Europe.   Our mountain area is located within the Granada Province, aptly named Sierra Nevada.






Funnily enough, our American choice is also called Sierra Nevada and is in California and is very close to Nevada.  Yes, same state where some visit Las Vegas and home to the very beautiful Lake Tahoe which also offers great skiing (and gambling, lots of gambling).






Which ski area came first?  Legend has it that Granada’s own built the first ski lodge in 1912 whereas, California’s was in the mid 1930’s.    There is a difference in size, as you’d expect this is the USA, the great Golden State and its mountain tops off at 4421m in height and close to 400miles in length.  Granada’s a baby in comparison at 3478m high and just 55miles long.   Small is beautiful.

Price or value for money?  If you live in either region then both are good value, if you are flying in from say Manchester, England or Stockholm, Sweden then Granada will appeal financially, timewise and for ease of access.  A 10-12 hour flight plus airport time and a heady drive for most is not value for money at any price.   For those keeping count, Granada 2, Golden State 1.

Let’s get to it.  Sierra Nevada (Granada version) from Motril beach (a hidden gem and more on this later) is 1.5 hours door to door and I bet you can be wearing shorts or salopettes within this time.  Sierra Nevada to San Francisco is over 6 hours and thus not an exact comparison.  There are some skiing areas in Cali where you are 2 hours or so drive from beach to peak.

Having spent some time in CA, no one ever takes into consideration the parking or slow-moving traffic.  I can tell you that there’s no issues parking at Sierra Nevada or Motril and our version of time-consuming traffic would be the dead of night in California.  I say that’s 4-1.

Cost to ski?  €44 for a day pass in Granada vs what could be €189 at Heavenly in CA.  Yes, I have chosen the most expensive day pass on offer, and you could choose a resort at €100, even so.  For a thousand plus change euros, you can ski all season in Granada.   Did I mention that the season in Granada often runs in April and has in some years, ran into May?  Score, 6-1.

Given the location, ease of access of, the cost and time factor, our very own Sierra Nevada ski resort is not only better on paper, but also in the reality.  Plus, the homes here are considerably cheaper, or shall we agree, better value than CA.   I must mention this, Andalucia, Marbella, and the Costa del Sol also get more sunshine.

So, can you TWOFER in California?  Yes, you could, can and some do. I guess that it’s for the over achievers, for who would give-up a little Gin and Tonic post slope workout?  Can you TWOFER in Andalucia?  Yes. 100%.  For sure you can, and you could also play a round of golf later in the day, but that folk’s is for another time.

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