Skiing Baqueira Beret & The Val D´Aran - Skiing in Spain
Baqueira Beret - The Val d’Aran is located in the Pyrenees, in the province of Lleida. It is an unique valley with an Atlantic climate and especially favoured for the quality of its snow. The Rivers Garonne and Noguera Pallaresa have their sources in the Pla de Beret.
Baqueira Beret and Val d'Aran - Skiing in Spain: Baqueria Beret and Val d’Aran are located in the Pyrenees in Spain, in the province of Lleida. The valley Val d'Aran that is the home to the ski resort Baqueira Beret is an unique skiing location surrounded by stunning peaks that offers superb skiing and winter sports in the heart of Europe.
Baqueira Beret and Val d'Aran: Baqueria Beret and Val d’Aran are located in the Pyrenees in Spain, in the province of Lleida. The valley Val d'Aran that is the home to the ski resort Baqueira Beret is an unique location surrounded by stunning peaks, some of them 3,000 meters above sea-level, with over 200 lakes. Some, such as the Mar or the Tort de Riu, are among the largest in the Spanish Pyrenees. The extensive forests in Val d'Aran contain pines, firs and beeches.
The Val d’Aran preserves and maintains its rich artistic-cultural heritage, with its many churches: Salardu, Arties, Vielha, Bossost. The much admired carvings of Romanesque images such as the Christ of Salardu, Casarilh and Vielha. Or the unique baptismal basins of Arties, Vilac or Vilamos and works of art that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, making up a much prized artistic heritage.
The villages of the Val d’Aran, with their characteristic architecture, feature buildings made of stone, slate, and wood, and stand out particularly for their Romanesque and Gothic churches.
One particular feature of the Val d’Aran is its language, Aranese. It is a live language spoken daily by its people. It belongs to the Occitan language branch and it is a variant of the Gascoigne de Cominges tongue, although it retains its own distinctive personality.
Another feature of the Val d’Aran is its rich cuisine. Being a frontier valley, Aranese cuisine is very influenced by French cuisine although it also has its own typical dishes, such as the well-known “Olla Aranesa” (Aranese Stew).
THE VALLS D´ANEU
The Valls d’Aneu are valleys bordering with the Val d’Aran. Located in the borough of Alt Aneu, they are almost an extension of the Aranese lands, after crossing natural obstacles such as the Bonaigua Pass and the foothills of the National Park of Sant Maurici and Aigüestortes. The continuity in the landscape and their clearly Pyrenean character give these valleys their beautiful scenery.
The Valls d’Aneu offer a variety of treasures. Along with their physical charm and their unique landscape, there are other features worth mentioning. The cuisine, sports, art and culture have helped shape these valleys' unique character. Their closeness to the Val d’Aran makes it easy for visitors to travel between one area and the other.
Along with the typical constructions of Pyrenean architecture, with stone walls and slate roofs, these valleys are dotted with Romanesque churches in their purest form, with magnificent examples of religious art and architecture. For example, the parish church of Sant Lliser in Alos d’Isil, the church of Saint John in Isil or the church of Sant Just and Sant Pastor in the small hamlet of Son. These are some of the most characteristic buildings, and their artistic treasures, many of which are now exhibited in the Museu d’Art de Catalunya (Catalonian Museum of Art) in Barcelona, are among the greatest exponents of the Romanesque period.
Baqueira Beret - THE PAST AT A GLANCE
Since the first chairlift was opened on 6 December 1964, BAQUEIRA/BERET has undergone significant growth.
The Reina chairlift was opened in December 1982, after seven years of negotiations, and was the first lift in the Beret area.
In December 1985, the Dossau chairlift concluded the first stage of the development of Beret.
In 1988, the skiable domain in Baqueira was expanded with the opening of the new area of Argulls, equipped with three three-seater chairlifts that give access to 150 hectares of skiable surface area. Argulls is the part of the resort that accumulates most snow and the entire area consists solely of pastureland.
1990 marked the largest investment made in a single season, with the implementation of the artificial snow system covering the main skiing areas in Baqueira and the opening of second four-seater detachable chairlift, “Mirador”, taking skiers to the Cap de Baqueira from the 1,800m elevation in only 7 minutes.
The major novelty during the 92/93 season was the preparation of the new Cara Nord/Cascada slope, which descends from the Cap de Baqueira to the 1,500m elevation at Baqueira, adding 5,5 km of length with a height difference of almost 1,000 meters, and equipped with 60 snow guns.
In 1994, BAQUEIRA BERET opened a new gateway to its slopes, with a services complex and the “Bonaigua” chairlift through the Bonaigua Pass, connecting with another valley: the Vall d’Aneu and another county, Pallars Sobirà.
In 1995, the artificial snow system was installed in Beret and, in 1997, the system was extended between Baqueira and Beret to guarantee their connection.
In 1998, the resort’s first six-seater detachable chairlift, the new Pla de Baqueira, was opened, replacing a two-seater with the same name. It has capacity for carrying 3,000 people/hour. With its 1,800-m length and the remodelling of the Mirador and Pla de Baqueira slopes, it was now possible to ski more in Baqueira and redistribute skiers from other areas.
In 1999, the resort's second six-seater detachable chairlift, “Dera Reina”, was installed in Beret, improving the skiing quality in this area and facilitating connection with Baqueira.
In 2000, the detachable four-seater “Blanhiblar” chairlift and the “Costarjas” ski lift were opened in Beret, opening up an immense off-slope skiable domain. The new “Dera Mina” chairlift in Argulls gave access to several steep runs and “couloirs” for expert skiers. In total, another 100 hectares of skiable domain were opened up.
In 2001, the capacity of the Audeth Cafeteria in Beret was doubled . The project included an extension of the Bar and a new restaurant building. A new building for ski rental was also opened in Beret.
In 2002, the historic Luis Arias ski tow was dismantled and replaced by a spectacular black slope. Two important projects were also approved: the construction work for the extension towards Bonaigua, with a new access from Alt Aneu, and the construction work for the new car park at 1,500 meters, which will have 1,500 parking spaces.
Baqueira Beret’s new office was opened in Vielha.
In 2003, the first phase of the extension of the Bonaigua area was completed with three new chairlifts (two detachable four-seaters: La Peülla and Bonaigua, and one two-seater: Cap del Port), three slopes (La Peülla, Pleta del Duc and Cresta de Bonaigua) and two mountain itineraries (Gerber and Lo Boscàs). The new services complex at Bonaigua 1900 was also opened.
In 2004, the detachable chairlift Era Cabana at Baqueira 1800 was opened. This gave access to three new blue slopes: Era Cabana, Era Coma and Ta Orri. At Bonaigua, a set down point was built for beginners at the Cap de Port chairlift to provide access to a new slope: Debutants. The skiable domain was also increased in the Peülla area with the construction of four new slopes: Cap a Baqueira (blue), Les Paletes and Bosc de la Peülla (red), La Perdiu (red) and La Pala Gran (black).
The main novelty in 2005 was the installation of the resort’s first gondola lift. The Baqueira gondola lift, with 78 9-seater gondolas, starts from the 1500 m elevation and ascends to the 1800 m elevation alongside the Bosque chairlift. The Baqueira 1900 beginners area was completely redesigned. The Pastores ski tows were dismantled and the Rabada ski tow and the conveyor belts were moved to a more convenient location for skiers.
In 2006, the beginners area at Baqueira 1800 was completely redesigned, installing 3 covered conveyor belts, the first of the kind to be installed in Spain, and enclosing the area with a perimeter fence. In addition to considerably improving ski practice for children and beginners, pedestrian access to the gondola lift from the Bosque cafeteria was also improved. The Bonaigua 2072 services area was expanded and improved. The green slope Era Coma was created at the Cabana area.
The new developments carried out in 2007 were focussed on optimising the snow production system, with a new 200,000 m3 water collection point from the Ruda River, and the replacement of 150 snow guns with other guns incorporating state-of-the-art technology, together with a new air compressor at Beret. Construction of the access roundabouts at Baqueira 1500 and the perimeter road was completed. Lastly, the new car park at the Val de Ruda residential development was partly opened to the public.
In 2008 the work was finished for improving the accesses from Pallars with new alternate routes from Guingueta d’Aneu to Mare de Deu de les Ares and another which connected Sorpe with Boren. The new Roda underground parking lot was fully opened with a total of 1,400 parking spaces and direct access to the Baqueira cabin lift. A new storage area was opened with ski storage lockers below the lower station of the cabin lift. The new stretch of the cabin lift came into operation, connecting the Ruda Holiday Resort and the new parking lot to the ski slopes. Two new five-star hotels and a four-star one were opened in the Ruda Holiday Resort.
Baqueira Beret: 2009-2010 SKI SEASON NEWS
Ski lifts: The oldest chairlift in the resort has been removed: the Horat deth Bò. This is the first phase towards the installation of the future Luis Arias chairlift that will go from Orri to Cap de Baqueira.
The La Choza chairlift has been remodelled. The run of this chairlift has been shortened so that it now takes less than 10 minutes to get to the top and it arrives at the same place where the Horat deth Bò ended before. It will fulfil the same function that the chairlift that has been removed, giving access to Baqueira from the entrance of the ski resort via Orri and to skiers who arrive from Beret.
Ski slopes: The most noteworthy change with regards to the ski slopes is the extension of the arrival area of the Pla de Baqueira chairlift. Its surface area has been doubled to be able to cater for the skiers coming off the chairlift itself and for those who come skiing down from Cap de Baqueira. This extension was made possible by removing the upper station of the La Choza chairlift, leaving a large skiable area. We have also recovered the Perdiu Blanca ski run that joins the Os and Mirador slopes.
Machines for grooming the slopes: 5 snow packing machines have been replaced with new more powerful ones that improve the packing capacity by 20%. Two of these are fitted with a winch to allow for preparing the steepest slopes.
Parking lots: The Ruda underground parking lot will be free of charge for the entire 2009/2010 season.
New services: The Ruda hotels at the 1,500 metre level, which were opened last season, expand their range with many new services.
The range of services that customers can order have expanded, so that they can make their booking “a la carte”. In addition to the traditional 5 or 7 day packages, there is now a range of booking options (flexi ski for 3 to 7 or more days) with additional services such as equipment rental, skis storage, infant care facilities, etc.
Novelty: “Midday Ski Course” from 12:00h to 15:00h.
Significant improvement in the accesses to the ski resort from Pallars
The improvement in the accesses from Pallars has been completed with a new alternative route from Guingueta d’Aneu to Mare de Deu de les Ares and another one connecting Sorpe to Boren.
Removal of the Horat deth Bo chairlift and remodelling of the La Choza chairlift, which will fulfil the same function. This initiative has allowed for the expansion and improvement of the ski slopes it gives access to.
Recovery of the old Perdiu Blanca ski slope, which is so well appreciated by customers.
The skiable area in the vicinity of the arrival area of the Pla de Baqueira chairlift has been doubled.
A heavy investment in the department of ski slope grooming equipment with the purchase of five new last-generation machines.
The Ruda underground parking lot will continue to be free of charge for the entire 09/10 skiing season.
Booking “a la carte”, by which ski courses, passes, equipment rental, ski storage, and infant day care facilities can be ordered all together.
Conclusion of the improvement of the accesses to the ski resort from Pallars.
New: Opening in Vielha of Pension Vicenta ** (20 rooms), at Esterri d’Aneu of Posada d’Aneu (14 double rooms and 5 suites) and at Llavorsi of Hotel Riberies *** (34 double rooms).
The Val d´Aran provides accommodation for 33.033 visitors. Hotels, casas de pagés (farmhouses), boarding houses, hostels, apartments, houses and chalets make up the extensive range of accommodation options for all visitor profiles.
HOTEL ACCOMMODATION for 11.033 people, with a total of 67 hotels (4 5-star, 13 4-star, 17 3-star, 26 2-star, and 7 1-star), together with apartments, apartment hotels, boarding houses, hostels, and “casas de pagès”. Accommodation for about 4.000 people is located within walking distance to the ski lifts.
RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION for 22,000 people, consisting of second homes, in the various villages of the Val d'Aran or in the ski resorts. They are mostly used during weekends and during the Christmas, New Year or Easter holidays.
ACCOMMODATION IN THE VALLS D’ANEU
The access to the Baqueira/Beret resort by the Bonaigua Pass enables us to increase our hotel accommodation by connecting it with the Valls d’Aneu, in the Pallars Sobirà county, and its network of hotels, hostels and apartments distributed among its villages.
TECHNICAL DATA – 2009/2010 SEASON
Height difference: 1,010m (base elevation 1,500m, summit elevation 2,510m)
Marked slopes: 110 km
Ski slopes: 71 (6 black, 26 red, 34 blue, 5 green)
Itineraries: 4 (10.2 km)
Snow park: 1
Cross-country skiing: One 7-km circuit (with possibility of extending to 25 km)
Slalom stadium: 1
Snow guns: 546
Area covered by artificial snow: 36 km
Total ski lifts: 32ç
Gondola lift: 1 (1x9 seats)
Chairlifts: 19 (2 x 6 seats, 6 x 4 seats, 7 x 3 seats, 4 x 2 seats)
Ski tows: 5 (3 x 1 person, 1 x 2 people, and 1 bunny rope)
Conveyor belts: 55.583 people / hour
Ski rental and repair shops: 5
Machines for slope levelling: 14
Total parking spaces: 4.877 cars, 35 buses
Cafeterias and restaurants located on the slopes: 15
Children's snow parks: 4
Medical care points on the slopes: 2
1 Private medical centre at Baqueira 1,500
423 ski monitors
Residential area within the resort complex, including: hotels, apartments, restaurants, discotheques and hopping centres
SKI AND APRÈS-SKI - BAQUEIRA BERET NON STOP
Few ski resorts can offer so wonderful skiing conditions and such an extensive and varied assortment of après-ski activities.
Guided tour of the resort Programme of special activities for people on courses (reception cocktail, picnic on the slopes, etc.) Special Christmas activities (classic music concert, night descents with flaming torches, etc.)
Special Carnival programme
Excursions with snow shoes
Visits to places of cultural interest in the Val d’Aran.
Dog-sledge rides over the Pla de Beret
Horseback riding and excursions
Thermal baths in Banys de Tredós and in the thermal springs of Baronía de Les
Excursions to Montgarri with the possibility of lunch or dinner at the Refuge
Heli-skiing and panoramic helicopter flights
Ice skating, heated pools and gymnasium in Vielha
Museums in Vielha, Vilamos and Bagergue
Film theatre in Vielha
Golf course in Salardú (open from April to October)
Our range of après-ski activities also includes a selection of restaurants featuring typical Aranese, French or International cuisine, as well as Pizzerias and Creperies. And you can round off the night with a drink at one of the many bars and discotheques in Baqueira Beret and the Val d'Aran.