Winter comes but once a year, and there are few better places to enjoy the season than in Spain at Parador Artíes and Parador Vielha, located deep within the idyllic Arán Valley in the Pyrenees mountains.
Plan a winter getaway to this unique landscape and enjoy the best of the season, including outdoor fun such as hiking and skiing as well as indoor treats such as hearty wintertime Spanish cuisine.
The beauty of the Arán Valley
Parador Vielha is located in the heart of the Val D'Arán - or Arán Valley - in the northwestern part of Lérida, the very finest part of the Pyrenees. Crisscrossed by rivers that thunder down from the mountains on their way to the ocean, this region boasts spectacular waterfalls and lovely streams that sparkle in the frosty beauty of winter. Considerable snowfall used to cut this natural jewel off from the rest of Spain, but the construction of the Vielha tunnel in 1948 has now made the area and its exceptional ski slopes accessible year-round.
Few places offer visitors to the region finer lodging than this Parador, which features spectacular views of the surrounding mountains from guest room balconies and the hotel's circular restaurant alike. From here, it's just a short jaunt to Baquerira Beret, one of the world's most renowned ski resorts. If skiing doesn't tickle your fancy, head into the city of Vielha, where you can learn about regional customs at the Tordeht Generau Martinhon ethnological museum, located within a 17th-century palace, or visit the Sant Miquèu Church, home to a 12th-century Romanesque statue of Christ.
In the evening, a typical meal from the region awaits you in the Parador's restaurant, where guests can enjoy delicacies including wild boar, rabbit, venison, and sweet local crêpes prepared with cognac and vanilla.
Après ski in Artíes
Parador Artíes, also located in the AránValley, is a grand residence with sloped ceilings and wooden beams that make this hotel a cosy spot for a winter holiday. Guests don't have to go far to take it all in: the Parador offers picturesque views of the charming village of Artíes against the backdrop of the Pyrenees.
Like Parador Vielha, Artíes has excellent access to Baqueira Beret - just seven kilometres away- but its standout feature is the recently launched Dry Snow Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, the handiwork of innovative Spanish chef Javier de las Muelas. After his successes in Barcelona, Madrid, San Sebastián, Aiguablava, Palma de Mallorca and Bali, Muelas invites you to enjoy a little après-ski, or after-skiing fun, beside the roaring fireplace in this mountain refuge. Dry Snow updates regional classics, giving new spins to dishes like cheese fondue with AránValley bread, roasted meats, pates and local fish and game.
Want to book a winter getaway in Spain? Contact Paradores today.