Ski + Snowboard

Ski Vacations for Beach Lovers

by Sarah Tuff

The Sierra Nevada and Costa del Sol, Spain

Chill out: Pack the sunglasses. Serious, oversize ones. The sun seems to shine nearly all spring long (and especially in April) in Spain's Sierra Nevada, while the altitude of 10,000 feet adds to the intensity—and the feeling of lightheaded happiness. Want fresh tracks on some of the 115 runs? Act like an American and rise early. Spaniards tend to ease into their ski days, leaving lots of fluffy powder for the rest of us. But if you adopt the leisurely locals' other tradition—calling it a day after a couple of runs—you'll be able to make it to the beach by late afternoon.

Heat things up: Get rid of the goggle lines and bronze the rest of the body, too, at the seaside resort of Marbella, on the aptly named Costa del Sol, about a two-hour drive southwest of the Sierra Nevada. Drop your bags at the charming Villa Marbella in the Old Town before making a beeline for the beach. Sun-kissed instructors from Marbella Water Sports operate speedboats to drag all manner of objects over the water, such as oversize disks and giant rafts that fit six people apiece. Begin with a simple lesson in water-skiing, marveling at how different it feels to slide over liquid.

Sierra Nevada Ski Resort
Tel: 34 915 48 44 00
Lift tickets from $45

Marbella Water Sports
Tel: 34 663 776 752


La Villa Marbella
10 Calle Principe
Marbella, Spain
Tel: 34 952 766 220
Rooms from $125

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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