Coronavirus / Covid-19 Measures
- Masks mandatory in all lifts and ski buses
- Masks mandatory at restaurants, ski rental and shops
The Ski Resort
Opened in the 1970s, the Valdezcaray ski area in the west of the Rioja region has since developed into a modern winter sports resort, which with just under 22 kilometres of pistes is popular with skiers, especially for a day trip. In 2002, the piste facilities were completely renovated and new slopes and service buildings were built.
The ski area is located in the Iberian Mountains on the north side of San Lorenzo. The mountain is the highest point in Rioja with an altitude of 2,260 metres! The valley station is located about 15 kilometres from the small town of Ezcaray, with no independent resort in the valley. From here you can take the two chairlifts La Cascada or Valdezcaray to the top. Especially for beginners the lower area is suitable with five very easy slopes, which also offer enough choice with lengths from 65 to 1,100 metres.
Those who have more experience on the boards, lift from the service station Cota 1,530 m further. The Rehoyo chairlift provides access to a variety of slopes, from the easier Los Tubos (G) to the more challenging Las Rocas (V). The Salegares lift also takes skiers up another very easy run on this slope, the eponymous Salegares run (D).
The best way for professionals to get to the highest point of the resort is from the top of the Rehoyo lift at Cota 1800m. To do so, take the Campos Blancos chairlift, where the black-marked Pala Fuerte (K) and La Ese (N) runs start at an altitude of 2,125 metres. The longest run in the resort, Campos Blancos (J), also runs here, where the La Solana (L) route branches off for all the professionals. Finally, the Coloccobia chairlift completes the offer for all winter sports enthusiasts. It starts at Cota 1800 m and leads to two easy and one difficult slope as well as a route.
- The vertical drop from summit to base is 1952 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in Spain is 1801 ft. The ski resort takes you to an elevation of 6972 ft.
- The day pass at Valdezcaray is €29 making it one of the 10 cheapest ski Resorts in Spain.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
There are three places to stop in the ski area: In the valley (Cota 1530 m), at the middle station (Cota 1620 m) and at the top station (Cota 1800 m). Here you can enjoy dishes from the spit, tapas or a sandwich.
The longest run of the ski area, Campos Blancos (J), starts at the highest point of the ski area and goes down for two kilometres.
After skiing, it is worth visiting the nearby town of Ezcaray, which has a long history. Walking through the streets, visitors will find many old buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the palace of Archbishop Barroeta or the Palacio Ángel, as well as the former royal cloth factory. Santo Domingo, known for its location on the Way of St. James, is also worth a visit with its cathedral.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
At the valley station you can meet at Cota 1530 m for a drink after the last descent. In a good 20 minutes you can also reach Ezcaray, which offers several bars. You can enjoy a glass of wine at Bar Veritas or order a cocktail at Bar Roypa.
Dining and Restaurants
In Ezcaray, the only restaurant in the region with two Michelin stars awaits gourmets. El Portal de Echaurren reinterprets traditional dishes in a variety of menus. Casa Masip serves regional dishes in a homely atmosphere with wooden floors and stone walls. Rioja specialties are also available at Palacio Azcárate. As the region is best known as a wine-growing area, it is also worth visiting the restaurant El Rincón Del Vino, which is known not only for its good food but also for its generous wine list with regional wines.
Infrastructure & Rental
Coming from Madrid, take the A1 to Burgos. There change to the N120 and drive to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. From here, take the LR111 to Ezcaray, where the LR416 enters the ski area.
If you are coming from Barcelona, first take the AP7 and then the AP2 to Zaragoza. Here change to the A68 and continue to Logroño. Then take the A12 to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Continue as described above.
By public transport
The nearest train station is in Logroño. There are also long-distance buses from Madrid or Barcelona that go to the region. From Santo Domingo de la Calzada there is a direct bus line to the ski resort via Ezcaray.
The nearest airport is 90 kilometres away in Logroño-Agoncillo.