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Worth a visit
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Skiing Cerler

Listed under Skiing in Aragon, Spain.

  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
  • Photo of Skiing  Cerler
Photo of Skiing  Cerler
Photo by Pura Aventura
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Cerler is a cracking little resort tucked away in what's known as the 'hidden valley'. It is the only valley in the Spanish Pyrenees without access from France which means that it is a long dead-end and therefore very quiet.

The resort itself is of a very good standard - 71km of runs with 18 modern lifts. Best for beginners up to upper intermediate. Experts will probably have to head off piste for their thrills.

This is the highest resort in the Pyrenees and the one with the greatest vertical drop. So, those are the headlines...what makes it special?

Well, Cerler is really a village with a ski resort attached. The people who first put the lifts in still live in the village. Everyone there has a stake in the success of the resort and that means that they like having you visit.

Within about a day of being there you will realise that your ski instructor also works behind the village bar in the evening or that the reception staff from your hotel also work in the restaurant half way up the slopes. It just means that within a short while you feel very much at home.

Here's a story from 2007. A client of ours drops his passport high on the slopes without realising. Someone picks it up and sees that it's a UK passport. They ask around, the only Brits who come to Cerler come with Pura Aventura so their guide will be Jaime Lahoz. The passport is given to the woman behind the counter in the cafe. She hands it to Jaime when he comes in a few minutes later. Jaime gives it back to the client. The whole process took less than 15 minutes and the client knew nothing about it. Until he got his passport back he didn't know it was missing. This particular client lives in Chamonix and was particularly astounded.

The pistes are not crowded - in fact, as of 2008 if you stand in a queue for more than 5 minutes you get your lift pass refunded for the day. I don't know anyone who has yet managed to get past 2 minutes.

There really are no queues, there is nobody buzzing past you being aggressive, it's just people enjoying the snow and everyone's welcome - the good, the bad and the ugly.

It's Spain so not only is the food really good, you don't get ripped off either. Even in the cafe half way up, a good sandwich and drink for lunch will set you back around €4.

At night, eating in the village is a joy - there are three or four restaurants in the old medieval part of the village which serve really high quality food at sensible prices.

So, that's it. Great resort, friendly people, no aggressive prats, delicious food and pretty much nobody speaks English.

Written by  Thomas Power.

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