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Swapping sunglasses for ski goggles in Marbella

MApres ski Sierra Nevadaarbella may be renowned for its enviable climate and long hot summers but there is another good reason to live here. For a two and a half hour journey by car will bring you to the snowy slopes of Europe's southernmost ski resort. The Sierra Nevada, or ‘snowy range’ in Spanish, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for snow enthusiasts and tourists alike. Towering above the beautiful city of Granada (just 55km away), the mountain range is home to the highest point in mainland Spain, Mulhacen, at 3,478m above sea level. Thanks to this high altitude, the resort enjoys one of the longest ski seasons in the world and has now risen to number two of resorts worldwide with the most amount of snow according to snowforecast.com. It's also possible to see Africa from the slopes if you manage to reach the top. Traditionally the season in the Sierra Nevada starts towards the end of November and will normally finish at the end of April or beginning of May. The longest season on record was the winter of 2008/9 (it ran from 15th November until the 17th May) and this year looks set to be another long season, with officials saying it will remain open until May 5th. Sierra Nevada ski resortDue to it being a ‘stones throw from the Mediterranean’, it is also one of the handful of resorts in the world where you can fly down the slopes in the morning and then be on the beach sunning yourself on the Costa del Sol a few hours later. In terms of specifications, the snow-sure resort boasts 102.89 km of pisted runs, 22 ski lifts and a total of 115 green, blue, red and black slopes. You can also go night skiing or snowboarding on Saturday nights on the El Rio piste. As for après ski, there are plenty of bars and restaurants to visit once the sun has gone down to enjoy a well-earned beer or two. For those used to a little more luxury, the new El Lodge Ski and Spa Resort opened just last December. Run by the Marbella Club Hotel, the chic retreat is right on the slopes and claims to be the only luxury ski-in/ski-out property in the world. The cosy retreat is the perfect pick-me up after battling the slopes all day. And if you are looking to spend just a day at the resort make sure you contact Marbella Ski Club. The company, which has been running for two years now, will pick you up and return you to the centre of Marbella for the ultimate chauffeur driven winter sport experience.