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Visitor reviews for Formigal Ski Resort

Formigal Ratings

Overall: 3.9. Based on 80 votes and 77 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 3.9

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Formigal is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 4.1

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Formigal has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Off-piste: 3.6

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Scenery: 4.1

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 3.7

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Formigal.

Public Transport: 3.5

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Formigal, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Accommodation: 4.3

(1) No places to stay in/near Formigal, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.6

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 4.2

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Formigal.

Ski in/Ski out: 3.8

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 4.3

(1) There are no child care facilities at Formigal, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 4.1

(1) Formigal relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 4.3

(1) There are no snow groomers at Formigal, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Formigal are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.2

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Formigal is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 3.3

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Formigal, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 4.1

(1) Formigal usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 4.2

(1) The staff at Formigal are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Formigal are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.2

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 4.0

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.3

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Beginners: 4.5

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 4.5

(1) No intermediate terrain at Formigal, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.0

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 3.9

(1) Not even a kicker at Formigal, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Cross-country: 2.9

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Formigal, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 3.0

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Formigal has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 4.1

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 4.1

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 4.3

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 3.5

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 3.9

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 3.8

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 3.4

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 3.5

(1) Overall, Formigal is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 3.5

(1) Overall, Formigal is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

April 03, 2012
Teresa from Ski Liberia Liberia
I have born in this place, in Tena Valley and I think this is the most wonderful place in the world. Formigal is now the best skiing resort in Spain and it is not pretentious, is the truth. My father who lived part of his life there always says to me that is not necessary to travel to the Alps if you are from Tena valley. We wait your visit in 2013 because I'm sure it will be a good year for snowing. Regards..
January 02, 2012
Javier from Ski Spain Spain
We do like Formigal a lot (family of five). I have just read another reviewers comments and they are not accurate at all. We used to travel from Madrid and it´s an easy 4:30 hours car ride, 80% on a highway. Once there, the Pyrenees are magnificent. The ski area has improved a lot in the last years and I believe is one of the best in Spain (together with Baqueira and Candanchu). Most of the skiers are well seasoned, in good shape, positive spirit and educated. In addition, staff and locals are very friendly. Food is yummy for a ski resort at 1.500m (recommend the bacon&cheese bocadillo with Ambar beer). Lifts are brand new (but some old ones that we like though, as they are less crowded). Hopefully, we will get more snow falls in the coming days for a sporty season. Definitely, Formigal is a very good choice to ski in Spain. Javier
February 22, 2009
dave williams from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
The biggest pain in skiing is in your wallet. Formigal Review: A large part of that pain is the lift-pass price. The Aragon Government, through an independent company ARAMON (Aragon Montanas), is promoting Formigal to the UK market, by offering FREE lift passes this season. This is additional to the 300 Million Euro investment in the latest Doppelmayr lifts and resort facilities over 3 years, or so. Passes are obtainable when booking via J2.com, Crystal, Thomson, Iglu, Neilson and others. I’ve just returned from Formigal after assessing the facilities, benefits and short-comings on offer. For a large skier-group the organisers and leader must get the basics right. It’s the only way that the members of the group can get value for money. In the current financial misery everyone is counting the costs and cutting back. My group has become tired of long transfer times and difficult access to slopes. The group is of multi-level ability, consisting of babies/children and young-to-old adults. Transfers, slope access, pistes spread ‘miles’ apart and clean toilets are ‘high-key’ issues. Other items in any resort choice are ratings for experts, lower-upper intermediates and novices, as well as ‘first-timer’ pack offers. Crèches, qualified supervision, hours open and collections, kindergartens, ski schools, lockers, snow reliability, geographical slope aspects and skills needed to reach and enjoy them are critical to satisfying individuals and client-families. Not to mention restaurants/cafes and adequate seating, (including some for that packed lunch) and of course hot ‘chocolatiers’ or vin chaud, in abundance. We travelled with Crystal and got a call in advance from the excellent rep there. We flew into the new airport: Huesca, from Gatwick at the 2nd week of February, on a Monarch Airbus 1410hrs flight (no 0400hrs starts or over-nighting at Gatwick there, then.) Monarch has been contracted for the season by Pyrenair, a new airline based at the new airport, Huesca. The transfer is just 1hr and 20mins sedate coach travel. No 4hrs from Toulouse, anymore? We found a good snow-base laid down pre-Christmas and again in January. Mid-week we received a 23 hour ‘dump’ of 40 cms on top of 180 cms existing, and skied throughout the day it snowed. Great for trying some basic ’bouncy’ off-piste skiing technique, while still on a firm piste under-base. Can’t see? ....when you lose your sense of sight, develop your sense of feel through the soles of your feet and soft knees. That huge dump gave the pisteurs/avalanche control one heck of a problem. They worked all-night through. Delaying lift opening time (0900 hrs) did cause queues, but with a 4 of 5 avalanche risk, as in most of Europe, no one could expect anything else. Two sets of 4-piste-bashers, echelon-fashion plus single machines, soon cleared the way to safe skiing and we were off. The resort lay-out at Formigal comprises 3 base stations: Sextas, Anayet and Portalet. These effectively access 4 valleys. Then, 8, 6 and 4-man lifts spread-out like a fan to mid-mountain elevation. Sextas zone, at Formigal, appears the more difficult, particularly up towards Tres Hombres-Huegas. There are 20 blacks/reds and not a blue in sight. This area was closed during our visit due to avalanche precautions. There are several good blues linking all 4 valleys at mid mountain level, prior to these lifts gaining height. The full spread is interspersed with the higher lifts providing extra height to drop blues (some), reds and blacks (single & double diamond) into the valleys and public facilities. This means novice/lower intermediates are not ‘shanghaied’, e.g when trying to meet-up with the group at lunch-times. Anayet zone, at Formigal, is reached by the Anayet run: a great wide blue ‘motorway’. Plus a couple of reds and moderate blacks striking off parallel with some easy mid-mountain runs. This provides good skiers/boarders with off-piste opportunities where they can ‘see’ well in front of them what they are getting into. Boarders were killing the blacks in great powder. The Spanish love their food! There are 17 eateries on the mountain. They love taking a couple of hours socialising as well. This means the one-week a year, skiing-starved Brits can ski right through lunch on un-crowded pistes. Don’t even THINK about lunch before 1400hrs!! Eat a good breakfast. Then, hit the extensive Anayet Lodge. This consists of two cafes, two chocolatiers, two self-services, a burger-bar, an ice cream point, and two more formal restaurants both reasonable: 10-15 Euros for a 2- course ‘Plato’ of the day and small bottle of wine/beer ..(hic!). Other options if you want them. The second ski-school, ski hire/lockers and immaculate toilets are also here. As is a massive sun-terrace with huge seating including some picnic tables (I kid you not!). Take the kids (and yourself) for the longest moving carpet ride I’ve ever seen. There’s another at Sextas for the kids, by the way, great while you slope-off to the short Furco 4-man chair run; warming-up at the start of the day. Then it’s the 8-man up from Sextas and head for Anayet. Or, a good lunch can be had at Sextas at c.9.50 Euros, anyway. After taking the 'rays' at Anayet, have a poke at the off-piste mound in front of you. Never mind all those watching and laughing. AND, if your 'hard (good) enuf', remember where to branch-off that blue-motorway, next time down. Then cross-over the black (flat bit) and zoom up and over the mound down towards the Lodge, again. That ought to stop’em laughing? Do NOT arrive in a heap, until the next time you do it, having arranged for someone to wait down there to photograph you! Seriously, there are loads of places just off the mid mountain reds/blacks to ‘get some mileage -in’, off-piste. Only if fully insured, of course. Portalet Zone: The piste map shows this is a difficult part. Only one red, the rest blacks, single and double diamonds. We couldn’t test all of it due to avalanche precautions. I am assured reasonably competent intermediate skiers, in good conditions, can get-down ok? Apart from the Panorama viewing point at the top towards France THE Portalet attraction is the chance to go ‘Ratrack’ skiing! Up the 6-man to be pulled along a gentle red, behind the Ratrack with c.40 skiers. This is the ONLY way to reach to the Fine-Dining restaurant Cabana Glera for lunch. Reservations essential at night and you are then collected by cabin-Ratrack, no skis needed. From the menu I sighted it’s expensive. Have at least 50 Ackers to spare (evening) methinks. But, it’s a one-off apparently and it’s only money! From there you can ski down black or red (into blue) back into the Anayet Zone. I suspect that last bit of the red may be ‘interesting’. The whole concept of skiing 4-valleys needs close attention to abilities, if the group is to get the most out of it. We know the route-march it seems to flog across wide expanses of valleys to justify the higher lift pass expenditure? Hopeless for kids. The 137 kms of Formigal allows skiing all 4-vallys in a day together with sampling some of the facilities en-route, at a steady skiing/drinking pace. Further access by car is open to the Sarrios Zone at mid mountan level, between Sextas and Anayet. There is a sizeable car park and an excellent restaurant there, the ‘Gemsbock’. Also, this opens out to the free-ride areas, snow park, huskies, skidoos, timed slalom and the Callado 4-man to either Anayet, again, or down the great fast red ‘Collado’. This is my favourite run as the black there proved just too much snow for me. Best run for ‘cruisers’? Hang on! ‘Blue’, up the Sarrios 2-man, on up the Lanuza then down the blue through to Izas, on to the husky- sleds (drive one of those!). Up the 6-man ‘Cantel’, then down the blue Rio (river) as fast as conditions and safety allow i.e. “Quandío en Roma!” Then down Furco (also night skiing) onto Sextas. Have a large Carlos Uno Brandy.....go for a Heli-trip...... see/photo where you’ve been skiing....and tell the Brits when you get home! Overall, there’s a free 10 minute bus-service between the village (5 minutes or an easy walk down, minus skis) and the Base Stations. Additionally, the village-run is serviced by two 'Thomas-the-Tank- Engine’ trains, by road, great fun for kids (or adults). Downside? Well, one day soon the Elders will have to make the village traffic-free. The ski school will no doubt increase English speaking Instructors as the critical mass (no pun intended!) of Brits is achieved. We could do with a weather-shield on the 8-man, I think. Well done “Formidable” Formigal. Masterly skiing, with ‘Distinction’! As the Aussie girl said in their Tourist Office advert. ”....come on you Brits....where the b....y hell are you?...” Stay safe, Dave Williams
February 10, 2006
jorge from Ski Portugal Portugal
Hello everybody! I'm just a normal Portuguese teenager that likes to snowboard! Formigal is a fantastic resort, lots of tracks(for beginners and experts). At night you can have some fun, but the real fun is on the slopes, you have some nice freeriding spots...I don't know, I've been there for 4 sessons and have always discoverded some new and nice spots!!!so just try..it's a nice resort, go and have fun!peace..
February 15, 2006
Anders from Ski Spain Spain
Some amendments to your web page information. Ski resort is fully operational that is, 83 kms, with all parking open (included Portalet) and though the 8 seat chairlift is still close (next season) the connection to the rest of the ski resort areas is served by a free shuttle bus. There is plenty of snow this season (above 1 M) and all slopes are open including the mythical forest and downhill to the former gondola (where you pick the shuttle to return to one of the skiing areas). Closest airport is not Barcelona, actually it is a long and expensive drive, but Toulouse, Tarbes or Pau in France and Pamplona or Zaragoza in Spain. But closest with BA and easyjet (& other Int. flights) is Bilbao at only 2:30h drive mostly on motorway. You can visit the Guggenheim Museum and next day be skiing in Formigal and on the way back go surfing at the beach (really nice in March-April), scuba diving, windsurfing, sailing or visiting the Rioja region and taste some delicious wines at their famous vineyards. Enjoy your stay!
February 01, 2009
Liz from Ski Luxembourg Luxembourg
I was in Formigal twice this year and the snow was always great. Besides, I have been to few ski resorts with better views. The ski area is huge. I hardly finished all the tracks that had been recommended to me. The facilities were more modern and the staff more professional than in most alpine resorts I have visited. The skiing was really good. If I had to say something negative about Formigal I would choose the length of some slopes (not in the fourth valley where they were very long and had great snow) and the price of the forfait (I found it a bit too high, but I bought it directly at the entrance, some of my friends bought theirs in different agencies and they got better prices than me. Ah, and it looks that the resort is trying to promote combined flight and ski tickets, which seem a very interesting option if you have a full week). For après-ski I would recommend a visit to Sallent and Lanuza; two lovely stone villages, far more beautiful than Formigal itself. Sallent has very good food and cosy hotels. I still remember the Asado in a slightly hidden restaurant at the entrance of the village, (it had hens and pigs decoration and I wish I could remember the name). In summary, it was a really nice experience. I will definitely come back next year.
March 12, 2007
Tim Hall from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
12/03/2007. I've been to Formigal four times so far this year, using the "Bus Blanco" service from Zaragoza. All in all, it's been excellent, and this in spite of the ridiculously warm winter we've had this year. I gather that there was very little snow up until Christmas, but as soon as the temperatures dropped in the new year, the teams at Formigal were immediately out pisting the slopes and making the most of the snow available. There are new snow canons everywhere you look around the piste area, meaning snow quality can be kept high even when it doesn't actually snow much. On one occasion, due to a prolonged period of very warm weather, the pistes were really suffering, with few runs open and large patches of slush and even mud, but as soon as the temperatures dropped again this was rectified, and since then more than twice as much skiable area has once again been opened. In general, apart from that one occasion, the snow quality has been high, especially more recently, when it has been almost at the standard of the Alps. As I understand it, Formigal is the largest ski station around (in Spain) - with over 100km of pistes when fully open - and so there is a great variety of slopes to choose from, catering for all standards. In addition there is also great potential for off-piste skiing, including marked off-piste trails. Due to the orientation of the slopes, snow quality also tends to remain high throughout the day, with excellent skiing still widely available by 16h30 and later. There has clearly been a lot of investment in Formigal recently, with three new chair lifts open this year, one of them carrying 8 people per chair, which now link all the zones together. Overall, I highly recommend Formigal for anyone looking for great skiing and a wide variety of slopes and difficulty levels in Spain. If you are in Zaragoza or Huesca and want a day on the slopes, look out for the "Bus Blanco", the price of which includes bus ticket there and back as well as the day's lift pass. Equipment can be hired on arrival at Formigal.
January 28, 2009
George from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I've skied Formigal ten times this season and it's definitely a resort that requires a bit of effort to get the best out of it. If all you're into is piste skiing then this is probably not the resort for you (especially if you're used to Alpine pistes) as the runs are short, not very steep and generally pretty unchallenging; don't be deceived by the piste map, there isn't that much of it - you can go from one side to the other in sub 45 mins, most of that spent on lifts. However, if you get some fresh snow and are prepared to get away from the beaten track via some serious traversing or some hiking, then there is some really great off-piste to be had. It's very accessible and due to the nature of the terrain (not steep and craggy) you can ski pretty much all of it - sadly no trees though. The resort (Formigal) has obviously invested a lot of money in recent years and this shows in the facilities (except the lifts out of Sarrios which break the resort, they're terrible and must be changed soon). Car parking and restaurants are excellent. The terrain park caters for a good breadth of ability and the mogul field (baches) is also entertaining. In short, if you want to cruise the piste then go to Cerler; if you want to mix it up with some powder/park give Formigal a go.
February 16, 2008
Tuca from Ski Spain Spain
I don't like this resort for many reasons. First, it's not as big as it pretends to be. Most of the new runs added in the last couple of years are actually a joke: they start from nowhere and lead to nowhere (meaning that there is no way to reach the beginning of the run except by walking a long way and once you get to the end, the closest chair is a couple of kilometers away). Baqueira, for instance, has less official kilometers of runs, but is really much bigger and the runs are real. Second, the vertical drop is very limited, especially if you consider that most of the time there is no snow on the lower half. Third, the top of the resort is only 2200 m high. This means that most of the time you ski well below and the snow is not particularly good. Fourth, most of the runs are quite easy (although if you look at the ski map, you might think it is the most challenging ski resort in the world. But it's a joke!) Fifth, there are always incredible traffic jams, especially on a Sunday afternoon. And huge lines at the bottom of the chairs! Plus, it is quite expensive. Of course, it can be fun on a working Monday after a big dump...
January 28, 2009
Carl from Ski France France
For me, Formigal is the best ski resort in Pyrenees (Pirineos). It has 137 km of slopes; the biggest in Spain, with 4 valleys or zones connected by modern lifts. There are all kind of ski-slopes. I have been there two weeks ago and the snow was perfect, there were a lot 70-200 cm. The Formigal village is a beautiful place in the middle of the mountains with all the services like shops, restaurants, pubs, church, banks etc. It is a good choice, maybe the best in Spain, if you want skiing.