Planning for the future: Explore La Molina, a Summer and Winter paradise in Catalonia


At the time of writing this, it is needless to say that travel plans have been put on the backburner. As the COVID-19 virus has impacted life in every way, we should now prioritise health above all else. However, with most of us having more time on our hands than ever, we think using it to plan a future trip is a good use of time. Therefore, with Barcelona being one of the most popular tourist destinations, there are so many places to plan for a future trip. This article will look to share all you can see and do in the mountains of La Molina. Situated a train ride away from central Barcelona, it is a great way to spend a Winter or Summer trip to Barcelona. Find out more here; in the meantime, stay safe and stay positive – we’ll get through this!

La Molina is one of the main attractions that Catalonia has on offer. Being located on the border with France, on the Pyrenees, it is only a short distance from Barcelona, accessible from the city centre by train and coach, but more on that later. It is most commonly known for its snow capped mountains and popular ski resort. However, in the summer months, this mountain range offers a whole host of activities that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. Come and explore La Molina, a summer and winter paradise in Catalonia!

History of La Molina

This area has been inhabited for hundreds of years, with people adapting to its brisk winters and boiling summers, and with locals being known to have started skiing back in 1908, with less than conventional equipment and clothing. Known as the oldest ski resort in Spain, La Molina benefitted massively from the arrival of trains in 1922, as many ski lovers were able to come and enjoy their love of the slopes. Following this, La Molina saw its first resort accommodation be built in 1925; the CEC Chalet. Some years later, it installed Spain’s first ski lift in February 1943. From then up until 1954, the resort made continual progression up the mountain, making more ski-able runs as they went. With the amazing Niu de l’Àliga mountain refuge, which offers a place to sleep, as well as restaurants and amazing views all year round. A place that is frequented by avid skiers in the winter months, and keen cyclists and hikers in the summer.

The popularity of La Molina has grown in the years that follow, with the modern day resort enjoyed by thousands of people every day. Some argue that the resort was protected and able to become a popular resort in Europe on the back of a change of management in the 1980s. Back in those days, the resort was gradually acquired by the Government of Catalonia Railways (FGC) which still runs it today, giving people discounted travel when buying a ski pass or other activities to do at La Molina. This smart model has proved to be popular as it gives people an affordable way to enjoy the resort all year round. In addition to this, the FCG has been behind modernising the resort, with artificial snow cannons, more cable connections all over the region and ensuring all equipment of the resort is of high quality. Ensuring La Molina’s popularity for many years to come.

Summer in La Molina

As you can imagine, there are plenty of ski related activities to get stuck into at La Molina in winter. However, as Spring comes and melts away the snow, people come in their numbers to enjoy La Molina. Now, we’ll have a look at some of the most popular Summer activities at La Molina on offer when the sun is shining.

Mountain biking: The most popular activity to do here is mountain biking. With some 13 tracks to enjoy, you can either bring your own equipment or rent some here. As you descend from heights of some 2,400 metres above sea level, you can find a freestyle zone and woodpark and practice your tricks. People usually buy a seasonal pass, but there is also the option of daily passes if you fancy a day trip away from Barcelona.

Nordic Walking: This is ideal for hikers and ramblers alike. Get your sticks and set off for a walk around the resort. You’ll be able to take in the breathtaking views. This is a great way to stay fit during a holiday in Barcelona. Being available for small to large groups. With prices varying from €15-€45. Your price depends on the hours you want to spend walking and number of people.

Family activities: From night walks, to climbing and cycling, La Molina offers a range of package activities for families and other groups to book onto. From 4 hours to 2 days, their programmes are flexible. They offer a whole host of activities to keep you and the kids busy.

La Molina wildlife interpretation park: At €1.00 for entry, the cheapest activity to enjoy during summer at La Molina can be found in its woodland. Ideal for kids and younger nature enthusiasts, people of all ages come to learn about the wildlife in this part of Catalonia. With cutouts of these animals for kids to enjoy. It is a great way to spend an afternoon in La Molina. 

Winter in La Molina

When the snow falls on La Molina, this winter wonderland captures the imagination of many. With plenty of snowfall from November until the end of February, there are many Winter activities at La Molina for you to enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.

Skiing: It goes without saying that skiing is the most common past time of those that go to La Molina in winter. With ski passes allowing you to enjoy the slopes anytime throughout the season, it is a popular choice with locals from Barcelona and the surrounding area. As for tourists, there are offers to get a ski pass and train ticket from around €45 euros. Giving you the best way to make a memory in Barcelona.

Ski Mobiles: One of the most exhilarating winter activities at La Molina has to be this activity. With prices starting at €25, you can learn to ride. Then you’ll be ready to follow their instructor as they take you around the snowy mountain. You will leave La Molina with a new skill and a different way to see this wonderful resort.

Ski Rackets: Not a massive fan of skiing but still wanting to trek around in the snow? You’re in luck! As you can rent ski rackets and wander around at 2,400 metres above sea level. These are available to all ages and give another great way to enjoy the amazing views on offer. You can see the sights that overlook the resort and surrounding mountains.

Adventure Park: Lastly, another memorable activity you can get stuck into at La Molina is their adventure park. Up in the trees of La Molina, lies a network of rope climbing circuits and zipwires. With 6 circuits to choose from, kids above the age of 3 can embrace this part of La Molina life. Prices start from €14 and give a great way to be active in a different way at the resort. This activity is open in the summer months for you and families to enjoy with or without snow.

How to get to La Molina from Barcelona

Now you know all there is on offer at La Molina, let us see how to get here from Barcelona. As you trade the beach for the mountains.

Bus: The Salagés Bus Company runs the Skibus pass. This gives you a round-trip bus ticket with ski pass and accident insurance. The bus runs to and from Barcelona with several stops. It makes for an ideal option as prices start from €26.50.

Train: Alternatively, there is the train service that frequently runs from Plaza Catalunya. The R3 train, runs to La Molina frequently everyday. There is the Skitren pass that you can purchase online or from the ticket machines at the train stations. This gives you a round trip train ride and ski pass from around €45 euros.

Sandra Roig is Marketing Director at AB Apartment Barcelona. AB Apartment Barcelona is an apartment rental agency offering over one thousand short and long term apartments across Barcelona.

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Comments (5)

  1. Frank M. says:

    It’s true that my travel plans for this year have suddenly gone kaput. I was planning an Asian and European trip, and actually had to cancel one earlier this year. Now I may need to cancel the other trip scheduled later this year, because I love winter. In any case, this time also gives me the time to consider other destinations as options. Molina seems very well-rounded in terms of what month or season to visit since you can enjoy any time. I’m not so much on extreme sports, but I do enjoy the snow. Beginner slopes for me as I’d like to enjoy and just be safe. Also, food seems to taste better during winter while you’re inside a warm and cozy restaurant enjoying some delectable food. And since Molina is close to Barcelona (another place I plan to visit early next year), I’d be able to swing by. Would probably schedule a winter trip then.

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Frank,

      Thank you for your comment and explaining your current situation. I hope you are well and continue being so.

      That is very frustrating to hear about your trips being cancelled. This pandemic has certainly thrown everything up in the air. However, we will get through it and reap the rewards of travel once again.

      Molina would be a great way to enjoy the snow! The beginner slopes there are very navigable and their staff are attentive instructors. As covered in the article, there are many other ways to enjoy the resort in the winter month- maybe ski rackets would be a good idea! Yes, I agree that food tastes much better when all wrapped up and surrounded by snow. There are a number of restaurants in the village near the slopes that will definitely tick all the boxes.

      I hope you get to explore Barcelona in the near future, once this has passed. Either for a day or a few nights, La Molina is a great winter trip away from the city.

      Stay safe and stay positive.
      Best wishes,
      Owen

      On behalf of Sandra and AB Apartment Barcelona

  2. Nat Baylis says:

    I’ve been to Barcelona and Salou and surrounding areas, but never La Molina. Sounds like a pretty handy place for travel to other tourist destinations like Barcelona so I’ll keep it in mind. I would very much like to return one day, maybe do things a little differently and try something new. I’ve really enjoyed Catalonia. I’m not so keen on the idea of the ‘brisk winters’ as we have enough of the cold weather in the UK, but the ‘boiling summers’ are very appealing. I’ll have to mention this to my colleague at work who goes on a skiing holiday every year for week, each time to somewhere new. I don’t recall him ever mentioning La Molina.

    Walking is more my kind of thing, so I think I’d like the warmer spring and summer months to do that, maybe some climbing or rent a bike. It’s a lot more flexible than some areas, like Salou, that seem to shut down over the winter months so at least this has that year round appeal with plenty on offer no matter the weather. Something for everyone :)

    • Sandra Roig says:

      Hi Nat,

      Thank you for your great contribution, I appreciate it! Yes, I a grew up in Halifax, West Yorkshire, I can definitely relate to wanting to avoid brisk winters. However, now that I live in Barcelona, the seasons are much milder and enjoyable year round.

      Upon visiting la Molina in February 2020, the ski season was coming to an end and the weather was ideal for biking and hiking. However, with the last patches of snow still there, we managed to do some skiing. Yes, it would be interesting to see if your colleague has heard of the resort.

      I would agree that one of Molina’s main benefits is its flexibility. Whereas some areas of Catalonia shut down for a lot of time, La Molina adapts greatly and does things in the right way. Something that ensures year-round employment and plenty of activities to enjoy. We hope you get to experience it yourself in the near future!

      Until then, take care.
      Best wishes,

      Owen
      On behalf of Sandra and AB Apartment Barcelona

  3. Bertha Dunn says:

    Living in a tropical country made me dream of having a vacation in a country that has a winter season. Any person for that reason would love to experience snow even once in his life. And because of this pandemic, I realized that I should go after my dreams as the future can change so dramatically that I might not even get the chance again. Given that, I am spending a part of my life savings to travel the world and take a sabbatical.

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