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A white canine Christmas... in Sierra Nevada

Ocio y Diversión ir a Sierra Nevada con perro (6).jpg

December is here and we're looking forward to an unforgettable and very white holiday. Sierra Nevada is the ideal destination, a land of sun and snow. But we want our best friend to enjoy it as well!

In winter Sierra Nevada is a white haven, attracting skiing enthusiasts every year. Home to Mulhacén, the highest mountain on the Spanish mainland (3,479 metres), and surrounded by another thirty peaks that stand thousands of metres high, it also boasts enormous biodiversity. The Sierra Nevada Ski and Mountain Resort, the southernmost in Europe, is located at the heart of the National Park. Its slopes offer snow lovers an experience they have only ever seen on the big screen. The range of activities never ceases to grow, so even if you don't ski there are plenty of fun things do to: for example, snowshoe excursions and night routes on snow grooming machines, to name just two.

Bringing your dog to Granada is not a problem: many of the establishments in the city and province are pet-friendly, so you'll have plenty of places to stay with man's best friend. Sierra Nevada has been quick off the mark when it comes to embracing pet tourism. Since the idea is to take a mini-holiday in the snow, we recommend that you choose one of the many pet-friendly apartments located near the chair lifts and drag lifts that will take you up to the top of the ski slopes.

These apartments are equipped with every comfort and are ideal for spending a white Christmas with your pet and child. Some of them, like the Montreal Apartments (just 100 metres from the ski slopes of La Sabina) don't even charge a supplement for dogs. However, others apply different surcharges based on the animal's weight. This is the case of the  Torrecillas Apartments and Costasur, located 300 metres from the ski lifts and with views of the valley.

If you want to ski with peace of mind, you can also hire a pet-sitter, since dogs aren't allowed on the slopes. However, there's no problem if you want to take your dog for a walk near the slopes, as long as you keep it on a lead. Imagine watching it run and roll over and play in the snow. You're sure to want to catch it on camera!

Another option is take your pal and discover amazing places like Güejar Sierra, a village in the heart of Sierra Nevada and only 40 minutes away from the ski slopes. There are lots of country house lodges in Sierra Nevada that accept dogs, such as Casa Diaman, where the atmosphere will remind you how close you are to the ski resort. With their large picture windows, cosy decor and magnificent surroundings, these houses are truly irresistible.

A mountain encounter

Some routes, like Pico Veleta and Mulhacén from Pradollano, are suitable for dogs despite the distance (just over 37 kilometres), although they're easier once the snow has melted. But we're in December with all the charms - and difficulties - of the mantle of snow, so it's best to be properly prepared or even hire a guide or sherpa who knows the trails well. Another interesting route is the one that starts at Hoya de la Mora and ends at Tajos del Nevero, or alternatively you can climb up Collado de Carihuela to Crestones de Río Seco and end at Barranco de San Juan.

Precautions for the snow

When you travel with your pet to the snow it's important to take certain precautions. What often happens when dogs encounter snow is that, amazingly, they want to eat it! But be sure to scold your pet because swallowing snow could upset his or her stomach. As for the cold, unless you have a Nordic breed or mountain dog (such as a Siberian Husky, Saint Bernard or Samoyed), your pet's usual ecosystem will change dramatically when you go to the mountains. This affects small and elderly dogs in particular.

Make sure you take something warm for your dog if you're going to be spending a long time in the snow; a jumper or leg warmers will be sufficient. When you get back to your temporary home - apartment, hotel or tent - don't forget to brush off any icy remains on you dog's body and then let him or her sleep off all the excitement in a warm, dry place.

A white canine Christmas... in Sierra Nevada
Monachil, Sierra Nevada (Granada)