Superb skiing and snowboarding in winter, hiking at other times of the year - if you like the great outdoors, this range will blow you away

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Sierra Nevada mountains

One of Spain's iconic mountain ranges

No matter what the season, the peaks and vales of the Sierra Nevada are magical (one of those peaks, the Mulhacén, is Iberia's tallest, and offers superb skiing, as does Pico Veleta with its wide, extensive pistes - many, however recommendable only for expert skiiers). Outside of winter, hiking is a dream up here, as well, letting you discover spectacular new forests and other landscapes, even stopping for a dip in one of the high mountain lakes. It's particularly beautiful as you approach Barranco de las Víboras (Snake Gorge) or Laguna de las Yeguas (Mares' Lagoon), 2,900 metres (9,514 feet) up - a magical place about which many legends are told.

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