THE Sierra Nevada resort officially opened its doors last Saturday as it hopes to make the most out of what is left of the summer season.

The Sierra Nevada National Park sits 20km from the city of Granada and is Europe’s southernmost ski resort.

In summer it is transformed into a hiking and mountain biking mecca, as the snow makes way for lush greenery and dirt.

At an altitude of 3398.68m, temperatures are over 10C cooler than Granada making it a perfect setting for active sports and taking in the unique scenery.

Preparation for this summer season was drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and many businesses were concerned over the upcoming summer season.

However a concerted effort by the Junta de Andalucia and Granada City Council has ensured that the resort held a successful opening this past weekend.

The resort reopened with a host of health and safety measures including limited capacities in public facilities, compulsory masks in all public areas and social distancing markers throughout the village.

ADVENTURE: Visitors to the park cooling down after enjoying the opening weekend

On July 2, a team of over 100 volunteers and members of the Andalusian Mountaineering Federation (FAM) took to the slopes to clear over 30 cubic metres of waste and debris carried by spring winds.

From daybreak on Saturday, a steady stream of adventure seekers arrived and were greeted with 18.5km of completely redesigned and refurbished mountain bike trails, as well as a full compliment of Mirlo Blanco activities.

Hikers also took to the two available ski lifts (Borreguiles and Veleta) to access the numerous routes on offer including the recently altered 1.2km Las Yeguas Lagoon loop.

Restaurants also opened their doors for the first time in months and reported a healthy trade over the opening weekend.

DAREDEVILS: Riders send it down one of the four downhill mountain bike trails

For those that arrived at the resort in search of a more tranquil experience, the new Montebajo heated swimming pool opened its doors and retracted its glass roof to let sun bathers make the most of the balmy temperatures.

The first organised event of the year took place yesterday, with professional downhill mountain biker Luis Zarco offering coaching to young amateur riders.

In the coming weeks, many more organised hikes, activity workshops and mountain bike coaching sessions will take place in an effort to bring people back to the resort.

The Sierra Nevada will remain open until September 6 before preparation begins for the winter rush.

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