There are three main parking areas in the Sierra Nevada ski resort:
- Plaza de Andalucia
- KM 31
To avoid paying anything, try driving down through the village towards the mid-zone where the intermediate stop of the Parador chairlift is. Street parking is free in most areas around here.
The huge underground car park beneath the "Plaza de Andalucía", central square, (see the above photo) holds a vast parking capacity for 2,644 vehicles. It is excellently linked to the main shops, lifts and lift-pass office.
The smaller yet convenient open parking area of KM 31 is located just on the approach to the ski village involving a short 10 minute walk to the central squares. At 5 euros per day, this is a slightly more economical choice.
The newest parking area of Los Peñones, at the top of the village near the Youth Hostel provides parking for a further 750 cars and a separate area for 100 mobile homes complete with running water and electric power points.
For 5 euros per day you can leave your car here and take the 6-seater high speed chairlift "Virgen de las Nieves" up to the pistes if you are a lower intermediate skier or better.
For beginners or less confident skiers, the Parador chairlift transports you down to the central squares and is a short walk (5-10 minutes) down from the parking area.
Alternatively the shuttle bus to the central squares also passes by the carpark every 15-20 minutes.
The Virgen de las Nieves chairlift links conveniently to the main ski area, thereby saving a trip down into the busy resort village centre. Lift passes may be purchased at this level.
It is worth noting that in spite of the large capacities, the car parks can fill up extremely quickly during high season periods and weekends. During these times it is worth arriving in the resort before 9 am to guarantee a place, (particularly down in the resort village centre).
If you arrive and find the car parks full, then parking is sometimes allowed along sections of the main access road as you enter the resort. The local police are usually present to direct traffic at busy times. Do not try to be clever and park in any little space that appears free unless it is a designated parking area. The police are very quick with the tow truck!
If your car is towed, it is taken to a compound located on the second floor (Level -2) of the underground car park. Fines vary but as a minimum you should expect to pay around 50€ if you are a resident in Spain and as much as 160€ if not. Most hotels have parking facilities nearby.