The Snow Zone is attached to a mall called Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadú Arroyomolinos, which is across the highway from a small town called Parque Coimbra. Inside, there are two hills, the main hill and a short bunny hill. The tobogganing is on the bunny hill. Although there is a chairlift in the Snow Zone it is used for the zipline, which is called trioline in Spanish, instead skiers and snowboarders line up to grab onto handles that take them up the hill. The main hill goes straight down without veering one way or the other, and is essentially a green hill. On the side of the main hill there is a terrain park consisting of five rails and three boxes. The snow is artificial but it is well maintained.
You get to the Snow Zone through a combination of Metro and Intercity Bus. First, get to the Príncipe Pío stop on the 6 line. When you exit the station you will be in a square. Ignore the eighteen or so bus stations on the streets surrounding the square, and walk to the other side of the square where there is a bus station that takes you back underground. There are two buses that will take you to the Snow Zone, the 539, and the 528. The schedules can be found on redtransporte.com. It is very important to look at the them before you leave so you know what bus you are taking, and what time it leaves, because the bus station is a bit confusing and there is almost no English spoken there. It is also a good idea to check what time the buses leave from the Snow Zone back to Príncipe Pío, so you know how much time you have at the Snow Zone. The bus station is two levels. To know which level your bus departs from look at the map on the ground floor. You pay for your ticket which costs 3.60 euros on the bus.
Because the Snow Zone is located outside of Madrid, and is not abundantly advertised in city, the majority of the Snow Zone’s business comes from locals who are skilled to varying degrees. The majority of people there fall into one of two distinct groups, beginners, some of whom snowboard but most of whom ski, and experienced snowboarders, who are there to use the terrain park, a third of whom had GoPros.
A member of the latter group, a GoPro wielding snowboarder, named Juan Elvira Reyes, said he goes to the Snow Zone “to practice on the rails sometimes during the summer so I can get better, and because its fun. It’s also nice that this place is attached to the mall, it’s easier to get to. It’s cheaper here than some at the mountains. There’s a place called Valdesquí that has [a terrain park], and its much better than this, but they charge twenty euros extra to use it”.
The Snow Zone website says it costs 22 euros for one hour, 30 euros for four hours, and 36 euros for a day pass in addition to the rental of all equipment costing 18 euros. What the website doesn’t say is that at the Snow Zone you can get four hours with rental of all equipment included for 35 euros, which is the smartest purchase available. The website also doesn’t say that you cannot rent gloves, so you have to buy them for 8 euros. They do this because even if you have a toleration for cold, gloves are still absolutely necessary to wear because the handles that take you up the hill are made of metal that get very cold and will freeze your hand off if you don’t have gloves.
A beginner skier named Diego Alejandro Carita said that he goes to the Snow Zone not because the “lessons or the ticket are cheaper than the ski hills during the winter, I don’t take lessons often. I did a few times. But the equipment is cheaper to use here, and because I don’t, I’m not very serious about it, I don’t think I will buy my own equipment because its expensive, I like that the equipment is cheaper, so I don’t have to pay a lot when I do decide to ski”.
The best feature of the Snow Zone, apart from the overall novelty of an indoor ski hill, is that your time on the hill doesn’t count down continuously, you can pause it by scanning your ticket on your way out if you want to take a break. This is great because going to the Snow Zone will probably eat up an entire day, and this feature prevents you from getting bored of the ski hill by mixing in other activities that are available in the mall. Along with the Snow Zone and the mall itself, there is a food court with both fast food and restaurants, an arcade, a casino, only machines no tables, a bowling alley, a mini golf course, and a movie theater.
Snow Zone; Centro Comercial Madrid Xanadu; Autovía A-5 , km 23.5, Arroyomolinos; 10 AM – 10PM Monday – Thursday, 10 AM – Midnight Friday – Sunday Cost: 42-50 euros; 6 line to Príncipe Pío metro stop. Then Madrid Intercity Bus 539 or 528 to the Av.sauces-pºde Mostoles stop.