But what’s the catch? Good question. Well, to enjoy a late ski holiday, you’ve got to know where to go. Unfortunately, not all ski resorts are perfect for a late ski holiday. Luckily for you, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of great resorts to consider.
Note: These resorts aren’t in any particular order. They each have something to offer. The final decision is your's based on the information we provide.
What to Consider to Finding the Perfect Spring Destination?
The height of a ski resort affects a lot more than just the snow conditions on the slopes. In high school, you learned that the higher you go, the colder it becomes. This is all because of low air pressure at the high altitudes. It helps in maintaining cold temperatures and ensuring the snow is around for longer.
This is especially important for late season skiing. The resort you choose should have high slopes to somewhat guarantee snowy slopes even at the end of the season. Now, it’s important to note that while altitude plays an important role in maintaining snowy slopes, the latitude is just as important.
The ski resorts in lower latitudes experience high temperatures. As such, the snow melts faster. And with the changing climate, winters are getting shorter and shorter, leading to rising snow lines. On the bright side, many resorts have embraced snow making technology, which helps to counteract this effect.
- Good Reputation for Snow
Before you plan to spend your time and money on any resort, you should research on the resort’s reputation for snow. At the very least, the resort should be famous for having snow throughout the season as a result of altitude, latitude, or technology embraced.
And with that, let’s now jump into short reviews of the best 20 resorts for a mind-blowing late ski holiday.
Best Late Season Skiing Destinations in Europe
- Tignes and Val d’lsere
Height – 1906 m
Piste Runs – 300 km
Open Until – 5th May 2019
Best Known for – Intermediate Cruising
Tignes and Val d'Isere are the heart of the Espace Killy region. This region was named after Jean Claude Killy, a famous French skier who won 3 gold medals at the winter Olympics of 1968. Now, while you might not have known about the gold medallist who made history in this region, you surely must have heard of the connected ski resorts – they are by far the best and largest in France.
Tignes and Val d'Isere are connected by snowy slopes stretching for 300 km (170 km of natural slopes, 78 km of intermediate slopes and 52 km of challenging slopes). The slopes rise to 3,456 m. If you are not an expert to cascade down these slopes, you will need to have high confidence and strong legs.
These two resorts are often bundled together but are different. The Val d’lsere stretches along the main street in the area while the Tignes is basically a collection of resort villages. To move from one resort to the next, you’ll need to take the bus.
- Val Thorens
Height – 2130 m
Piste Runs – 600 km
Open Until – 22nd April 2019
Best Known for – Beauty and Scenery
At 2130 m, Val Thorens is the highest resort in France as well as the whole of Europe. This is a big deal since its high altitude guarantees skiers snow cover throughout the winter season from early November to late April (into May). There is nothing more to say of other ski resorts in the area.
Courtesy of its high slopes, the resort offers a beautiful and spectacular panoramic view of the world below. Its terrain is perfect for both experts and beginners – the diverse pistes are a testament of this. It’s also worth noting that the resort is linked to the Courchevel, Maurienne, and Meribel valleys.
And if you would still want to keep in touch with your spiritual side, there’s a church in the village. It was built in 1991. It is well known for its snow reliability and beautiful scenery along with ample and sophisticated ski amenities.
Val Thorens is only 122 km from Chambery and 200 km from Geneva airports.
- La Plagne and Les Arcs
Height – La Plagne: 1960 m, Les Arcs: 2026 m
Piste runs – La Plagne: 225 km, Les Arcs: 200 km
Opening until – 27th April 2019
Best known for – Scenery, snowsure slopes
Les Arcs ski area has an elaborate modern lift system. In addition to this, the snow is reliable and is complemented by snow making machines. From the Les Arcs slopes, Mont Blanc and La Rosiere look incredible.
Les Arcs is connected to LA Plagne through a cable car which can be boarded at Plan Peisey. The express cable car traverses over 425 km of piste.
Apres ski on the ski resort is relatively quiet. This makes it perfect for those with families and is looking for a mix of fun, peace, and quiet. With that said, there are several nightclubs in the region, including George’s wine bar. If your throat gets dry and you need to quench your thirst, the fun ice bar on the mountain will come in handy.
For those with kids, you should note that there is a kid’s slope as well as a toboggan run that has floodlights enabling children to ski until evening.
Height – 1495 m
Piste runs – 56 km
Opening until – 22nd April 2019
Best known for – a large ski area
Chamonix has been a preferred ski destination for many people around the world since 1760. Yes, you heard that right. Chamonix went on the map centuries ago when a scientist won a prize for being the first to climb the mountain (Mont Blanc). The highest mountain in Europe is Mont Blanc. Since then, the resort has undergone some significant changes and transformations. The transformations were kind enough to allow it to host the 1924 winter Olympics.
Given its facilities, dedicated snowboarders and skiers, as well as mountain guides and ski instructors, visit the resort to qualify for various events. But even then, it also features nursery slopes which are perfect for kids and beginners.
The scenery from the 20 km off-piste run is to die for. However, only confident intermediates and experts can enjoy the off-piste runs.
Geneva is the nearest airport being only 82 km away.
- St Anton
Height – 1511 m
Piste runs – 306 km
Open Until – 28th May 2019
Best Known for? – Nightlife and Family friendly
St. Anton is one of the best five resorts in Austria. It is one of the largest and most connected ski resorts. It takes pride in having snowy slopes stretching for 306 km and 200 km of challenging off-piste terrain for intermediates and experts. More to this, it has an excellent and efficient lift system coupled with an attractive town below with stylish and charming restaurants, chalets, and hotels.
At their high altitudes, the slopes are guaranteed of snow for longer periods than most resorts. The highest lift rises to 2811 m above sea level. Speaking of lifts, the resort has a total of 88 ski lifts.
The resort attracts families and party animals alike. It has infamous bars on its sides; Krazy Kanguruh and Mooserwirt. Even if you are not on the hills, you are still guaranteed of mad fun.
You can get to St Anton through Innsbruck which is 95 km away of through Friedrichshafen which is only 130 m away. Zurich airport is also a great option but its 196 km away.
Height – 1289 m
Piste run – 108 km
Opening until – 28th April 2019
Best known for – Long runs perfect for experts, snow reliability and scenery
Obergurgl is quite unique. Of all the Alps in eastern Austria, it is the highest at 3082 m. This altitude alone guarantees snow on its slopes and a more extended winter season lasting until early May. And though there’s nothing extraordinary about its piste runs (they are pretty standard in length) at 108 km and 23 lifts it has a loyal following of families from Britain. The resort has light traffic.
Obergurgl is perfect for intermediates and beginners. However, experts can still enjoy the 14.3 km of challenging runs. If you are out to have some bit of fun on the slopes, you’ll enjoy apres scene on the slopes. It has a traditional feel to it. You can spend the afternoons dancing in some of the mountain restaurants.
The village below is quite charming, and the scenery from the slopes is breathtaking. It also has loads of amenities, making it family friendly.
You can get there though Innsbruck airport, which is 96 km away or through Otz Station, which is only 40 km away.
Height – 1495 m
Piste run – 239 km
Opening until – 1st May 2019
Best Known for? –
For years, Ischgl has been the top Austrian destination for German skiers. However, it has gained a strong following from British tourists as well. This improvement is because of quality pistes and music. The slopes stretch for a total of 239 km and rise to 2872 m.
Ishgl is 45 km away from St. Anton. Currently, it boasts of having an innovative lift system, smart hotels in place of the old villages that filled the valley below, spas and apres ski bars and restaurants on the slopes.
Aside from skiing, you’ll be treated to exciting live concerts. In the past, the mountain festivals have hosted celebrities like Tina Turner, Deep Purple, Mariah Carey, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Robbie Williams, The Killers, James Blunt and many more.
Back to the ski slopes, you’ll be pleased to note that the resort has snow canons and offers night skiing. In addition to this, it has loads of freestyle facilities, including a snow park with jumps and rails, and kickers. As an icing to the cake, the snow park has two restaurants.
You can get to the resort through Innsbruck airport, which is only 100 km away or through Zurich, which is 253 km away.
Height – 1750 m
Piste runs – 60 km
Open until – all year round
Best known for – Snowsure slopes, scenery, beginner and intermediate slopes
At such a high altitude (3250 m), you don’t have to wonder how they are able to remain open for a whole year. The high altitude guarantees the slopes of snow the entire year. And actually, it’s the only resort in Austria that opens 365 days a year (it’s one of two in the world).
This resort has everything a powderhound would be after including cold temperatures, an expansive off-piste, reliable snowfall and easy access to neighboring ski resorts including Zillertal and Mayrhofen ski resorts.
The ski resort is super convenient. Check this out; the lifts are only 15 minutes away from the main village. To cut down on time, you could book a room in one of the hotels at the bottom of the lifts.
The scenery from the slopes is impressive. It’s quite magical. The slopes are designed to accommodate experts and beginner skiers alike. The expert skiers will feel more at home on the ski routes which stretch for 13 km.
Hintertux is 25 m from Innsbruck. By road, it will only take you 90 minutes to get there.
Height – 1990 m
Piste runs – 144 km
Opening until – 5th May 2019
Best known for – Apres ski, family friendly, scenery
If you are a James Bond fan and have watched Sceptre, some of the slopes in Solden will look oddly familiar. This is only because some scenes in the movie were shot in this ski resort. How cool is that? You could be in your James Bond element on the slopes. In addition to this, Solden opened up an exhibition space for the’ 007 Elements’.
But is that all the slopes have to offer? Certainly not. The resort has quite elaborate runs that are perfect for intermediates and beginners. Also, the view from the slopes is breathtaking. To help you take it all in, Solden set up viewing platforms strategically on the slopes.
The ski area can be accessed using gondolas and ski buses. Last but not least, the resort is alive in the sense that it’s apres ski has a strong heartbeat. It’s kept pumping by countless pubs, bars, and clubs that play loud music till dawn. Apres ski is taken to the mountain slopes through restaurants.
For those into extra activities off the slopes, the leisure centre is a gem. It is packed with water slides, pools, a gym, sauna, and a bowling rink.
Height – 1051 m
Piste runs – 41 km
Opening until – 2nd June 2019
Best known for – Beginner and family facilities
Kaprun ski area is divided into 3; Maiskogel, Lechnerberg, and Kitzsteinhorn. Together, these areas provide a great ski experience. Beginner tows are available at Lechnerberg. It is perfect for families and beginners. On the other hand, Maiskogel is respected for its family-friendly ski facilities at 960 m above the town. Kitzserinhorn is the eye of the ski resort. It rises to an altitude of 3029 m. This high elevation guarantees snow for longer.
Kaprun is not humongous. However, it more than makes up for its size with its picturesque church and scenery. Overall, the town is laid back and quiet.
The closest airports are Salzburg and Innsbruck, which are 109 km and 142 km away respectively. You can catch direct flights into Austria from anywhere in the world.
Height – 2509 m
Piste runs – 412 km
Opening until – 22nd April 2019
Best known for – beautiful Scenery and snow-sure slopes
Verbier is one of the 4 Vallees ski domain. Given the fact that the slopes stand at a maximum of 3,330 m, the slopes have snow for longer. Additionally, the scenery from the hills is to die for. From the slopes, you can see as far as Mont Blanc. Complementing the snow-sure slopes, the resort has snowmaking technology which makes it safe to book late in the season.
If you are the kind that lives for free ride and off-piste skiing and snowboarding, then you will fall in love with Verbier. Though the runs are designed to accommodate easy, intermediate and expert skiers, there are more intermediate ski runs than easy and expert runs.
It’s also worth noting that Verbier is interlinked with 4 Vallees ski areas. These areas can be accessed through lift passes. Now, since Verbier is one of the largest ski resorts in Switzerland, it’s frequented by many skiers. As such, the 67 lifts come in handy in serving the heavy traffic during peak seasons.
You can get to Verbier through Geneva international airport which is about 170 km away. This translates to a 2-hour drive.
Height – 3899 m
Piste runs – 322 km
Opening until – All Year-round
Best known for – snowsure slopes, family friendly, scenery, all-around ski levels
Zermatt ski resort is yet another great resort in Switzerland. It is what many beginner and expert skiers and snowboarders crave for. You can ski on the Zermatt slopes all year long. The terrain is vast, and there are lots of elaborate runs, especially for the intermediate skiers. Many expert skiers have fallen in love with it because of the 38 km ski routes it features.
Fifty-three ski lifts serve the vast area. It’s true that many resorts have a great view from the slopes. However, Zermatt’s view is one of a kind. The view of the village, no mini-town below is exquisite. And though the village is more of a town, it has done a great job in preserving the ‘old town’ culture, and the traditional European charm tourists seem to love.
For the night owls, you should know that Zermatt’s nightlife is alive and vibrant. It will keep you engaged and entertained all night long.
You can get to Zermatt through Geneva or Zurich airports which are 2.5 hours and 3.5 hours away.
Height – 1773 m
Piste runs- 100 km
Opening until – 28th April 2019
Best known for – quiet life, family friendly
This is a beautiful ski resort in Switzerland. The traditional village oozes beauty. Now, the ski area is split into 3; Saas Almageli, Saas Grund and Saas Fee. These areas are not interlinked with lifts. Saas Fee has a large area perfect for beginners although intermediate snowboarders and skiers will have a blast as well on the pistes marked red. Experts will have more fun on the ski routes.
Aside from skiing, you can enjoy other activities, including tobogganing, parapenting, snowshoeing, and walking on cleared paths. Saas-Fee also created an elaborate leisure centre with a 25 m pool, a water slide and a kid’s pool, hot tub, saunas, a gym, and steam rooms. There is also an ice rink, and fun roller coaster rides you can go on.
You can get to this ski resort through Sion, Geneva, and Zurich airports. Sion is only 75 minutes away, Geneva only 2 hours 45 minutes away and Zurich 4 hours away.
Height – 1156 m
Piste runs – 70 km
Opening until – 22nd April 2019
Best known for – Families and Free riders
Andermatt is an off-piste and powder mecca or serious skiers and freeriders. With the cold storms that hit the resort from all sides, Andermatt is easily one of the best freeriding destinations in the world. However, it also attracts intermediate skiers and families.
You can easily access the resort through Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn or its lift. Bear in mind that Andermatt has managed to preserve the traditional Swiss Alpine culture in the village despite the new and innovative additions to the resort.
Height – 387 m
Piste runs – 21 km
Opening until – 16th June 2019
Best known for – 24-hour Skiing, off-piste trails
Now you probably are wondering how this resort could be open till June and still have snow. Well, here’s a fun fact – it’s only 250 km from the Arctic Circle. Its proximity to the North Pole affords it snow sure slopes way into spring despite it not being as high as other ski resorts we’ve come across.
Aside from its late snow ski holiday, its other selling points include 24-hour daylight, again, owing to its proximity to the North Pole. With 24 hour daylight, you can ski all day and all night long. The sun will still be shining. Heck, you might not know it’s midnight. Additionally, you can enjoy affordable heliskiing and ski touring on the resort.
You can get to Riksgransen through Narvik, which is only 50 minutes away or through Kiruna, which is 2 hours away. Riksgransen is connected to Sweden and Norway by rail and road.
Height – 894 m
Piste runs – 91 km
Opening until – 1st May 2019
Best known for – Apres ski, vibrant nightlife
Are ski resort is more than a century old. As a resort, it is proud of its off-piste guiding and off-piste guiding in addition to dog sledding, apres ski and a fun nightlife. The highest run on the resort is 1270 m high. This is more than a kilo meter above the town.
The beauty of this resort is that it caters to the different level of skiers. In 2007 it hosted the biennial World Championships. Several tunnels were built for the spectators in preparation for this championship. However, since then, the tunnels have been converted into pistes. Beginners and intermediates can cascade down these pistes to explore more romantic and cozier trails.
When you are not skiing, you can spend your time in the sauna.
Height – 803 m
Piste runs – 20 km
Opening until – 5th May 2019
Best known for – family-friendly, snow-sure slopes
Narvik is found in Ofoten, Norway. It is surrounded by the open sea on three sides. It has a new gondola on the biggest vertical. This gondola helped it host the 1991 Downhill World Cup. Give its small size; the resort is served by only four lifts.
But despite its size, Narvik has diverse ski slopes. They can accommodate all levels of skiers from newbies to experts. However, experts only have 2 km of slopes to enjoy while intermediate skiers have 10 km. And given the Scandinavian climate, snow is almost guaranteed on the slopes.
If you are planning for a family ski holiday and don’t want an area that is crowded, you will fall in love with Narvik. There is a ski school where your kids can learn the basics of skiing if this is their first time gliding on the snow.
Height – 378 m
Piste runs – 34.2 km
Opening until – 28th April 2019
Best known for – Family friendly, perfect for beginners and intermediates
One of the oldest ski resorts in Norway is Geilo. It speaks volumes and sets the trend in the Norway ski industry. It mostly appeals to beginners and families – individuals who are looking to have a wholesome skiing experience.
The ski resort is located in a broad valley between Oslo and Bergen. It is on the edge of Hardangervidda – Norway’s largest national park. Because of this, the scenery is spectacular
Geilo features two ski areas; Geiloloa and Slaatta. The two are connected using a ski bus. For the ski newbies, the gentle nursery slopes are the perfect place to learn the basics. Additionally, you can also choose to enrol in a ski school with English speaking instructors. The red ski trails are perfect for intermediates. The experienced skiers can have a blast on the black-marked trails.
If you don’t want to spend all your time on the slopes, you can spend time taking snowshoe walks, tobogganing, ice fishing or go on horse-drawn sleigh rides or dog sled safaris. The ski resort is one big adventure. Please enjoy all the activities what it has to offer and have a blast.
Height – 201 m
Piste runs – 18.9 km
Opening until –9th April 2019
Best known for – Family friendly, night skiing, Vibrant nightlife
Let’s start with some fun facts about Ruka ski resort. First, it’s one of the top 10 resorts in Finland, and second, it’s a family friendly ski resort. The resort is close to Kuusamo. Its proximity to this area gives it cooler temperatures. In 2005, the award of the World Freestyle Ski championship was done here.
In addition to skiing, Ruka has additional facilities including snowmobiling, dog sledding, a tropical pool. It also has a snowmaking machine, and the ski area has floodlights which make skiing in the dark possible.
It’s worth noting that Ruka sponsors the Finnish Snowboard Tea. As such, most international and local freestyle teams train with them.
The young crowd at Ruka ski resort is quite friendly and lively. They keep the resort alive throughout the season by inviting top DJs and live bands to perform and throw it down.
Height – 2337 m
Piste runs – 322 km
Opening until – all year round
Best known for –
Cervinia is located at the foot of Matterhorn. It has excellent dining and skiing experiences at affordable prices. Before the ski resort was built, the Cervinia village was for mountaineers. The ski resort has a beautiful landscape coupled with stunning views. The high altitude guarantees reliable snow throughout the winter season.
We should point out that Cervinia is interconnected with Zermatt ski resort in Switzerland. If you’d like to test how much pain and strain your legs can take, then the intermediate and expert ski slopes are perfect for you.
There you go. Now you don’t have a reason not to go skiing. Any of these ski resorts will be fun for you and your family. However, be sure to make the decision as a family.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/best-off-season-skiing-destinations-in-europe