10 Best Ski Resorts for late season snow & spring skiing
Afraid you might have missed your chance to hit the slopes this year? Fear not! Here are 10 of the best resorts still open if you're looking for some late season ski action, plus tips on spring (and summer) skiing…
Why go skiing in spring-summer?
It's cheaper. Late season is low season, so lift passes and accommodation cost considerably less than during mid-winter. Read more of our tips on how to save on ski holidays here.
It’s quieter. Skiing and snowboarding in late season means fewer people on the slopes, and less chance of lift queues.
It’s sunnier! (Generally-speaking) expect more sun, longer daylight hours, and longer lift opening times; enjoy the bbqs and beer drinking that takes place on the sun terraces of slope-side cafes and bars. However, it's not uncommon to get heavy snow even in May, so always come prepared for cold weather!
Tips for late season trips
Head high, or head north. The higher the altitude of the ski area, the colder it is, and therefore the longer the snow lasts, so ideally, aim for resorts that have skiing at 2000m or above.
If the resort incorporates a glacier, even better, as this may mean that skiing is possible almost all year round – albeit on limited terrain and short pistes.
Keep an eye on snow depths which can vary considerably from year to year and can make all the difference between a short or long ski season. Check your chosen resort’s website for the latest.
Top 10 late season ski resorts
1. Val Thorens, France
As Europe’s highest ski resort, most of the skiing here is over 2000m, which means the snow keeps cooler for longer and the lifts keep running until early May. Part of the huge Three Valleys ski area, Val Thorens is an excellent bet for good snow conditions even late in the season. You won't run out of alternative activities either: from mountain biking on the snow to paragliding way above it. LibreEnvol Paragliding School is located at Chalet Caron in Val Thorens and offers tandem paragliding from the top of the Boismint run. Looking for somewhere off the beaten slope? We've rounded up some of the best kept secrets in ski holidays to France.
2. Riksgransen, Sweden
Lying 200km above the Arctic Circle on the border with Norway, Riksgransen is one of the world’s most northerly ski resorts and offers the opportunity to ski in the Land of the Midnight Sun, as the days barely get dark in the summer. The best conditions are found later in the season, the lifts here don’t stop running until the end of June and people have been known to ski in shorts! Grab a self-catered stay at Katterjokk Apartments near the Katterjåkk Train Station and you'll be less than 500 metres from the slopes.
3. Åre, Sweden
Sweden’s number one resort, which also claims to be northern Europe’s largest and most advanced, Åre boasts a season that starts in November and lasts until May. With 100 pistes to enjoy plus night skiing too, Åre is a popular choice for late season skiing. Unwind at the Fjällgården Spa and you can lounge in an outdoor hot tub at 556 metres, overlooking the valley and the frozen Åresjön Lake. Bringing your own skis?
4. Tignes, France
A ski resort with a glacier, winter sports enthusiasts can continue skiing until early May in the main resort at Tignes. Summer skiing on the glacier then starts in June, which offers an impressive 20kms of runs and a vertical drop of over 750m. Tignes is split into three areas but if you're looking for on-hand après-ski drinks, The Marmot Arms in Le Lac is a fun choice with plenty of Happy Hour deals, just next to the Palafour chairlift.
5. Zermatt, Switzerland
This famous Swiss ski resort within sight of the mighty Matterhorn has lifts that take you up to 3899m, and offers skiing till early May before the summer skiing begins on the glacier, meaning that Zermatt is one of the few, truly year-round ski destinations in the world. As a result, the car-free town centre is always full of bustling Alpine atmosphere, with a good range of restaurant and accommodation options. If you're coming by road, park in the village of Tasch, 5 miles away and catch the free shuttle.
6. Saas Fee, Switzerland
With a ski area that sits between 1800m and 3500m and has access to a glacier, Sass Fee offers late-season skiers plenty of snow, whilst at the same time has the chocolate-box charm not always found in other high-altitude resorts. Found near the Italian border, it's also home to Switzerland's highest restaurant, DrehrestaurantAllalin at Mittelallalin (catch the Metro Alpin from Saas Fee) which revolves to give you a ever-changing panorama of mountains as you sip your glühwein, and even claims a view as far as Milan on a clear day.
7. Livigno, Italy
8. Gassan, Japan
9. Whistler-Blackcomb, Canada
10. Mammoth, California
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