Best spring skiing in Europe

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The Alpine region offers some of the best options for spring skiing in Europe. The Alps feature high altitude peaks and over 20 glaciers, with several ski resorts open late into spring. Multiple locations even have sunny and warm summer skiing opportunities definitely worth checking out.

These are our 10 personal favorites for spring skiing in Europe! All information is updated as of the date of this post and we recommend always checking with your final destination.

Are you a real Ski Trotter too? Don’t miss our related post on spring skiing resorts in North America

Best spring skiing in Europe

Zermatt, Switzerland

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Zermatt

Zermatt and the Matterhorn (Photo by Michael Portmann)

Why: The Matterhorn / Cervino and off-piste skiing
Open Until: end of April for the main slopes; 365 days on the glacier
Where to stay: enjoy the unique experience of the Zermatt Igloo Village if you are not afraid of the cold!

The Matterhorn, this is all you need to know! The renowned peak (Cervino in Italian) offers postcard ready views and some of the best spring skiing opportunities in Europe. Sunny skiing in Zermatt is magical and spring really is the best time of the year to visit. The north-facing slopes can get chilly in December and January but will not disappoint under the sun. Take a ride on Europe’s highest cable car and enjoy easy access to 60km of slopes in the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. On good days, you can ski across the boarder to Cervinia for a total of 100Km of pistes usually still open in May. The romantic and car-free village of Zermatt offers plenty of gourmet restaurants and apres-ski options. make sure not to miss the Igloo Village! Those with the appropriate budget and freeriding expertise should not miss the several heliskiing opportunities, particularly the day-long descent from the top of Monterosa right into Zermatt.

Cervinia, Italy

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Zermatt

Cervinia ski piste preparation (Photo by Cervino SPA)

Why: The Matterhorn / Cervino for beginners and intermediates
Open Until: end of April
Where to stay: Saint Hubertus bio resort caters to luxurious travelers looking for first class amenities and personalized attention. Sporthotel Sertorelli is a great option for skiers who value affordable lodging and convenience.

Cervinia sits on the southern Italian side of the Matterhorn. The resort is located at about 2,000m with the slopes reaching as high as 3,500m. Cervinia is directly connected to Zermatt and the Valtournenche area, for a total of over 300km of skiing opportunities. While Zermatt suits skiers looking for steeper runs, the West-facing bowl of Cervinia caters well to beginners and intermediates. The resort is less fancy than its Swiss counterpart, appealing to those looking for a genuine and less polished mountain experience. Food, shopping and accommodations come at somewhat of a lower cost, which is certainly a plus. Lift tickets are also significantly cheaper if purchased in Cervinia than in Zermatt, at least based on current exchange rates.

Val Thorens, France

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Val Thorens

Val Thorens ski-in ski-out village (Photo by C. Cattin)

Why: the piste runs through the resort, tons of ski-in / ski-out accomodations
Open Until: May
Where to stay: Altapura hotel is excellent on every level, from location to food options, the convenient ski shop and the pools & spa facilities. On the expensive side but worth it!

Unlike most resorts in the area, Val Thorens is usually open into May including the run down to the village. The resort is part of the 3 Valleys ski circuit, with 600km of pistes and glacier skiing at over 3,000m. The slopes cater to skiers of all levels and offer easy access to some of the most challenging terrain in the Alps. Snow availability is so consistent that the resort offers a snow guarantee November to May: should conditions not be met, you will get an extra day of free skiing! It is only fair to mention that you will likely need to come back for it, though. The village is Europe’s highest resort (2,300m) and the piste runs right through it, with mostly ski-in/ski-out accommodations. As for many Alpine resorts, guides can accompany expert visitors on several off-piste adventures in the area.

Val d’Isere and Tignes, France

Why: the Espace Killy ski circuit is one of the most extensive high altitude skiing options in Europe
Open Until: beginning of May
Where to stay: Hotel L’Aigle the Neige in Val d’Isere features ski-in / ski-out location, attentive service and a beautiful pool. Le Yule Hotel & Spa, also ski-in / ski-out, is somewhat less fancy but offers great value for money.

Located at the intersection of two weather systems, the area is usually blessed with snow storms late in the season. About 60% of pistes are above 2,500m, which also makes it the most extensive high-altitude ski system in Europe. The resort is an excellent choice for skiers of all levels and boasts 300km of varied runs. Visitors can often ski back to base until May. Both towns are great for spring skiing, with Val d’Isere featuring lost of north-facing terrains and Tignes benefiting from the elevation of its Grande Motte glacier (3,400m). The Grande Motte is easily accessible via the underground funicular and offers fairly steep runs compared to other Alpine glaciers. From Tignes, expert riders can rent a guide and enjoy off-piste trails in the Val Claret area.

Verbier, Switzerland

Why: some of the best off-piste trails in the world; good spring deals in a quite expensive resort
Open Until: late April, early May
Where to stay: W Verbier boasts pure luxury. Hotel Bristol is one of the best valued ski-in / ski-out options, mostly suited for a younger crowd.

Verbier is one of the fanciest and more expensive resorts in Europe, therefore making spring deals even more appealing. Located at the heart of the 4 Valleys ski area, this also is the last resort to close. The 4 Valleys area gathers 5 resorts under one single pass (Verbier, Nendaz, Vevsonnaz, Thyon, La Tzoumaz), offering 410km of runs and some of the most challenging slopes in the Alps. What really makes Verbier unique, though, is the world famous off-piste scene. Mont Gele is regarded as one of the best lifts in the world for easy freeride access, with two official and marked off-piste trails for expert skiers. Mont Fort and Vallon D’Arby also boast some renowned off-piste trails. Don’t get fooled by the easy access, though: these are unforgettable experiences, but all require knowledge of freeriding and mountain conditions, expert guidance and appropriate safety equipment.

Chamonix, France 

#chamonix #argentiere #glacier #grandsmontets

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Why: spring is a better bet for Vallee Blanche
Open Until: mid-May
Where to stay: Hotel Mont-Blanc offers the luxurious charm of a recently renovated historical establishment. Le Faucigny and L’Heliopic both are great options for those looking for a friendlier budget.

While most of Chamonix slopes start closing by mid April, the Grand Montets area usually stays open well into May. This part of the resort is best suited for advanced skiers, with north-facing slopes that reach above 3,000m. Chamonix is also regarded as a European mecca for extreme skiing and adventure lovers. The resort sits beneath Mont-Blanc and – together with Alagna and Verbier – offers some of the best freeriding options in Europe if not in the world.  If this sounds appealing, then spring is definitely the time for you to visit Chamonix. The Vallee Blanche off-piste route is heavily dependent on snow depth and spring represents a better bet for total snow fall. Rent a guide and enjoy 20km of freeriding, a vertical descent of 2,700m and breathtaking scenery!

Hintertux, Austria 

Best Spring Skiing in Europe Hintertux copyright Hintertux Glacier

Hintertux (copyright Hintertux Glacier)

Why: great glacier skiing in late spring and summer
Open Until: May for the overall resort; 365 days on the glacier
Where to stay: enjoy the great cuisine and unparalleled Tyrolese atmosphere at the Alpenhof hotel

Hintertux features one of the largest and most varied glacier experiences in the Alps for 365 days every year. The resort usually has 40km to 60km of good runs still open in May, best suited to intermediates. The village is tiny but with the thermal springs and numerous festivals and parties you will not risk getting bored. We recommend Hintertux for late spring, since earlier in the season it wouldn’t offer the same extensive terrains as other European spring skiing destinations in this list. If the snow holds well, though, you can drive down the valley to several nearby ski resorts for day trips.

Obergurgl / Hochgurgl, Austria

😍 another day in paradise 👍

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Why: Tirolean charme and high quality accommodations
Open Until: early May
Where to stay: Hotel Madeleine is a short walk to the slopes but the Spa facilities make it worth it

The Obergurgl-Hochgurgl area is known as the ‘Diamond of the Alps’, offering lots of 4-star accommodations in town and some of the best chalets right on the slopes. The small village of Obergurgl boasts plenty of Tirolean charme and entertainment for those who value quality of accommodation as much as their day on the snow. Access to the slopes is very convenient, with two lifts at both ends of the town and easy access to off piste opportunities. The mid-mountain gondola also directly connects Obergurgl to Hochgurgl, a picturesque cluster of 7 hotels at 2,150m. While the resort does not feature a glacier, its high and north-facing slopes reach over 3,000m in altitude and cater to skiers of all levels. Glacier skiing can be enjoyed in the neighboring resort of Solden, a mere 20 minutes drive from Obergurgl.

Livigno, Italy 

Best spring skiing in Europe - Winter shopping in Livigno

Winter shopping in Livigno (Photo by Roby Trab)

Why: Duty Free status and sunny days
Open Until: end of April / early May
Where to stay: Park Chalet Village offers incredible service and superb accommodation in your own private cottage, with the added convenience of the complimentary ski shuttle

Livigno is known for its long sunny days and spring skiing in short sleeves. The resort is located in the Italian Alps and although it does not have a glacier, it offers pistes up to 3,000m with the high altitude slopes best suited for beginners and intermediate skiers. Livigno is a Tax Free town where you can enjoy food, drinks and shopping at a great value: to avoid unpleasant surprises at customs, just remember to check allowances and limitations! Overall low prices (at least by ski resort standards) attract a younger crowd as well as families. The town is quite picturesque and offers a free shuttle to easily move around. If you are up for a long day trip, you can also drive or take the bus to the beautiful St Moritz (Switzerland) which is a couple of hours away.

Ruka, Lapland, Finland 

Best spring skiing in Europe Ruka

Ruka slopes and panorama (Photo by Ruka.fi)

Why: Magical atmosphere: pick between seeing the northern lights in winter or enjoying close to 20 hours of daylight in spring
Open Until: May; mid-June on good snow years
Where to stay: if your main focus is on skiing, Cumulus Resort Rukahori may lack some fancy amenities but offers unbeatable value and location

This is not the Alps, but Lapland has a magic of its own. Thanks to its position close to the Arctic Circle and great snow making capabilities, Ruka boasts one of the longest skiing seasons for a non-glacier destination. Ruka usually opens as early as October and the season runs well into May. The resort is fairly small, with a total of 34 runs mainly suited to beginners and intermediates and about 6 runs still open in May. Even though the quality of skiing falls short of other bigger and higher European destinations, Ruka offers a strong local vibe and a very unique experience. Weather it is spotting the winter northern lights or enjoying close to 20 hours of daylight and beautiful sunsets in spring, this place will certainly surprise you. Even more magical, how about skiing with a herd of reindeer right next to you?

Check out or favorites for spring skiing in North America

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5 replies
  1. Eric Gamble
    Eric Gamble says:

    I am not a skier…heck I would rather sweat in Hell than Freeze in heaven…however, that picture of the Argentier Glacier in Chamonix, France looks so amazing, that I would reconsider hiking that region even in the cold months just to see that landscape in person. Plus the village at the Val Thorens looks totally cool!

    Reply
  2. Bistra Yakimova
    Bistra Yakimova says:

    As a very beginner skier, I was thinking that this is the right start for me – as in spring, even summer the resorts wouldn’t be that full of pros. So I might give Livigno a second chance (we didn’t get along quite well last time)!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Gem
    Gem says:

    These photos make me wanna fly to Europe for the snow! Summer just started for us in the Philippines and we’re dying every day in the city haha

    Reply

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