With the ski season ending in April or May depending on the resort, last minute ski holidays aren’t out of the question. Whether you’re looking into holidays within the next few weeks, or leaving it for next season, or even hoping for some summer skiing, here’s our guide to the earliest and latest of the snow. |
For a long ski season, head to the highest resorts you can find. Even when booking at the last minute, ski holidays far above sea level are often successful as these areas are the coldest and the most snow-sure. Holidays to Val Thorens and Orelle offer plentiful snow until closing in early May and re-open in November, due to their high-altitude locations.
Summer Skiing in the Alps
If you want to ski in the Alps but you’ve missed the season, don’t worry! Even if you’ve decided against Val Thorens at the very last minute, ski holidays are available year-round in glacial locations. Glaciers are essentially enormous ice rivers. They remain frozen year-round, meaning that the snowfall on top of them is preserved by the ancient ice below.
The largest ski area in the Alps that remains open in the summer is Zermatt. Also taking the title of Europe’s highest summer ski area, Zermatt offers superb glacier skiing and equally stunning views at all times of the year. If Zermatt doesn’t suit you, you’ll find a number of other glaciers in the Alps that are open for skiing outside the normal season.
Outside the Alps
If you don’t mind venturing further afield for your ski holidays, you’ll find some brilliant summer skiing elsewhere in the world. Riksgransen, in Sweden, is a particular gem. Not only is the entirety of the area set up as a terrain park, keeping things interesting for those who aren’t always keen on glacier skiing, but from late May until the resort’s closing in June you can also expect 24-hour sunlight. Skiing is available late into the night, making Riksgransen a unique place to ski.
For those who fancy something even more different to the Alps, consider visiting one of the many late-season or year-round ski areas in the US. Mt. Hood, in Oregon, offers year-round skiing as well as a chance to dip into the US’ unique ski culture. It’s also worth considering California as a candidate for your ski holidays; the majority of the USA’s late-open ski resorts are here, and these resorts frequently have a fun, surf atmosphere due to their surfer demographic.
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for last minute ski holidays in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.
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