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Skiing in March and April is our favourite time of the ski season. Days get longer and temperatures start to warm up so you can relish in the brilliant ski conditions in the morning then hit the bars in the afternoon and soak up après in the sun on a mountain top terrace. End of season skiing is a popular option for skiers and snowboarders as there is more availability in favoured accommodations and families can enjoy a cheaper ski holiday in the Easter break compared to the high prices at Christmas and half term. Here are our top 5 reasons why we love spring skiing:
There’s nothing better than carving up the mountain with the sun beating down on your back. You don’t have to cart around lots of layers, you can sunbathe in between ski runs and you’ll have that special code worn only by fellow skiers and boarders – a cracking goggle tan so that everyone knows you’ve just returned fresh from the slopes.
More sunshine = longer days = lifts are open longer = more time out in the snow! Do we need to say any more?
As the slopes get emptier, the prices get cheaper, meaning that a last minute ski holiday is a great way to save the pennies. You'll have a bigger choice of accommodation as chalets and ski in - ski out accommodation won't sell out quite so fast. If you’re looking to squeeze in your second holiday of the season without using up all of your budget, then now’s the time.
If you don't have the time to enjoy a full week on the slopes, there are a number of Weekend Ski Breaks available so you can squueze in that last ski adventure of the season.
Take a look at Last Minute Ski Deals
As the spring months draw nearer, the slopes become quieter and quieter. Airport transfers become much smoother and faster and there are much smaller queues for chairlifts, lunch stops and bars. You’ll have more time to enjoy the breathtaking mountain views, rather than rushing to be first on the lifts.
You'll find that there's much more space on the pistes and if you are lucky enough to enjoy a late season powder day, you’ll be able to ski more fresh laps.
Spring is also a great time to bring along the kids and those who are just learning so they can focus more on their riding and less on trying to dodge others!
Experience some top après as resort bars aim to drink dry the last of their stock, ready to close down for the summer. You’ll find plenty of closing celebrations at just about every resort with live music, BBQ’s and of course, snow – a perfect combination!
The end of season also brings along a lot of festivals, such as Snowbombing, Snowboxx and Zermatt Unplugged.
Snowboxx festival at Folie Douce, Alpe d'Huez
View Ski Holidays in April | Ski Next Weekend | View Snow Reports
Andorra is a hidden gem in the skiing world and is often overlooked when choosing a ski destination. Located between France and Spain, the Andorran ski resorts have just as good slopes as the French Alps but without the lift queues and ridiculous bar tabs. In March 2014 I booked a last minute ski holiday to Soldeu in Andorra. Like many skiers and snowboarders, I had never thought much about skiing the Pyrenees when we have the wealth of popular French and Austrian resorts at our fingertips.
My curiosity got the best of me when a friend that was working in the resort kept on saying how amazing the skiing was and her stunning snowy photos filled up my Facebook feed for most of the winter. As my planned week off quickly approached I decided to discover a new ski destination, so I booked a last minute ski trip to Soldeu.
Going up in the TC8 gondola from Soldeu Andorra is a hidden gem between France and Spain, with just as good slopes as the French Alps but without the lift queues and ridiculous bar tabs. The resort of Soldeu is situated in the middle of 210km of pistes in Grandvalira with linked access to 5 other ski villages including Pas de la Casa.
As Andorra is tax free, alcohol prices in the shops are amazingly cheap. This is great if you are looking for a cheap ski holiday as apartment accommodation prices are very reasonable and you can eat and drink cheaply so you should have no problem with over spending on your trip.
On the slopes in Pas de la Casa
There are regular ski events throughout the season in Grandvalira from professional skiing events to freestyle competitions. Recent events include the Speed Skiing World Championships at the Grau Roig Riberal slope, Alpine Skiing European Cup on the Àgila slope in El Tarter and the Total Fight Master of Freestyle competition held at the El Tarter Snowpark. The Andorran ski resorts have had incredible snowfall the past few seasons, with snow levels even topping our favourite French ski resorts. During the winter 2014/15 ski season Pas de la Casa recieved 734 cm snowfall, Soldeu had 715 cm and Arinsal got 608 cm. Does it all sound too good to be true? Why don’t more holiday makers make Andorra their ski destination of choice?
Fresh snow and quiet slopes on a powder day in Soldeu
I didn’t believe it until I experienced it myself and I had one of my favourite ski weeks ever. I was extremely lucky and encountered a perfect week of snow conditions whilst staying in Soldeu. For the first 3 days I woke up to nearly a foot of fresh snow everyday so I was able to make full use of my new Nitro powder snowboard, and then for the second half of the week we had beautiful bluebird days. I couldn’t have prayed to the snow gods for a more superb ski holiday.
To start your week off there are plenty of blue runs around the Soldeu and El Tarter ski area allowing you to easily warm up your ski legs before venturing on to any intermediate or advanced pistes. Each of the villages are well linked with hardly any need for traversing which is great for snowboarders.
Fantastic wide pistes with stunning views As you progress through the week head over to Grau Roig and Pas De La Casa for a superior choice of wider and longer blue and red runs. The black and red runs on the face in Soldeu are fantastic and are easily accessed straight from the gondola or the TSD 6 man chairlift. For the freestylers, the snowpark at El Tarter is amazing and quick to get to from Soldeu. There is everything you need from fun features to huge kickers for all levels to enjoy.
Mountain restaurant stops in El Tarter
There is no lack of après and nightlife in Soldeu town. If you like a late night or two, this is a resort for you! Fat Alberts is a favourite and where you will end up if it ends up being a big night out. With live music and themed nights throughout the week, it is a popular spot for holiday makers and seasonaires.
The Aspen in the middle of town is one of the most popular bars. The bar staff are awesome, there is a huge choice of drinks, plus there’s also pool tables upstairs and you can watch popular sports events here. The Irish bar, The Harp, is a top bar to hit for après and is often filled with the ski instructors as they finish their day of work. It is the perfect place to get the shots in after a day on the slopes and have some banter with the bar staff.
If you are looking for a late night venue to end your bar crawl, head to Pussycat that is open till 5am!
The end of an amazing week in Soldeu
View Ski Holidays in Soldeu | Ski Holidays in Pas de la Casa | Ski Resorts in Andorra
Words and photos by Krystelle
The first week of March is a prime time for many of the Iglu team to head off on their ski holiday's. The half term crowds have disappeared, the chance of fresh snowfall is high and we get to enjoy the start of spring skiing conditions.This is the time of year where we can go to our favourite resorts. A large group headed to the beautiful Austrian resort of Mayrhofen, while others were in Tignes, Val d’Isere, Zell am See and St Moritz. It was an amazing week for a ski holiday with fresh snow at the stars of the week then sunny skies for the second half. Everyone agreed it was a perfect week in the Alps. There is so much snow in the Alps, it is the perfect time for a last minute getaway! Take a look at a selection of our favourite photos from the week:
Nick HH, Ned, Linda, Nick J and Krystelle enjoyed a week in Mayrhofen staying at the Chalet Stoanerhof. After a very snowy start to the week with more than a foot of fresh snow, the storms cleared up mid week so the team could enjoy the glorious sunshine and mountain bars.
Snowing down in the Village at the start of the week
Ned, Linda, Krystelle and Nick ready for their first day on the mountain
Krystelle and Ned enjoying the powder conditions at the start of the week
Linda loving the views and snow up the glacier
View ski holidays in Mayrhofen
Laura and Millie from the marketing team had an incrediable week in Espace Killy. It was a rocky start wiith high winds on day one, closing many of the lifts but after a foot of snow fell, the sun shone for the rest of the week.
Fresh snow in Tignes at the start of the week
Powder day for Millie in Tignes
Laura loving the breath taking views in Val d'Isere
View ski holidays in Tignes and Val d'Isere
Sam and Jason from the ski sales team spent a week in their favourite ski resort, Zell am See. As you can see they had an amzing week of powder days and apres sessions in the sun.
Power tree trails in Zell
A day trip out to Saalback
View ski holidays in Zell am See
Chris had a stunning week in the exclusive Swiss resort.
View ski holidays in St Moritz
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What did you get up to after Christmas? Whilst some were polishing off the turkey leftovers and watching a festive flick on the telebox, others were shredding the gnar in the UK countryside. Parts of the north and midlands received up to 11cm of snow from Boxing Day 2014 which allowed keen skiers and snowboarders to head to the hills for some fresh powder turns. Check out these awesome photos of backcountry riding, UK style!
Team GB Olympic Snowboarder Jamie Nicholls getting some fresh tracks at home in Yorkshire
Jamie laying down a handplant on his mini ramp & Bradford looking very snowy in the background
Friends of Iglu, Lauren Quinnell & Ollie Evans riding near the Peak District in Wessington, Derbyshire
Stunning snowy landscapes in Leek, Staffordshire, perfect day for a fun shred with friends (Credit - Instagram @samcorbett88)
Paragliders jumping off Mam Tor in the Peak District (Credit - Twitter @PaulSCaddy)
More beautiful snowy scenery in the Peak District (Credit - Twitter @PaulSCaddy)
Skiers in the Peak District (Credit - Twitter @PaulSCaddy)
David Mercker Cox taking his board out in Glenariff, Northern Ireland
Snowy Glenariff at sunset
David getting his freestyle on in the snow in Northern Ireland
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"I was so impressed with the way Laura handled my initial call that as soon as I got home I decided to forget all of the other agents and companies and call her straight back and book the holiday. Thank you again Iglu for being so user friendly and more importantly thank you to Laura for being such an asset to your company and the sales profession."