In the past few years I've turned into a bit of a fair weather rider and found myself choosing the sunny month of March over the earlier months. Peak December is too expensive, January is too cold, February too busy so I find March to be the perfect month for a ski holiday. If you can only fit in one ski holiday and need to decide what time of the season to go, choose March. By the time March comes around snow bases have built up enough over the season so the slopes are in the best condition for an excellent week of skiing or snowboarding. The days get longer in the spring so you get more ski time for your money, which also means you can take advantage of long lunches in the sunshine whilst still fitting in a few more hours of skiing after. There is also still a good chance of fresh snow, but when the snow does fall it is often just for a short period (overnight or just 1 or 2 days) so there is a good possibility of a perfect bluebird powder day during your ski week. And the best thing about skiing in March… après sessions in the sunshine!
Here are the top 5 ski resorts for skiing in March:
Austria is beautiful whatever the season, whether it's covered in a blanket of snow or the foot of the mountains and villages are surrounded my green grass and budding flowers. As many ski villages in Austria sit at a much lower altitude compared to on top of the mountain, in March you can already see spring coming to life in Mayrhofen village. This means you can spend the day up on the Penken mountain shredding the slopes up to 2500m and then retreat down the mountain to mild temperatures and pretty Austrian scenery for the evening. I was on a group ski holiday in Mayrhofen in March 2015 and had a brilliant week; we even had fresh snowfall 2 out of the 6 days!
White Lounge mountain bar at Ahorn in Mayrhofen
Alpe d'Huez is a brilliant all-round ski resort that caters for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The town sits at 1860m and the ski area peaks at 3330m up on the glacier allowing high altitude skiing and guaranteed snow. The Pic Blanc glacier is so high that on a clear day you can see one-fifth of France! There are plenty of bars and restaurants on and off the mountain for you to soak up the sunshine at any time of the day, and there is even a large open air swimming pool in the middle of town if you feel like a break from the snow.
Skiing in March is all about the beautiful weather and awesome ski conditions, and La Plagne has some of my favorite scenery in France. Sunrises and sunset views from Belle Plagne are magical and heading up the Roche de Mio to take in the vast expanse of the stunning Tarantaise valley is the best start to the ski day. On a clear day (most days in March) you can see the Courchevel and the Altiport across the valley from the top of La Grande Rochette at Plagne Centre.
Belle Plagne in the distance, the top village in La Plagne
Head to the swanky ski resort of Courchevel in the magnificent Three Valleys ski area and enjoy the abundance of mountain sun terraces. At the far end of the budget try the nautical themed Le Cap Horn next to the altiport for the best seafood and sushi in resort. Bel Air in Courchevel 1650 is located in a stunning spot on the mountain. Les Verdons is ideal for a beer break in a deckchair. Bouc Blanc has a huge sun terrace and Le Panoramic wins for the best views!
When the sun is blazing down it always encourages you to stop for a quick cheeky pint or head to an outside bar after skiing. What’s the best place for après?… ST ANTON! Ski hard all day across the epic Arlberg ski region then retire back to St Anton for a legendary session and Krazy Kangaruh or Mooserwirt.
Mooserwirt bar. Photo: Mooserwirt.at
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Here is AJ to tell you more about why his favourite time of the year to ski is March:
The Tirol region in Austria is one of the most exciting places to be this winter. With the rise in UK arrivals in the area last season there have been lots of new and improved innovations in Tirol over this summer. From new linked ski areas, to enhanced lift infrastructure and new accommodations, there has never been a better time to visit Austrian Tirol. Find out more about what's new for the Austrian Tirol this season.
Here are the top 5 ski resorts that will be well worth the visit this season:
After years of talk about linking up with Saalbach, this will finally be a reality from December 2015. This area will become the talk of Austria as huge possibilities will open up. The new, high speed Tirol S gondola will link Fieberbrunn in Tirol with Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang in Salzburgerland. This new connection will join up 270km of piste and will become the largest interconnected ski area and most varied in Austria.
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Sölden will be the talk of the town when it hits the silver screen this winter in the James Bond film, Spectre. Anything good enough for 007 will be popular amongst fans and will be the place to be this season. Sölden is an Alpine Ski World Cup venue and one of the most famous ski areas in the world. The state of the art lift system teamed with the 145km of perfect pistes makes this resort a dazzling diamond in Tirol. The 3 mountain peaks over 3000m and 2 glacier ski areas makes the resort one of the most snow-sure in Austria. Powder hounds will bask in the freeride ski and snowboard area at the Gaislachkogl peak. If you heading over this way this winter, don’t forget to ski down the 15km route from Schwarze Schneide at Rettenbach Glacier.
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Mayrhofen is popular among Britons because it is a great all-round resort for both skiers and snowboarders. This season Mayrhofen will be unveiling the new and improved Penkenbahn which is now a state of the art 3S gondola. This will dramatically reduce the lift queues and waiting times getting up the mountain. Mayrhofen and the Ziller Vally resorts (which are linked by easy bus and train links) have a hugely varied circus of pistes which cater for all levels, including high glacier runs, expert parks, pretty tree lined runs and leisurely slopes. The après is up there with the best of Austria; from on-mountain après at the igloo White lounge to dancing on the tables at Brück'n Stadl to late night partying at Harakiri. With brilliant skiing, fun après, large town with plenty of shops and restaurants, plus easy transport links to explore the surrounding areas it’s no surprise that thousands of Brits head here.
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This first rate ski resort is consistently our top seller in Austria. Whilst you’re not skiing or snowboarding on your holiday you want to be discovering the best après ski, and St Anton is renowned as the best ski party town in the world. Intermediate and advanced riders will love the range of challenging pistes across St Anton and the Arlberg region, plus there are plenty of back country areas if you are looking to head off piste with a guide.
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The charming fairytale town, large ski area and friendly Austrian atmosphere keep skiers and snowboarders coming back year after year. Kitzbuhel is the text book example of Austrian skiing and offers everything you would want for a ski holiday in Tirol. In the recent Ski Club of Great Britain consumer research report, Kitzbuhel had the biggest jump in the Top 10 ski resorts, jumping up an incredible 36 ranks to spot number 8 confirming its popularity over last season. The home of the prestigious Hahnenkamm ski race offers 170km of varied ski slopes across the large mountain range. From the mix of blues and red runs on the home mountain, to the fun freeride areas around the 3S and Jochberg to the wide blues at Pass Thurn and the beginner slopes at the Kitzbuheler Horn, there is something for everyone.
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We all deserve a little luxury in our lives, and what better way to treat ourselves than to indulge in an exquisite chalet setting for our yearly ski holiday. Luxury ski chalets aren't just for the rich and famous, we have a wide selection of affordable luxury properties in Europe, USA and Canada. A luxury ski chalet is how you would dream your ideal ski retreat, with opulent alpine furnishings, spectacular spa facilities, gourmet food and fine wines. The expert and professional staff will match that of 4 and 5 star hotels. They will cater for all your needs and enhance every detail of your stay so you will experience the finest week of your life. Excellent food is at the heart of a ski holiday. At a luxury chalet or hotel, an exceptional menu and cuisine is an essential part of the service. Chefs will tantalise your taste buds and cook to your likes and dislikes. From a hearty breakfast, to a gratifying afternoon tea after skiing and a dinner banquet fit for royalty. Expect canapés and aperitifs followed by a 4 course meal, then coffee and treats to bring the night to a close. Each luxury property will have its own unique features, from saunas and steam rooms, to private cinemas, hot tubs, gyms and even wine cellars. Iglu Ski has a large selection of luxury ski holiday options, including all-inclusive holidays. Take a look at our 10 favourite once in a lifetime ski chalets to inspire your next ski adventure and speak to our expert ski sales team to discuss your dream options.
Chalet Lafitenia, Val d'Isere, France
Chalet Sirocco, Verbier, Switzerland
Chalet Uberhaus, Lech, Austria
Chalet Ambre, Tignes, France
Chalet Maria Schnee, St Anton, Austria
Hotel Kaila, Meribel, France
Hotel Carlina, Courchevel, France
Hotel Fitzroy, Val Thorens, France
The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Canada
Club Med Val d'Isere, France
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One of the most frequently asked questions we get is where is good for après. The quality of the après scene could make or break a ski holiday for some. After a long day on the mountain, many of us love to unwind and celebrate with a cold beer, great music and dancing. Austria has the best après bars in the world. If you crave a lively ski resort full of lots of entertainment after a day of skiing or snowboarding then look no further than the picturesque villages and beautiful mountains of Austria. Get your après boots at the ready and take a look at our contenders for the best après in Austria:
This party town is popular with younger crowds with its large club like venues such as Whisky Mule and Salven Stadl which are open to the early hours. If you prefer a quieter après venue there are plenty of more sophisticated bars in Soll such as Bella Vita and Rossini café. With around 30 restaurants and bars in resort there are plenty of options to suit everyone’s tastes.
This skiing gem has some of the best après ski in the Alps. Between Saalbach and Hinterglemm there are over 40 après venues! You are truly spoilt for choice in this beautiful part of Austria. One of the most rememberable venues is the ‘goat themed’ Goasstall in Hinterglemm. If you are with to dance in your ski boots until dinner time, look no further than Hinterhag Alm next to the Kohlmais piste.
I was fantastically surprised by the après in Mayrhofen, not only was it spectacular fun, it was great value too (especially compared to the large French resorts). Mayrhofen is a huge party town with a wide variety of pubs, bars and clubs making it a perfect choice for large groups. On piste I loved the White Lounge Igloo bar at the Ahorn and the uber cool Grillhof Alm by the Van park on the Penken side. Once back in the village head to the Ice Bar or Bruck ‘n’Stadl for the liveliest après, then if you are still wanting to carry on the party after dinner, Mo’s, Scotland Yard, Funky’s and Harakiri are open till late.
Bruck n Stadl
There was a divide in the Iglu Ski offices over the top spot on this list. We have a handful of ski experts that believe Ischgl deserves the golden crown. With incredible party venues like Trofana Alm, Schatzi Bar and the Kuhstall you are guaranteed a vibrant week of amazing après.
It’s no surprise that St Anton is the undefeated heavyweight champion with its world renowned legendary après bars. With an abundance of piste-side bars, you can’t avoid stopping off for a post-ski beverage on your last run home. The Krazy Kangaruh and Mooserwirt are 2 of the most famed après bars in resort, that are packed to the brim with skiers and snowboarders daily and the best spots to get your dose of dancing on tables in your ski boots!
Are you thinking about skiing in St Anton this winter? Read our experts guide to St Anton
View our top ski deals in Austria By Krystelle
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