It can be tricky choosing a ski holiday, especially if you can only travel at certain times of the year. Skiing at Christmas and New Year can be a risk as it is often one of the first weeks of the season for many ski resorts, and we often get asked what ski resorts would be best for late season skiing in March or April. Choosing a high altitude ski resort gives you the best chance for great snow conditions for your ski holiday whatever time of the ski season.
France continues to be our top selling ski country, with 9 out of 10 of our top selling ski resorts being located in France. France is often favoured because of the high ski areas, the variety of slopes, and snow-sure ski resorts.
We've compiled our top 5 snow sure ski resorts in Europe to give you some guidance on where to go for your next ski holiday!
5. Cervinia, Italy
Cervinia has one of the best snow records in Italy, and a perfect option if you're looking to go somewhere different to France or Austria. Located in the Aosta Valley, this high altitude ski area at 2,050 metres also links to Zermatt in Switzerland giving skiers and snowboarders access to a huge 350 km of piste on just one lift pass. Plateau Rosa in Cervinia, the highest skiable area in Italy and its glacier terrain with Zermatt ensures for a long season.
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4. Avoriaz, France
The Portes du Soleil is one of the largest ski areas in the world with over 650km of piste between the 12 ski resorts. Avoriaz has the highest point in this district with a summit of 2466m, allowing the resort to receive the best snow cover in the region but also compared to any other resort in France with an average of nearly 8 metres per season. The best snow spots are at the top of the Arare and Les Hauts Forts where you can ski some lovely long and steep runs into Les Prodains. Even the nursey slopes have good snow coverage to ensure beginners are well accommodated for.
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3. Sölden, Austria
Sölden offers not one but two glacier ski areas, Rettenbach & Tiefenbach! Lack of snow is rarely the case in Solden, with the first world cup races of the season hosted as early as October! Snow is guaranteed in this high altitude and extensive ski area where all of the slopes are between 1350m and 3340m and is Austria’s only ski area that has 3 skiable peaks that are reach heights of over 3000m: Gaislachkogl (3058m), Tiefenbachkogl (3250m) and Schwarze Schneide (3340m).
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2. Val Thorens, France
Europe's highest ski resort at 2,300 metres, Val Thorens is purpose built to make use of the fantastic snow conditions in this part of the 3 Valleys ski area. Neighbouring resorts of Les Menuires and the hidden valley Orelle also have reliable snow conditions that are linked to Val Thorens and can be accessed by the full area lift pass. 99% of the ski area is positioned above 2000m which ensures the best quality snow during its long season which spans nearly 6 months. Glacier skiing is also possible for superb snow conditions on the Péclet glacier whilst still providing state of the art snow making facilities.
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1. Tignes, France
Due to Tignes’ high altitude and north facing slopes, it’s one of the most snow-sure ski resorts in the world and most reliable for decent snow at the start and end of the ski season. Tignes has the Grande Motte glacier which allows all year round skiing with slopes up to 3450m and always has quality snow. The ski season is one of the longest in Europe, normally running from the start of December through to May with summer skiing on the glacier in July and August.
The Iglu Ski team often have trips here in December and April and we keep going back season after season as Tignes has the best conditions at these times of year. With the large selection of accommodation available there is always a great deal to be had at the start and end of the ski season in Tignes, view Tignes chalet deals or Tignes hotel deals.
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Other snow-sure favourites include...
Saas Fee, Switzerland
With a summit reaching up to 3600m, the altitude and aspect of Saas Fee means this is one of the snowiest ski resorts in the Alps. The beautiful, traffic-free village sits at 1800m and is surrounded by magnificent snowy peaks. Snow conditions are so good in this Swiss resort that the ski area is also open during the summer months.
Les Deux Alpes, France
Real snow is guaranteed at Les Deux Alpes thanks to the glacier peaking at 3600m. From the top you can ski all the way down to the village of Mont de Lans at 1300 – a huge decent of 2300m! Like Tignes, summer skiing is available on the glacier in the summer months due to the high altitude and it is a popular start and end of the season ski destination.
Les Arcs, France
Les Arc 1950 and Les Arc 2000 are the two highest villages in resort and due to their altitude the villages and slopes are very reliable for great snow conditions. The positioning of the bowl where the villages are located is sheltered and faces north east adding to the excellent reliability. From here you can access the Aiguille Rouge at 3226m which will have the best snow conditions even in the driest winters. The ski season in Les Arcs normally lasts from mid-December to mid-April with a huge range of accommodations to suit all budgets.