Chasing the snow
Forget your beach towels and grab your skis! If you can’t bear to stay away from the snow, even in this short summertime, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Snow still falls at high-altitude glacier resorts in Europe, here’s our ultimate summer skiing in Europe guide to help you make the most of your summer holidays.
What to Expect for summer skiing in Europe
In general, the weather will be warmer and sunnier than in the winter months, so it’s crucial where to go skiing during the Summer in Europe since snow conditions vary greatly depending on orientation and altitude of the glaciers.
The quality of the snow can vary hugely throughout the day in summer, with overnight freezing creating firm and fast conditions in the morning, with snow then becoming softer later in the day.
While the number of skiers and snowboarders in the mountain is very small compared to the winter season, summer glacier skiing can offer excellent conditions for learning or improving your skills in a development ski course or ski summer camp.
Top 5 Best Summer Skiing Resorts in Europe
There are many summer ski resorts in Europe due to the high altitude of the Alps. Some of the most popular are Saas-Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland, Tignes and Les Deux Alpes in France, and Hintertux in Austria.
1. SAAS FEE, SWITZERLAND
Also known as ‘The Pearl of the Alps’, Saas-Fee is renowned for its spectacular scenery and a host of activities you can enjoy during summer.
The glacier of Saas-Fee is the best ski camp location in Europe for Summer and Autumn training due to its altitude, aspect and snow conditions. The pedestrian village allows a very healthy lifestyle and provides for everything needed for optimal condition training and activities on off snow days.
The 20-kilometer of slopes at the Allalin ski area (3600m), has some of the more challenging pistes compared to the other resorts. It is surrounded by thirteen 4000-meter peaks and is in close proximity to Zermatt.
The snowpark has a half-pipe, kickers, rails, boxes, and transitions in all shapes and sizes to suit all freestyle skiing and snowboard levels. The entire park is groomed daily to ensure top conditions. Take a break at the chill-out zone with music and couches located below the pipe. The snowpark bursts onto the scene each summer with the Saas-Fee Ride competition, complete with DJs and a barbecue.
Top athletes worldwide agree that Saas-Fee has the best summer skiing in Europe. For this very reason, you are likely to spot some from the world’s best athletes and Olympians keeping on top of their skills doing their Summer Ski Camps in Saas-Fee for their pre-season preparation.
Ski Zenit offers ski racing camps, private ski race training and ski lessons throughout the whole Summer and Autumn season.
Glacier ski training camps with Ski Zenit mean long days full of activities both on and off the snow. Mornings are used to improve technical skiing skills and grow one step further towards becoming better athletes with fun and stimulating training sessions.
During the afternoons you will take part in many activities intended to develop physical and mental skills while having fun in an ambiance of teamwork and friendship. This development and reinforcement of technical, tactical, physical, and mental fundamental skills along with many interesting and complementary activities after ski training ensures a fully rounded experience. All the activities and ski racing lessons are customized to each group depending on age and level.
You can also visit the Mittelallalin, the world’s largest ice pavilion.
SUMMER DATES: The Saas-Fee summer season starts a bit later than other glaciers but it stays open all the way through until the end of the winter ski season in late April.
SCHEDULE: The lifts to go up the glacier for Summer skiing start running at 7:00, and the skiing in the Summer months finishes at 12:00. As the months go by, and temperatures start dropping, the schedule is adapted, going up the mountain later, and finishing the skiing later, having more hours on skis. By the beginning of November, it is normal to be skiing until 16:00.
RATES: A day’s summer ski pass costs 70€ for adults and 43€ for kids.
2. ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND
This resort covers the 21km groomed runs on the Theodul Glacier, the summer glacier ski slopes are among Europe’s highest and biggest with around 2,500 feet of vertical. It’s just as stunning in the summer as the winter, even though the terrain is fairly flat compared with other skiable glaciers. The 13 runs are divided into blues and reds. Zermatt’s top attraction is the mighty Matterhorn mountain, one of the world’s iconic peaks (12,790 feet).
At the Zermatt border, you can find the iconic Breuil-Cervinia Alpine Resort in northwest Italy, where you can ski over the border for lunch.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, dirt scooter riding, kick biking, water skiing, and mountain carts.
SUMMER DATES: Open all year round.
RATES: A day’s summer ski pass costs 75€, depending on the travel dates and age.
3. LES 2 ALPES, FRANCE
With guaranteed natural snow, Les 2 Alpes has one of the largest summer ski areas in Europe and the largest and highest in France. The glacier has 10 runs that sit between 2900m & 3600m. One funicular railway transports skiers up to the runs: 1 red, 9 blue, and 1 green. And many other areas to enjoy, like its snowskate zone, slopestyle (Big Air, kickers and rails), cool zone, half-pipe and a smaller pipe ideal for beginners.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and paragliding.
SUMMER DATES: The Mont-de-Lans Glacier is open from mid-June to early September, opening first to high-level athlete training.
SCHEDULE: Lifts open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 pm.
RATES: A day’s summer ski pass costs 43€ for adults and 34,40€ for kids.
4. HINTERTUX, AUSTRIA
The Hintertux glacier offers a good range of runs for all levels, including challenging and steep terrain. The slopes are accessed by ultra-modern high-speed gondola lifts. Even in the middle of summer, skiing is usually possible from 2600m to 3250m. Freestylers can hit the half-pipe, fun boxes, table-tops, and rails at Betterpark.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Mountain biking, cycling in Ziller valley, hiking, and ice climbing. Take a boat or kayak to Nature’s Ice Palace, a beautiful glacial crevasse with ice stalactites, or visit the Spannagel Cave, Europe’s highest accessible cave with breathtaking views.
SUMMER DATES: Open all year round.
SCHEDULE: from 8:15 a.m. to 15:45 p.m.
RATES: A day’s summer ski pass costs 47€ for adults, 38€ for youth and 21,50€ for kids.
5. TIGNES, FRANCE
The Grand Motte Glacier has 20km of pistes in Tignes and has varied terrain — blue, red, and black runs — accessed by chairlifts and drag lifts and offers a good variety of summer skiing. It takes just 7 seven minutes to get up to the base of the glacier by the funicular from Val Claret. The glacier snowpark appeals to freestylers, perfect for both pros and amateurs; with its half-pipe, rails, moguls, hip ramp, quarter-ramps, and rainbow rail.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Mountain biking, archery, paddle-boarding and visit the Lagon sports center.
SUMMER DATES: Open mid-June to 2nd July.
SCHEDULE: The glacier closes at 1 p.m. which is perfect to help to preserve the snow cover. After skiing we suggest you head down to enjoy its beautiful lake.
RATES: A day’s summer ski pass costs 35€ for adults and 28€ for kids.
So here you have all the important information about the 5 best ski resorts to go skiing this summer in Europe, choose the one that fits your needs best, and improve your skiing performance. Summer training will really make a difference to your following seasons’ results.