The sun is shining and the temperatures are heating up, so why not head to the mountain for one last glimpse of winter? With the January and February crowds long forgotten, and tons of end-of-season events, skiing in March or April may be one of the best choices you ever make. Here are our top picks for some awesome spring skiing.
Les Arcs, France
Les Arcs is part of the Paradiski area, and much of its 425km of piste is above 2,000m, making it great for spring skiing. Les Arcs itself is split across various levels, with Arc 1950 and Arc 2000 tending to be best for quality snow as they’ve direct access to a high and shady bowl. And even if the natural snow isn’t at its best, you can still swoosh down the slopes thanks to the huge snow-making ‘factory’ installed in Winter 17/18, which covers 60% of the slopes in the white stuff.
The longer days also welcome lots of events, including the Spring Festival, running through March and April. Come and celebrate with slope parties, barbecues and freestyling demonstrations, or test your skills on the waterslide – the object is to ski down a hill and skim across a pool of water without getting wet.
Snow cover doesn’t get much more reliable than in Åre. The season lasts well into April and sometimes even May, and as Sweden’s biggest downhill resort, it has plenty of slopes for beginners and intermediates to play with.
Taking the kids away for the Easter holidays? When they’re not skiing, they’ll love having a go at activities like dog-sledding and snowshoeing.
Åre’s northerly position means longer days – the sun rises before 7am and doesn’t set until 8pm in April – and warmer temperatures. And impressive floodlighting means that when the sun does finally set, you can still get on the piste for a spot of night skiing.
Sauze d’Oulx, Italy
Typically, Sauze d’Oulx’s average snow depth is at its greatest during the spring – thanks to the build-up of a winter’s worth of snowfall – making March and April great for skiing. Winter 17/18 saw 200cm on the upper slopes. Sauze’s also part of the 400km lift-linked Milky Way ski area, meaning you can ski multiple resorts – including Sestriere and Claviere in Italy, and Montgenèvre in France – in the same holiday.
The ski area has a real mix of tree-lined and higher, open slopes, and the majority are red, so it’s ideal for intermediate skiers and boarders. Round off the winter by challenging yourself to the World Championship Kandahar run.
If you’re more of a foodie, eat your way around some of the 40 restaurants in resort – the vaulted ceilings of La Griglia or the British-run Del Falco are definitely a couple of popular options.
Saas Fee, Switzerland
Being one of the highest resorts in the Alps, Saas Fee has lots of slopes above 2,500m. And the fact that they’re north-facing means the snow is very reliable and powdery, even as the mercury rises in the spring.
Also known as the Pearl of the Alps, the resort is home to the world’s highest revolving restaurant, Three-Sixty, as well as Eispavillon, an ice pavilion built deep in the glacier exhibiting a range of ice sculptures.
It’s great for non-skiers, too, who can hitch a ride in a gondola up Hannig, a mountain dedicated to non-skiing activities like paragliding and winter walking.
Alpe d’Huez, France
Nicknamed ‘Island in the Sun’, Alpe d’Huez is one of the sunniest resorts in the Alps, so expect non-stop bluebird days come spring. There’s a great variety of slopes – including the infamous 16km Sarenne run – so every kind of skier can make the most of the mountain before the season ends. With the glacier easily accessed from the centre of resort, high-altitude, snowsure slopes can be reached pretty swiftly.
With longer days, the après parties get going earlier in the afternoon and carry on well into the night, and as the season draws to a close, there’ll be end-of-season parties in abundance.
Crystal Childcare is available here, too, for those of you planning to head out with the kids during the Easter holidays.
St Anton, Austria
St Anton is known for having an excellent snow record, particularly during the later months of the season. Its north-facing slopes hold the snow quite well, while many of its south-facing slopes are supplemented by snow machines.
You’re not short of mileage here, as the resort is part of the largest linked ski area in Austria, the 305km Arlberg. Though with the sun high in the sky, you may prefer to take in the views on one of the mountain terraces, before diving into some very energetic après at the world-famous Mooserwirt or Krazy Kanguruh.
With much of its accommodation rated 4 or 5*, Soldeu is great value for some last-minute luxury. The resort has access to the whole Grandvalira ski area and snowmaking covers 65% of its slopes, making it pretty reliable in March and April. The mild spring weather makes for good visibility when you’re on the mountains, and usually means you can ski without all the layers you might be used to having – just prepare for the inevitable goggle tan. After that, you can sunbathe away the afternoons by the KSB mountain hut.
We also love Soldeu because it does its bit to help the environment – from protecting wildlife to encouraging recycling and conserving water – giving it an extra big tick.
Go on – grab your goggles and soak up some sun on the slopes. Take a look at our late-season deals now.