Best Snow-Sure Ski Resorts in Europe
Ski Val Thorens, France
The highest resort in the Alps and one of the most snow sure, with north-facing slopes guaranteeing good snow for a long season, even off the glacier. Val Thorens is Part of huge 3 Valleys. and home to the highest bar of any ski resort. Great for when it’s too warm and slushy elsewhere …
Val d’Isère and Tignes, France Skiing
Val d’Isere and Tignes, France, share the vast, snow-sure Espace Killy ski area, which includes two glaciers where year-round skiing is possible. The terrain is excellent for confident intermediates and experts. Tignes is appreciably higher, more convenient, surrounded by better intermediate terrain, and has quick access to the Grande Motte glacier.
Hintertux is one of the best glaciers in the Alps, but it also has some additional non-glacial terrain which is also high, shady and very reliable for snow. At its highest point the ski region reaches a height of 3,250 m (10,660 ft) in the saddle between the peaks of the Gefrorene-Wand-Spitzen. It is open all year round with skiing in the winter, and hiking activities in the summer.
The slopes in Lech and Zürs do not reach glacial heights, but do share the snowiest major ski area in the Alps. Grooming and snow-making are also excellent, so snow conditions are very reliable. Lech are Zürs are the most glamorous and expensive resorts in Austria.
Arguably the most snow-sure, non-glacial resort in the Alps, Obergurgl has a long season. Its altitude is exceptional by Austrian standards, many of its slopes face north or north-west and the resort claims 100% artificial coverage. Obergurgl has an excellent area for beginners, timid intermediates and families.
Ischgl does not have a glacier, but it does have the greatest extent of high altitude skiing in Austria – more than 80% of its 238km of pistes are above 2000m. Ischgl excellent snow-making and snow conditions are highly reliable. The resort has lively après-ski which may or may not be to everyone’s taste.
Sölden boasts not one but 2 high quality glaciers, the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach, that guarantee good snow throughout a long season. Even outside these glaciers the average skiing height is good by Austrian standards, and snow cover is reliable. The resort also has short transfers and day trips to nearby Innsbruck.
Despite the westerly aspect of its main slopes Cervinia is comfortably the most snow-sure of the major Italian resorts. The village sits at 2050m with slopes reaching 3450m (3820m if you count Zermatt). Nowhere else in Italy comes close to offering this extent of high altitude terrain. Link with Zermatt in Switzerland provides some spectacular views and good lunches.
Saas Fee, Switzerland
Saas-Fee is one of our favorite places. It oozes Swiss charm and the setting is stunning – spectacular glaciers and 4000m peaks surround the place. And good snow is guaranteed, even late in the season: the altitude you spend most of our time at – between 2500m/8200ft and 3500m/11500ft – is unrivaled in the Alps.
Since the Zermatt ski resort stretches across three individual mountains that rise over 10,200 feet (3,100 meters), there’s an incredible amount of skiable terrain here. These three mountains have a northern orientation and they’re quite high, so the winter ski season here, which lasts from late November through early May, is longer than most other resorts in Europe.
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