8 of the Best Resorts for Skiing in April

8 of the Best Resorts for Skiing in April- ©St. Anton am Arlberg Tourism

Skiers slaloming over powder at St Anton, AUT.

Copyright: St. Anton am Arlberg Tourism

Skiing in April may be considered low season, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. So long as you choose the right European resort, a spring ski break can bring some huge advantages. So what are the perks of the spring peaks? Well as long as you don't ski over the Easter holidays, you'll find fewer skiers on the slopes, which means shorter lift lines and more skiing time. Skiing in April is easier on the wallet – the price of a lift pass falls in spring and hotels battle for your buck, so you'll find plenty of deals on accommodation.

Beautiful sunny days and longer lift operations are additional advantages of skiing in April. And while snow quality may not be quite as good as mid-winter, big snowfalls in April are actually very common. On top of this, you have a whole winter's worth of snowfall as a good base. The warm, sunny weather makes for ideal après-ski conditions on the mountain terraces, and you can also supplement your skiing in April with alternative outdoor activities like walking, climbing and snowshoeing in the afternoons.

Yves Ancrenaz, ski instructor and mountain guide at the ESF ski school in Chamonix has some tips for those interested in spring ski breaks. Ancrenaz says, "Spring skiers should hit the slopes between 9 a.m and 1 p.m, not too early to avoid the ice and not too late to get the best spring snow. 1 p.m is also a great time to have a lunch on a sunny terrace, but don't forget your sun cream."

The key to a perfect spring ski holiday is finding the right resort. Michael Brabin, senior product manager at Crystal Ski says there are three factors to consider when choosing the best resort for skiing in April:

1. Altitude (high - ideally with a glacier)

2. Northerly latitude (Norway, Finland, Sweden)

3. A reputation for lots of snow (machine made or natural)

Brabin says, "A combination of any two of these factors normally ensures skiing success. Combining all three is a little tricky, because mountains tend to get lower the further north you go. The higher the altitude of the ski area, the colder it is, and therefore the longer the snow lasts, so you should aim for resorts that have skiing at 2,000 meters or above and ideally with north-facing slopes or glaciers."

Here are eight of Crystal Ski's best-selling resorts for skiing in April

1. Tignes (2,100m) and Val d'Isere (1,850m)

The Espace Killy ski area stays open until early May so is definitely one of the safest bets for good snow cover in late season. Val d'Isere benefits from its north-facing slopes while Tignes has high-altitude skiing on its Grande Motte glacier (3,400m) allowing it to remain open nine months of the year. The combined 300 kilometres of high-altitude slopes attracts everyone from families to freeriders.

Enjoy a full off-piste adventure in Val d'Isere  - © Val d'Isere

Enjoy a full off-piste adventure in Val d'Isere

Copyright: Val d'Isere

2. Val Thorens (2,300-3,200m)

This is Europe's highest major resort and one of the most snowsure right from the start of the season through to May. It is part of the huge 600-kilometer Three Valleys ski area and the majority of its slopes are above 2,000 meters. Having a glacier, which was formerly open for snow sports in the summer, is an added bonus. Val Thorens is so confident of its snow cover, it offers a snow guarantee.

At 2,300m, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe  - © Val Thorens

At 2,300m, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe

Copyright: Val Thorens

3. St. Anton (1,304-2,450m)

In the Arlberg region of Austria, St. Anton has an excellent snow record. It offers skiing from late November right through to early May. With many north-facing slopes, the resort manages to hold the snow well despite the strong spring sunshine. The south-facing slopes are supplemented by snow machines. This pretty town boasts some of the best freeriding in Europe and some of the most energetic après-ski. It also starts and ends the ski season with discounted rates on lift tickets during Snow Crystal Weeks.

Powder skiing in St Anton: Ideal for intermediate freeriders looking to hone their skills  - © Henrik Windstedt

Powder skiing in St Anton: Ideal for intermediate freeriders looking to hone their skills

Copyright: Henrik Windstedt

4. Obergurgl (1,930-3,082m)

It is the highest parish in Austria with broad open slopes that merit a late-season visit. It is Europe's highest traditional village and neighboring Hochgurgl is higher still. If you're looking for a pretty village with lots of snow in the resort itself, Obergurgl is one of your safest bets.

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl  - © Obergurgl Tourism


Copyright: Obergurgl Tourism

5. Ischgl (1,377-2,872m)

Ischgl is able to stay open until early May despite not having a glacier. The resort is high, and all the pistes (except those into the resort) are north facing and above 2,000 meters, making for great snow quality. Ischgl also boasts one of the best terrain parks in the Alps and plenty of untracked off-piste. Each year Ischgl puts on its legendary Top of the Mountain Easter Concert, which is the biggest spring party in the Alps.

Ischgl  - © Ischgl Tourism


Copyright: Ischgl Tourism

6. Verbier (1,500-3,330m)

This high resort is known for its good late-season snow. Despite having south-facing slopes, Verbier manages to retain good snow cover thanks to its extensive snowmaking installations, especially on the lower slopes. You can also find consistently good natural snow on the upper slopes of the Mt-Fort glacier.

Verbier  - © Verbier Tourist Office


Copyright: Verbier Tourist Office

7. Zermatt (1,620-3,899m)

Home to Europe's highest ski lifts and the continent's largest glacier ski area, Zermatt is open 365 days a year. Few resorts in the world are more snowsure than Zermatt. The famous Swiss resort has even invested in a new snowmaking system that can create snow within an internal chamber at positive temperatures before pumping it out on to the slopes. It's not needed in winter, but the resort installed it in case there wasn't enough natural snow on the glacier in summer.

Snow-clad Zermatt with the Matterhorn in the background  - © Zermatt Tourist Office

Snow-clad Zermatt with the Matterhorn in the background

Copyright: Zermatt Tourist Office

8. La Plagne (1,250m) and Les Arcs (2,000m)

The Paradiski area offers extensive, uncrowded skiing up to 3,250 with everything from tree-lined runs to glacier skiing above the clouds. Adventurous skiers can cover some serious ground (425 kilometers in total), but be sure to choose one of the higher villages in either resort for top-to-bottom skiing in spring.

Taking the lifts in La Plagne. The Paradiski area is favourite with UK skiers  - © Beatrice Koumanov

Taking the lifts in La Plagne. The Paradiski area is favourite with UK skiers

Copyright: Beatrice Koumanov


Skiers slaloming over powder at St Anton, AUT. - © St. Anton am Arlberg Tourism
Skiing in April: Taking a spring break on the slopes of Val d`Isère - ©
undefined - © Zermatt Tourist Office
undefined - © Riffelalp Resort

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