As travelling restrictions continue to ease around Europe we are hopefully moving towards a summer where we are able to travel around and enjoy the activities that we all missed. If you are one of the people who cannot wait until the next ski season starts, then we have awesome news for you...summer skiing does in fact exist and you don’t even have to travel that far for it.
When we talk about summer skiing, we don’t mean skiing in the countries in the southern hemisphere for example Chile, Argentina, or New Zealand, what we mean is skiing in your favourite resorts here in Europe. We have put together this guide to give you the top locations in Europe for summer skiing.
Head to Les 2 Alpes to find the largest skiable glacier in Europe. With a summit reaching an altitude of 3,600 metres, the ski area is open every day from 8 am to 12:30 pm giving you plenty of time to get some good runs in before lunch. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert, here you will find 90 hectares of marked runs and a snow park for freestyle skiing or boarding.
For your free afternoons, there are still countless activities for everyone to do. Go for a round of golf at the 9-hole golf course in Les 2 Alpes, even though it is not your usual 18-hole course, it is still challenging due to the natural terrain in which it is set, and you of course benefit from spectacular views! Along with golf, you can pretty much practice any sport you wish, from tennis to horseback riding, to biking down one of the mountains that are used for skiing during winter, whatever you choose, Les 2 Alpes really has it all.
Zermatt not only is one of the top destinations for winter skiing, but it’s also extremely popular for summer skiing, it’s really an all-year-round skiing destination. Take the gondola to Klein Matterhorn at an altitude of 3,883 metres and get ready to ski down from the Theodul Glacier. Zermatt has 21km of summer skiing pistes and a snow park for some freestyle sessions. It is highly recommended to get up there rather early in the morning because as soon as the sun starts warming up, the snow turns to slush.
When you’re done with your early morning in the mountains, your day is far from being over because Zermatt offers activities to fill out all your afternoons. Fancy a walk? There is a 400 km hiking trail network for you to explore and discover new areas of Zermatt. The trails are also divided according to the difficulty which means you can either go for a leisurely stroll or head for a more challenging experience.
Spend an afternoon at the Forest Fun Park and challenge yourself on an obstacle course with up to 31 ziplines and 95 different obstacles. Down in the village, you will also find any sport available for you to practice whether it’s volleyball, golf, or electric clay pigeon shooting, we are sure you’ll find the right activity for your afternoons after a ski-filled morning.
Another year-round skiing destination and Austria’s only year-round ski resort, Hintertux has an altitude of 3,250 metres and there are runs for skiers and snowboarders of any level. For summer skiing there are 22 km of slopes available which you can access with 9 different lifts, although there are runs for all levels, Hintertux is known for its steep and challenging terrain so it’s a great destination for those of you seeking a thrill for your skiing vacation.
Once you're done skiing or when you feel you want to change your daily activity, there is a must-see place in Hintertux that you won’t want to miss. Step inside Nature’s Ice Palace, a glacial cave system like nothing you have ever experienced. Inside this glacial cave, the temperature is a constant 0º and you are surrounded by glacial stalactites, sparkling ice crystals, frozen waterfalls, and a glacial lake. Inside the cave, there are different activities which you can do like paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, and even ice swimming if you dare.
Open from mid-June to late October, Saas-Fee is another popular destination for anybody looking to get some runs in during summer. The ride to the glacier takes an hour and the slopes open as early as 7:30 am which means if you want to avoid slush and crowds then you will want to be one of the first up there, get ready for some early mornings here. During summer Saas-Fee has a ski area of 20 km and also has a snow park, and tubing slope, the area is especially suited for intermediates and extremely popular with freestylers.
When it comes to afternoon activities there are plenty to choose from depending on what you are looking for. If you want a sport-filled afternoon, then you can easily find lessons or facilities for almost any sport you wish to practice. If you’re looking for something more original then there are plenty of experiences you can book during summer, for example, why not visit a Swiss mountain brewery. Gletscher Bräu (Glacier Beer) is one of Switzerland’s smallest breweries and now you can go not only for a visit but also take a workshop where you will be taught by the local expert how to brew your own beer and finish the class by trying your own creation. Definitely a skill worth having.
Stelvio Pass in Bormio is a historical destination for summer skiing in Italy. You have access to 20 km of slopes between Stelvio Pass and Monte Cristallino served by 6 ski lifts. The slopes there are all red, except for one blue one and another off-piste track, in addition to these you will also find 2 Nordic (cross-country-skiing) tracks in case you don’t feel like going downhill just want to practice your cross-country skiing.
Once the skiing day is over, there is a lot you can do around the Stelvio Pass area. Stelvio National Park is one of the largest historical national parks in Italy with an impressive area of 321,236 acres, this national park spans over three Italian regions and is home to all kinds of animals and landscapes. On the other hand, in town, you will find a variety of activities to keep you entertained on summer nights. Visit one of the wine cellars in the area, attend one of the evening concerts hosted in the historical center, explore the art exhibitions happening throughout the summer, and just spend the afternoons and evenings exploring and living the real Passo Stelvio experience.
With this guide you have everything to get you started on your summer skiing destinations, all that’s left to do now is grab your skis and light winter jacket and head for the mountains. It’s definitely a great warm-up for the winter season 21/22 especially if you didn’t get a chance to go skiing last year. On the other hand, if you’re waiting until this winter to go skiing then start thinking about the perfect instructor for your vacations. We are excited to see bookings coming in already for next season and we can tell you it’s going to be a good one.
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