Val Thorens – 20 April 2017
Thanks to the promise of clear sunny days spent on relatively quiet slopes, April is a fantastic time of year to head to the Alps. This year also seen the biggest and best snowfalls in a number of years, so skiers heading out late in the season will be able to take advantage of the fantastic snow base built up over the course of the winter. Not to mention, there's been some huge snowfalls in April the past couple of years.
Holiday dates from the 7th of April are also off-peak, so prices across our most popular resorts are much lower and there's lot of great discounts and offers to take advantage of. Plus this means availability is much better, so there is a superb range of ski apartments and hotels to choose from for late season trips.
For those considering a late season trip, while the snow has been incredible this season, the warmer temperatures of April mean it's best to aim high when choosing a ski destination. With that in mind, here's our pick of the best European resorts for April ski holidays.
As the highest (and one of the most snowsure) resorts in Europe, Val Thorens is a fantastic choice of resort for a late season trip. The top slopes of its extensive ski area reach 3,230m and there are two small glaciers, meaning the hugely popular resort is able to offer reliable skiing conditions until the end of its season in early May. Val Thorens is also a great resort as its ski area caters for all abilities – there are easy slopes and great ski schools for beginners, while intermediates and advanced skiers also have plenty of terrain to keep them entertained.
Val Thorens is an excellent destination for family ski trips with the majority of accommodation located by the slopes, as well as lots of off-the-slopes activities to keep kids busy in the afternoons and evenings. However, it's also great for groups of friends seeking a lively apres scene – the party starts on the mountain at La Folie Douce before resuming in numerous bars in the resort, and finishes at Malaysia, the highest nightclub in Europe.
Where to stay: Le Hameau du Kashmir offers stunning apartments and hotel suites in a peaceful ski-in/ski-out location at the entrance to the resort. For those after something a little more budget-friendly, the great-value Le Machu Pichu residence provides basic but comfortable apartments right on the slopes.
3 April 2017
With the longest winter season in France and as one of the few French resorts able to offer summer skiing, Tignes is an ideal choice for an April ski holiday. The abundance of high-altitude terrain ensures ski conditions remain good until the resort closes in early May. The Espace Killy is also regarded as one of the best and most exciting ski areas in the world, with exceptional terrain available to advanced and intermediate skiers and boarders. Novices are not spoiled for choice quite as much, but there are great beginner areas by each of the base villages and a superb choice of ski schools.
Tignes is also an excellent resort for the late afternoons and evenings spent off the slopes. There's a fantastic sports centre in Le Lac called Tignespace which offers a great range of activities, including rock climbing and trampolining. The resort also has its very own aqua centre called Le Lagon, with various swimming pools and spa facilities.
Where to stay: Situated in Val Claret (Tignes' highest base village), Le Nevada provides high-quality apartments with a great indoor pool. For those after a short break, Hotel Le Taos in Tignes Le Lac offers stunning suites and a lovely spa.
© OT Tignes / andyparant.com
Of course, it's only fair that the other half of the Espace Killy also features on this list. Over half of the 300km of pistes in the Tignes-Val d'Isere ski area are above 2,500m, ensuring great ski conditions throughout the season. Again, the slopes in Val d'Isere are generally more suited to advanced and intermediate skiers, but the introduction of the Solaise gondola and dedicated beginners' area for winter 16/17 has made the resort much more beginner-friendly.
The redevelopment of the Solaise area has also increased the resort's appeal to families, with fun obstacle courses to help kids learn how to ski in a fun away. The presence of excellent ski schools, and family-friendly hotels and residences also make it a good choice for families.
However, Val d'Isere is fairly renowned for its party atmosphere so it's especially suited to groups of friends looking for a vibrant apres scene. Thirsty skiers stop at La Folie Douce and Coco Rico on their way back down the mountain, and go on to party into the small hours in the likes of Dick's Tea Bar and Le Petit Danois in the village.
Where to stay: Stay right in the centre of the action in the stylish Hotel l'Aigle des Neiges, located in the heart of Val d'Isere and just 50 metres from the ski lifts. For a quiet ski-in/ski-out location, Chalets du Jardin Alpin offers bright and spacious apartments in the residential Legettaz area of the resort.
OT Val d'Isere
The two highest villages of Les Arcs (1950 and 2000) also make a great choice for late season holidays. The great range of high-altitude terrain means skiing is generally guaranteed until late April. Plus, the extensive ski area is great for all levels, with beginner slopes by both Arc 1950 and 2000, and lots of intermediate and advanced slopes on offer as well.
The two village areas are particularly suited to family ski holidays – the majority of the accommodation in 1950 and 2000 is self-catering and conveniently located close to the slopes. Plus, the residences all have their own indoor or outdoor swimming pools, perfect for keeping kids busy in the afternoons and evenings.
Where to stay: Le Village Arc 1950 provides the ultimate in family-friendly convenience, with an onsite ski school and kids' club, as well as excellent leisure facilities. For a touch of luxury, La Source des Arcs in Arc 2000 offers stunning and spacious apartments, as well as a gorgeous spa area.
8 April 2017
Zermatt is open for skiing 365 days a year, which makes it perfect for a late season trip. With lifts that ascend up to 3,899 metres and a large glacier ski area, it is one of the most snowsure resorts on the planet. The ski area is definitely one for the bucket list for intermediate and advanced snowsports enthusiasts, and beginners are also well-catered for, although it doesn't benefit from the ski-in/ski-out convenience of purpose-built resorts.
The resort is particularly ideal if there are any non-skiers in the group or simply those who wish to have a break from the slopes – Zermatt is a bustling town throughout the year, so there's plenty to entertain off the slopes, with shops, museums and a plethora of restaurants and cafes.
Where to stay: The four-star Chalet Hotel Schonegg offers panoramic views of the Matterhorn and stylish rooms.
© Pascal Gertschen
Planning an April ski holiday? Use the search box at the top of this page to browse our full range of ski accommodation. If you would like to speak to an expert, please don't hesitate to get in touch on 0131 240 3300 or [email protected]
Posted on Friday 09 Feb 2018