Top 5 European Resorts For Summer Skiing
Over summer, glacier resorts have a great atmosphere with everyone embracing the mountain lifestyle and welcoming tourists. They are great places to practice / improve your skiing and make for a beautiful and unique holiday destination, often with easy access to plenty of other activities.
So if you can't wait for winter, we have saved you the time and hassle of sifting through pages of ski resort reviews, and showcased five of the best glaciers to visit this summer.
Image source: Maciej Szczepaniak
Close to the Italian border and only an hour and a half from Innsbruck you’ll find Hintertux Glacier. At 3250m this is one of the highest glaciers in Europe - allowing the resort to remain open 365 days a year.
The pistes are a mixture of blues and reds that are ideal for intermediate to advanced skiers. As well as the groomed runs the glacier is home to the Better Park Freestyle Area, which has an amazing array of kickers, rails and jibs for all abilities. If you want a bit of help with your technique you can enrol in one of the many alpine, freestyle or race schools.
Hintertux Village has several hotels and guest houses, which have amazing views and provide quick access to the lifts. Alternatively you can stay in one of the other four villages that make up the Tux Valley (camping and motorhome pitches are available) and commute daily to the slopes.
From Zermatt village, Theodul Glacier (3,883m) is a quick ride up a couple of cable cars. It has 21km of groomed pistes for you to explore, a well maintained snowpark and 15ft halfpipe. Most of the runs are challenging reds that suit advanced skiers and intermediates who wish to push themselves.
Once you have skied all the runs you can traverse over the border to Cervino, Italy. This side of the glacier has 23km of slopes; the majority of them suitable for intermediates. The food on the Italian side is amazing, and also very reasonably priced.
There are three main campsites in Zermatt, along with a whole host of hotels and chalets catering to differing budgets. In the village and the surrounding area you can have a go at mountain biking, rock climbing and various water sports.
Dachstein glacier sits in the centre of the Salzkammergut region about an hour’s drive from Salzburg. It is part of a Unesco World Heritage Site, combining spectacular panoramas with cultural history.
A single gondola ride takes you up to the glacier where you have access to alpine skiing, a terrain park and cross country trails. Most of the pistes suit beginners or those who want to take it easy and enjoy the views. If you enjoy freestyle skiing then the Dachstein Superpark should keep you entertained with its 43 kickers / rails. In addition to the main park there is also a beginner specific park, ideal for learning tricks.
The glacier offers more than just skiing including an ice cave palace, suspension-bridge-walk and a (glass bottomed) stairway to nothing- if you are feeling brave.
Whether you want to park your RV by the lake or camp on a plateau overlooking the valley, the local town of Remsau has some great spots. There is also an array of hotels, B&B’s and apartments at affordable prices.
Looking out over the Tarentaise Valley, Tignes glacier sits above Val Claret resort. It has 20km of varied pistes, which are accessed by 12 lifts and a funicular. The majority of the runs are reds with a couple of blacks if you want more of a challenge.
Home to a large terrain park that features Pro XL jumps, the glacier attracts world class athletes who want to hone their freestyle skills. There are also a lot of smaller jumps / rails that aid progression and are home to the summer freestyle camps.
You can get a free shuttle bus from Tignes 1800 (and any of the higher resorts) up to Val Claret where the lifts and funicular start. This makes it viable to stay at one of the lower and often cheaper resorts - including the popular choice of Tignes le Lac.
After you have finished skiing for the day you can take it easy and relax by the lake. Alternatively you can hike back up into the mountains and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Located on the East coast of Norway, Fonna glacier serves up some spectacular views - overlooking Hardangerfjord and the surrounding mountains.
The pistes are suitable for beginners and intermediates with a range of green, blue and red runs. Over the summer the glacier hosts alpine and freestyle camps catering for both adults and kids. As well as the two camps there is a dedicated cross-country route on the top of the glacier.
Off the hill there are lots of plenty of options for accommodation with the nearest village, Jondal, offering apartments, B&B’s and camping spots.
At the local fjord you’ll find a wide range of water sports, a skate park and multiple bike trails.
If you enjoy sunny weather, coaching from world class instructors and mountain scenery then there is no better holiday for you than a summer skiing break.
About the Author:
Pete Fletcher - Outdoor Expert
Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A decade later and you're most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding or making a mean coffee.