Spring is coming to the Alps, and across the ski resorts of Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy, the sun is finally starting to shine through the clouds! Now is the best time for a ski holiday: skiing under blue skies in soft spring snow, pausing now and then to kick back and enjoy a drink on a sun lounger with panoramic mountain views... it’s pure bliss! We’ve gone in search of the sunniest ski resorts in the Alps and picked out seven ski areas that get abnormal amounts of sunshine. If you want to make sure your spring skiing holidays are a success, consider choosing one of these resorts!
Alpe d'Huez is also known as the “Island of the Sun” and has earned a reputation for being the ski resort with the most days of sunshine, with more than 300 sunny days a year! The ski area boasts 250km of slopes, among them La Sarenne, the longest black piste in the Alps.Photo: © OT Alpe d'Huez
Tucked beneath the famous Rosengarten (“rose garden”) in the Dolomites lies Val di Fassa-Carezza, one of the sunniest regions in the Italian Alps with more than 300 sunny days every year. This ski area only reaches an altitude of 2125m but snow is guaranteed thanks to the snow cannons. An absolute highlight is the sunset from Laurins Lounge, the highest point in the ski resort, where you’ll see the imposing mountain peaks shrouded in a reddish light.
Nestled in Austria’s southern province of Carinthia, Nassfeld - Pressegger See is one of the sunniest alpine ski resorts with 850 hours of sunshine during ski season – around 100 hours more than in the northern Alps. Due to the fortunate topography, almost all of the 100km of pistes lie in the sun. Nassfeld has more than 1000 sun loungers to ensure all their skiers and snowboarders get to soak up the rays.Photo: © Nassfeld Hermagor
Grächen, Valais is the sunniest ski resort in Switzerland, with slopes up to 2868m to boot. This relatively small ski area (42km of slopes) boasts excellent snow coverage along with about 60 days of sunshine every winter. Grächen is one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in Switzerland and offers plenty of alternate activities off the slopes.Photo: © Touristische Unternehmung Grächen AG
Nestled on a sunny south-facing plateau, Ramsau am Dachstein is perfectly positioned to make the best of the sunshine. If snow is wanting, you can move onto the Dachstein Glacier, which has good coverage through spring. Ramsau am Dachstein is also popular with cross-country skiers.
The family-friendly ski resorts of Serfaus, Fiss and Ladis are located on a sunny plateau above the Inntal Valley in Tyrol, Austria. Most of the pistes here are south-facing, so you’ll have no trouble finding the sunshine on bluebird days. The combined ski area has a total of 214km of slopes – especially beautiful is the Frommes-Abfahrt, one of Austria’s longest pistes. Ski season at Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis tends to run until mid-April.Learning to ski at Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis
Val Gardena gets about 90 days of sunshine every ski season – incredible! Thanks to the imposing mountain peaks, this ski area is one of the most beautiful places in South Tyrol. From the sun terraces of the mountain restaurants, skiers can enjoy views of the Sella Massif. The ski area has 175km of slopes.
It’s true that because south-facing ski slopes attract more sunshine, they also melt faster in the spring. Springtime skiers and snowboarders who are worried about seeing green patches on their ski slopes may want to book their holidays in high-altitude ski areas, just to be sure. Glaciers, in particular, ensure guaranteed snow thanks to their perennially frozen state!
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
|2 June||The top 15 ski resorts in Austria|
|29 May||Should I strike up a conversation in the lift?|
|26 May||The top 15 ski resorts in France|