April Ski Holidays
If you are searching for that last opportunity to get a couple runs on the slopes before you finally pack up the skis until the next season, stay with us as we look into the best resorts to visit in April and why a late season ski getaway may not be such a bad thing.
Why is April considered a great time to ski in Europe?
Deciding the best time to go skiing ultimately depends on what's best for you and your expectations. The entire ski season does have its ups and downs so it's always best to evaluate what is most important to you when planning your ski holiday to the alps across Europe. December is a popular holiday season time peaking with festive buzz whilst January and February are arguably the most snow sure months which often may result in a large influx of keen skiers and families on school break. By the time March rolls along and starts to move into April the weather traditionally begins to get a bit warmer and the days increasingly start to last a little longer than the day before. The different periods could suit some people perfectly and may be less appealing to others. If you are somewhere in the middle or if you are flexible with your time and are keen to explore the possibilities that come with an April ski holiday, then you are in the right place. Here are a few points as to why April can be a great time to head out on the slopes.
Cost. One of the most cost effective periods to visit the alps, April is an overall cheaper month to go skiing or snowboarding. Thinking of going skiing with the family and wanting to avoid the February half term higher rates, then April would be most ideal to make a few savings off the rates. Contact us for any inquiries regarding late season skiing deals, Easter deals or information on reduced lift passes ( some resorts may be offering children deals) and the likes; we have very good long standing relationships with ski resorts and operators and are best suited to find you the best savings possible. You may also be able to find end of season sales from ski equipment retailers on ski equipment like boards, boots clothing etc
The slopes are significantly less crowded in April before and after Easter. With Easter period considered a somewhat peak period, spring time (with the exception of April) in general is not regarded as peak time. Whilst there may be an increase over the Easter festivities, it may not feel as heaving as the December peak times. Some of the hard core ski fanatics return in April to escape overcrowding and have some of the tougher runs to themselves. If you are family with young children or novice skiers, this may be an ideal time to hone your skiing skills on less busy and crowded slopes and build up your confidence. With less people at the resorts, there is also less queuing time and therefore more time spent on the slopes. It is certainly worth having a look at April for a springtime ski break.
Attention young adults , students on a budget or any party animal reading this, please come forward. The April apres ski is one to experience. With the season winding down, there is a great vibe in the resorts and events such as Slushy Social taking place in some resorts. There are other end of season parties across the resorts as venues such as bars and lounges are looking to make the most of the season before it ends. The sunny weather in April also fuels the party atmosphere on the terraces with the longer days keeping the vibes turnt up longer than you would have in the December or January months. For a lively apres ski, April is definitely a month to take into consideration.
April brings longer days and more sunny weather in the alps. Whilst the snow quality may suffer a little bit due to the warmer conditions, resorts at a higher altitude tend to get heavy snowfall in April and the low air pressure from the high altitude still helps maintain the snow condition on the slopes especially if they are north facing. In addition, there is a whole winter's worth of snow on the slopes, making for a very good base and some very good snow conditions. Most resorts are well equipped with snow making machines which supplement the slushy areas when needed. April also brings beautiful sunny days and clear blue skies making for glorious views of the resort below from the slopes. The settled weather allows more outdoor eating and the temperature just right to get a bit of glowy skin. Parents of small children will welcome the sunny days as the vibe is usually more leisurely, allowing kids to have more outdoor fun without getting too cold or too wet very quickly. Also, the weather gives more options for other non skiing activities like walking or snowshoeing for visitors looking to engage in other activities.
The best ski resorts in April
It is important to note ( even though we’re sure you have already figured it out) that not all resorts are suited for skiing in April. With the increasing temperatures as the month of April progresses, snow conditions could vary quite significantly across the different resorts. You may arrive at a resort and find a great deal of slush and general poor snow quality on the slopes. There are a few things to consider when selecting and trying to work out the best suited resorts to visit for your ski break in April and we have broken these down and provided a few suggestions for your consideration.
Ideally you should be looking out for resorts located on a high altitude and should have preferably north facing slopes as this makes for better snow conditions and increased chances of heavier snowfall. In addition, try to aim for resorts with a historically good snow record or at the very least, have the technology and equipment of snow cannons and machines to deal with any shortages or supplementing when required. Here is a list of some of the best places to ski in April:
Val d’Isere and Tignes
Nestled in the heart of the Espace Killy ski area, Val d’isere and Tignes ski resort represent the ideal resorts to visit for your April ski holidays. Val d’Isere is highly regarded as one of the best ski resorts in Europe for a lot of reasons and one of which is its snow record. Along with Tignes located in the Espace Killy ski area, more than half of the 300 km worth of pistes are situated at an altitude of over 2,500 metres; it is certainly one of the reasons the resort ski season is still open until early May! If you are an avid skier this must be sweet music to your ears (if you haven't already heard and danced to it before). With altitudes of the pistes in some areas of the Espace Killy reaching up to 3100 meters, there is still a lot of off-piste terrain in good condition in April. Tignes in particular, is known to offer skiing opportunities into the summer season at the Grande Motte glacier which is located at 3450 meters. Beginners and intermediates are not left out of the equation as there are wide open easy pistes to master your skill set and the nursery slopes with very good conditions. Tignes is one of the highest resorts in Europe and is located at an altitude of 2100 meters; thus benefits from its high altitude position. Tignes is reported to have had nearly 8 meters of snowfall during its 2016/2017 ski season. Val d’Isere is located lower than Tignes at 1,850 meters altitude but has the important benefit of having most of its slopes north facing as well as a very good snow record. Val d’Isere also benefits from having La Snow Factory, one of the biggest and most efficient artificial snow making facilities in Europe.
Away from the pistes and skiing, Val d’Isere is one of the best apres ski locations in Europe all season. The party certainly does not stop in winter as it rolls into the spring until the end of the ski season. They also have fantastic non-ski activities such as winter golf, spring yoga festival and other activities.
With a summit of 3,230 meters on its highest peaks, Val Thorens which sits at 2,300 meters is one of Europe's highest situated resorts and probably one of the best places to ski in April. It forms part of the extensive Three Valleys ski area along with Avoriaz and Meribel who all have a combined total of 600 km of pistes; more than half of which are sitting at an altitude of over 2000 meters. Val Thorens is also one of the most snow-sure resorts which has a good snow record all season long up until the beginning of May. Its north facing slopes are an additional contribution to its very good snow conditions and by April it would have gathered a significant amount of snow over the winter months keeping the snow levels still great for skiing. Similar to other resorts, Val Thorens receives fewer visitors in April. With the ski season ending in early May, there are less crowds queuing for lifts and on the slopes ( except during Easter) making it less busy and allowing for less queuing for lifts.
With the pistes in Val Thorens are suited to all skill abilities from novices to advanced skiers, there is something for everyone to make your April ski break worthwhile. It is also one of the most beautiful resorts and its location high up in the alps allows a breathtaking panoramic view which is accentuated by the sunnier days in spring; it truly is a captivating view.
There are very few resorts in Europe that have a better and livelier apres ski than Val Thorens. From the La Foile Douce terrace parties to the wide range of bars and lounges, it truly is one of the best apres ski experiences in Europe. With longer lasting sunshine in April, the party does carry on longer however, if you are not interested in the apres ski, there are other events held specifically in April in Val Thorens such as the Festival’Tho, Jazz in Val Thorens and Apothéose Days
Obergurgl is an ideal spring season ski resort. If you are thinking of travelling with the family for a springtime retreat, this is one resort that should be on your shortlist for consideration.
Located in the Austrian Alps, at an altitude of 1,930 meters, Obergurgl is considered amongst one of the highest resorts in Austria. Its high altitude ensures a very good and reliable snow covering on the slopes all season as well as receiving heavy snowfall well into spring. The resort also has a lot of north facing slopes which greatly helps in maintaining the snow conditions on the slopes. In addition to its very good snow record, Obergurgl has amazing snow making facilities to cover should there be any shortages.
All through the season, Austrian resorts are generally a lot less busy and crowded as their French counterparts,even more so in April as the season starts to wind down. For skiers looking for excellent snow conditions and very little traffic on the slopes, Obergurgl offers both. Its wide open pistes are very well suited for beginners and intermediate and as such would be a perfect pull for young families who want a quiet getaway together as a family playing on the slopes or a romantic couple on a quiet spring holiday with very little distractions from crowded slopes and resort in general. The apres ski may be a bit subdued in April but if you are after a chilled out break this would most certainly be ideal.
Under the bright April sun, the view of the village below is truly captivating and the expansive view of the slopes simply breathtaking. Obergurgl is definitely worth considering.
Regarded as one of Austria's best and finest resorts, Iscgul makes the list for a late season ski holiday in April. The ski resort in Ischgl is located at about 1,400 meters but the slopes above (where most of skiing will be happening) are mostly all over 2,000 meters and all 239 km of its pistes are located on North facing slopes so you can be rest assured of the snow quality in that regard. The resort is also well equipped with snow cannons.
Ischgl has always been a popular ski resort destination for Germans skiers but has since begun to see an influx of British skiers since being discovered. It has a very impressive apres ski, undeniably the best in Austria and the party carries on until the end of the season. Each year it hosts its Top of the Mountain Easter Concert which features great international acts; Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Elton John, Mariah Carey and James Blunt are just a few who have featured at these festivals in the past.
This resort is a fine April destination. Great snow conditions, longer sunny days and clear blue skies and a fantastic apres ski in the Austrian alps.
Book your April Ski Holiday with Erna Low
Get in touch with us now to book your late season April ski holidays. Our long standing relationships with the ski resorts and operators stretches back over 40 years! We are best placed to provide you with the best value for money offers on your ski resort holiday in April.
Contact us now!