This year, many European ski resorts have seen an abundance of snow. St. Anton am Arlberg, for example, received 60 cm in one day. And it’s not stopping yet, with many resorts in the Austrian Tirol, such as Ischgl, Seefeld, Mayrhofen, Igls and SkiWelt, expecting even more snow in the next few days.
All this snowfall means the base is deep and strong and should last long into spring. There are numerous benefits to booking a late-season skiing or snowboarding holiday. Aside from the warmer weather, the slopes are quieter, there are more discounts available, longer days allow visitors to discover more outdoor activities, plus there are a multitude of open-air events to choose from.
Tempted? Here are five suggestions to start…
St. Anton am Arlberg
Known as the “cradle of alpine skiing”, St. Anton am Arlberg hosts countless winter-sports enthusiasts throughout the season. With slopes reaching 2,811 metres and more than 300 km of pistes, plus 200 km of off-piste itineraries, there are always new routes to be found. This year, St. Anton has seen more than 260 cm of snowfall and has more than 400 cm of snow at the summit; the conditions should remain strong into spring. Skiers and snowboarders can challenge themselves to the ‘Run of Fame’, a circuit that winds its way through the entire Arlberg ski area with 65 km of runs and 18,000 metres vertical. Don’t miss the legendary ‘White Thrill’ race on 21 April 2018: when the lifts close, circa 555 skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers assemble on the Valluga Ridge for the mass start, keen to beat the record of eight minutes and 14 seconds that was achieved in 2011. And skiers and snowboarders looking for an après-party scene can make the most of the lively terrace at the famous MooserWirt. A week’s stay in April, at three-star Goldenes Kreuz, Hotel-Garni, costs from €525 pp (two sharing) including breakfast. Transfers, other meals, ski pass and ski hire extra. Return flights (to Innsbruck) cost from £73 pp with easyJet.
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/regions/a-st-anton-am-arlberg
The largest glacier ski resort in Austria is ideal for all levels of skier and snowboarder, whether they are travelling as a family, couple or group. Its mountains, which peak at more than 3,000 metres above sea level, guarantee lots of snow from October until June. Families are spoilt for choice with the Big Family Ski Camp, the Kids’ Line in the Stubai Zoo snowpark and the children’s restaurant at Gamsgarten mountain station. Plus, on 1 April 2018, Stubai will run an Easter egg hunt at Schlick 2000, with each seeker receiving an Easter surprise. Freeride skiers and snowboarders can tackle the Powder Department, which offers a wide range of lines for backcountry addicts. After an exhilarating day, finish with a meal at Schaufelspitz (the world’s highest-located toque-awarded restaurant) at the top of the eye catching Eisgrat cable car; dine on delicious gourmet cuisine and enjoy the magnificent views across valley. And visitors interested in culture will find several museums nearby, plus a birds of prey centre in Telfes. A week’s stay in April, at three-star Hotel Angelika, costs from €399 pp (two sharing) including breakfast. Transfers, other meals, ski pass and ski hire extra. Return flights (to Innsbruck) cost from £73 pp with easyJet.
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/sports/skiing/ski-resorts/a-stubaier-gletscherbahn-glacier-lifts
Home to Tirol’s highest mountain, the largest glacier ski resort in the Eastern Alps and the tallest waterfall in the region, the Ötztal Valley offers first-class spring conditions. Comprising Sölden and Sölden Glacier, the high elevation ski resort of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and the family-friendly Hoch-Oetz, the hardest decision is choosing where to go. Sitting at 1,930 metres, Obergurgl is known to be one of Europe’s most snow-sure resorts, and even if it’s running low on the white stuff, snow cannons cover approximately 99 per cent. Sölden is also known for its reliability, especially with access to two glaciers. From 5-6 April 2018, Sölden celebrates the end of the season with the Electric Mountain Festival, and from 8-22 April 2018, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl will be taking part in the Firn, Fun & Fire event, a weekly programme with free activities such as yoga, ski mountaineering and live music. The renowned Aqua Dome – home to 12 pools, seven saunas and four restaurants and bars – is well worth a visit too. Pull on a fluffy bathrobe and slip on a pair of flip flops and make the most of the spa facilities. Plus, with the ‘Moonlight Bathing’ package on Friday, there’s no need to leave when the stars come out. A week’s stay in April, at four-star Hotel Enzian & Appartementhotel Johannes, costs from €667 pp (two sharing) including half-board. Transfers, other meals, ski pass and ski hire extra. Return flights (to Innsbruck) cost from £73 pp with easyJet. Access to the Aqua Dome costs from €33 pp.
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/regions/a-oetztal-valley
Only 34 km from Innsbruck, Austria’s highest resort is a canny choice for a late-season skiing or snowboarding holiday. Part of the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck, a ski carousel made up of nine winter-sports areas, Kühtai has 14 ski lifts accessing more than 40 km of well-groomed slopes ideal for confident skiers and snowboarders, plus 75 per cent of the runs are serviced by snowmaking machines. Visitors should make the most of the north-facing pistes under the Alpenrosenlift and Hohemutbahn lifts. Freestyle skiers should head to the KPark, complete with a series of jumps and rails, while beginners and children can enjoy a more relaxed session at the KidsPark. Leave the marked slopes and check out the ski-touring terrain, especially around the Sulzkogel (3,016 m) and the Pirchkogel (2,828 m) mountains. Or try a spot of night skiing: the piste down from the Zum Kaiser Maximilian hut stays open until 11:30 pm twice a week. And, with the Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck lift pass, guests can always venture into other top resorts close by. A week’s stay in April, at Jagdschloss Innsbruck- Kühtai costs from €832 pp (two sharing) including breakfast. Transfers, other meals, ski pass and ski hire extra. Return flights (to Innsbruck) cost from £73 pp with easyJet.
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/places/a-kuehtai
Renowned for its legendary Top of the Mountain closing concert, Paznaun-Ischgl showcases snow-sure slopes, a traditional-style village with a traffic-free core and a superb modern-lift system. Despite not having a glacier, the resort is high and most of the pistes are north facing and above 2,000 metres. After exploring the 238 km of pistes, skiers and snowboarders can make the most of the après-ski, with a varied number of bars and clubs. On 30 April 2018, Helen Fischer will take to Ischgl’s famous open-air stage at 2,300 metres for the Top of the Mountain closing concert. Helene is a German superstar who has sold more than 12 million albums and has featured in the German charts for more than 10 years. Previous headline acts include Robbie Williams, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Pink and Muse. (Concert entry is free with a valid lift pass, which is necessary to access the concert arena.) A week’s stay in April, at four-star Alpenhof, costs from €473 pp (two sharing) including breakfast. Transfers, other meals, ski pass and ski hire extra. Return flights (to Innsbruck) cost from £73 pp with easyJet.
For more information, visit: www.tyrol.com/places/a-ischgl