When’s the best time to go skiing in Europe?

When you’re planning a winter holiday for snowboarding or skiing in Europe you most definitely want to ensure there are mountains of snow or perhaps you’re looking for good value for money and want it to be busy– yet at the same time not too busy so you have room to ski. We have put together the best times to go skiing in Europe for these occasions.

when-is-best

When is peak season in Europe?

Generally speaking, most mountains in Europe open at the end of November and close mid to late April, with the exception of Levi Resort in Finland, which stays open until early June, because of its cold Arctic temperatures.

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The earlier you go, the quieter the slopes which means less queues and more room for you, however, there is generally a risk of no fresh snow. This time of the season is perfect for beginners who are less confident on the pistes as it’s less crowded.

Despite there being a risk of poor skiing conditions the later you go too, on the plus side, the days will be longer and the closer you are to Easter, the more likely it is for the sun to be shining. These longer daylight hours mean longer lift opening hours, and ultimately more time to enjoy après-ski activities that take place in the cafes and bars on the slopes.

The peak of the season is February-March and you can expect it to be busy and great après-ski events and atmosphere.

When is it cheapest to go?

Prices can be almost double at peak times such as Christmas and New Year, and during the school holidays of Christmas, Easter, and particularly February Half Term, so if you can try and avoid these times, it will be a lot cheaper! January tends to hold the best deals for European ski resorts, so this post-Christmas season is a good time to go.

when-is-cheapest

If you’d rather go at a less busy time, the best month to go skiing is before Christmas and January, or April. As not many people tend to choose these dates you can expect fantastic deals especially if you don’t mind a last minute plan.

Top tip – when selecting which resort to go late skiing in, choose a ski resort with an altitude of 2000m or above. The higher the altitude of a skiing area, the colder it is, and so the snow lasts for longer.

The further into March you are, the cheaper it is to venture to European ski slopes. If you are going on your skiing holiday during March-April, reduce the risk of poor skiing conditions and pick one of the following destinations for more chance of snow:

  • Val Thorens, France
  • Tignes, France
  • Riksgransen, Sweden
  • Are, Sweden
  • Zermatt Switzerland
  • Saas Feed, Switzerland
  • Livigno, Italy

All these locations have high altitudes and many are based by glaciers, making the snow last longer in the spring months. Whichever month you end up choosing to go, we hope you have a fantastic skiing trip!

Anne Wooley is Owner at Ski Cuisine.

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Comments (1)

  1. John says:

    Thankfully, for me, money is not a deciding factor in when I go to ski .. I always watch the snow forecasts like a hawk though.

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