10 Ski Resorts in the Alps with Guaranteed Snow
The beginning or end of the season is a brilliant time to ski. However, no one wants to book a ski holiday when there isn’t guaranteed snow. Don’t worry though, here at Ski-Lifts we’ve done the research for you and we’ve prepared a list of 10 ski resorts in Europe with guaranteed snowfall.
Tignes/Val d’Isere, France
Two totally different, but linked resorts are part of the famous Espace Killy ski area. These ski resorts share a gigantic ski area with 300km of pistes reaching from 1550m to 3456m. Besides the Pissaillas glacier set above Val d’Isere and the Grande Motte glacier on the Tignes side, the high altitude of the slopes, in general, ensures that these resorts are snow-sure destinations.
Val d’Isere has the largest artificial snowmaking plant in the whole of Europe. Le Snow Factory could cover Wembley Stadium to a depth of half a metre in just one hour. Impressive!
Tignes has a long winter season and also a summer season for skiing and snowboarding thanks to its glacier. The highest lift in Tignes stands at 3450m and with its great snow record, you are guaranteed a great time on the mountain in Tignes.
The snow conditions in Val d’Isère and Tignes are hard to beat, anywhere in the world. Even in ‘bad’ snow years, the majority of Val d’Isere and Tignes remains accessible due to the high altitude. A massive bonus is the fact that all the runs back into the town stay open almost all of the time, because of the altitude of the town.
Cervinia is situated in the northwestern part of Italy in the Alpine resort of Valle d’Aosta.
Cervinia is one of the world’s leading ski resorts and is known for its snow-capped mountains, including the pyramid-shaped Matterhorn. Due to its high altitude, Breuil-Cervinia has an especially long season, guaranteed snow and is especially popular for intermediates.
The winter season opens in early November, however, Cervinia’s glacier means the resort stays open for summer skiing too. Cervinia stands at 2,050m and with lifts going up to 3,820m. The joint ski area with Zermatt is the highest in Europe, ensuring snow cover is guaranteed in these resorts between November and early May.
Ischgl is an Austrian village with a long history dating back over 1,000 years. As a ski resort it offers something for everyone, the charm and sophistication of resorts like Kitzbuhel, nightlife to rival St Anton and over 200km of pistes for all abilities.
The resort has a good snow record. With a selection of beginner, intermediate and advanced pistes, parks and pipes and night skiing, it is the perfect location for a holiday. The slopes in Ischgl best suit eager intermediates who enjoy covering as much ground as possible each day.
With the village at an altitude 1,400m and a maximum height of under 3,000m, Ischgl is not your typical snow-sure candidate. However, as you head further east across the Alps, ski resorts don’t need to have the same high altitudes as their French neighbours to get good snow cover. Also, Ischgl’s incredible snowmaking system can almost dispense with nature altogether. Ischgl is known for its lively après activities and opens and closes every year with a huge mid-mountain concert with a world-class headline act, watched by a massive crowd of 25,000.
Solden is the largest ski resort in the Otztal Valley, situated in the Tyrol region of Austria. Solden is famous as a party resort, with plenty of bars and clubs for people to choose from. It attracts a play hard, ski hard crowd. That’s not to say there aren’t quieter areas surrounding the resort, with plenty of ski in-ski out hotels on the edges of town away from the main strip.
The range of skiing and boarding on offer should not be overlooked. There are two high-altitude glaciers, 150km of pistes and a park, there’s plenty of reason to be up early in the morning to make the most of this area. If early mornings aren’t your thing, there’s always night skiing.
Solden was the venue for James Bond film, Spectre. With visitor numbers already on the up, the Bond association could prove a good one for a resort that is trying so hard to change their international image to the luxury Austrian resort which is the place to be. Solden opens in late November, however, the 10 lifts on its two 3,250m glaciers that ensure snow cover also run through the autumn.
Les Arcs, France
Les Arcs is made up of several areas, namely Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Arc 1600, Arc 1800, Arc 1950 and Arc 2000, each situated at a different altitude and each with its own individual character and atmosphere. This is part of the huge Paradiski ski area.
Les Arcs is home to 425km of pistes, has its highest lift at 3250m, varied terrain and a great snow record, so there is plenty of areas on the mountain for beginners all the way through to experts. Not to forget the infamous speed skiing course, which still holds the current world record. The snow guaranteed high altitude resort of Les Arcs is the perfect end of season destination.
If you purchase a whole area lift pass, you’ll also be able to explore Les Arcs’ sister resort of La Plagne. La Plagne is home to its very own glacier and a further 225km of pistes.
Val Thorens, France
Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in Europe and part of the infamous Three Valleys ski area in France. With 600km of pistes, the highest lift at 3230m, its great snow record and well-linked lift system the Three Valleys is a must-visit destination for any ski and snowboard enthusiast.
A 3 Vallees ski pass covers the entire Three Valleys ski area. The pass covers resorts such as; Val Thorens, Méribel, La Tania, Courchevel and more. The ski pass will give you access to more than 600 km of runs, including; 30 black, 108 red, 129 blue and 51 green runs.
Val Thorens is a purpose-built resort in the Belleville Valley situated above the resorts of Les Menuires and St Martin De Belleville, its high altitude guarantees a longer season than many other ski resorts. On a stunning day, the positioning of Val Thorens offers an incredible winter panorama.
Val Thorens’ high altitude ensures that doorstep skiing and snowboarding with guaranteed snow is possible from November all the way to May.
Imagine the typical Austrian ski resort, well that’s exactly what you get with Lech. Chocolate box chalets, surrounded by snowy mountains, luxury hotels, high-end restaurants – it’s not hard to see why so many of the rich and famous choose Lech.
Lech has good links with its neighbours of St Anton and Zurs, there is ample skiing for everyone (about 276 KM worth of pistes to be precise).
Lech’s excellent natural snow record and 60% snow cannon coverage ensures this Austrian resort boasts great late season skiing year after year. Lech also offers a fantastic array of off-piste opportunities. It’s is one of the very few Austrian resorts to offer heli-skiing, what’s not to love?
Verbier is one of the Alps’ most famous ski resorts. You’ve got James Blunt singing about it, Richard Branson building luxury chalets on it and Posh & Becks eating fondue in it.
Verbier is absolutely massive and linked up to the four-valleys, creating a ski area so vast even regular visitors find the variety of skiing on offer somewhat overwhelming. Skiers and snowboarders of all levels will be entertained for as many weeks as they have spare. Verbier offers picturesque undemanding pistes for beginners, and couloirs, powder fields and heli-skiing for the more advanced and 3 snowparks for freestylers.
With a top lift at 3,330m, snow cover in Verbier is pretty much guaranteed at altitude, although the lower half of the resort can suffer when snow is hard to come by.
Les Deux Alpes, France
Les Deux Alpes was one of the first French ski resorts to be opened in 1946, behind Chamonix and has grown to be very popular. It is also home to Europe’s largest skiable glacier.
Les Deux Alpes is ideal for both skiers and snowboarders with its extensive ski terrain, modern lift system and a great amount of sun with south-facing slopes.
The ski area in Les Deux Alpes is split into two areas, the Valley Blanche sector and the Glacier side, where the majority of the pistes can be found.
Les Deux Alpes homes slopes from 3,570m down to 1,650m, officially opens for winter in December, however, the glacier is open much earlier for autumn skiing. Les Deux Alpes has over 200km of groomed slopes and 200 snow guns protect a large portion of the area.