Skiing at the end of the season has many advantages. The weather is generally milder and sunnier, the days are much longer and the crowds have gone leaving quieter slopes to enjoy. It also means that there are many great ski accommodation deals to be had as resorts look to sell their empty beds at low prices. There can be a real party atmosphere at the end of the skiseason as spring is in the air and the locals and resort staff celebrate what is a long winter. It can often snow too, and although the snow melts and changes more quickly, you can still experience powder snow, at any time of the season.

Here is skiweather’s top 10 skiresort destinations in Europe for spring skiing:

1. Lech-Zürs
slopes: 1444-2650m
avg. snowdepth 72-185cm (spring)
The ski area in Lech/Zürs is the snowiest major ski area in the Alps and cover is pretty much guaranteed until the end of April, even at resort level. The resort has a long season by Austrian standards. Average snowdepth at the upper slopes is still well over 1.8m at the end of March. The resort is well looked after and is groomed to an excellent standard so you’ll constantly have a fresh surface to work with.
Last – and not least – Lech has a sensational atmosphere and a lively après-ski scene.
Lech (

2. Val Thorens
slopes: 1800-3230m
avg. snowdepth 95-182cm (spring)
Nestled up in the French Savoyard region, Val Thorens is Europe’s highest ski resort with the village at an altitude of 2500m. Val Thorens is very snow-sure not solely due to its altitude but also due to it’s north-facing slopes. Most of the skiing here is over 2000m, which means the snow keeps cooler for longer and the lifts keep running until early May. Part of the huge Three Valleys ski area, Val Thorens is an excellent bet for good snow conditions even late in the season.
Val Thorens (

Love Val Tho

3. Passo Tonale
slopes: 1120-3015m
avg. snowdepth 85-320cm (spring)
Passo Tonale (Valle di Sole) sits in the extreme western end of the Dolomites where natural snowfall is higher than in the bigger names further east (e.g. Selva). The resort has variably either the deepest, or one of the deepest snow bases in Italy. At 1885m the resort is also high by Italian standards, with slopes reaching over 3000m. Some of the slopes do face south and get the full force of the midday sun. However, the north-facing Cima Presena which includes Passo Tonale’s glacier is much shadier and usually offers excellent conditions well into spring. Along with a great relaxed Italian atmosphere, Tonale is unusual for glacier ski areas in that it offers steep red and black runs right through to summer. In May however, much more terrain is usually open, often as much as 50km of slopes remain accessible and in a good snow year there’s still top to bottom skiing.
Passo Tonale (

4. Cervinia
slopes: 1525-3480m
avg. snowdepth 52-221cm (spring)
Cervinia is dominated by the mighty Matterhorn, set in the breathtaking Aosta Valley. One of the best things about Cervinia is that in the late season you can enjoy plenty of afternoon sunshine without having to sacrifice the snow, because snow conditions remain good long into spring.Cervinia is linked with Zermatt in Switzerland, and it is possible to cruise between the two countries from November until the start of May.
Cervinia (

5. La Thuile
slopes: 1175-2610m
avg. snowdepth 43-183cm (spring)
The slopes in La Thuile are not situated very high, but they are much better protected from the wind and the sun than in neighbouring La Rosière (France). This is partly due to their aspect – most of the slopes face north or east – but also because La Thuile sits on the leeward side of the high mountains that form the border area between Italy and France. What’s more, its lower runs are thickly wooded which again helps preserve the quality and quantity of the snow in sunny weather.
La Thuile (

6. Livigno
slopes: 1815-2795m
avg. snowdepth 20-198cm (spring)
One of the higher resorts in Europe with pistes to 3000m and a good snow record, Livigno is also known for its sunny location. It offers one of Europe’s largest terrain parks and the skiing lasts until late April/early May on a good year.
Livigno (

7. Andermatt
slopes: 1445-2963m
avg. snowdepth 49-331cm (spring)
Andermatt is a genuine alpine town and is actually a small skiresort compared to the others in this top 10. With its famously snowy micro-climate and high north-facing bowls, Andermatt is an excellent bet at any time in the season, but is particularly good in spring.
Andermatt (

8. Obergurgl
slopes: 1795-3080m
avg. snowdepth 34-127cm (spring)
Looking for a bit of Tirolean charm along with snowsure pistes for spring skiing? Then Obergurgl is the place to be. Situated in the Ötz valley, close to the Italian border, the snow sure resort offers skiing late into spring along with its higher sister resort Hochgurgl, which is a mid-mountain gondola-ride away. Obergurgl is Austria’s highest resort, with slopes between 1795m-3080m, and is probably the most reliable of Europe’s non-glacier resorts. It has long been a favourite with those for whom the quality of the accommodation is as important as what’s on the slopes.
Obergurgl (

9. Are
slopes: 65-110m
avg. snowdepth 71-110cm (spring)
Are is northern Europe’s largest and most advanced ski location – boasting a season that starts in November and lasts until May. With 100 pistes to enjoy plus night skiing too, Are is a popular choice for late season skiing. New this season is the snow guarantee which means that Are will either refund your money or re-book your trip if there are no skiing opportunities as late as May 1st.
Are (

10. Espace Killy
slopes: 1550-3455m
avg. snowdepth 71-163cm (spring)
Nowhere in the Alps have quite the extent and variety of high altitude skiing as Val d’Isère and Tignes (L’Espace Killy). The home runs can get tricky with the approach of spring, but most of your time will be spent above the mid-stations where the quality of snow is often good. As the season winds down at the start of May it is often still possible to ski the full vertical back to Tignes and, in a good snow year, there can still be more than 100km of piste available.
Espace Killy (

More snow sure ski resorts for spring skiing include Obertauern, Madesimo, Montgenevre

Austria’s little known gem, Obertauern, is hardly an hour’s drive from Salzburg Airport. It has an infectiously friendly laid-back atmosphere and with generally quieter slopes than the big name resorts it’s no surprise that this destination is gaining in popularity fast. Situated in the Salzburgerland region of the Austrian Alps and nestled within the scenic peaks of the Tauern mountain range, Obertauern was originally just a mountain pass before it became a ski resort. At 1750m it is one of Austria’s highest ski resorts and one of the most snow-sure. The snow conditions are second to none. It has one of the longest winter seasons in the Alps, usually from November till May. Obertauern is referred to as “Austria’s Snow Bowl” and having “Champagne Powder” due to the quality of the snow which has been scientifically proven to be some of the best and most reliable in Austria. Based on the 10-yr average snow depth rates Obertauern as one of the most snow sure ski resorts in the Alps. 

Obertauern is both Austria’s only attempt at a purpose-built destination and also one of its oldest. The village is a rarity in Austria. Don’t let that put you off, it has a charm of its own and bears no resemblance to the concrete purpose built monstrosities in the French Alps. The attractive, typically Austrian, chalet-style architecture is pleasing on the eye and gives the impression of a traditional Austrian mountain village. Of course the real advantage of a purpose-buil’ village is that it brings real ski convenience. The majority of accommodations offer doorstep skiing so there is no need to catch a bus here.


Skiing here has been well designed; the ski pass allows access to a modern interconnecting lift system where you can ski 100km of pistes in a natural circuit without the need of ski buses! This clever system allows you to always return to your original starting point, whichever direction you start off in. Obertauern’s ski area is modest by ‘super resort’ standards and the vertical drop is not enormous, but the figures are deceptive and there is endless fun to be had exploring the various circuits you can make of the area in both directions.

Obertauern’s terrain is best suited to the all-round intermediate with the majority of the slopes being wide open blues and reds. Intermediates are spoilt with two thirds of the terrain graded at that level. You can clock up decent mileage on flattering, cruisy runs without encountering too many nasty surprises which makes Obertauern an ideal family destination.

Although not famous for its expert level skiing, nonetheless 20% of terrain is graded black and Obertauern’s powder bowl skiing is very highly regarded. The five black pistes include testing mogul fields. The off-piste promises some decent challenges for experts.  Guides will take you on the many off-piste routes, including the ski excursion down to the nearby town of Untertauern

There are some wonderful wide nursery slopes near the village and in the centre of town with virtually guaranteed snow throughout the season. Strangely, for a snow-sure resort, most of the pistes are south-facing.

Ski Obertauern

The lift system is modern, fast and made up almost entirely of gondolas and high-speed chairs. Despite the resort being busy due to the excellent snow conditions, you will barely encounter a queue all week. The slopes are generally quiet especially outside peak weeks, perfect for beginners and families not wanting to waste valuable ski time in long lift queues. Obertauern also has some of the best piste maintenance. The mountain was alive late into the evening with an army of piste-bashers ensuring the slopes were in perfect condition for the following morning.

The town has retained a slight village atmosphere with some fun and funky places to apres ski. There are plenty of bars and taverns and restaurants on the slopes to stop in for a break. There is fabulous apres-ski at “the Lurzer” and up the mountain at “the Hochalm”. The Edelweiss bar on the slopes is a real treat at the end of your day – and a 400 meter run down an easy slope into the village after.

Ski map Obertauern

The resort is part of the Top Tauern Ski Check pass scheme which includes more than 30 ski resorts in the Tauern area, some of them lift-linked to one another, although not to Obertauern. Some of the better known resorts in the ski arena – which opens up over 700km of slopes and nearly 300 lifts – are Altenmarkt, Schladming and the Dachstein glacier lifts.

Getting there

By air: Salzburg’s W.A.Mozart Airport is closest and offers shortest transfer times to Obertauern (1 hour 40 minutes).

By train: buses leave every hour from the Radstadt station. The journey takes just 20 minutes by car.

Link suggestions

For more information on Obertauern please visit the official website of Obertauern

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