summer skiing destinations europe

Top 10 Summer Skiing Destinations in Europe

When you think of a summer holiday, you imagine sun, sea, sangria and sunbeds, right? Well, we don’t know about you, but we find that lounging around on the beach for 7 days straight becomes tiresome and dull after a while. We want action, we want activities and we want some thrill, so we’re ditching our sunglasses for our ski goggles and hitting the mountains instead of the beaches. 

Top 10 Summer Skiing Destinations in Europe

Summer Skiing In Europe

You don’t have to jet off across the other side of the globe to get the Southern Hemisphere winter seasons, you can actually get your skiing or snowboarding fix closer to home. The same amount of time it will take you to get to Ibiza, or Santorini, you can be strapped into your board on a glacier. Europe is blessed to have many resorts in Italy, France, Switzerland and Austria that reach dizzying heights and phenomenal glaciers, that maintain their snow conditions all year round.

The mountains in the summer are absolutely beautiful, green and surprisingly warm, but don’t be deceived as high up at the top there are around 15 to 20km of slopes still open for business.

So, if you too are feeling the itch to do more than sit on a beach, and get some summer thrill in then take a read. We have collated our top 10 choices for summer skiing destinations in Europe. 

Top 10 Summer Skiing Destinations in Europe

Looking for some fresh new skiing gear? Check out the latest collection of ski jackets and ski pants over at Ridestore!

Getting there 

Much like when you are heading you to Alps in the winter, the airports such as Geneva, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Milan and so on, are still doing flights all across Europe. In some cases, there may even be more flights available in the summer, whilst others are busiest in the Winter. But, either way, heading to the major airports to access the Alps is as easy in the summer, as it is in the Winter. 

Although actually getting to resort from the airports, may be less simple as in the winter. The Alps, of course, are bombarded in the winter, so the coach companies, the trains and tour operators are more frequently available. However, everything still runs in the summer, as tourists still flock for mountain biking and hiking holidays. We suggest hiring a car from the airport, or driving from your home as it will be a beautiful and epic road trip through the green valleys. 

Price Ranges Explained

We looked at the price of ski passes, gear hire, food/drink, hotel/Airbnb for each region and assigned a rating based on the average cost of staying for 7 nights and 6 days of skiing in mid- January.

Ski Pass

0-150
€€ 150-250
€€€ 250+

Food

0-10
€€ 10-15
€€€ 15+

Beer

0-4
€€ 4-6
€€€ 6+

Hotel

0-100
€€ 100-150
€€€ 150+

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia Valtournenche - Ski Paradise
photo credit to cervinia valtournenche - ski paradise facebook

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Hotel

Get to know Cervinia

Where: Aosta Valley, North-West Italy

Getting there: Nearest airport is Turin which 120 km and around 1 and half hours drive. It’s also super easy from Milan and Geneva airport.

Ski-Able Terrain:   25km

Elevation:  3500m

Cervinia is a great resort in the winter and is famous for its incredible skiing, awesome views of the Matterhorn and snow-sure slopes. But don’t limit yourself to just going to Cervinia in the winter, it is a year-round resort with as much as excitement in the summer months. Plateau Rosa at Cervinia’s summit, is one of the highest accessible glaciers in Europe, which makes for great skiing at 3500m all year round. 

It has one of the highest snow parks in Europe too, where you will find professional skiers and boarders training. You will have access to the glacier from around 9am until 2pm, so once back down in the town, you can enjoy the vibrancy of Cervinia village for the rest of the afternoon. 

Ridestore Recommends:

Switch your skis for a bike and try the Cervinia bike park 

Zermatt

Zermatt Matterhorn
photo credit to Zermatt Matterhorn facebook

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Hotel

Get to know Zermatt

Where: Valais, Switzerland

Getting there: The closest airport is Geneva, but also accessible from Milan and Zurich airport. Zermatt is car-free, so to actually get to the resort you have to take the mountain cog railway via Tasch.

Ski-Able Terrain:   21km

Elevation:  3295m

Cervinia, it is blessed with high altitudes and glacial skiing. In the summer months, you can ski on the Theodul glacier, which has snow that rivals some resorts’ winter conditions. Make sure you get up and out early for a 7am start on the mountain, to make the most of the good snow before it gets too warm. 

Most of Zermatt’s slopes are short steep boulevard pistes, but the glacier skiing is wide, open pistes, which means even the beginners can enjoy the summer skiing experience. If you are more advanced, you may want to have a go at the snow park. Either way, the views will be mesmerising, the sun will be glaring and the lunchtime beer will be cold!

Ridestore Recommends: Gorner Gorge is around 15 minutes walk from Zermatt and is impressive natural rock formations and waterfalls from early glaciation.

Saas-Fee

Saas-Fee
photo credit to Saas-Fee facebook

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Get to know Saas Fee

Where: Valais, Switzerland

Getting there: The closest airport to resort is Lyon, but as in most cases it’s easiest to drive from Geneva airport which is around 2 and a half hours.

Ski-Able Terrain:   20km

Elevation:  3500m

Saas Fee is another one of the exclusive resorts in Switzerland, like Zermatt, that is full of glamorous charm. It is also a car- free, picture postcard town with a great vibe all year round. It is not just the skiing that will make your visit to Saas Fee worthwhile. Although, prepare your bank balance as like most Swiss resorts, you pay the price for such beauty and style. 

The summer ski area is focussed on and round the Allalin Glacier, which summits at 3500m. Hit the slopes in the morning to make the most of the good quality snow and smash through the 20km of pistes available. The glacier runs are of a decent steepness, so an intermediate and advanced skier or boarder will have the most fun here.

Ridestore Recommends: Have a try on the Feeblitz, which is one of the highest tobogonnan runs in the Alps. 

Les 2 Alpes

Les 2 Alpes
photo credit to Les 2 Alpes facebook

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Get to know Les Deux Alpes

Where: Mont-de-Lans, France

Getting there: The closest airport is Chambery, but probably best to fly to a larger airport such as Grenoble or Lyon for more flights.

Ski-Able Terrain:  220km (this is the full L2A terrain, and the summer area changes depending on the conditions)

Elevation:  3600m

Les Deux Alpes is one of the largest summer skiing destinations in Europe and is famous for this very reason. People flock to L2A in the summer for the great snow, the high altitude and the extensive pistes that remain open most of the year. Like most summer ski spots, you will spend most of your time glacier skiing, with real snow at 3600m. The resort takes a lot of time and care into maintaining the resort and the pistes during the summer, and this really pays off. 

As L2A is a popular resort for skiing, hiking, biking and general outdoor mountain fun, this means the village is always a great vibe.

Ridestore Recommends: Get a 6-day lift pass plus glacier experience pass, where you can make use of all the resorts facilities such as toboggan runs, tennis courts, 1 day of mountain biking and swimming pool access.

Tignes

Tignes
photo credit to Tignes

Pass

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Hotel

Get to know Tignes

Where: Tarentaise Valley, France 

Getting there: The closest airports are Grenoble and Chambery but with not as many flights as Geneva or Lyon. Hiring a car is super easy from all these airports and the drive through the valleys is beautiful! 

Ski-Able Terrain:   20km

Elevation:  3456m 

Tignes is known for its incredible slopes, and its high altitude skiing, so we are grateful that we can also experience Tignes in the summer months too. Although, with all the glory that Tignes has in the winter, thankfully there there are less crowds in the summer. You will find that most of Tignes skiing is not accessible in the summer, but there is still plenty to go after and the snowpark is as great as always.

As most summer skiing resorts, you have to get up and on the mountain early to get the best of the conditions. So we recommend staying in Val Claret which is the closest village to the Grande Motte glacier. The village itself is also blessed with altitude, so it takes no time at all to get onto the slopes.

Ridestore Recommends: Try out your skills in the snowpark

Hintertuxer Gletscher

photo credit to Hintertuxer Gletscher facebook

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Get to know Hintertuxer Gletscher

Where: Tyrolean Zillertal Valley, Austria

Getting there:  Innsbruck is the closest airport and is only around one hour and half away, but you can even fly to Munich in Germany and takes an easy 2-3 hour road trip to resort.

Ski-Able Terrain:   20km

Elevation:  3250m

Hintertux is a small resort at the base of the Hintertux glacier. The glacier is open all year round to cater to your summer skiing needs. Unlike most of the Austrian ski resorts, Hintertux glacier is blessed with high altitude and snow sure conditions, hence why they can offer summer skiing. The glacier itself is also one of the steepest, so is some of the more challenging summer skiing you can do in Europe. 

Hintertux is a small resort, so you may want to consider staying in one of the nearby resorts such as Mayrhofen, where you can still experience some of the vibrancy of a winter holiday. You may even be able to find some apres ski, after you have smashed the slopes all morning.

Ridestore Recommends: Betterpark Hintertux, this is one of the highest snowparks in Europe

Kaprun

photo credit to Zell am See-Kaprun facebook

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Get to know Kaprun

Where:   State of Salzburg, Austria

Getting there:Salzburg is the closest airport to Kaprun and is only 1 and a half hours away. You can also easily access Kaprun from Germany too, as its only 2 and half hours from Munich.

Ski-Able Terrain:   15km

Elevation:  3000m

Kaprun is a small but vibrant resort that offers incredible skiing pretty much everyday of the year. In the summer you can ski on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, which has great snow conditions up until July. Heading up to the 3000m summit on your skis or board is also a great way to see the jaw dropping views of the Hohe Tauern National Park glacial peaks.

Ridestore Recommends: The Ice Arena, this is an activity area with deck chairs for sunbathing, tobogannon runs and an ice bar.

Zell am See

Zell am See
photo credit to Zell am See

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Get to know Zell am See

Where: State of Salzburg, Austria

Getting there: Just like Kaprun, the easiest airport is Salzburg and you can drive, get a bus or a scenic train straight to the village.

Ski-Able Terrain:   15km

Elevation:  3000km

Zell Am See is Kaprun’s noisy neighbour (in a good way), that also has access to the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, where your summer skiing delights will await you. If you are after a slightly larger and more vibrant town than Kaprun, then Zell Am See is your answer. You can still experience the great variation of blue and red slopes on the 15km available on the glacier in the summer months.  

Ridestore Recommends: Lake Zell is a stones throw away from resort, so switch your skis or board for swim wear.

Filzmoos

Filzmoos
photo credit to Filzmoos facebook

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Get to know Filzmoos

Where: St. Johann im Pongau in the state of Salzburg, Austria

Getting there: Salzburg and its airport is just 1 hour away, and Munich is only a 2 hours drive.

Ski-Able Terrain:   18km

Elevation:  2700m

Like all of the summer skiing destinations, there is always an epic glacier at the centre of it all. For Filzmoos, they are blessed to be in proximity to the Dachstein Glacier, which has excellent snow conditions for most of the year. The skiing on the glacier, caters more towards the intermediate and the advanced snow sport enthusiasts, as most of the slopes are red or black runs. 

If you are also a park hound, the Dachstein glacier has a Superpark, which means you can practice your jibs, your rails and kicker landings all year round!

Ridestore Recommends: The resorts leisure centre has an outdoor pool, so you can spend your afternoons catching a tan and cooling off in the pool.

Neaustift, Stubaier Gletscher

Stubaier Gletscher
photo credit to Stubaier Gletscher facebook

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Get to know Stubai

Where: Stubai Valley, Tyrol, Austria 

Getting there: Only 25km from Innsbruck airport which is around 45 minutes drive. 

Ski-Able Terrain:  14.5km

Elevation:  3212m

Neaustift is the easiest resort to access Austria’s largest glacier, Stubai. The glacier is not just large, but it’s also high, reaching a whopping 3120m. This allows for great skiing from Early October to later June, so although it’s closed in the height of summer, it does still allow skiing right through spring. The resort and the glacier is known as the ‘Kingdom of Snow’, so you can expect top quality pow pow. 

The resort itself is rather small, and perhaps not as vibrant as other Austrian resorts. However, Neustift is still an uber popular destination because of the draw the Stubai glacier has, so head here for the good skiing and leave the partying for elsewhere. 

Ridestore Recommends: Get the Stubai Super Card for you to also make use of the cable cars for hiking, so you can explore more of the area. 

Top 10 Summer Skiing Destinations in Europe

We know for sure that after knowing more about these top 10 destinations for summer skiing, you will cancel your trip to Barcelona, and redirect your flight to the Alps. You can still enjoy sunbathing and leisurely eating and drinking on these action packed holidays, but you will get up and out early each morning with a purpose. 

Heading to the Alps on your summer break will allow you to see the resorts in a whole new light. They may not be bustling with big apres ski sessions and knee deep powder, but they have a relaxed atmosphere, no queues and the chance to appreciate the true experience of skiing on a natural phomeomoen. Sounds like the ski’s and boards have been taken out of the garage and the helmet brushed off- Alps we’re coming for you!

Top 10 Summer Skiing Destinations in Europe

PS

Hey Riders, note from your gal Angelica here. All information was correct at the time of writing through research and extensive knowledge and experience. However, things change during different periods in the season and some websites offer out of date information and links may change.

Maybe you have some better information to offer or any addendum or changes to make, in which case, feel free to email me on angelica@ridestore.com, and we can consider adding them in! Let me know. . .

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