Autumn Skiing: 6 European Resorts with Early Snow
Skiing in November is cheaper and more convenient than in high season. Many winter resorts start opening only in December, but those located on a glacier or at high altitude, are ready to welcome you in early November. November is a low season, which means that prices for hotels, car rental and ski passes will be lower, and there won’t be queues at the lifts and at the reception points. If you want to ski, not waiting for the Christmas holidays, we have prepared the list of the best resorts in Europe with early snow…
Tignes ski resort is situated in the highlands, at the Grande Motte glacier, surrounded by 3030-3600 meters-high mountains. Due to the glacier itself and high altitude, snow in Tignes falls in October. On steep and wide slopes there are 20 kilometers of tracks – two ones are blue tracks for beginners, two red and one black track for advanced skiers. The resort offers ski schools for adults and children, where kids are put on a snowboard even if they are only 2.5 years old. Also, there’s a snow park with one of the largest and fastest half-pipes in the world and freeride tracks. In addition to bars, clubs and restaurants, in Tignes you can dive under the ice of the lake and try bungee jumping.
The price for 1-day ski pass: 33 Euros for adults, 27 Euros for children until November 23, from November 24 till December 21 – 45 Euros for adults and 36 Euros for children.
Sölden is located in the Ötztal valley in Tyrol, where 40 kilometers of excellent trails are waiting for you between Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glaciers. The slopes in Sölden are long, with elevation differences, most of them are of simple and medium difficulty. Experienced skiers prefer the Gaislachkogl expressway. There’s a separate park for snowboarders with springboards, rails, fan boxes and a half-pipe. In addition to skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering, the resort offers hiking, snowmobiling, sledging and a bowling. Other entertainment venues include cinema, swimming pools with a sauna, skating rinks, night clubs, restaurants and bars.
Price for 1-day ski pass: 53 Euros for adults, 30 Euros for children.
Surrounded by Dufour (4,654 m) and Matterhorn (4,478 m) mountain peaks, Zermatt is among the top alpine resorts. The ski area is divided into 3 ski sectors with 200 kilometers of tracks of all levels of difficulty – each sector has its own lift system. Most of the slopes are red and black, with sharp elevation changes. In addition to the ski slopes, Zermatt features trails for mogul skiing, cross-country skiing and sledging. On the Theodul Glacier you’ll find Gravity Park Zermatt – the largest snow park in Europe with rails, kickers and a two-hundred-meter super-pipe. After skiing, you can go to the pools with saunas and steam baths, tennis courts, discos and restaurants.
The price for 1-day ski pass: 75 Euros for adults, 38 Euros for children.
Val Thorens, France
Val Thorens is the highest mountain ski resort in Europe, which is located at an altitude of 2300-3300 meters. 77 out of 150 kilometers of tracks are blue, 59 kilometers are red, and 14 kilometers are black tracks. In Val Thorens, there’s a unique 500-meter Fun Slope track with obstacles – tunnels, bridges and spirals, a snow park with jumps and a quarter-pipe, night skiing and cross-country skiing tracks. The resort is very popular among free-riders due to its vast virgin fields in the area of the Thorens and Bush glaciers. Val Thorens has a lot of entertainments: aqua clubs with pools and Jacuzzis, tennis courts, golf and basketball courts, restaurants and discos.
The price for 1-day ski pass: 44 Euros for adults and 35 Euros for children.
Are is the largest ski resort in Sweden, with 100 kilometers of slopes, a height difference of 900 meters and 40 lifts, many of which are quite high-speed. The resort consists of four separate villages connecting by a free bus. The resort offers 5 black slopes, 39 red, 39 blue, and 12 green tracks. Many of them are well lit and open for night skiing. On the green slopes cross-country and downhill skiing is allowed. All tracks are open for snowboarders, and there’s also a snowcross park. In Are, you can jump with a parachute, fly a hang-glider, ride a dog sled and hit a fish under the ice of Lake Oreshchen.
The price for 1-day ski pass: 45 Euros for adults, 35 Euros for children.
Cervinia is a high-mountain resort on the southern slope of the beautiful Matterhorn Mountain featuring 146 kilometers of tracks and 23 lifts. The elevation difference is 1,438 meters. Most of the tracks are red and blue. Experienced skiers will be happy to try several black tracks, the most difficult of which is Bardoney. Cervinia’s blue tracks attract many tourists due to the fact that they pass almost all the slopes – this allows beginners to ride around the whole resort. For freestylers and snowboarders, there’s Indian Park with rails and kickers. What’s more, ice karting with two ice tracks is available for those who like racing. Cervinia is famous for excellent restaurants, bars, nightclubs, a bowling and a swimming pool.
The price for 1-day ski pass: 43 Euros for adults, 31 Euros for children.