Best Summer Ski Resorts

Glaciers so snow sure they’re still skiable at summertime.

Zermatt

Glacier skiing, high altitude terrain, stunning panor...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Off-piste
  • hiking

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Les 2 Alpes

Glacier Skiing, Awesome après, Loads to do

Great for:

  • Nightlife
  • Off Piste
  • Groups

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kaprun

Austria’s oldest skiable glacier, Austria’s bigges...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Late Season
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Groups
  • Après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Saas Fee

Traditional pedestrianised resort , Dramatic setting...

Great for:

  • Late season
  • Families
  • Snow sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Zell am See

Unparalleled panoramic skiing , Exceptional on piste...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Shopping
  • Non skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Tignes

Espace Killy ski area, Fantastic après ski, High alt...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Glacier skiing
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Whistler

Largest ski area in North America , Consistently vo...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Families
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Cervinia

Great for beginners, Ski 2 countries in 1 day , Glaci...

Great for:

  • Snow sure
  • Families
  • Beginners and intermediates

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Neustift

Glacier skiing, Charming Tyrolean architecture, Close...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Scenery
  • Off piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

If you love skiing and snowboarding half as much as we do, while your friends are showing off swimsuit tans, make yours one of the goggle variety. Thermals can stay at home – on hot summer days, it’s all about T-shirt skiing. Of course, you can’t ski in any old mountain resort; only those with access to the biggest, highest glaciers make the mark.

With the pistes and parks staying firm under the dazzling sun until about lunchtime, wake up early for mornings spent on the snow; there’s never a shortage of activities to fill the afternoons (think along the lines of hikes, bike rides and rafting… if you’re not too busy, sunbathing).

The best resorts for summer skiing

At a towering 3820m, Zermatt’s Theodul glacier is higher than most, as well as being Europe’s biggest summer ski area (21km). This adds up to summertime skiing so epic you often see the North American national teams training here. Runs are mostly blues and reds and not hugely steep, but the fact that this is the stomping ground of ski sage, Warren Smith, just proves that it’s what you do with what you’ve got that counts. His is just one of the summer schools here which will overhaul your technique in a few mornings, if you let them. It’s an all-star cast on the Theodul and Gravity Park at Plateau Rosa is where Burton hold their summer camp. If you want to keep busy in the afternoons, strike off on a climb of the Matterhorn you’ve been ogling all morning, or swing from the trees on the 350 meter high ropes course at the forest fun park – an alpine jungle with over 30 zip wires. For a slower pace book a seat on the historic Gornergrat train, which made its first trek in 1898.

Ask anyone about the charms of L2A and the terrain parks will always make the top of the list. Freestyle Land down at Toura would keep you busy for more than a week but in the summer this hands over to its bigger, badder sibling: Snow Park 3200 on the Girose glacier is so big it’s served by 3 lifts, a 22ft Olympic superpipe, and 15 and 20 metre big airs. It’s just as well lifts open an hour earlier than most places (7:15am). You may not yet be a devoted park rat, but the best thing about 3200 is that for every hair-raising module, you’ll find a modestly sized beginners version and a dedicated initiation zone to ease you into your first freestyle steps. The same goes for the ski area - this is one of the few glaciers with a green run and gentle blues (all to do with L2A’s “upside-down” shape), making it a fine place to learn to ski without any pressure. Playing to the glacier's strengths, lots of the ski schools have devised special Learn to Ski summer courses. If you're boarding, get Baden and co at Onyx to show you what's what and you're in for a cracking week of sun, snow and sliding.

The Kitzsteinhorn glacier is just above rustic Kaprun, whose chart-topping snow conditions are owed to the fact that it’s so high – 3029m above sea level. Hopping on the Gletscherjet cable car from town, you’ll be on the glacier’s 15km open slopes in minutes. We could cruise the Alpincenterabfahrt (one of several long blues) all day if they’d let us, but we wouldn’t want to miss the Hohe Tauern National Park Gipfelwelt 3000 viewing platform, or the glacial exhibition for an eye-opening lesson in how all this ice came together. If you’re here in July and August, cool off in the Ice Arena, where you can sip away at a drink from the ice bar on a ‘snow beach’ complete with deckchairs. The world generally moves at a slower pace in Kaprun, where you’ll spend your afternoon downtime visiting medieval castles or on a “photo safari”.

There are 18km of marked pistes on the Hintertux glacier– adding up to the largest and steepest summer ski area in Austria (and the only one that’s open literally every month of the year). The Betterpark is also the very first Austrian snow park to open in the autumn, annually drawing international freestyle stars and fans to flaunt their frontside 360 on the superpipe in the televised Hotzone.tv Park Opening event. Sure, the 30 minute bus ride to the Gletcherbus lift requires a little more effort than just hopping on a gondola, but sit tight and you’ll be rewarded. Besides the smooth Olperer blues from the 3250m peak, the Bugglepiste’s one of the rare glacial black runs and the Tuxertal ski school’s group lessons (again, rare for summer skiing) will help you fine tune your technique for less.

If you’ve heard about Saas Fee’s spectacular snowiness, you may also know that it’s the Allalin glacier behind all the white. From the 1800m resort it’s a simple matter of jumping on the Metro Alpin funicular or the Alpin express cable car to get right to the top of the 3600m ski area. The 20km of slopes here are all red - ideal for intermediates looking to hone technique while it’s a bit quieter (with companies like the Swiss Ski School usually open to lend a professional hand). When we say the park here is pro standard, we mean pro-standard: if you’re around in July, look out for the Saas-Fee Ride event (the main half-pipe, freestyle and ski-cross competition in Europe). On the other hand, if rails, boxes and superpipes are a little too far out of your comfort zone, there are also beanbags and deckchairs nearby for taking in the sights of the 4000m+ surrounding mountains. When you come off the slopes, ride the summer toboggan run – the steepest in the Alps (if you close your eyes you might just believe it’s winter) or slow things down in those perennial favourites, Swiss spas like the well-loved Paradia.

In contrast to friendly, neighbourhood Kaprun, Zell am See’s a livelier base for the Kitzsteinhorn glacier – with all the action-packed possibilities of Lake Zell to get stuck into post meridiem. If you’re of the belief that you should go hard or go home, you’ll love skiing all morning, swapping salopettes for swim gear and racing down to the shore for canoeing or swimming – in waters that often reach a bath-like 23°C. That’s not even getting round to the town’s championship golf course and access to some of the best hiking and mountain biking terrain in the country. As for the skiing, it’s just a minutes’ drive from Zell to the bottom of the Gletscherjet cable car, so not a second’s wasted whizzing you up the 3029m peak’s cruisey reds and blues in the mornings. Stopping yawns in their tracks, the ‘Black Mamba’ also lies in wait here with a 63% gradient for quick a burst of adrenaline...But it’s the oodles of off-piste, powder and huge fun park that are probably this glaciers biggest draw– a huge hit with freeriders and freestylers.

If you’re looking for a range of summer skiing terrain for a group of mixed ability, the Grande Motte glacier has one of the fairest mixes of blues, reds and blacks. In total there are 20km of runs, plus a varied cross country area and snow park– which even the warm embrace of the summer sun can’t turn slushy- especially since the rather innovative addition of glacial snow guns. If you’ve yet to take the plunge into black level skiing, the long and fast Decente here’s a good place to start - it skirts the slalom stadium, and the opportunity of peeking in on the action there makes for some great incentive. Another of the aces up the GM’s sleeve: while it’s just a short ride on the Perce Neige Funicular from Val Claret to the 3456m peak, in autumn you can sometimes ski all the way back to the resort on the Double M red, feeling like king or queen of the mountain. The thrills don’t stop when you reach the bottom; you’ll find hiking and mountain biking trails to last a month and “Hot Jumping”: basically an adrenaline junkie’s water slide with a 35m ramp to give you air as you fly into the lake on your choice of skis, board, or BMX ...

The fact that you can ski and ride here in the summertime’s just another of the feathers in world-class Whistler’s cap. Summers see high-profile racers flock to the Horstman glacier for training camps with high-profile trainers –a pretty good indication of the standard of skiing here. There are so many champions, in fact, that terrain is closed to the public until the afternoon (lifts normally open at midday, about the time European glaciers would be getting ready to hit the hay). It’s less all-embracing than the colossal Blackcomb ski area, but if you’re looking to take a good level of skiing to expert standard over the summer, or come away master of the mogul, there’s none better. The public terrain park was designed by Arena Snowparks with a mogul lane and an Olympic standard halfpipe. The anticipation more than makes up for the 45 minute journey from the base of the Blackcomb mountain and the same goes for the trip back– bear watching and bungee jumping are worth adding to the bucket list. The MTB terrain is, like the skiing, some of the best you’ll ever ride, while photography tours and the Peak 2 Peak Gondola -will give your heart rate a rest...

On the Italian side of the Matterhorn, it only takes half an hour for a series of lifts to take you from Breuil-Cervinia up to 25km of slopes – which just so happens to be the largest summer ski area in Europe (shared with Zermatt). Up at 3500m you stand a pretty good chance at bumping into some professionals – the Klein Matterhorn Paradise is a magnet for the world’s best winter sports athletes in the summer, like ski guru Warren Smith. Ski school Cervino has a summer base on Plateau Rosà where you can usually book a lesson on the spot for some help carving down the easier blue runs. If tricks are your thing, head to the Gravity snow park, where features including a 20m kicker bring freestylers from the world over (Burton often choose Cervinia as the base for their legendary summer camps). Paragliding is a great way to see the valley when the boots come off - if you fancy keeping your feet on solid ground, the ‘Glacier Palace’ is well worth a visit – there are some beautiful ice sculptures in the mountain caves.

Whether you’re looking for gentle runs to cruise and enjoy the views of the green valley below or a challenging steep to get the heart pumping, you’ll find it on the 3210m high Stubai glacier. Staying in Neustift means that all this glacial fun is only 20 minutes’ drive away (also accessible by public transport). The Stubai Summer Club has a loyal following among parents for its children’s’ hikes, horse rides, summer tobogganing through the Austrian hills to the echoes of tinny... alpine cow bells. Up on the snow, the Neustift Stubai Ski School have a huge range of lesson options and an indoor crèche for tots. The only thing to bear in mind’s that the Stubai doesn’t do peak season summer skiing, traditionally running until early July and re-opening in September.

From Europe to North America, these ten ski resorts have the best summer skiing in the world, with slopes up at around 3000m, high-tech snow making and enormous skiable glaciers that keep the mountain cool year round. Some of the finest pistes and parks are even open all 365 days of the year.

If size matters, check out Zermatt which has the largest summer ski area in Europe. Austria’s Hintertux glacier is the steepest in the Alps, so thrill seekers with a thing for folksy villages will be well served from Mayrhofen. To see what else is out there, have a look at our guides to the best summer resorts in France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.


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