10 Late Season Skiing Destinations in Europe

Person skiing

European mountains give us the pleasure of a pretty long skiing season. Yet, true ski lovers still disagree – they always look for a place to extend it for a bit longer. The late-season in most European skiing locations lasts until late April. Therefore, if you didn’t have time to enjoy this fantastic sport yet this season – this is a perfect moment to start looking for the best spot. We present to you the guide to selecting the top 10 late-season skiing destinations in Europe – it’s time to take a look and pick a favorite for your next trip.

Why ski lovers enjoy the late season

Experienced skiers love practicing this sport all the time. However, some of them claim the late season is the best. The main reason is the arrival of spring, which means longer days and more sunshine. Clear skies and sun make the skiing experience even more enjoyable, ensuring you relish those fantastic landscapes. Furthermore, the late season is excellent for beginners, too. Warm temperatures make the snow softer and the whole experience a lot easier for first-time skiers. Finally, Europe skiing in the late season is like going on the beach in September – it can help you spend less money and still have all the fun.

Skier in a blue jacket and black pants

Where to go skiing in spring? Here are the top 10 late-season skiing destinations in Europe

Now let’s see what the best locations to hit the snow with the arrival of spring are.

1.      Ischgl, Austria

This small Austrian town has transformed from a remote border village to one of the top skiing resorts in the country. With the growth of tourism over the years, Ischgl has become more and more popular. Now, it’s one of the most popular locations in the Alps and undoubtedly one of the top late-season skiing destinations in Europe.

2.      Val Thorens, France

This is such a great place to go skiing in spring because it’s located at 2,300m with lifts over 3,000m. With the days being longer in spring, you can truly enjoy the slopes as much as you can during the day. Apart from all the skiing features, the place is also known for its entertainment aspect. There are parties and other events you can enjoy here and have an unforgettable experience even as the season is closing.

3.      Cervinia, Italy

Let’s pop in Italy for a moment and check out one of the best late skiing destinations in Europe. Even though Italy is known for wine-tasting in Florence, you can also have a memorable skiing experience here. Cervinia is located in Aosta Valley, and it is known for its high-altitude slopes that are suitable for skiers of all levels. Visitors can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere in the town and soak up the sun until late in the evening, surrounded by glaciated mountains and beautiful views.

4.      Tignes and Val d’Isere, France

The Espace Killy region is known for these two fantastic skiing locations, and it’s named after a famous French skier. Snowy slopes connect these two skiing resorts and make it skiing heaven for skiers of intermediate and advanced levels. You can visit both places by hopping on a bus, exploring their distinct features.

5.      St. Anton, Austria

St. Anton belongs to this list as it is one of the largest ski resorts in the country, but it also guarantees a snowy season late in the spring. Its high altitudes ensure high lifts and low temperatures for longer, so you can be sure you’ll enjoy its 88 ski lifts even though spring has arrived. Even when not skiing, you can have fun, as St. Anton is great for families and friends.

6.      Verbier, Switzerland

This lovely place in Switzerland is known for its beautiful scenery and the fact that the height of 3,300m keeps the snow longer in spring. It’s open until mid-April and ensures the snow stays longer with the snowmaking technology. This is also a great location to visit other Vallees’ areas, so make sure to plan a more extended stay in Switzerland.

7. Saas-Fee, Switzerland

If you’re traveling with your family, choose Saas-Fee for your next skiing destination. Its slopes are great for beginners and intermediate skiers, but experienced skiers can also have fun on red slopes. This is a rather traditional place with unique Swiss architecture and only about 2000 residents. It also includes a leisure center where your family can have fun even when you’re not skiing.

8. Riksgransen, Sweden

Located in the country’s far northwest corner, Riksgranses has long been a popular skiing destination. The shiny mountains and sparkling snow will help you have an unforgettable skiing experience and enjoy the unique natural beauties of the area. In spring, days are longer, and you can be out from early in the morning until late in the evening when mountains are glowing with beautiful orange and yellow hues from the evening sun.

9. Narvik, Norway

This skiing location is open until the beginning of May, which is excellent for those who truly want to use the season until the very last moment. The resort is relatively small, but it has different ski slopes, and it’s suitable for skiers of different levels. Narvik is a great place to visit with a family, as it’s not too crowded.

10. Ruka, Finland

This lovely Finnish town is one of the top ski resorts in the country. It’s where many professional sports teams train, which tells more about its quality. There are many other things to do here apart from skiing. For instance, be sure to try out dog sledding, snowmobiling, or going to a party.

Person in blue coveralls snowboarding on snow

Late season skiing tips

After choosing your destination for some skiing in the late season, be sure to remember some of these tips for a smooth and safe winter experience:

  • Look for deals and discounts to save as late-season can mean lower accommodation and travel costs;
  • Improve your safety gear, as lower snow can mean more rocks and trees are sticking out
  • Check the weather and wear layered clothes, as spring skiing means different temperatures throughout the day;
  • Prepare your sports gear for the next year when you’re finished—though, knowing the best methods to put away your equipment in a storage unit and keep it safe after your trip is essential. This will ensure everything is in good condition for the next skiing season.

Final words

Our list of top late-season skiing destinations in Europe will quickly help you decide where to go and arrange a new skiing experience. But it will also make the bucket list longer for passionate skiers – are you one of them?

Where to Travel For The Best Stargazing In The World

In most urban areas, only around 500 stars are visible on a given night, but in the prized locations highlighted below, up to 15,000 are easily seen. That’s pretty incredible. It you’re planning a trip and want some nighttime eye candy, here are six of the best places in the world to go outside and look up. Here’s where to travel for the best stargazing in the world.

Photo by Juan on Pexels.com

Mauna Kea, Hawaii

The Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has perhaps the most ideal stargazing conditions in the world. At an elevation above 13,000 feet, it is the highest point in Hawaii. Its high elevation and location in the middle of the Pacific create excellent conditions, but the surrounding cloud layer makes it even more perfect for studying the sky. A tropical inversion cloud layer 2,000 feet thick sits below the summit, preventing pollutants and moist air from the ocean from rising up. The view itself is so spectacular that one of the world’s most advanced astronomical observatories is located at the top. The visitor’s center at 9,000 feet offers lectures, question and answer sessions, and telescope viewing.

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania might seem like an odd place for first-class stargazing, but Cherry Springs State Park is one of the best viewing points in the world. The 82 acre park is set within the 262,000 acre Susquehannock State Forest, protecting it from light pollution. A tremendous number of stars are visible at this Gold-Certified International Dark Sky Park. In fact, the sky is so dark that the Northern Lights were seen here four times back in 2014, a very unusual event this far below the Arctic Circle. The park offers Night Sky Tours on Friday and Saturday nights that use lasers to identify and explain constellations and planets. Visitors can also use telescopes on site.

Atacama Desert, Chile

The Atacama Desert in Chile is already a stunning natural wonder with its red dunes, huge rock formations, and even a desert flowering in wet years. It’s also the driest non-polar desert in the world due to its high elevation, which makes it an exceptionally perfect place for stargazing. The newly constructed ALMA Observatory takes advantage of these conditions and the lack of light pollution in the desert. At times, the Milky Way can shine so brightly here that it casts a shadow on the desert floor.

Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

In 2007, Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah became the first ever International Dark Sky Park, a designation since reserved for the best stargazing locations in the world. The beauty of the stars visible in the desert is supplemented by the striking natural setting. Owachomo bridge, perhaps the oldest bridge in the park, was created when a river changed course and carved a hole into solid rock.

Photo by Tobias Bju00f8rkli on Pexels.com

Denali National Park, Alaska

The Northern Lights are caused by a coronal mass ejection, which is a gust of solar wind and magnetic fields that interact with the earth’s atmosphere. The result are stunning dancing waves of green, red, blue, and violet that are occasionally visible in northern climates. Denali National Park in Alaska is one of the best places for viewing the phenomenon. The park encompasses four million acres of federally protected land, and the cold and clear Alaskan nights made conditions ideal. The magnificent park also offers bears, wolves, caribou, and moose as well as some of the most stunning mountain views in the world. This is definitely where to travel for the best stargazing in the world.

Tromsø, Norway

Brave stargazers might seek to venture inside the Arctic Circle itself for viewing the northern lights. There’s no better place to experience the enchanted north than Tromsø. Not only does it offer fantastic views of the aurora borealis (the sun is invisible from November to January), it’s a lovely city in its own right. In the 19th century it was called the Paris of the North, and visitors can enjoy reindeer spotting, sledding with huskies, and visiting the famous Arctic Cathedral in this Norse and Sami medieval city. And if you are thinking of travelling to Norway, you don’t want to miss the Fjords!

Conclusion

There you have it. Some of the best destinations in the world to gaze at the wonder of stars. Some are easy to get to and some not so easy to get to but it’s well worth it to get out there. It’s time to travel!

How to Avoid Common Mistakes On The Mountain

A great day of skiing
Photo by Melvin Wahlin on Pexels.com

As a ski patroller and veteran skier, I’ve seen more than my share of mistakes on the mountain. And there is a theme with common mistakes – not being prepared and/or not skiing smart. Here’s how to avoid those common mistakes on the mountain:

1. Be prepared for a Workout

Skiing and snowboarding are great workouts. A day on the slopes requires stamina, a strong core and leg muscles. If you plan on hitting a big mountain with long runs, skiing will be harder still. If you have a decent fitness level, you’ll have a good base for your day on the slopes and adjust easier to the demands of skiing and boarding. A regular fitness routine will help you to ski or snowboard better and longer.

2. Avoid heading straight to the Black Diamonds

A skier on a black diamond run
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Start out easy at the beginning of the day. Experienced skiers always take it easy for, at least, the first few runs before heading off to the diamond runs. Warm up and get your focus on movement, turns and technique before you crank it up on more challenging stuff. Gain confidence with easier runs before moving to diamond runs. Work your way up to the more serious, advanced, narrow, thrill rides.

3. Use common sense

There is something called the Alpine Responsibility Code which many skiers know, and many don’t. It’s typically posted on a yellow sign at the bottom of most lifts. It’s a combination of safety rules and common sense for skiers and snowboarders. For example, always stay in control; do not stop where you obstruct a trail, before starting downhill or merging onto a trail, look uphill and yield to others, etc. Follow these rules (ski smart) and you’ll stay safe and avoid the common mistakes of others.

4. Pay attention to lifts

Walking back to the chalet after a great day of snowboarding
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Getting on and off lifts is prime for accidents. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll quickly find that the chairlift is unforgiving. High speed chairs pick you up slowly, but then move fast. Be ready, line up with skis pointed forward and poles in hand. Getting off a chairlift can be a challenge for novice skiers and boarders. At the offloading area, simply stand up and let the chair push you. T-bars or other vintage lifts are completely unknown to new or young skiers, so ask for help from the lift operator or ski patrol if you need it.

5. Don’t think you can ski all day (with no break)

If you only ski while on a ski vacation, you’ll need to pace yourself for a full day on the slopes. As a Canadian Ski Patroller, I’m on shift all day and break the day into parts: a few hours of skiing and then take a break. Back out again for a few more hours then take a lunch break. After lunch, I’m back out again with a break in the afternoon. Don’t over do it and your last run will be as good as your first run.

6. Avoid borrowing your Dad’s old equipment

2 skiers taking a break from skiing
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Chances are your Dad’s equipment is old, worn out and/or doesn’t fit. Take a pass. If you don’t have your own equipment, rent from a ski shop where they will provide decent equipment based on your skill level. Boots need to be comfortable. Bindings should be set so that they will release your skis when needed. Tuned up skis make it easier to hold an edge and get down the hill. Helmets are very much in style and should be mandatory for their obvious protection. A helmet can’t prevent a concussion, but it could reduce the severity of one. Use quality equipment that fits you and your level of ability.

7. Not Layering Up

I’ve become a bit of an expert at dressing for winter. Wearing the wrong type of clothes can result in a not-so-happy ski day. For example, don’t wear cotton socks and a cotton shirt as your base layer. You will not be warm. The best way to layer up for skiing is to have three high-quality layers: a thin base layer (long johns); an insulating mid-layer (fleece or ski sweater) and then ski pants/ski jacket. Keep active, take rest breaks and keep nourished (your body stays warmer with fuel intake). If your clothes get wet, change them.

Get ready for a great day on the slopes! If you are going on a ski vacation, check out my TuGo post – What to Pack for a Ski or Snowboard Trip. And don’t forget your travel insurance if you travel outside your home province or Canada. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors!