The Best Destinations For A Last-Minute Summer Skiing Holiday In Europe

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The summer sun is blazing down. Glastonbury goers are on their second morning of no sleep. The stars are warming up for Wimbledon and the beaches are packed. Yet, conversely, some of us are yearning for the crisp, cool air of the mountains and the thrill of carving down a snowy slope. 

Oh, what respite that would be. Fortunately, summer skiing is not just a dream but a reality, with several destinations offering excellent snow coverage even in the warmer months. Of course, as it’s summer, the glacier runs are fairly tame at this time of year, so don’t expect stiff challenges. That said, the mix of long, light evenings with a spot of morning skiing can make for a very pleasing holiday indeed.

If you’re in the UK and looking for a last-minute summer skiing holiday, here are some of the best destinations to consider.

Essential Things To Know Before Book That Last-Minute Summer Skiing Holiday In Europe

  • Check Snow Reports: Heading off on a last-minute ski holiday isn’t simply about packing your bags and hoping for the best. It’s essential that you check the latest snow reports and weather conditions before booking, as these can be unpredictable in the summer months.
  • Book Flights Early: Even for last-minute trips, booking flights as early as possible can save money.
  • Pack Appropriately: Summer skiing requires lighter layers, but don’t get complacent; forgetting sunscreen and sunglasses will leave you in all kinds of trouble.
  • Flexible Dates: Be flexible with your travel dates to take advantage of last-minute deals and discounts.
  • Cancellations: Ensure your travel insurance covers skiing and any potential cancellations. Many insurers offer policies that can be purchased up to the day of departure, providing coverage for unexpected events such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies. Look for policies that specifically include coverage for skiing and other winter sports.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by flight to Zurich, followed by a 3.5-hour train journey.

Zermatt is a quintessential alpine village that offers skiing 365 days a year on the Theodul Glacier. Although the lowlands are lovely and warm in summer, the Zermatt offers the largest and highest altitude summer ski area in Europe. Indeed, suring the summer months, the resort boasts over 21 km of pistes, with altitudes reaching up to 3,883 metres. The snow quality is generally excellent, and the uninterrupted, sunkissed views of the iconic Matterhorn are simply breathtaking.

Why Zermatt for Summer Skiing?

  • Reliable Snow Coverage: The high altitude of the Theodul Glacier ensures good snow conditions even in the summer, making it a dependable choice for summer skiing. Get up early to enjoy the best downhill runs on glacier. At this time you’ll find the best sking conditions under the cool morning sun. The summer skiing area closes at midday.
  • Summer Skiing Events: Zermatt hosts various summer skiing events and training camps, including the Zermatt Marathon on July 6th and the Swiss National Ski Team’s training sessions, making it a vibrant place for skiers.
  • Last-Minute Deals: Zermatt often offers last-minute accommodation deals, especially in the summer when the demand is lower than in winter. 

Tignes, France

Travel Time: Approximately 1.5 hours by flight to Geneva, followed by a 3-hour transfer.

Tignes is part of the Espace Killy ski area and offers summer skiing on the Grande Motte Glacier. With 20 km of pistes available, it’s a favourite among both professional athletes and recreational skiers. The glacier reaches up to 3,456 metres, ensuring good snow coverage.

Why Tignes for Summer Skiing?

  • Summer Skiing Festivals: Tignes hosts summer skiing festivals and events, such as the Tignes Summer Skiing Festival, which includes live music, competitions, and après-ski activities.
  • Extended Ski Hours: The glacier is open for skiing from early morning until early afternoon, allowing you to enjoy other activities like mountain biking, hiking, or relaxing by the lake later in the day.
  • Last-Minute Packages: Look out for last-minute packages that include accommodation, lift passes, and even equipment rental, which offers maximum convenience and maximises your time on the slopes.

Hintertux, Austria

Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by flight to Innsbruck, followed by a 1.5-hour transfer.

Hintertux Glacier is one of the few places in the world where you can ski year-round. The glacier offers up to 20 km of pistes during the summer, with altitudes reaching 3,250 metres. The snow conditions are typically excellent, and the resort is known for its well-maintained slopes.

Why Hintertux for Summer Skiing?

  • Summer Ski Camps: Hintertux is popular for summer ski camps, attracting skiers of all levels. The camps often include professional coaching, making it an ideal destination for improving your skills.
  • Cooler Temperatures: The high altitude ensures cooler temperatures, providing a refreshing break from the summer heat. Expect temperatures to be around 0°C to 10°C on the glacier.
  • Last-Minute Availability: Due to its year-round operation, Hintertux often has last-minute availability for accommodation and lift passes. 

Saas Fee, Switzerland

Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by flight to Geneva, followed by a 3-hour train journey.

Saas Fee, known as the ‘Pearl of the Alps’, offers summer skiing on the Allalin Glacier. The resort provides around 20 km of pistes, with altitudes reaching up to 3,600 metres. The snow quality is generally excellent, and the resort is less crowded than some of its more famous neighbours.

Why Saas Fee for Summer Skiing?

  • Summer Skiing Competitions: Saas Fee hosts various summer skiing competitions, such as the Allalin Race, adding a competitive edge to your holiday.
  • Quiet Slopes: Enjoy less crowded slopes compared to the winter season, making for a more relaxed skiing experience.
  • Last-Minute Discounts: Take advantage of last-minute discounts on hotels and ski passes. The Saas Fee tourism website often lists special offers and promotions.

Les Deux Alpes, France

Travel Time: Approximately 1.5 hours by flight to Grenoble, followed by a 1.5-hour transfer.

Les Deux Alpes offers summer skiing on the Mont de Lans Glacier, with around 20 km of pistes available. The glacier reaches up to 3,600 metres, providing reliable snow conditions. The resort is known for its lively atmosphere and wide range of activities.

Why Les Deux Alpes for Summer Skiing?

  • Summer Snowpark: The resort features a summer snowpark, perfect for freestyle enthusiasts. It includes jumps, rails, and a half-pipe, catering to all levels of freestyle skiers and snowboarders.
  • Extended Ski Season: The glacier skiing season extends well into the summer, ensuring good snow coverage. The resort also offers a range of summer activities like mountain biking, hiking, and paragliding.
  • Last-Minute Deals: Look for last-minute deals on accommodation and lift passes, especially during the quieter summer months. Check the Les Deux Alpes official website for the latest offers.

Stubai Glacier, Austria

Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by flight to Innsbruck, followed by a 1-hour transfer.

Stubai Glacier, located in the Tyrol region, offers summer skiing with around 20 km of pistes available. The glacier reaches up to 3,210 metres, ensuring good snow coverage. The resort is family-friendly and offers a range of activities for all ages.

Why Stubai Glacier for Summer Skiing?

  • Summer Skiing Events: Stubai hosts various summer skiing events and training camps, including the Stubai Glacier Ski Camp, which offers professional coaching and training sessions.
  • Cooler Climate: The high altitude provides a cooler climate, perfect for escaping the summer heat. Expect temperatures to be around 0°C to 10°C on the glacier.
  • Last-Minute Offers: Take advantage of last-minute offers on accommodation and ski passes. The Stubai Glacier website often lists special deals and promotions.


Cervinia, Italy

Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours by flight to Turin, followed by a 2-hour transfer.

Cervinia shares the Matterhorn Glacier with Zermatt, offering summer skiing at altitudes up to 3,883 metres. The resort provides around 26 km of pistes during the summer months, with excellent snow conditions and a variety of runs.

Why Cervinia for Summer Skiing?

  • Shared Glacier Access: Benefit from the extensive skiing terrain shared with Zermatt, providing a wide range of pistes and excellent snow conditions.
  • Italian Summer Vibes: Enjoy the unique blend of skiing and Italian summer culture, including delicious Italian cuisine and vibrant après-ski activities.
  • Last-Minute Packages: Look for last-minute packages that include accommodation, lift passes, and meals. The Cervinia tourism website often lists special offers and discounts.

The Bottom Line

Summer skiing offers a unique and exhilarating escape from the heat, and with several fantastic destinations just a short journey from the UK, it’s easier than ever to hit the slopes

Whether you choose the majestic peaks of Zermatt or the lively atmosphere of Les Deux Alpes, a summer skiing holiday promises adventure, stunning scenery, and the joy of skiing in the sun. So, pack your bags, grab your skis, and get ready for an unforgettable summer on the snow!

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