Before winter is over, the Alpine regions experience the wonderful time of sunshine skiing. From March to early May, sun lovers and firn skiers enjoy the season finale on the mountain.
Enjoy sunshine skiing
Down in the valley, the air is mild and smells of spring. At the top of the mountain, it is crystal clear and fresh and the mountain peaks are still covered with snow. What a great mixture! On the slopes, the snow thaws in the sun and freezes again at night, creating a granular, crackling firn that invites you to weave your way through the snow. In the following ski resorts, this sunny spring skiing awaits guests.
For those seeking relaxation: Obergurgl-Hochgurgl
At the very end of the Ötztal valley, the municipalities of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl lie at an altitude of 1,800 – 3,080 m with snow secured. Hochgurgl is actually not a real resort, but a hotel village at 2,150 m directly in the skiing area. The highest lift brings winter sports fans up to just over 3,000 m. Here, one climbs from the bed to the board and can then ski down the piste to the hotel. Thanks to its high altitude, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is one of the first ski areas without glaciers that can start the season early. The season also takes a long time, usually until May. Obergurgl is a small town where peace and quiet prevail. The town centre is traffic-calmed and the infrastructure offers everything you need during a skiing holiday in the mountains – and even more. Whether rustic souvenirs or fine jewellery, here you can stroll wonderfully. The town is also adorned by an architectural highlight: the Top Mountain Crosspoint multi-complex on the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road. It is a gondola valley station, ski restaurant, toll station and motorcycle museum all in one.
For beginners and experts: Alpe d’Huez
The high plateau of the Alpe d’Huez in Oisans, France, lives up to its reputation as a “sun island”. In its exposed location, the Alpe literally stretches out towards the sun and offers its visitors sunhine skiing at its finest. Below the Pic Blanc (3,330 m) there are a total of 249 kilometres of pistes for all tastes, from cautious beginners to fast advanced skiers. Particularly attractive are the deep-snow routes around the ski mountains and the “Sarenne” downhill run, which at 16 km is the longest black run in the Alps. It leads from the summit of Pic Blanc over 1,800 metres above sea level to Alpe d’Huez and is actually only really tricky in a few places further up, so that it can be skied by almost every skier.
For après ski lovers: St. Anton am Arlberg
The ski carousel on the Arlberg is considered the cradle of alpine skiing and a very sunny one at that. The snow conditions in the ski area, which reaches over 2,800 m, are still very good in spring. The Arlberg ski region has 306 km of pistes, 122 km of which are connected at St. Anton. With a total of 200 km of ski routes, the powder snow possibilities are also almost inexhaustible. As far as the place is concerned, there are various leisure options from the modern wellness centre to the illuminated natural toboggan run. In the evening, classic après ski is possible in the respective bars as well as the peaceful end of the day with a stylish dinner. Thanks to their sophisticated flair combining traditional and contemporary, the two Arlberg metropolises of St. Anton and Lech are among the most popular destinations in Tyrol.
For freeride lovers: Les 2 Alpes
Just a few hilltops further north from the Alpe d’Huez lies the glacier ski area of Les 2 Alpes. This popular area is situated on the magnificent glacier of La Meije (3,983 m), where the highest lift goes up to 3,560 m and most of the pistes are over 2,500 m high. This area can confidently be described as absolutely snow sure. In April, the sun shines for an average of 7 hours a day. In addition, the gastronomy on the mountain offers a perfect mixture between rustic and chic and is sometimes a bit crazy. In the hut Diable au Coeur, for example, you can swim in a small outdoor jacuzzi next to the umbrella bar. Famous among freeriders is the wild downhill run along the north face of the Meije down to La Grave. However, it is reserved for professionals only. After skiing, Les 2 Alpes offers a variety of après-ski bars and discos.
For shopping lovers: Livigno
A true classic for sun skiing is the lively Livigno in the Italian Sondrio. Slopes up to over 2,700 m and a cute village centre with cosy gastronomy and many shops offer the guest a varied stay. When it comes to Livigno, the first thing everyone thinks of is duty-free shopping. In fact, the shopping offer is attractive, but the pretty village and the associated ski area have so much more to offer: 115 kilometres of slopes on the Mottolino and Carosello ski mountains, beginners’ slopes and snow parks, floodlight runs for night skiing and, last but not least, a great nightlife in the village. The après ski will start in the early afternoon with a bombardino. With the cult hot drink you can relax and enjoy the evening in the bars. An additional plus: if you’ve always wanted to visit St. Moritz, you can get from Livigno to Switzerland by car within an hour.