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Late Spring Skiing in Europe

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Does anybody have any recommendations for skiing in Europe in the late March / early April time range? I'd love to do a half-week on the mountain and do another half-week in a city somewhere.  I'm thinking of making this trip with my girlfriend, and this would be her first time in Europe.  

 

We would both likely stick to groomers mostly, though I'm sure we might venture out at least a little bit.

post #2 of 13

Engelberg (close to Zurich) and Verbier (close to Geneva) are high altitude resorts with claciers as backup if snow coverage is bad. The cities of Geneva and Zurich are not too much fun though, so I'd recommend flying somewhere else in that case. Cervinia (which connects to Zermatt) is also pretty high altitude and within driving distance from Milan, which is a lot more fun. PM me if you want any advice on the resorts

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Does that mean Zermatt is accessible from Milan? : )

post #4 of 13

I think it's pretty far away by road, but the ski areas are connected

post #5 of 13

Altitude, Altitude, Altitude. Zermatt, Espace Killy and 3V are three good bets.  An alternative is to wait until a few weeks before and book based on snow conditions.

post #6 of 13

For a first trip to Europe, there is no better spot than Zermatt.  It can be faulted for being over the top cute and spendy, but it delivers everything you could want in spades.  Reliable snow at that time of year.  Weather will be what it will be but no place can guarantee blue skies every day. It's a 3.5 -- 4 hr. train ride from Zurich or Geneva but the scenery from the train is part of the trip itself.  Unmatched mountain scenery, reliable piste skiing and great on mountain lunches make this one tough to beat.  Arlberg (not too far from Zurich) and Chamonix (not too far from Geneva) are other good choices, but neither puts it all together as well as Zermatt. 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Zermatt definitely looks very appealing, and I would love to go there.  The only downside is that it's not necessarily close to a large city that would interesting.  This would be my girlfriend's first time in Europe, so I'd like to pick a place that's near to great city to explore for a few days. Looking at a map, it looks like Milan could be close.  

 

Zermatt is certainly still near the top of my list, but are there other places that I should consider? Perhaps one that's closer to a bigger, more "popular" city to visit?

post #8 of 13

Barcelona/Andorra

Venice/Dolomites

Geneva/pick

Zurich/pick

 

 

I have not had a pleasure of skiing in all of the ares by these cities, but can attest that these cities are "the best that world has to offer". If only NYC has a decent skiing within 2 hours.

 

Conditions can be "iffy" that time of the year so plan accordingly for "city" experience. Hopefully Europe has a very snowy year.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Barcelona and Venice sound awesome. I'll definitely have to take a look and compare/contrast with Milan/Zermatt. Thanks for the recommendations! Let me know if you can think of any other.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kleinstiefel View Post
 

The cities of Geneva and Zurich are not too much fun though, 

I agree about Geneva but like Zurich which is less government oriented than Geneva and has a younger, more eclectic feel in some parts of town (based on two visits about 15 and 7 years ago).

 

Barcelona is a fun city and it seems like you can get some decent skiing nearby, but most feel the best Euro resorts are in the Alps.  If skiing is only secondary, you could also consider Nice if you want to try a French city with lots of Italian flavor.

post #11 of 13

One of the fascinating and intriguing points of skiing in Europe is (comparing to American standards) proximity of massive ski areas to great "world cities". 

I find Geneva more fun than Zurich, but 20 years ago that would not be the case. I guess it is individual view and situation that determines "fun level". 

Another suggestion for optimal girlfriend/ski/fun Euro experience:

 

Florence/Tuscany/Abetone

 

That is probably the only split ski/city trip that my "better half" would be interested in. Hmm, makes me think, I should try ...

post #12 of 13

Around Salzburg - Mozart's town - there's some great skiing, even late in the season (Obertauern, Hochkönig, Dachstein, Schladming). Around Innsbruck there are qiute a few glacier ski areas that you could hit.

post #13 of 13

For the city vibe: Zürich, then Munich, last Geneva.

For the skiing: Geneva, then Zürich, last Munich. In late March Geneva simply provides the widest selection of high altitude resorts within a reasonable drive (2 hrs). If you want to book well in advance I'd say go there. That said you won't be disappointed with either choice.

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