Skiing season is the highlight of the year for countless thousands of fans across Europe, many of whom find it hard to accept when the winter season winds down each year. Luckily, there are still ski resorts that promise fun in the snow late into spring – or even year-round. If springtime skiing is what you’re after, we’ve got the low-down on the best places to hit the slopes when the temperatures elsewhere are climbing.
Naturally, Austria always tops the list of best European ski destinations. Although it’s not the only country in Central and Eastern Europe to ski late into spring, it promises the longest operating ski trails. Missing the snow in August? Lucky for you, Austria promises a (very) long winter season in many of its high-altitude venues. Head for the Hintertux. Located at 3200m altitude, with guaranteed good conditions for skiing all year round.
You don’t have to choose Austria, though. The Tatra country of Slovakia is also known for high altitudes in its northern part, with a lot of wintery weather in springtime. Tatranská Lomnica, one of the most famous Slovak ski resorts, promises fun as late as May 15th. With lots of tourist attractions, such as a cable car to Skalnaté Pleso (1751 m above sea level), cozy hotels, and great restaurants, Tatranská Lomnica is a good idea not only for Christmas and New Year but also for spring break.
Although Slovakia has the highest mountains in Eastern Europe, its neighbor Czechia also can offer quite a long ski season. Trails in one of its biggest resorts, Špindlerův Mlýn, don’t close until April 18th. From a snow park and sledding track to FIS-certified ski tracks, this ski resort, open late into April, is fun for everyone. Špindlerův Mlýn offers its visitors 27 km of ski trails and night skiing even late into the evening.
Open until April 25th, Kanin-Sella Nevea is a joint Slovenian-Italian ski resort just an hour from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. While enjoying spring in the Slovene mountains, you can ski as high as 2300 m on 30 kilometers of ski tracks in the Julian Alps. And if you try winter sports in Kanin, who knows – maybe you will be planning your next summer break there. The high pass between Slovenia and Italy has a lot to offer during warm months, such as trekking and hiking, and fans of canoeing or even windsurfing can find something for themselves as well.
The town of Bansko in southwest Bulgaria lies less than a thousand meters above sea level but still offers ski opportunities until mid-April. The same applies to Borovets, the oldest Bulgarian ski resort founded by Archduke Ferdinand when Bansko was still under Ottoman rule. Borovets even hosted the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, as its altitude of 1350 m guarantees good ski conditions through April.
With an abundance of renowned ski resorts high in the mountains, famous for their long ski season and cool, snow-preserving weather, Central Eastern Europe has its highlights. Add to this the diverse regional culture, food, and unmatched hospitality – maybe it’s time to give these spots a try.