If you want a ski resort with great snow conditions or want to ski early or late in the season, a ski resort with a glacier is the best place to book. There are plenty of skiable glaciers in Europe, each with its own benefits and types of terrain. Our ski experts have created a guide for the best glacier skiing in Europe.
Zermatt is one of the best glacier ski resorts in Europe because it’s so easily accessible. On the piste map, there is the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise area which has some great skiing to enjoy. In the Autumn of 2018, the resort opened a lift called the “Matterhorn glacier ride I” which opened up the ski terrain in this area. Now there are plans for a second gondola, “Matterhorn glacier ride II” to be open for Spring 2023.
The glacier itself is called Klein Matterhorn and you can view the iconic Matterhorn itself from the South-east side of the mountain. It has open ski terrain that is skiable all year round, which is fantastic for ski enthusiasts that want those extra turns. The altitude is 3,820m for the skiable terrain on the glacier, so it adds to the snow condition reliability.
The Grande Motte glacier in Tignes has some great slopes to enjoy during the season and in the summer. The glacier means the resort can open early in October and stay open into late spring. There is also summer skiing to enjoy in July when the resort reopens this area. Many World Cup race teams train in the off season during this time in Tignes.
The glacier’s slopes are accessible via a seven-minute lift ride via the Perce-Neige funicular. This takes you to the peak at 3,456m high. This high altitude adds to the snow reliability as the temperature drop is more consistent at this height. Whether you’re looking for reliable snow conditions during the main ski season or some extra turns in the summer, Tignes’ glacier skiing is a great choice.
Les Deux Alpes, France
Les Deux Alpes has some of the best glacier skiing in Europe. The Mont de Lans glacier is the heart and soul of the piste map in the area. It has 20km of slopes just on the glacier and offers summer skiing too. Professional freestyle skiers regularly train all year round here because of the fantastic snow park facilities on the glacier.
It is a popular destination for skiers with reasonably short transfers from Grenoble and Chambery airports. This means you can maximise your time on the slopes. It is the second-largest glacier in France, the biggest being in Chamonix. However, it is the biggest in France with man-made pistes on its surface.
Alpe d’Huez, France
The Pic Blanc glacier in Alpe d’Huez has stunning views of the iconic Mont Blanc Mountain. It has an altitude of 3,330m which maximises the snow reliability throughout the main ski season. It’s home to two challenging black runs, La Sarenne and Le Tunnel. La Sarenne is the longest black run in Europe at 16km. A true challenge for advanced skiers.
There are three main lifts in the area, the Poutran gondola, DMC 2 and the Pic Blanc cable car. The amount of surrounding peaks you can admire is incredible. Marvel at the Pic Bayle, Grande Casse de Pralognan, Grande Motte de Tignes, Grand Paradis in Italy, the Vanoise glaciers, the Maurienne and Meije summits, the Barre des Écrins and Mont-de-Lans glacier.
The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier linked to Kaprun has some of the best glacier skiing in Europe. It is open from October until May and guarantees great conditions throughout the main winter ski season. It has a high altitude of 3,203m and plenty of varied terrain to enjoy. In addition, there’s a state-of-the-art snowpark, freeride terrain and ski touring opportunities in the area.
You can also easily get to the glacier if you are staying in nearby Zell am See too. Now that both resorts are interlinked the glacier is more accessible than ever. Whether you’re an advanced skier looking for powder turns or wanting a cruisy blue run there’s something for all abilities.
Passo Tonale, Italy
Passo Tonale is the best glacier ski resort in Italy. The Ghiacciaio Presena glacier has stunning views and excellent terrain to ski. Due to its location, there’s plenty of sun throughout the year in this area, so pack the sun cream at whatever time of year you visit. However, at 3,069 metres high the snow keeps firm throughout the day, the perfect combination of sun and good snow.
At the top of the glacier, you can admire spectacular views of Mount Adamello to the peaks of Ortles-Cevedale, Pian di Neve and the Brenta Dolomites. There are five main slopes to enjoy on the glacier, the blue Variante Presena Paradiso, the red Paradiso Glacier run, the red Presena Paradiso and Variante Paradiso slopes and the black pista Paradiso.
Skiing on the Titlis glacier is possible from October until May, with its 3,020m altitude, there are fantastic snow conditions throughout its opening times. It has 82km of slopes to enjoy on the glacier with 26 lifts connecting each piste. One of the lifts called the Rotair is one of the world’s few 360-degree revolving cable cars. A great way to admire the surrounding beautiful landscapes.
Whether you’re an intermediate or advanced skier there’s plenty of terrain to enjoy. In addition, there are incredible freeride opportunities too. Engelberg is famed for its powder skiing and fantastic off-piste skiing. This is why it has some of the best glacier skiing in Europe.
If you’re a keen off-piste skier, Les Grands Montets glacier in Chamonix has some of the best glacier skiing in Europe. It is the largest glacier in France. You can access this amazing terrain via the Plan Joran gondola, then from Le Bochard and La Herse lifts. You will need to book a local mountain guide and have the appropriate safety kit too.
The north-facing slopes have some incredible descents such as the “Combe du Cordier” near the far right-hand side and the steep descent “Grand Mur” (or Big Wall) on the left-hand side of the glacier. In addition, there’s the “Pas de Chevre”, “the Bochard” and “the Herse” which are also fantastic descents.
To find out more about the best glacier ski resorts in Europe, please call our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.