The season may be drawing to a closer but there’s still time to catch a great last minute deal on a ski holiday.
If you pick the right resort, skiing in March and April promises a host of benefits including quieter slopes, shorter lift queues and cheaper ski passes.
The most important things to look for when selecting a late-season getaway are plenty of north-facing terrain and slopes above 2500m.
Follow our guide for your best chance to catch some snow this Spring.
The towering Gemsstock mountain, which dominates Andermatt’s skyline, is north-facing and exceptionally reliable for snow.
The season here typically runs from November to late April, as the nearby Alpine Ridge allows it to catch most storms heading in from both the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Low-rise and scattered with traditional chalets, Andermatt itself is a former Cold War military town famous for its challenging and high octane off-piste areas. The excellent powder here made it the Swiss army’s favourite place for ski training for many years.
Now the town is getting a glitzy £1.2bn makeover to transform it into a resort to rival the likes of Verbier and St Moritz. A number of new 4 and 5* hotels have been built, designed to complement the local architecture. These include the uber-luxurious Chedi Andermatt, complete with its own cigar and wine libraries as well as a ski butler.
For those looking to spend a little less, the pale wood interiors of the Radisson Blu offer a comfortable alternative. It is within walking distance of both the town centre and the slopes and guests can ease tired muscles in its on-site sauna and steam room after a long day on the mountain. Rooms start from £178 a night including breakfast.
As part of the regeneration, the number of slopes has almost doubled and once complete it will be one of the largest resorts in Switzerland.
Val Thorens, France
While activity in the other resorts that make up the popular Three Valleys winds down around mid-April, skiers are still hitting the slopes at Val Thorens in May. Its lifts are the first to open and the last to close.
Soaring to an altitude of 2300 metres, this is Europe’s highest ski town. With around 90 miles of pistes of its own – plus links to the other valleys which offer an extra 280 miles – Val Thorens promises something for everyone. There are gentle greens and blues right up to moguls that would challenge the professionals.
The resort is an ideal destination for families, with plenty of extra entertainment on offer – from dog-sled rides and snowshoeing to toboggan runs and trampoline parks.
Those looking to make the most of the town’s famously lively atmosphere should book a room at the Val Thorens Sensations. Guests enjoy daily après and live entertainment in the hotel’s bars. For £133 per night, you get all your food, drinks, lessons and lift pass included – with ski in/ski out access.
Budget travellers may prefer UCPA Val Thorens, a hostel-hotel hybrid. It is a not-for-profit so attracts lots of young people with its reasonable prices and sociable atmosphere. You can also find great deals by going self-catered and renting your own chalet through sites such as Airbnb.
Lying in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn peak, of Toblerone packet fame, Zermatt oozes with classic Swiss charm. Winding lanes lined with tiny bakeries, cheese emporiums and sparkling watchmakers’ workshops lead you through the car-free town centre.
Zermatt has an excellent snow record: a glacier and plenty of slopes above 3,000 metres ensure the season ticks on well into April.
Skiers have free run of over 200 miles of pistes and can soak up 360 degree views over the surrounding mountains from the highest cable car station in Europe.
The resort is well-located, within easy access of airports in Geneva, Zurich or Milan.
There are plenty of accommodation options to suit all price brackets, but for the boutique experience go for 22 Summits. The hotel has chic Scandi-style interiors, a two-storey spa where you can take a traditional Alpine hay bath or relax with an expert massage. A double room, including breakfast for two, costs from £267 a night in winter.
Ischgl has one of the longest seasons in the Alps, the start and end of which is celebrated by Top of the Mountain concerts. These lavish parties regularly attract international superstars including Elton John, Bob Dylan and Kylie Minogue.
The village centre is full of traditional Tirolian architecture and is served by one of the best lift systems in the world, so you can quickly zip around the 150 or so miles of slopes. Many of these sit above 2,000 metres, making Ischgl a safe bet to catch some fresh powder until early May.
Hotel prices can often be higher than in other Austrian resorts, but for those willing to stay a bus ride away from the centre of town Residenz Gramaser is a good option.
Apartments with room for four cost from £278 a night per person and a free shuttle will get you to the local shops and gondola in around five minutes.