Bombing down the slopes in a t-shirt and sunglasses. Stopping for a cold beer at the foot of a run. Beautiful vibrant scenery and relaxed, balmy après-ski – late-season skiing is a real delight! Let’s talk about the best resorts for late-season getaways and some of our favourite catered and self-catered ski chalets!
With 99% of its runs above 2000m, Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe. And with over 600km of runs, it’s also the largest ski resort in the world! While its height can sometimes lead to harsh conditions in winter, it also means that you’re bound to have decent snow coverage until season’s end.
Val Thorens is also among the best locations for lively après-ski, with a wide range of bars, restaurants and even nightclubs. What’s more, it provides a sports centre, with gym, pool, saunas, steam room, hot tubs and a leisure centre, as well as a bowling alley and a pool table – perfect for relaxing with friends after punishing off-piste expeditions.
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The self-catered ski chalet at Galerie de Peclet 1 is only 200m away from the piste and offers sofas, a TV and a lounge area alongside sleeping provisions for up to six people.
Val d’Isere and Tignes
Combining to form the massive Espace Killy ski area, Val-d'Isère and Tignes are some of the most famous resorts in France, with a formidable reputation for intermediate and advanced skiing. A shuttle bus links the two furthest points at La Daille and La Fornet and is included in your lift pass. But you won’t need to use it – the variety of lifts and cable cars make it easy to access the whole area. Hardened seasonaires even challenge each other to ski all four corners of the map in a single day. Much of the extensive area sits above 2000m, and the Pissaillas glacier atop the Grand Motte offers skiing even in the height of summer, with a funicular and chairlift taking you to a high-point of 3456m.
Val-d'Isère and Tignes are also renowned for their nightlife, which manages to be lively without losing its village ambience, combining busy bars and clubs with quieter piano bars and cocktail lounges.
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The many villages that make up Espace Killy offer more than enough accommodation, but the self-catered ski Chalet Jardin Alpin 3RC is especially noteworthy, offering sleeping space for five in a luxury apartment.
The most versatile resort on this list, Les Arcs has a variety of runs for powder hounds of all levels – along with some great off-piste skiing. Arcs 1800 is the liveliest area, with lots of bars and restaurants open into the early hours of the morning – but the ski area goes far higher, with more than enough runs above 2000m to ensure good late-season snow coverage. Couple this with some of the best, most high-tech piste-grooming in the business, and Les Arcs is the perfect late-season destination.
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Located right on the slopes, the catered ski Chalet Nature 21 in Arc 1800’s Chantel Area sleeps up to six people in an affordable 50m2 apartment – it’s ideal for those who are keen to get out on the slopes as soon as possible.
Each of these resorts makes a fabulous choice for late-season skiing. All offer a wide range of accommodation, with beautiful catered and self-catered ski chalets serving as perfect homes-away-from-home. With runs well above 2000m and extensive slopes, you’ll be desperate to try each of these resorts – and to come back again and again!
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best catered ski chalet accommodation in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.