As the days lengthen, the temperature rises and flowers begin to bloom; skis and snowboards start being swapped for swimming costumes and sunbeds. However, the Austrian Tirol has number of destinations which offer superb snow conditions throughout the summer.
So, here are three resorts that are ideal for a sun-and-snow escape:
Make the most of one of Austria’s largest glacier areas in the Ötztal region from late June to October. Sölden has two glaciers, the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach, which make up 39 km of beautifully-groomed pistes surrounded by stunning scenery. Winter-sports fans can take advantage of the Ski Tunnel at 3,240 metres that connects the two glaciers, or use the Glacier Express gondola to discover both areas. The Rettenbach glacier has a ski test centre with all the latest skis to try out, plus a fun terrain park for those who want to practise on the half pipe and rails. Look out for national teams training for the World Cup and ski instructors preparing new recruits on the slopes. Based approximately 70 minutes from Innsbruck Airport, those who are keen can combine the spectacular skiing with a cultural city break. A week’s stay, during the summer, costs from €210 / £180 pp (€420 / £360 total) in self-catered accommodation. Return flights (London to Innsbruck) cost from £116 pp with easyJet. Transfers, lift pass and ski hire extra.
Open from September or October to late June each year and regarded as Austria’s biggest glacier area, Stubai Valley, in the Austrian Tirol, has 104 km of pistes and reaches heights of 3,210 metres, making it ideal for a summer skiing holiday. Situated just 35 minutes away from the beautiful city of Innsbruck and the airport, those short on time can easily visit for a weekend or mid-week break. The new, innovative 3S Eisgrat cable car that opened at the beginning of the season – capable of transporting 3,000 people per hour with each journey taking 11 minutes – has increased access to the glacier too, so it’s even easier for keen skiers and snowboarders to enjoy the snowy slopes. Stay in one of the three big villages – Neustift, Fulpmes and Mieders – which have their own wooded ski areas and links to the glacier. A week’s stay, during the summer, costs from €196 / £168 pp (€392 / £336 total) in self-catered accommodation. Return flights (London to Innsbruck) cost from £116 pp with easyJet. Transfers, lift pass and ski hire extra.
Less than 90 minutes from Innsbruck Airport, Austria’s only year-round ski resort offers winter-sports enthusiasts groomed and snow-sure conditions for 365 days. A range of modern lifts whisk skiers and snowboarders from the centre of Hintertux (1,500 m) to the top of the glacier (3,250 m), where 18 km of slopes can be explored. Throughout the summer months, approximately 10 lifts remain open to ensure the corduroy runs are easily accessible. The pistes are suitable for all levels of skier, and those wanting to fit in extra turns should head to the Tuxer Fernhaus, where 2 km of uninterrupted carving awaits. After an exhilarating day on the glacier, head back to the centre of Hintertux for a well-deserved pint of weiss beer. A week’s stay, during the summer, costs from €199 / £170 pp (€397 / £340 total) in self-catered accommodation. Return flights (London to Innsbruck) cost from £116 pp with easyJet. Transfers, lift pass and ski hire extra.