Famous ski resorts are usually associated with winter holidays. But have you ever wondered what happened to them in the summer?
Turns out you can rent chalets on slopes in the warmer months too. While there might not be any skiing on offer, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy. And, after a pretty disastrous winter season with little snow, you might be interested to see these resorts in a different light.
Take in the spectacular scenery, experience the mountains and enjoy the bright summer sunshine by booking a stay at one of these chalets.
A cyclists' haven can be found at Morzine in the French Alps
Just the tallest peaks of the Alps are tipped with snow during the summer months. They provide a spectacular backdrop for a whole range of different sporting activities.
Use the ski lifts and cable cars to get to a network of walking and cycling routes.
Mountain bikers can test their limits on a new two-day gravel circuit during the Pass’Portes du Soleil event from 23 to 24 June 2023.
If spectating is more your thing, then visit in July when the Tour de France will pass through Morzine for the 22nd time.
VIP SKI is opening five of its properties at the resort this summer from the stylish Alaska Lodge sleeping 16 in the heart of Morzine, to The Manoir with its five en-suite bedrooms, hot tub and a view to die for.
A seven-night stay at The Manoir, arriving 1 July 2023, is priced from £455 pp (€524) based on two people sharing on a bed and breakfast basis. A seven-night stay at Alaska Lodge, arriving 1 July 2023, is priced from £3,528 (€4,066) total or £220pp (€254), based on 16 people sharing the lodge on a self-catered basis.
Enjoy late summer beauty in Åre, Sweden
If you are looking to travel a little later in the year, then Åre in Sweden could be the destination for you. The mountains around this resort are at their best towards the end of summer and into autumn.
Walk along forest trails between springs filled with fresh clean water and rich greenery. Take a short hike from the cable car to the top of Åreskutan or stroll along the Kanalleden trail.
A climbing park at Åre-Björnen could satisfy those looking for a bit more of a challenge. But don’t worry if you aren’t an expert climber; there are nine different courses with various levels of difficulty.
For thrill-seekers, the park also has 11 ziplines the longest of which is 62 metres long and takes you over Björnbacken with views of the Åresjön lake.
Stay at the Copperhill Mountain Lodge for a taste of luxury. Perched high on the mountain you’ll have incredible panoramic views and access to a spa with outdoor pools, hot springs and saunas.
Prices in July 2023 start at 1495 kr (€131) per night for a room sleeping two people.
Take the train to the Bavarian and Austrian Alps
As climate change makes the winter season ever more rocky for ski resorts, many are focusing on slow travel for tourists in the summer months.
If you want to help cut the carbon emissions that are contributing to the disappearance of wintery scenes in Europe’s mountains, why not take the train instead? From Amsterdam, take the NightJet sleeper to Innsbruck and Vienna or stay overnight in Munich to catch the train to Bavaria as the morning light hits the spectacular scenery.
Travel on using local services to reach some of the best resorts in the Bavarian and Austrian Alps.
Stay in a traditional hotel in Berchtesgaden, on the border near Austria's Salzburg. Alpenhotel Kronprinz’s balconies look down on a rolling green lawn that sits just above Berchtesgaden - Germany's only alpine national park.
Prices start from just €85 per person per night for the summer season.
Relax with a spa break in Switzerland
High-end spa resorts can be found all over the Swiss Alps. There is a long history of wellness retreats in the country and it has long since set the standard for luxury when it comes to hotels like this.
If you are looking for something with a price tag that won’t leave you gasping plus breathtaking views, then check out the Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen in Andermatt. It features a 25-metre pool where you can swim alongside a stunning mountain backdrop. The spa infuses its treatments with local herbs and spring water.
You might find it difficult to stay inside, though, as Andermatt has a vast network of hiking, cycling and climbing trails. There’s even a golf course if you are looking for a slightly slower-paced sport.
Prices for the Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen start at around €233 per night for a room this June.