It would be normal to assume that as the snow melts, the lifts shut, and the ski season comes to a rather sad end for another 6 months. But think again! Thanks to high altitudes, there are dozens of glaciers across the Alps that still hang onto their snowy peaks throughout the summer months (even when the temperatures are pretty toasty!), and where the lift system allows, we can make our way up to some to ski on.
There are numerous ski-able summer glaciers across Europe, and Inghams go to four of them: the Allalin Glacier in Switzerland, the Stubai Glacier in Austria, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise in Switzerland, and finally the Hintertux Glacier in Austria.
The Allalin Glacier, Saas Fee, Switzerland
Although small, the Allalin Glacier that sits above the summer resort of Saas-Fee is still mighty. 20km of summer skiing pistes can be found on the glacier, and plenty of summer activity clubs and lessons to be had throughout the off-season. Of the small space available on the glacier, there is a freestyle park consisting of a halfpipe, kickers, rails and boxes, and you’ll find other snow activities up here too like snowmobiling and tobogganing. You may also even see some international famous ski and snowboard teams practicing their slalom runs!
Getting to the glacier is easy, and be accessed from the centre of Saas-Fee via the Morenia cable car to Felkskinn, and then the funicular railway following that.
Beyond the skiing, one of the best delights of Saas-Fee during the summer is that there are endless hiking trails in the immediate vicinity, and can be easily accessed by free use of the resort lifts and local buses for Inghams guests. Buses will take you to the nearby villages of Saas-Grund, Saas-Balen and Saas-Allmagell where the cable cars and chair lifts to access a variety of stunning hiking trails, some above the tree line.
Stay with Inghams at the Hotel Schweizerhof Gourmet and Spa in Saas-Fee, where the facilities available at the hotel are excellent with a large indoor swimming pool, and wonderful cuisine. With such an excellent and convenient location with only a few minutes’ walk from the lifts, you’ll be right in the heart of the action.
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The Stubai Glacier, Neustift, Austria
Austria’s largest glacier offers skiing and snowboarding that stretches into the summer months with a good snow record until July most years. The pretty town of Neustift in Austria sits at the foot of the Stubai Glacier and accessing the pistes is as easy as riding two lifts up to the summit.
There is a variety of different runs up here with blues, reds and blacks for all abilities and experiences, as well as a terrain park for freestylers. Also up here there is a viewing platform that extends over the edge of the cliff, an ice grotto, a children’s playground and plenty of summer snow activities for all to enjoy.
Off the mountain, there is mountain biking, hiking and rambling to be enjoyed as well as the delicious cuisine of Austrian Tryrol.
Appropriately named Activehotel Bergkönig sits in a quiet and tranquil location just outside the centre of Neustift, and makes the perfect base for your action packed holiday. Still close to the village centre, the hotel boasts of beautiful gardens with a south-facing sun terrace, a leisure area with an indoor swimming pool, saunas, and steam room.
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The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt is the proud home to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, where snow sure skiing on the glacier beneath the iconic Matterhorn mountain stretches into the summer months for all to enjoy. Boasting of one of the biggest summer skiing areas in the world, there is 21km of perfectly prepared pistes for you to enjoy, including a snowpark for freestylers who need their fix!
The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise sits in a unique location on the borders between Switzerland and Italy. Ski down one side of the mountain and you’re in the picturesque Alpine Swiss town of Zermatt surrounded by the Dom and Monte Rosa mountains, whereas skiing down the other side of the glacier will bring you to Cervinia in Italy (open for skiing in winter 2016/2017)! Popping over the border for a day for some delicious Italian food and wine equals a great day trip out.
Down in the valley, there are plenty of summer activities for the whole family to enjoy in the charming, traffic-free Swiss Alpine town of Zermatt. A network of mountain trains and cable cars makes it easy to access the higher and more challenging walking trails, and there is mountaineering, rock climbing, downhill mountain biking, as well as plenty of delicious restaurants and bars to be enjoyed!
The Hotel Mirabaeu is a firm favourite amongst Inghams guests who return year, after year to Zermatt and leave outstanding reviews. A prime location, only 2 minutes’ walk from the Gornergrat railway, the hotel even has a fabulous ‘Alpine Hideaway Spa’, featuring an indoor swimming pool with a whirlpool.
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The Hintertux Glacier, Mayrhofen, Austria
The Hintertux Glacier that belongs exclusively to the après ski Mecca of Mayrhofen in Austria stays open into the summer months thanks to its high altitude, and boasts of over 60km of runs. Suitable for all abilities, the Hintertux Glacier also has a notable summer freestyle park, the Betterpark, with a variety of obstacles including a superpipe, boxes, table tops, rails and kickers. There is an ice grotto inside the glacier and a fantastic cave to explore and enjoy guided tours of.
Off the mountain there are numerous hiking trains and downhill mountain biking courses to be enjoyed, and the new Penken Lift is open during the summer for hikers and ramblers to access the start of the trails from Mayrhofen.
Everything is sorted out for you if you stay in one of our Inghams Chalets. The Chalet St. Lukas is only a 10 minute walk from Mayrhofen village centre, and all hiking and biking trails start within 5 minutes walk of the chalet. Talk about prime location! A truly charming chalet, the Inghams hospitality will make you feel right at home.
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