February Ski Holidays
February is one of the best times to visit the Alps if you are particularly in search of great weather conditions on the pistes. By the time February rolls around, we are already 6 to 8 weeks into the full season and by now, the Alps have received huge dumpings of snow particularly over the winter months of December and January, thus forming a thick base of snow great snow base on the slopes. The month of February also has some of the best snowfall of the season on record thus adding to the great conditions you can expect on the majority of the slopes in the Alps. Predicting the weather has proved a tad tricky in recent years however, the month of February is traditionally known to have some of the best weather combinations in the Alps because it offers the perfect compromise of regular snow and some sunny days. After the bitter and cold dark winter months of December and January, February slowly starts to usher in a little less harsh weather and a bit more warmth. The days start to visibly get longer as the month progresses; which is always great news for the apres-ski crowd.
Half-Term Worries? No Problem
There is usually a clamour for February half term cheap holidays and if you are after this, you have come to the right resource. We have established that February is one of the best times to visit the Alps for the excellent snow conditions, however, it is no secret that it is also one of the busiest months of the Alps across all ski resorts. Of course, the bigger and popular resorts see a larger influx of skiers but overall, the area is a lot busier due in no small part to the half-term holidays. What adds to this mix is that the French half-term school holidays coincide with the UK school holidays as well. Chaotic as it may sound, it is not all gloom as you can still secure your February ski holiday as there are several resorts to select from. Switzerland and Austria are increasingly popular with Brits in half-term and offer equally amazing experiences as you would find in the popular French resorts. They have high altitude lower-priced resorts in comparison to French resorts and pose an excellent option. However, if you do want to visit a popular French ski resort, the bigger resorts have extensive ski terrains that cater to large crowds. To save time on the queues, book your ski pass with us at Erna Low as part of your booking to save precious time and avoid queuing to purchase one at the lifts.
Good Picks for a February Ski Holiday
We have put together a list of a couple of resorts that you can consider visiting in February. We have considered different scenarios and different reasons for visiting in February and selected these resorts based on those reasons. Whether you are a group of ski buddies in search of the best ski conditions in February or a family with young kids looking to take a much needed half term ski break to the Alps, the examples below are presented to assist your search and consideration. There are several other resorts that offer great experiences in February as well. Please feel free to contact us regarding any specific recommendations or particular resort inquiries.
L'Espace Killy ( Tignes and Val d’Isere)
Val d'Isère and Tignes rank amongst the most ideal resorts to visit for an early season ski retreat. Both resorts combine to make up the famous L'Espace Killy ski area, well renowned for its excellent snow conditions and snowsure pistes. It has some of the most sought after pistes in France and across Europe by some of the most ardent skiers and snow lovers. This is a great ski area for all travelling types and most especially in the peak season month of February. It does get crowded in February due to half term in both France and the UK however, conditions permitting, the resorts ensure that as much ski terrain as possible is open to ensure that the large influx of skiers is well catered to. If skiing is your number one priority when visiting the Alps, you will not be disappointed in either of the resorts at L'Espace Killy. It is one of the top destinations for high altitude skiing in France and is blessed with two (yes, two!) glaciers which sees the skiing season open much earlier and last longer than a lot of other resorts in France and other parts of Europe with the Grande Motte in Tignes, for example, offering skiing nearly all year round. Val d’Isere is one of the UK’s top winter destinations and there are some opinions which advice avoiding Tignes and Val d’Isere during the month of February due to the large crowds, however, with more than 300 kilometres of snow sure pistes spread across 150 slopes and serviced by a modern network of up to 78 lifts, there is a lot of ski terrain to cover and enough pistes to cater to a large influx of visitors. Both resorts in L’Espace Killy are very well equipped with capable snow-making facilities to supplement the pistes when required. Off the slopes, there are several chalets, 5-star apartments and modern hotel accommodation options to suit all travelling group profiles. Families with young children can find a lot of off-piste activities to get into with the kids as well as kids clubs and several English speaking ski instructors. Groups of friends on a ski holiday will be pleased to find a vibrant apres-ski scene in full swing in February and with the nights become shorter as the month progresses, there will be more time in the sun on the balconies.
Flaine, Grand Massif, France
If you are looking for a quiet but fun family ski break with the kids in February, Flaine is certainly one of the resorts to consider. The largest resort in the Grand Massif ski area, Flaine was built with convenience for the family in mind. The whole village is entirely pedestrianised and operates a ski-in and ski-out resort. With fewer crowds and raucous than some of the other ski resorts during peak season, Flaine is the ideal resort offering an amazing family-friendly experience over the half term. Only an hour away from Geneva airport, it’s not a mission getting there with the family either. On the pistes, there is up to 265 kilometres of ski terrain to cover which are spread over 139 slopes serviced by 62 ski lifts. Flaine’s ski area peaks at 2,500 metres and with most of the pistes being wide and north-facing, it presents some of the best skiing conditions in February across France. Flaine is the ideal resort for families who have first time skiers in their ranks. The majority of Flaine’s pistes are easy blues as well as some short greens allowing for a very beginner friendly experience. There are also two nursery slopes ideal for young kids as well as a host of kids instructors and kids clubs. With older kids with some experience under their belts, you can also attempt an easy 14-kilometre blue that is a lot of fun and has incredible views. Off the pistes, there are lots of children-focused activities to get stuck in. In the main square, there is a Flaine Forum which is centred around a big square that has an ice rink and sledge run for kids. There are also games for children such as driving simulators, airbags and kids bowling. Right on top of the Flaine Forum in the same building, is the Flaine Foret; a space that also features restaurants and children spaces and is largely focused on family fun. P.S Honourary mention. Another option of a great ski resort in February would be Samoens, which is also part of the Grand Massif area and with access to the 265 kilometres of pistes. Samoens ski area reaches up to 3,000 metres altitude. It has a similar calm vibe as does Flaine but is a smaller resort. Worth the mention, should you want to take a look.
Head over to Obergurgl in Austria if you are after a traditional family-friendly experience with the kids over half-term. It’s also ideal for confident intermediates looking to build on their skills away from the crowds in peak season February. It’s also quite popular with Brits and often sees a lot of returners every year. It is a lovely village with an old rustic church at its centre. Accommodation is mostly old Alpine-style hotels and chalets; most of which have been refurbished with the times. It’s a pedestrian resort filled with character and a friendly ambience that appeals to families and groups of friends all the same. Obergurgl has a low-key atmosphere which is quite appealing to visitors who visit the resort for that reason. Kids on holiday get the most fun especially with Bobo the penguin’s children’s area which is purpose-built to offer children entertainment. Obergurgl sits at 1,930 metres with its pistes that climb up to 3,000 metres. It is well known for its snow-sure slopes and excellent conditions all season especially in the month of February. Significantly smaller than its Austrian counterparts of Ischgl and Solden, Obergurgl still manages to attract ski lovers with its guaranteed snow cover even at the resort level. Catering to beginners and intermediates, advanced skiers can head further up to Hochgurgl or nearby Solden for more challenging reds. There are easy blues for beginners and families with young kids will find a few nursery slopes and English speaking instructors at the resort level.
Val Thorens, Three Valleys, France
Val Thorens forms part of the Three Valleys with Courchevel, Meribel, Les Menuires, La Tania and St Martin de Belleville. Sitting at an altitude of 2,300 metres, Val Thorens is Europes highest ski resort. With an extensive ski terrain that caters to all ski abilities and a fantastic snow reliability record, it has to be a considered must visit destination in arguably one of the best months to visit the Alps. Owing to its high altitude and fantastic snow cover from heavy dumplings over December and January, Val Thorens in February is a joy to experience. There are 150 kilometres of mostly north-facing slopes which keeps the snow fresher for longer periods of time. As if it was not enough to draw more skiers, there are two glaciers in the ski area. Famed for its piste grooming and maintenance on its slopes, Val Thorens also offers some good snow cover at resort level as well. The Three Valley is also well equipped with state of the art snowmaking facilities to supplement any covering where needed. February is peak season across the Alps so expect to see crowds but this adds to the vibrant atmosphere in the resort. The apres-ski in Val Thorens is one of the most sought after and in peak times, you would not want to be anywhere else if you are a party animal. Planning to visit with the family during half-term? Val Thorens does not only cater to the party people. It offers great family entertainment as well with the Junior Park for kids, its huge snow park and also a beginners area. There is also a wide range of child care options and excellent mini clubs so children can also have memorable experiences in Val Thorens. There is also a multitude of non-ski activities and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Whatever the plan for the half-term holiday is, you can be assured that it can be achieved in Val Thorens.
If you are considering a half-term skiing holiday, we would strongly advise that you start making your bookings early. Some people start booking up to a year in advance due to the high demand in places. As earlier mentioned, the half-term school holidays are not only in the UK but also in France and as you would imagine, there will be a clamour for bookings. The longer you take to secure a place anywhere in the Alps for a February ski holiday, the higher the chances of missing out. Last-minute bookings and February half term cheap holidays are very few and usually do not last long on the market. Hotels, chalets and apartment lodges fill out very quickly as well. At Erna Low, we always strive to make your bookings as stress-free as possible. With almost 90 years of experience, we have built and maintained very good relationships with our partners in the resorts across accommodation, ski hire and more. Do not hesitate to contact us for any inquiries into bookings for your February ski holiday or February ski deals.