As spring takes the edge off the winter chill, ski resorts worldwide compete to give the best sign off to the end of the season. It’s fair to say that a winter and a spring skiing holiday offer a completely different holiday experience. Sunshine skiing brings a new found energy to the ski slopes with less crowds, the opportunity for long alfresco lunches and better value prices. Music takes centre stage in what has become an annual tradition for ski resorts to bid farewell to the season - but which ones top the charts? Ski Safari has selected the best 5 events to close the season on:
Caprices Festival hits the decade mark
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in style, the Caprices Festival will build on its impressive reputation and satisfy all with a stellar line-up and inspiring programme from 8th – 16th March 2013. Internationally renowned artists across all music genres take to the stage and perform to the ever-growing allegiance of festival fans. Big names such as Björk, Portishead, Fatboy Slim and The Killers all feature on the line-up, alongside up and coming acts looking to make their name. The appeal of the festival is intensified by the venue itself – the ski resort of Crans Montana. Set high above the Rhône valley on a south-facing plateau, the resort enjoys stunning views with some superb intermediate terrain and tops the list for sunshine skiing.
Stay 7 nights at the 3* Mont Paisible Hotel in Crans Montana, with prices starting from £740 per person in a double room on B&B, including return flights with easyJet from London Gatwick and resort transfers. A short break of 4 nights at the same hotel costs £585 per person. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 062 or visit www.skisafari.com
Get your Gruv on
Over in Utah, the Canyons Spring Gruv event returns for the sixth year, bringing together free music concerts, full-on entertainment and fun-filled special events. The action kicks off on the 23rd March 2013 with the wacky pond-skimming contest, where a sense of fun and a fancy dress costume are a pre-requisite before attempting to skim across the pond. Check out last year’s antics here. With extensive terrain, a modern infrastructure, new accommodation options and the latest in lift systems, it’s clear why Canyons transformation continues to flourish. Access to Park City and Deer Valley ski areas adds to the appeal and makes it easier to explore with the three resort pass.
Stay 7 nights at the 3* Landmark Inn, with prices starting from £1275 per person on B&B, including return flights and resort transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit www.skisafari.com.
Music at the Matterhorn
Marking the end of the ski season in one of the world’s top ski resorts is the Zermatt Unplugged festival, which takes place from 9th – 13th April 2013. Setting it apart from other festivals is the music. It is dedicated to creating a more relaxed and chilled atmosphere rather than playing the heaviest beats to the hardest party heads. On the line-up this year is Morcheeba, Umberto Tozzi, Bryan Ferry and Skunk Anansie on the Marquee stage, with Marianne Faithful topping the bill at the smaller ‘Sunnegga Sessions’ concerts performed at 2288m. In the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn, the skiing is as dramatic as the scenery with immaculate slopes, reliable snow conditions and plenty of alpine charm to add to the festival mix.
Stay 7 nights at the 3* Hotel Bristol in Zermatt, with prices starting from £840 per person in a Double room on B&B, including return flights with SWISS from London Gatwick and resort transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 062 or visit www.skisafari.com
40 years for Vossa Jazz Festival
Music festivals marking the end of the ski season have gained popularity over the last decade but the resort of Voss in Norway proudly marks 40 years of the Vossa Jazz Festival this year. From 30th March to 1st April, this internationally acclaimed jazz festival strikes a balance between international jazz and home-grown Norwegian talent. As one of the largest and most well-known Norwegian ski resorts, Voss is dominated by Mount Hangur and the captivating Lake Vang. Skiing in Voss feels like a breath of fresh air, with crowd-free slopes, no lift queues and a highly reputable ski school.
Depart on 28th March and stay 4 nights at the 4* Fleischer’s Hotel in Voss, with prices starting from £699 per person in a standard room on HB, including return flights and resort transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
W: Vossa Jazz Festival www.visitvoss.no/en/Product/?TLp=318703&Vossa-Jazz
Retro revival in Åre for the SkiStar Hot Dog Challenge
As one of the more theatrical contests of the winter season, the Swedish resort of Åre invites all to participate in the Hot Dog Challenge. On 28th April 2013 usual ski attire is substituted with retro style ski gear, the more outrageous the better. It’s taking part that counts and the winner of the race isn’t the first past the line but the best dressed. Skiing in Åre, Scandinavia’s world-class ski resort, is unique and so different from the usual European skiing experience. The slopes offer perfect intermediate tree-lined terrain but it is off the slopes where the resort triumphs too. Aside from the usual activities like snowmobiling and tobogganing, the resorts offering includes ice-driving, zip-lining, snow-kiting and even moose kissing!
Depart on 28th March for Easter and stay 3 nights at the 4* Hotel Trott in Åre, with prices starting from £959 per person in a deluxe double room on B&B, including return flights and resort transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
W: Ski Star Hot Dog Challenge www.skistar.com/en/Are/Event/Hot-Dog-Challenge/