Why you should visit the Alps in Spring!

Posted 03-04-2018 by Sally Guillaume

Did you know that Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit the Alps? Skiing is still possible right up to mid April in the higher ski resorts like Orcieres and with an abundance of snow this year, the long sunny days on the pistes will be glorious. 

For ski tourers and split-boarders the Spring is the best time to tour in the high mountains above 3000m. As the snow base stabilises and the days get longer access to some of the big 4000m peaks that were inaccessible in the winter months become possible and there are some fantastic powder descents to be had! You do need a good level of fitness and a high level of ski or boarding skill to be able to access this pristine mountain wilderness on skis or split-board but for those that do it is well worth it! It is best to go with a guide for this sort of trip as the risk of avalanche and other mountain hazards is still significant and local knowledge is invaluable.

Lower down the mountain sides and later on into May and June, the true beauty of the Alps is gradually revealed as the snow melts and the Alps transitions into its summer glory. The cool morning temperatures gradually increasing to the mid twenties and early thirties in the afternoon sun make for perfect activity weather!

For walkers and nature lovers the colourful alpine meadows buzzing with millions of butterflies, the emergence of the adored marmot from its winter hibernation, sightings of the emblematic chamois and ibex of the Alps as they graze on the new pastures and the possibility of spotting or hearing a wolf make walking in Spring an absolute dream. 

With the snowcapped peaks as a backdrop and the streams and waterfalls gushing with melted snow around and below you, walking and trekking through the Alps in Spring is a truly energising experience.

Snow can still be present on some of the higher mountain passes and cols so make sure you get local advice before you embark on a Spring walking adventure in the Alps, and take equipment with you if there is a risk of encountering snow. If you go with a guide, he or she will know where is passable or not and will be able to secure any difficult passages.

For kayakists and white water thrill seekers, the raging alpine rivers gushing with newly melted snow offer an adrenalin filled roller coaster ride through the valleys of the Alps. Experienced paddlers flock to the Southern French Alps in May, June and July, where the best rivers are to take advantage of the big rapids. Recreational rafting, hydrospeed and canoeing are also highly popular at this time of year and you can try these alongside other activities on an activity holiday in the Alps.

For cyclists, the famous Tour de France high mountain cols are cleared of snow and open up offering some of the best scenery and cycling challenges in the world and the new e-biking revolution in the Alps has now made this cycling paradise accessible to all. 

Climbers will also be well rewarded in Spring as the cliffs warm in the sun and you can climb with spectacular views over the lush, green Alps teaming with life as they emerge from their white winter blanket.

If you would like a quick weekend away to try a variety of different activities in the Alps in Spring, then have a look at our activity weekend or if you can squeeze in a longer holiday to recharge your batteries, then look at our activity holiday that you can do for a week or longer.


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