Spring is officially in the air as we enjoy longer sunnier days up on the mountain and around the town. Don't forget your sunscreen!
The Easter holidays bring families back to the valley for a short end of season break in the mountains. The warmer spring days also brings a party-vibe to the area and the sun / snow conditions obviously warrant a longer lunch break on a sunny terrace to top up the tan, and après-ski seemingly starts a little earlier.
To make the most of the longer sunny days we like get out on our touring skis and split-boards, get away from the lifts, and find that last bit of untouched snow.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout April.
What are the weather & snow conditions like in Val Thorens in April?
As winter draws to a close for another year, the snow on the lower slopes is usually much heavier by midday. The temperatures rarely dip below freezing during the day, usually falling between a low of -6ºC and a high of 2ºC, plus there's still the chance of snow as April averages 10 days snowfall, and therefore a powder day isn't out of the question.
What's on in Val Thorens in April?
Being on holiday in a French ski resort might not always feel like you are in France but, in Val Thorens, you can experience some cultural Savoyard events like the local market which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 20:00 at the church square. You can pick up cheeses, meats and locally made products like honey and jams.
Sunset ski & sledge sessions
From mid-February onwards evening skiing is available - The Funitel de Péclet is open weeknights until 18:30, so you can spend a little longer out on the Tête Ronde (Blue run) and Christine (Red run) slopes. Also the Castor and Pollux carpets will also remain open until 20:00 for the rest of the season for sledging and skiing. The Piste aux Etolies is 250m long and has 45m difference in altitude with several sharp turns. The two magic carpets allow an effortless return with your sledge to the starting point.
Get ready for the longest toboggan run in Europe. The Cosmojet. Open to everyone from five years old, take an eight minute ascent using the Péclet Funitel, to an altitude of 3,000m. Then it's 45 minutes of excitement - linked raised bends and varied slopes. It's a great way to finish the day. Free for children aged five to nine on an adult's sled.
Discover the snow-covered landscapes by night riding your snowmobile on a tour across the unspoilt pistes, lit up solely by the light of the moon.
La Patinoire, located in Place Péclet, is a 400m² ice rink made entirely of natural ice. There's also music and a light show, and a small chalet serving pancakes and hot chocolate to enjoy with family or friends. Open daily for the entire season, ice skates for hire, and accessible from the age of three.
Live music concerts
For those with more cultured music tastes, there are also the usual classical, blues and jazz music concerts taking place at the church in Val Thorens every week, which are also free to attend. Come and check out the performances.
Take a look at out our events calendar for more information on what's on in resort during March.
School holiday Skiing
Easter is a popular time for families so the slopes are noticeably busier as soon as the holidays begin. Fortunately, the Trois Vallées ski area is so vast, that even in high season you can find quiet slopes and minimal lift queues. Here are our insider's top tips for the school holidays:
- It will be almost impossible to book private lessons over this period, group lessons are the best option. Make sure to get your ski and snowboard lessons booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- If you're not in ski school, be an early bird. Arrive at the lifts before they open so that you get up and away before the ski school classes set out around 09:15.
- Ski over lunchtime. The slopes are calmer between 12:00 and 14:00 while the French take a leisurely lunch break.
- Pre-book your lunch and avoid the queues. Some restaurants offer a Click & Collect service. It's the best way to avoid the queues and make the most of your time in the mountains.
- Seek out the peripheral areas. Our top tip for trying to avoid lift queues and busy pistes is to take advantage of the lack of queues on the popular Cime Caron cable car and enjoy the magnificent red runs from its 3,200m summit, then venture to the furthest point in the Three Valleys, the hidden fourth valley of Orelle, and enjoy its spectacular scenery and long blue runs.
- Get off-piste. Competent off-piste skiers can book a local mountain guide and explore the vast off-piste areas in the valley or even go touring to find complete solitude in the backcountry.
Bars & Clubs
There is still time to enjoy Val Thorens' legendary après-ski parties before the season comes to an end. Since it's opening La Folie Douce has taken the après-ski hotspot crown, but for a more relaxed affair you can always try one of the village bars for some happy hour discounts - and if you're here late enough in the season there are some wild closing parties.
The resort has more than 40 bars so there is plenty happening for a post-ski boogie. Top of the list is probably La Folie Douce where the music will be banging and the party really gets started – it’s deemed the ‘dancefloor on top of the world’ and you can see why by the breathtaking views. When you have skied back into resort, the best place to carry on the party is along the Rue de Gebroulaz where The Frog and Roastbeef, Cafe Snesko and Saloon Bar are all located to keep you entertained with live music and happy hour drink prices.