Ski resorts with the most sun in the Alps

When it comes to planning a ski holiday, the availability of snow is naturally the most important thing, but without sunshine it is difficult to have the perfect ski trip, and the number of hours of sunshine a ski resort can offer is therefore something that should be considered. Spending a day on the ski slopes in full sunshine with glistening snow versus an overcast grey day makes a huge difference.

Snowboarder in the sun

The Alps have several ski resorts where the sun shines stronger and more often than others, which gives the snow-covered landscapes something extra magical about them. Here we will explore some of the sunniest ski resorts in Europe, primarily in the Alps but we also add an often forgotten Spanish ski resort. All these places have a combination of fantastic snow and sun-drenched landscapes, guaranteeing to give you an unforgettable winter experience.

Verbier, Switzerland - a sunlit oasis in the Swiss Alps

Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Verbier is not only known for its world-class skiing, but also for its abundance of sunshine. This charming alpine village has an average of 300 sunny days per year and offers skiers great opportunities to bask in the warmth of the winter sun. The large ski area, being part of the 4 Vallees ("The Four Valleys") ski area, has a varied selection of slopes to suit all skill levels. From the sun-drenched Mont Fort glacier to the tree-lined slopes, Verbier is a sunlit oasis for ski enthusiasts.

Serre Chevalier, France - French gem in the Southern Alps

Nestled in the southern French Alps we find Serre Chevalier, for many a hidden gem among Europe's sunniest ski resorts. This ski resort also has around 300 sunny days a year and includes a vast ski area around several villages, all of which offer their own unique charm. The south-facing slopes ensure that skiers can enjoy the warmth of the winter sun while exploring the varied terrain, of course including this resort's fantastic off-piste skiing.

Sestriere, Italy - sunny slopes of the Italian Alps

Located in the heart of the Vialattea ("Milky Way") ski area, Sestriere in Italy is known for its sunny weather and extensive network of pistes and lifts. Here there are also around 300 sunny days annually and this ski resort is a popular choice for those looking for a perfect blend of alpine beauty and cloudless skies. Sestriere hosted the Alpine events of the 2006 Winter Olympics and is also occasionally a ski resort where the Alpine World Cup holds competitions, further strengthening its reputation as a world-class ski destination. This combined with its many sunny days makes this one of the most popular ski resorts in Italy.

Saas-Fee, Switzerland - a Swiss Alps pearl

Saas-Fee is often called the "Pearl of the Alps" and is a car-free village surrounded by 4,000-meter-high peaks. Its high-elevation location ensures an extended winter season, and with just over 300 days of sunshine annually, it's a haven for skiers seeking both reliable snow conditions and sunny skies. The Allalin Glacier offers year-round skiing, and the village's southern exposure ensures that even in winter, the sun shines on the slopes and creates a magical glittering atmosphere.

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France - sunny slopes at the foot of Mont Blanc

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, most often just called Chamonix, is located at the foot of Western Europe's highest peak Mont Blanc and is a legendary ski resort and one of the most classic ski destinations in the world. Chamonix is known for its challenging slopes and terrain, but it also has a very sunny climate, which of course enhances the overall skiing experience. With an average of around 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, skiers can enjoy stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif as they navigate their way down the various slopes around this iconic ski resort.

Ischgl, Austria - Alpine beauty bathed in sunlight

Ischgl in the Austrian Tyrol is known not only for its lively après-ski scene (and for being one of the epicentres of Covid at the beginning of the pandemic in Europe), but also for its sunny location. With an average of over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, Ischgl provides a pleasant atmosphere for all kinds of winter activities. The Silvretta Arena, as the ski area in Ischgl itself is called, offers over 200 kilometres of pistes and skiers can enjoy the sun-drenched slopes while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. The combination of excellent snow conditions and plenty of sunshine makes Ischgl a top choice for those looking for a sunny ski resort in the Austrian Alps.

Gornergrat cog railway

Zermatt, Switzerland - majestic views under the sun

Zermatt is "home" to the iconic Matterhorn mountain peak, and the surroundings here are not only a visual treat, the ski resort is also one of Europe's sunniest. With an average of 300 sunny days a year, Zermatt offers a fantastic backdrop for skiing and snowboarding. Gornergrat, one of the many peaks reached by an impressive cog railway, offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, which are often bathed in sunlight. The extensive ski area, along with the ski resort's abundant sunshine, make Zermatt a must-visit for winter sports enthusiasts.

Sierra Nevada, Spain - sun-kissed skiing on the Iberian Peninsula

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Spain, we find the ski resort with the same name as the mountain range - Sierra Nevada. With its high altitude, there is plenty of snow here, often well into May. Combined with its southern location, there is plenty of sun here, as many as around 80% of the days during the winter season are sunny. The sunny weather, combined with the modern ski facilities and its lively atmosphere make the Sierra Nevada an outstanding destination for those who want to combine skiing with a touch of Mediterranean style and Spanish tapas.

Conclusion

Although the allure of snow-covered slopes and mountains is undeniable, the most sun-drenched ski resorts in Europe offer an extra unique and enchanting winter experience. From the majestic peaks of Switzerland to the sunny slopes of the Italian Alps and all the way down to southern Spain, these ski resorts provide the perfect mix of sunshine and fine snow conditions. Without the sun it is difficult to have the perfect ski holiday, and of course the ski resorts we list here cannot guarantee this, there is still the greatest possibility of having a sunny ski holiday at these locations.

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