Ski Holidays in February
Ski holidays in February offer the best skiing conditions of the entire winter season. However, this does not mean that skiing in February is the answer for everyone. We look at the benefits of choosing a February ski holiday and also other factors to keep in mind when making your plans.
Best snow conditions in February
By the start of February, Alpine ski resorts have been open for at least 6 weeks. This has allowed time for the large snowfalls of the deep winter months to lay a great snow base, both on and off the piste. Even in a non-vintage snow season, the snow cannons have also had enough time to create a decent base using artificial snow during the colder months.
Nobody can ever guarantee the weather in the mountains but ski holidays in February are most likely to give you the ideal compromise between snowy, cold weather and warm, sunny days. You have the best chance of avoiding the bitterly cold and stormy weather you could expect earlier in the season, but are also more likely to avoid the extreme warmth that turns the snow to slush after lunch (as you get in April). In February, the temperatures allow for skiing in great conditions all day long. As the daylight hours extend in February the lifts stay open for longer and you can also enjoy the apres ski scene as the sun starts to set.
February Half Term ski holidays
The UK half-term school holiday always fall in mid-February. Broadly speaking schools will have one of two weeks in the middle of February as their Half Term break.
Families with school aged children are limited to skiing early in the season at Christmas or New Year, late in the season at Easter, or in the middle of the season for half-term. Due to the ideal snow and weather conditions, the February half-term is the most popular option. This high demand does make February half-term the most expensive week of the season to ski. Therefore, if you can be at all flexible on your choice of week half-term is certainly worth avoiding.
French school holidays in February
In France, the half-term holidays work a little differently in that the country is split into 3 zones (with each having two weeks) with the holidays covering a total period of four weeks from early-mid February to early-mid March. These holidays have quite an impact on how busy the French resorts are throughout this time of year. The whole of this 4 week period would be classed as peak season in terms of hotel rates.
French School Holidays
Zone C (Paris and central Southern)
Zone B (The North and Provence)
Zone A (South West and central France including: Dijon, Lyon and Grenoble)
In general, Austria, Switzerland and Italy do not suffer from half-term ski crowds quite as much as in the French Alps. However, Fasching (carnival) week in Austria is very busy with hotels booking out well in advance. Italy is a great option to choose for a February ski holiday destination as there are no Italian school holidays in this month. The hotels charge very reasonable rates and are not as booked up as hotels in other alpine countries for the mid February period.
Full choice of resorts in FebruaryBeing the middle of the skiing season, when snow conditions are at their peak, means that you can safely consider even the relatively low altitude resorts. It never hurts to be high up but there are many lower resorts which have so much to offer, if you pick the right time of year. These tend to be the traditional alpine mountain towns and villages which have much more charm than some of the high altitude, purpose built stations.
Traditional resorts with great skiing in February:
When to book your February ski holiday
If you are skiing at half-term then you should always book early – up to a year in advance would be the ideal time to secure your holiday. You can take advantage of some early booking offers while having the widest choice. The longer you leave it the less choice you will have and any last minute deals are few and far between. For other weeks in February the usual rules apply – bigger groups are advised to book early but smaller groups which are a flexible and looking for a bargain might be able to pick up a last minute ski chalet deal.
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