In recent months the cold weather has set in across the breadth of Europe, with snow appearing in unexpected places. But where do holiday operators expect people to head for their adrenalin fuelled thrills this summer?
Although France and Italy are expected to be top 10 destinations in 2012, it seems that people are buying up ski holiday deals and heading further north to Finland, Austria and Switzerland.
Read on to discover some of the best summer skiing, that Europe has to offer…
1. Ylläs, Lapland, Finland
Ylläs is Finland’s largest downhill ski resort dropping nearly half a kilometre in altitude and boasting single slopes up to 3000m in length. There are 60 slopes in total, with most based around Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi villages on opposite sides of Ylläs fell.
2. Zell am See, Austrian Alps, Austria
The 2000m high Schmittenhöhe mountain is located right on the outskirts of Zell am See town. Consequently a vast array of ski slopes and hiking trails exist just a short distance away from town. In addition, Zell am See lies on the edge of a beautiful lake that contains water so pure, it has been certified as drinkable.
3. Interlaken, Bernese Oberland, Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Interlaken is the largest resort in the Bernese Oberland and acts as an excellent base for the surrounding slopes. The town is perfectly situated within 40 minutes of three large ski resorts at Wengen, Grindelwald and Murren. The Jungfrau mountain train provides access to the mountain slopes and restaurants with spectacular views of the local scenery.
4. Zermatt, Valais, Swiss Alps, Switzerland
One of the best ski and climbing areas in the world, the village of Zermatt sits in a deep valley overlooked by the impressive Matterhorn Mountain. There are no cars in Zermatt, but horse drawn sleighs wait patiently to ferry people about a town, that maintains a welcoming village atmosphere.
5. Kitzbühel, Tirol, Austrian Alps, Austria
Although the town is highly regarded for skiing, Kitzbühel is rapidly gaining acclaim for a myriad of other winter sports activities. In winter you can try your hand at deep-snow skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, winter hiking and ice skating. As summer arrives, the snow melts from the lower slopes and 1000 kilometres of cycling and walking paths are revealed.