Is the itch to go riding before next winter season just too strong to fight anymore? Don’t worry, Europe has plenty to offer you snow addicts to get you through the summer months. Plus, prices in Europe are far lower than North American options and it’s much easier to access the best parks and have a good time. Don’t mind the doubters, let them go take photos of their toes on the beach! When you book your summer snowboard trip and your friends ask; “You’re still riding?”, just answer with a big “YESSIR” and throw up your shaka! So here are your best options, including plenty of recommendations and local knowledge from your friends at RideWithLocal.

Les 2 Alpes, France

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This infamous French glacier, Les Deux Alpes, is situated above the city of Grenoble in the French Alps. It’s known for its long run, a snowpark loaded with obstacles and a full-sized halfpipe. Expect to meet riders from many nationalities. Italians and the Spanish made up for the majority for a while, but lately more riders from Eastern European countries have been migrating over. The resort has a youth hostel vibe as you ride in the morning with all types of people and enjoy the parties in the evening where you might meet the Russian girl or Spanish boy of your dreams.

For camp options, they are usually split according to the nationality of the camp owner. If you’re under 18 and looking for a good French camp owned by real snowboarders who know how to teach, check out the A Camp run by Pyrenees legend Mathieu Justafré. It’s perfect for kids with great coaching from pro riders like David Livet and Jerome Berlioz. Radical Snowcamp with the Italians is a guaranteed good time in July or August. Another great option is with the Spanish Dalton Camps where you get to cruise with the infamous Iker Fernandez!

For afternoon activities, biking is a big thing. Les 2 Alpes offers some great downhill tracks and an expert bike park. You will find a few private mini skate ramps around town (where you could easily get invited if you ask) and a public skatepark. Football, tennis, golf, and the summer luge course are all right in the village, or you could just chill by the swimming pool or lake. You will have all need for a great summer!

If you are looking to party, there is selection of bars to start the night including les Bleuets and Brésilien for a French vibe, Smithy’s has a more British pub atmosphere and the Mini Bar acts as the Italian HQ. All party-goers that hang on for the full late night ride will end at the Avalanche Club and will get to meet the owner Boris aka the Prince of Les 2 Alpes, who strangely looks a lot like the French Jake Phelps.

Tignes, France

Julien Lange sending it on the kickers. Photo by Jerome Lambert
Julien Lange sending it on the kickers. Photo by Jerome Lambert

Football, tennis, golf, and the summer luge course are all right in the village inTignes, or you could just hang out by the swimming pool or lake. The park is smaller than the one in Les 2 Alpes, but expect it to be far less crowded. The run is shorter, but so are the queues at the draglift, which is a real advantage if you have seen the Les 2 Alpes line mid-summer: some days it could easily be mistaken for Disney Land!

The Tignes summer park is more of a freeski territory but you can expect to run into the local snowboard crew Minority, who have some members shaping the park. You won’t find any snowboard camps this summer, but for the skiers you will find just what you need at the GFS camps. The park won’t be open in August even if the glacier is still open so, don’t wait too long to get your crew together.

For afternoon activities, you will find good times playing golf, biking, lake activities and a decent skatepark. You will still find some bars and clubs for late night action, but don’t expect it to be as wild as in the winter, which can be a good thing.

Cervinia/Zermatt, Italy/Switzerland

Jesse Augustinus spreading his wings and taking in some sun
Jesse Augustinus spreading his wings and taking in some sun

One of the hidden gems of summer snowboarding, Zermatt has had one of the most creative and fun summer park for the last few years thanks to their super motivated shaper crew. You will find a well planned run full of transitions and features replacing the traditional, boring line of jibs and kickers.

The glacier is accessible from the Swiss side of Zermatt and the Italian side of Cervinia. Staying in Italy is the best option for a cheaper pass, a shorter ride up the glacier and better food. Don’t miss the restaurant Rifugio Guide Del Cervino by the entrance of the gondola for tasty and affordable Italian food with a killer view. You won’t find a better deal at 3500 meters!

The usual Burton camp has been cancelled for this summer but, if you’re looking for a snowboard summer camp option, the good dudes at Vivid Snowboarding are running two camps, July 11th-15 or July 18th-22nd that will sharpen up your skills in no time.

If you are looking for wild night life Cervinia may be disappointing: You’ll instead find a calm village full of good restaurants. If you like pizza, you have to go to Sotto Zero to try their award winning pizzas. You will find the usual summer ski resort biking, golf, tennis and football activities as well as a small but fun skatepark.

Dachstein, Austria

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The most eastern European glacier snowpark is Dachstein, above the city of Schladming, which is a popular ski area during the wintertime in Austria. Don’t expect a huge glacier, but it’s a beautiful place that provides a great summer ride. The 5 minute gondola ride guarantees a breathtaking view on this UNESCO world heritage site. Don’t miss the transparent floor at the arrival of the gondola, which is a classic picture to get some love on your social networks.

The snowpark consists of a double kicker line and nice and long jib run that is open until 3 PM. Don’t expect too much speed for the kickers since the slopes are not super steep. If you want to go fast, get up there early! The snowpark will open till July 17.

There are plenty apres-riding activities to be enjoyed in Schladming. You can relax at the Ramsau beach and play beach volleyball or bounce on the trampolines. If you like biking, you will find one of Europe‘s biggest mountain bike downhill parks in Planai Mountain.

Folgefonna, Norway

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If you’re looking for a more unusual European summer glacier experience, then Folgefonna is the place! The Norwegian fjords boast great landscapes that are void of many signs of civilization. Going there is a quest in itself as you will need to take a flight to Bergen, 2 buses and a boat just to arrive at the hill.

Don’t expect this be a luxury trip: The most common housing option is camping, but you will still need a decent budget due to the high cost of living in Norway. The pass will cost around 45€. A 45 minute bus ride from the city of Jondal will bring you right to the lift. This is not your typical ride to the glacier with a long ride on a huge gondola. The park is really well crafted with a lot of jibs and different level kicker lines. It’s usually not very crowded. A lap only takes 5 minutes and it is open until 4 PM so be prepared to burn a lot of energy!

This might be one of the best options in Europe for the quality of the riding. It’s a bit of an adventure to get there, but adventures are what the summer is for, right? You can sign up for the official Folgefonna Summer Snowboard & Ski Camp if you’re looking for some coaching. You will also probably cross paths the jet set of the Norvegian snowboard scene such as Stale Sandbech or Len Jorgensen, who are likely to be shredding the park. Maybe they will give you some tips on how to finally land that backflip!

Enjoy this last video showing you how you can link-up glaciers. This edit includes footage from Dachstein, Les Deux Alpes and Zermatt. How many glaciers can you ride this summer?

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