It’s time to party like it’s an altitude of 1,999m! Ok, not our best party based witticism. However, these fabulous ski resorts won’t care about that. In these incredible après ski destinations, it’s all about letting your hair down.
Whether you’re dancing to cheesy Euro-pop in a piste side bar or raving to drum and base in the village discothèque, there’s no time for inhibitions. And if you’ve ever seen our dance moves, you’ll know that our bad jokes are the least of our crimes!
As you might have guessed, we love a good après ski holiday. And these top ski resorts are the best destinations to visit when you want to escape it all and just have a fun time…
Val d’Isère, France
Val d’Isère is jam-packed with bars, pubs and clubs offering an eclectic choice to après ski party-goers. Some of these bars have even become icons of the international après ski scene. You’ve more than likely seen colourful images of skiers partying at the piste-side Folie Douce.
Conveniently located at the top of the La Daille gondola, the Folie Douce is perfect for skiers heading home to La Daille after a day on the mountain. You can’t miss it. The lively tunes echo around the mountains from 2pm each day, while the enthusiastic patrons (still in their ski boots) join the eccentric dancers and singers to dance on the table tops. Folie, has a cabaret feel and a real atmosphere of joie de vivre which has led to branches of the bar springing up across a number of French ski resorts, but Val d’Isère remains the original.
In the town centre, the party continues. Continue partying at the raucous Café Face, an excellent basement bar, or head to the Moris Pub to enjoy the live music. Late night revellers should head to Dick’s Tea Bar, another famous name in the world of après ski. Open from 11pm each night of the week, Dick’s is the most prominent nightclub in Val d’Isère and has been providing entertainment to skiers since the 1970s.
Enjoy an EPIC ski area
Part of the huge Tignes-Val d'Isère ski area, Val d’Isère’s mountain offering is truly epic. Le Face is a notorious black run and a challenge to even the best skiers, and the glacier skiing near Le Fornet is superb, doing trapping the powder on the mountain after heavy snowfall.
You can also ski in into neighbouring Tignes – another superb après resort – where the Grand Motte glacier is covered in snow year-round. From the top, the birds-eye views of the Alps are absolutely stunning.
St Anton, Austria
To describe St Anton as a lively ski resort would be an understatement. St Anton is après ski heaven, and the on-piste bars that grace the lower slopes into town are typically rammed from 4pm onwards. We heard somewhere that the internationally renowned après bar, Mooserwirt, serves 5,000 litres of beer a day! What’s more amazing is that we can believe it.
Helping to cement the Mooserwirt’s après superstar status is resident DJ Gerard, who has been spinning the decks at the bar for nearly 30 years! And that’s just one of the big names on the St Anton mountain. Famous après bars also include Krazy Kanguruh which claims to be the first après ski bar in St Anton and has been rocking it since 1965; Heustadl, a charming hütte with a rotation of bands performing live music; and the delightfully unpretentious Taps. As you can imagine, with no shortage of rammed bars occupying the mountain, the ski back to your hotel or chalet can be an interesting ride!
Once back in town, the lively partying continues until late. Base Camp, an open terrace bar near the Galzig base station, has live DJs from 3pm and also serves a delicious menu of après ski grub including pasta, soups and strudels. Underground on the Piste is a cosier alternative with a great communal feel and more live music.
Welcome to the Arlberg!
St Anton is a part of the Arlberg the largest connected ski area in Austria and includes resorts including Lech, Zürs and the high altitude St Christoph. The latter is the closest to St Anton, it’s only a short, free bus ride away (although late night revellers be warned – the taxi isn’t free!), but is much quieter. The Hospiz Alm in St Christoph stands apart as an après destination. The wine cellar has the world’s largest collection of Bordeaux and is accessed by slide to save you navigating the stairs in ski boots.
Sauze d’Oulx, Italy
Part of the epic Milky Way ski area which stretches across the Italian border and into France, Sauze d’Oulx is a lively village with an après ski scene which won’t break the bank. Because of its excellent value for money – cheap beer, great skiing – Sauze has long been a popular ski holiday destination for British skiers. And over the years it has developed a cult following among those searching for the best place to ski and party.
There is a wide choice of piste-side establishments. There’s Ghost, which is en route from the slopes to the town and therefore the first port-of-call for many skiers at the end of the day. Après continues at Paddy McGinty’s, a good value, Irish pub which also serves reasonably priced food. Paddy’s also has frequent live music, making it one of the most popular bars in town.
Après venues range from the ‘still-in-your-ski-boots’ pubs and bars to the more sophisticated watering-holes. Among the best bars in Sauze d’Oulx are the Osteria dei Vagabondi, a live music venue where bands play late into the night; Caffè della Seggiovia, a stylish Italian wine bar; and The Cotton Club, a lively jazz bar with a friendly atmosphere and good value drinks. Round-out an evening on the town with a trip to Il Bandito – the largest night club in Sauze d’Oulx.
Up, up and away in the Milky Way
The Milky Way ski area has an eclectic variety of terrain and the routes across the mountain are never boring. There are plenty of tree-lined ski runs down to neighbouring Sansicario and into Sauze d’Oulx itself. Head over Monte Fraiteve to gain access to the high altitude ski resort of Sestriere and phenomenal, cruising red runs – perfect for intermediate skiers.
There are many reasons to pick Meribel for your next ski holiday – fantastic location in the heart of the massive Three Valleys, pretty chalet architecture, and a wonderful choice of restaurants – but chief among them has to be the epic après ski scene.
The on-slope après entertainment is legendary, and dancing on table-tops in your ski boots begins in the early afternoon. There is a branch of the Folie Douce here, just below the Saulire mid-station, which easily captures the ambiance of its Val d’Isère cousin. Those in the know ski down to Le Rond Point which has a reputation for its lively atmosphere. The ski-in/ski-out terrace makes ‘Ronnies’, as it is affectionately known, a popular pit-stop en route back to the village. And the live music and DJs will keep you dancing until late.
On our visits to Meribel we love to visit Meribar, which is conveniently located at the base of the Chaudanne lift. It’s a great end-of-the-ski-day bar with excellent value drinks, frequent live music, and an enthusiastic, friendly crowd. The bar’s location means it tends to be our first-stop in town after a day’s skiing and before we head back to our chalet or hotel.
A truly stunning ski area
As part of the Three Valleys, skiers in Meribel have access to the largest ski area entirely within France. The mountain scenery is phenomenally beautiful and we highly recommend that you ski into the neighbouring resorts of Courchevel and Val Thorens, which both have their own excellent après ski scenes. Head straight to the top of Mont Du Vallon or Mont De La Chambre for the best views in resort.
Livigno is the home of the famous Italian après ski drink – the Bombardino – and for that reason alone, we should include it on this list. Add to that the buzzing atmosphere in the many bars around the base of the Mottolino, Tagliede and Carosello ski lifts, plus a lively clubbing scene and you have a cocktail recipe of enviable après ski fun!
Get the party started at the Tea del Vidal a cozy bar in an old, wooden farmhouse near the Mottolino base station. This established establishment is where the aforementioned Bombardino was invented, and the sunny terrace buzzes until late into the day.
If your day’s skiing ends towards the base of the Carosello gondola, you’re in luck. There’s a great choice of après bars including the lively and atmospheric Alegra, and the colourful Stalet, which claims to be the largest après ski bar in Livigno.
The nightlife in resort kicks-off from 10pm and clubbers will welcome the great choice of discothèques and late-night bars. For live music, DJ sets and dancing to the early hours of the morning head to Club Bivio, a cellar bar with a penchant for themed evenings. If you’re someone who likes to make a grand entrance, then see how you feel about Milky’s Disco Club, the only nightclub we know of where you enter it on a slide.
An eclectic ski area
For skiers and snowboarders, Livigno’s major draw is its high ski slopes which have a reliable snow record. The ski terrain is ideal for intermediate skiers with its mixture of moguls, tree-lined runs and long, leisurely cruising. There are also several black runs with steep pisted sections for more advanced skiers. As a premier winter destination, there’s more to Livigno than just downhill skiing and there are some excellent cross-country trails as well as a phenomenal snow park near the Mottolino lift.