Insider's Guide: Best Après Ski Resorts

The Best Apres Ski Resorts | Inghams Insider's Guides

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

Best Apres Ski Resorts - Val d'Isere

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. For non-skiers looking for on-piste après, CocoRico is the ultimate après bar, located at the base of the Rogoney chairlift, just a short walk through town to get there. CocoRico is a perfect fusion of Austrian après ski and the resorts traditional French vibe, offering live music and legendary parties throughout the season.

In the town centre, the party continues. Continue partying at the raucous Le Petit Danois, an excellent après bar with live music, bar games and friendly Scandi staff, or head to Le Garage, a relatively new, spacious and energetic late night bar. Midnight 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. La Face de Bellevarde, or more simply known as ‘La Face’, is a notorious black run and a challenge to even the best skiers, and the glacier skiing near Le Fornet is superb, 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.

Find out more about Val d’Isère >

St Anton, Austria

Best apres ski resorts - St Anton

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 Gerhard Schmiderer, 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. Nightclub devotees will love Horny Bull, a popular basement club frequented by seasonnaires looking to let loose. For a more European nightclub experience, head to Post Keller to listen to the best of Euro-pop, 90’s and 00’s classics, and dance until the 4am closing time.

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.

Find out more about St Anton >

Sauze d’Oulx, Italy

Best Apres Ski Resorts - Sauze d'Oulx

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 Miravallino, a festive hangout serving reasonably priced food. ‘Mira’s’ also frequently has 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.

For a unique and quirky experience, head to the K2 hotel and rent out a glass igloo. Staff frequently come in to take drink orders, and you’re provided a wireless speaker, so choose your tunes wisely – the party is what you make of it!

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.

Find out more about Sauze d’Oulx >

Meribel, France

Best Apres Ski Resorts - Meribel

There are many reasons to pick Méribel 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 Jack’s Apres Ski Bar which is conveniently located at the base of the Chaudanne lift, next to our popular Chalet Hotel Les Grangettes. 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.

In town, Meribel offers plenty of options for those partying well into the early hours of the morning. After dinner, start your evening at Le Taverne, affectionately known as “The Tav” by its loyal locals, and sample one of their signature shots or cocktails. Finish your night in the place to be after dark, Sully’s, formerly named O’Sullivans Pub, and before that, Dick’s T-Bar, an underground-themed pub and club whose motto is “Sleep, Ski, Party, Repeat.”

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.

Find out more about Méribel >

Livigno, Italy

Best Apres Ski Resorts - Livigno

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!

At the bottom of the Mottolino lift sits Kosmo, a large umbrella bar with DJ’s and live bands daily. This bar can get pretty packed from 4pm onwards, but if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, you can book a table in the private area. 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 Miky’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.

Find out more about Livigno>

St. Moritz, Switzerland

One extravagance after another, the après scene in St Moritz is better suited to those looking for decadence rather than debauchery. An oasis for the rich and famous, the nightlife in St Moritz revolves around socialising and abundant indulgence.

Starting the festivities on the mountain, head to Pirates on the Rocks, a cosy mountain top après bar, offering daily parties near the Corviglia Station. After a careful ski back into town, you can find Hauser’s Roo Bar, a cosy cellar vault bar, infamous for its lively après scene and delicious mulled wine. Not to be missed is faux-Gothic bar King’s Club, part of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, possibly the most famous club in the town. King’s Club has no official closing hours, with clientele invited to stay for as long as they can dance.

Skiers exploring the Corvatsch side of the resort can chill out at Hossa Bar; relax on the large sun terrace and enjoy an American style lunch menu. Friday night is ‘Snow Night’, and the bar becomes a lively party not to be missed.

Lastly, for the more upmarket clientele looking for something with a little exclusivity, they can enjoy a relaxed and luxurious setting at the Cascade Bar. The bar can be visited after an indulgent dinner at the Cascade restaurant, and weekends offer live music and livelier parties.

Bluebird skier's haven

Part of the Graubünden Ski Region, alongside resort giants Davos and Klosters, intermediate skiers will relish in the 364km ski area that is St Moritz. The sun shines here 322 days a year, making it a fantastic option for bluebird skiers. Despite being penned as Switzerland’s sunniest spot, the resort boasts snow safe skiing due to its glacier. Non-skiers can appreciate a whole host of other activities including ice skating and curling on the Olympic sized rink, golf, polo, or viewing one of the many horse racing events. Daredevils can push their limits on the infamous ‘Cresta Run’, a ¾ mile toboggan run.

Find out more about St Moritz >

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