APRES SKI – WHAT TO LOOK FOR
In Austria, look for a church dome, walk toward it and if you cannot find après ski and singing, accordion playing locals then you are in the wrong country. Switzerland is more expensive and less lively, whilst Andorra has a great cultural mix and duty-free prices. France really is a mixed bag, large purpose built resorts with self catering are often dead but a number of resorts have good après ski.
Solden is arguably the best après ski holiday destination. The après ski has not really developed beyond trashy euro-sounds and rotund Germans in shoulder padded ski jackets. But if you need to wake up wearing your ski boots and have no desire to queue for the first lifts then Solden will offer many like-minded revellers.
Anyone skiing out from the Gornergrat will pass numerous après ski huts, the best feature being the signposting that warns of your approach. The sun terraces are popular and offer superb views of the valley and the Matterhorn. Bahnhofstrasse is where the action takes place later on – Zermatt is one of the best in Switzerland for après ski.
ST ANTON AM ARLBERG, AUSTRIA
Maybe not quite a riotous as Solden (few are), St Anton am Arlberg is all the same some of the very best après ski to be found anywhere. The key difference is that as St Anton is also about as serious an alpine town as can be found anywhere. The atmosphere is superb and the run out from the Mooserwirt is absolute mayhem after dark.
PAS DE LA CASA, ANDORRA
Pas de la Casa is rated the best après ski resort in Andorra. Andorra has a great mix of cultures being sandwiched between southern France and Spain. Duty free prices add to the lure of the place. Pas de la Casa is no beauty and the Irish bars that line the pistes above Pas de la Casa aren’t the most authentic Andorran offering. Après ski though is vibrant.
VAL D'ISERE, FRANCE
Val d'Isere has some of the best après ski in France, with a few familiar bars offering a fairly good après ski scene. Action starts at the top of the run out to La Daille, whilst the international mix of skiers and snowboarders makes for a good ad lively scene in the centre of Val d'Isere. Pack the Platinum variety, Val d'Isere can have shocking bar prices.
Morzine has a great and traditional ski holiday village centre, complete with a market and lots of entertainment. The après ski is some of the best in France and prices are often not as exploitative as some of the top resorts in France.
Kitzbuhel has a reputation as a high end ski holiday resort and this is certainly true, but it is also big, has a good number of locals living their and has a great variety of accommodation and entertainment. The resort is about as good as they get, whilst the après ski is rated as some of the very best in the Alps.
Rated as some of the very best après ski in North America, Whistler has a great blend of North American sports bars and some pretty laid back bars and clubs. There are numerous slope-side bars at the base stations and a great atmosphere. Live, outdoor music and ski / snowboard events complement the entertainment.