The Best Resorts For Apres Ski In Europe
At Stoke, we LOVE Winter, about as much as we love Summer, okay fine, we love every damn season as every season brings with it new adventure and amazing experiences just waiting for you. But Winter means snow, it means friends, laughs but best of all, it means APRES SKI.
So, given the fact that you are probably heading into work, looking out the window or aggressively scrolling Instagram for the most epic ski or snowboard themed images, you need to start thinking about booking your next getaway.
This is a public service announcement, its good for the soul. This way you can daydream about all the next level experiences you are going to have. Because we aim to please, we have compiled a little list of the best resorts in Europe for Apres ski.
After all, there is literally nothing better than a long days riding with your crew, then riding directly up to the bar, slamming your wallet down and yelling “GARCON, DOUZE JAGER BOMB GRACIAS”, perhaps we adhere to basic social normals and leave the slightly xenophobic undertones at the door, but nether the less, the premise remains!
Let’s kick off!
1.) St Anton
And we are off, outta the gate with quite possibly the home of apres ski.
St Anton is home to world-class powder, excellent snow parks, proximity to a whole host of cool areas and it has beaconed internationals from all over the world to enjoy the atmosphere. Make sure you are there on a Thursday, this is the locals massive apres ski blowout. Prepare to stay in your salopettes until you literally pass out at 10 pm.
– Nearest Airport: Innsbruck, Zurich
– Where to stay: Edelweiss Pettneu Lodge
Ah, Les 3 Vallees <insert French accent here>, you see what we did, it’s like “Ah Paris” but more relevant. Meribel maybe be known as Blackpool with snow but that’s offensive to Blackpool, snow and France so we are going to ignore that and just tell you that Meribel is super fun. Yes, the Brits have claimed it as their own, but you have an awesomely eclectic mix of people from all over the world with French alpine charm mixed with the Brits never faltering love to party.
– Nearest Airport: Chambery, Genere, Grenoble
– Where to stay: ChaletArc – Riders Hostel – Maison des Quatre Balcons
Now we are getting real with it. This one is for those of us who like to be challenged in the day, work for their first apres ski beer. You want a day of challenging tough world-renowned slopes, great off-piste then you can land yourself in a fake sheepskin-covered chair at 4 pm with a rum-laced hot chocolate in hand and ignore the weird muscle twitch in your thighs and the sweat on your forehead!
– Nearest Airport: Innsbruck airport
– Where to stay: Hotel Madlein
4.) Andorra La Vella
Now to Andorra, Spain and France’s higher, non-EU neighbour. Just a cheeky three hours from Barcelona (and we know how cheap the flights are YASSS) so snap a cheeky early finish on Friday, jump on an afternoon flight to Barcelona and be in Andorra by late evening. The pistes are impeccably groomed which makes this a heaven for beginner and intermediate riders plus an absolutely bustling nightlife. The apres is no different, oh and did we mention Andorra is entirely tax-free? This lesser-known paradise is a must, plus it’s where we have our all-inclusive Snow Weekenders leaving Barcelona every Friday from Jan 18 – March 11, so all you need to do is meet us in Barcelona and let us do the hard yards for you.
- Nearest Airport: Barcelona
- Where to stay: With us! Check out our 2 night package with return transport here.
Where to Party: Temple Bar, Pub Corinthia, L’Alternativa
On the Italian Swiss border, perhaps standing in the shadow of the more famous Chamonix, Cervinia is just a two hour drive away, bordered with Zermatt and is an up and comer. The vibe in this town is totally undeniable. The slopes are great fun and after an awesome day riding, you ride literally directly into Plan Torette, then you ski down, a red run no less, barely knowing your own name, as the sunsets so its still classy and into Principe (still on the slopes) and down to town, a real mountain pub crawl.
- Nearest Airport: Turin or Milan
- Where to stay: Hotel Dragon
- Where to Party: Principe Delle Nevi, Plan Torrette, Dragon Pub
6.) Sauze D’ Oulx
A really picturesque resort, chocolate box chalets, pretty streets and a raucous apres-ski scene. Those poor Italian locals, trying to keep their resort chic, then as soon as the afternoon hits, the awesome array of bars welcome you in with a classic “Bombardino” which is eggnog, brandy and whipped cream- yum and apres ski, Italian style. Talk about the “Dolce Vita”.
- Nearest Airport: Turin
- Where to stay: B&B Ico’s Lodge (Villa Toesca)
- Where to Party: Village Cafe-bar, The New Scotch Pub, Paddy McGinty’s
7.) Val Thorens
The first word in apres ski is Folie Douce, the French invented apres ski and no one does it better. Val Thorens is a great all-round resort, take your beginner mates and they can potter around and take your keen adrenaline junky friends and shred the harder slopes and the off-piste, then in the afternoon, you can all meet on the slopes at Folie Douce. Get there early as this place going crazy.
Sweden I hear you cry, 10€ a beer, er no thanks. It’s not as bad as everyone says, yes Sweden is objectively more experience but the atmosphere on the mountain in Åre is nothing like anything you have experienced. The Swedes are so effortlessly cool and relaxed, pair that with really great skiing (amazing powder in the trees) then a trip to Åre is an absolute must. Plus, they know how to party!
- Nearest Airport: Åre Östersund Airport
- Where to stay: STF Hotell Åre Torg
- Where to Party: Fjällgården, Tott
Mayrhofen is an absolute must visit. It’s on everyone radar. Well, stop sitting around talking about going and get to booking. Just a hop skip and a jump from Innsbruck, you will be hitting the slopes in a matter of hours. It’s a bit of a challenging resort but that just means that first Jagaer bomb will be worth it! Again, another resort full of internationals so gets ready to make some cool new mates.
- Nearest Airport: Innsbruck, Salzberg
- Where to stay: Blue Bird Mountain Lodge
- Where to Party: Mo’s, Brueckenstadl, River Side Bar
I know what you are thinking, excuse me, sorry, did you think we were investment bankers, hedge fund managers, er no, Zermatt is out. Don’t be so sassy, simmer down and listen, Zermatt can be done on a budget. There are 2 awesome hostels, plus some absolutely bargain happy hours. Plus the mountain is incredible, such insane slopes and next level backcountry. If you really must eat on the hill, hop over to the Italian side for a hot plate of delicious pasta. Then hop back over and enjoy the super apres ski, shoulder to shoulder with the upper echelons of society, but 5 colourful shots deep, we are all the same. Aww that’s kinda nice isn’t it, how deep and meaningful.
- Nearest Airport: Geneva, Milan
- Where to stay: Jugendherberge Zermatt
- Where to Party: Hennu Stall, Paperla Pub, Harry’s ski bar
E voila, are you stoked? Thought so. So stop moping around thinking about the mountain and just book, you will feel so much better knowing you have a totally stupendous adventure just around the corner.
For the ultimate mix of shots and slopes, make sure to check out our Barcelona to Andorra winter adventure! Join us for €260 every weekend from Jan 18 – March 11, with return transport, 3* hotel accommodation, one dinner, two breakfasts, 2-day lift pass, ski equipment (snowboard hear €15 surcharge), and guaranteed good times with the Stoke Travel party crew.
Either way, may the snowfall fast and thick wherever you choose to ride this winter.