Where to Find the Best Après-Ski – A Top Five
While tastes may vary, there’s simply no escaping the fact that après-ski is starting to become just as important a consideration for Alpine tourists as the slopes they’ll be spending their days on. It isn’t enough to just revel in the world-class skiing alone – it takes the total package both day and night to really win over an increasingly discerning/demanding clientele year after year.
So building on both personal experience and the musings of Alpine regulars, here’s a look at the top five places in all of the French Alps to find that off-piste buzz you’ve been looking for:
Austria – Ischgl
First things first, this isn’t the best choice for bargain hunters or those with only a few pennies to spare. At the same time though, it’s also far from the really upmarket resorts, so as long as you have a bit of spending money to splash, you’ll love it. It’s worth heading into Ischgl town just to try out the Trofana Alm, which claims to be quite simply the best bar in the world for après-ski fun. And they certainly seem to go for it here, with gigantic trays of beers, bizarre dance-offs you end up being dragged into and more sing-alongs than you can shake a stick at. If quiet drinks are more your thing, look elsewhere.
France, Alpe d’Huez
Moving on to an excellent choice for anyone that’s more frugally minded when it comes to funding their thrills, Alpe d’Huez does not disappoint. Chances are you’ll pay about 30% less for everything here than you would in say Meribel and there are more bars and pubs than you’ll ever have chance to try out. Less authentic or traditional admittedly, the best bets in town are nonetheless The Crowded House, Smithy’s and O’Sharkey’s. The town is often described as the ugliest in the Alps, but at the same time it’s also a contender for the most fun of them all.
Yes it’s an obvious choice and yes it’s all a bit of a posh affair, but it’s the kind of posh that’s actually fun as opposed to pretentious. This is where the millionaires hang out that don’t want to rub shoulders with the stuff toffs in the truly exclusive resorts, so good laughs are guaranteed. Pub Mont Fort has developed a reputation for being a must-go-to place year after year, while the Farinet Bar is a great place for live music – they even open the roof here when it all gets a bit too sweaty inside!
Famed just as much for its shopping as its skiing and nightlife, Livigno is big in a very big way. With upward of 150 bars on offer, it towers over every other ski resort in the world in this department at least. Though technically a part of Italy now, it feels more like you’re in the heart of Austria and to be perfectly honest it’s impossible to single out one ‘best’ bar – there are too many of them!!
Austria, St. Anton am Arlberg
Here’s a resort that pulls in some of the best skiers in the whole world thanks to its infamously challenging terrain and terrifying runs. As such, it’s pretty inevitable that it would also sport some of the best après-ski jaunts in the world to help carry the reputation of the place as far and wide as possible. For booming tunes and craziness you can’t go wrong with bars like Mooserwirt, though The Krazy Kangaruh often gets named internationally as the most memorable. So just to be safe, try both!
Photo sources: en.wikipedia.org- flickr.com/photos/craigmoulding – bighilladventures.com – commons.wikimedia.org – www.mooserwirt.at