Inspiration Destinations Fondue, Fireplaces & French Martinis: Europe’s Best Après-Ski

Fondue, Fireplaces & French Martinis: Europe’s Best Après-Ski

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From oompah-fuelled DJ sets and below-freezing Jägermeister on the mammoth Tyrolean Alps to high-altitude cocktails on the Mottolino slopes, this is our guide to Europe’s best apres-ski. 

Après-ski – literally, ‘after ski’ in French – originated in 1950s Norway and quickly took the French Alps and the world by storm. After mornings shredding the pow on the continent’s most celebrated slopes, drop your skis, grab a drink and savour cosy afternoons spent sharing epic stories by the roaring fireplace. It’s all about location – the very best après-ski should only be a short hop from the trails and your accommodation. Don’t worry about a dress code – just keep those boots on – but be ready to relish hearty food, good times and a party tradition that’s become utterly indispensable to skiing culture. With our guide, you’ll apres-ski like there’s snow tomorrow. 

St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

Truly the piste de resistance of modern après-ski, St. Anton am Arlberg offers skiers avalanches of fun and entertainment. Embrace the call to adventure at MooserWirt, where waiters carry trays laden with shot glasses brimming with Jägermeister, guests freely dance on the tables and ancient DJ wunderkind Gerhard keeps the beats coming. Alternatively, head to Krazy Kangaruh for sun-kissed days and a hopping good time. If you’re looking to keep the good times rolling stay at Hit the Sky, a palace of kitsch boasting décor that’s equal parts Zurich and zebra.

Crans-Montana, Switzerland

Après-ski magic at Six Senses Crans-Montana

Between two fairy-tale Swiss villages lies a new world of sophisticated après-ski. Sip local wines expertly decanted at Le Tirbouchon, relaxed spritzes and sumptuous charcuterie at Zerodix or soak up extraordinary views and DJ-spun tracks at Cry d’Er Club d’Altitude, located at the gondola’s lofty summit. At the centre of the action is the magnificent five-star palace Six Senses Crans Montana – after days spent skiing or snowboarding under the clearest skies in the world, spend moments admiring the mighty Matterhorn or curl up by the fireplace and savour Six Senses’ iconic hospitality. 

Les 3 Vallées, France

The largest ski range in the world, Les 3 Vallées is a triumph. Ski from village to village across over a vast array of peaks and trails and savour upscale après-ski to match. Boasting 20 Michelin stars across just 12 restaurants, the region doubles as a culinary wonderland – savour flawless haute cuisine backed by a peerless saucier at Le 1947 (three stars), rustic lodge-inspired plates showcasing the region’s vibrant culinary traditions at La Bouitte (three stars) or invite your tastebuds to ascend to the heights of classical French patisserie at Le Sarkara (two stars), located in the heart of the Himalayan-themed Hotel Le K2 Palace

Livigno, Italy

Aperitifs and après-ski – what finer combination? Livigno offers guests extraordinary swathes of freeride and backcountry terrain as well as one of Europe’s best snowboarding cultures. Put aside your gear and grab yourself a Bombardino, the region’s iconic cocktail – this steaming blend of eggnog and brandy, generously topped with whipped cream, is utterly irresistible. For dance tracks and dumplings at the base of the Mottolino mountains, Kosmo is unmatched, and those craving ski-in, ski-out luxury will adore Hotel Meeting, just moments from Livigno’s central lifts. 

Verbier, Switzerland

It’s easy to lose yourself among Verbier’s vast collection of bars, restaurants, discotheques and British-style pubs, all merrily catering to the region’s bustling ski crowd. With live music every single evening and an often imitated, never-surpassed rowdiness, is Pub Mont Fort – be sure to order its infamous ‘shaker,’ a wild blend of spirits and ice that’s been fuelling the venue’s famous parties for decades. For something a little more glamorous, head to Le Rouge for ski-in, ski-out cocktails and the area’s best wine cellar. Looking for signature alpine luxury and access to Verbier’s very best powder? W Verbier has you covered. 

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Just over an hour’s drive from bustling Munich, Garmisch-Partenkirchen offers apres-ski for day-trippers and guests alike. Return from the slopes to burgers and ice-cold beers at Lodge am Hausberg before carrying on to Peaches for ritzy tiki cocktails, cheese fondue by the crackling fireplace and electrifying live dance sets – all under one roof. The town becomes especially magical in late November, when the historic streets fill with Christmas Markets and the town is overcome with Yuletide cheer. Stay at the central Bader Suites and embrace the town’s Christmas spirit with open arms. 

Featured Image: Six Senses Crans-Montana, Switzerland

For more wintery magic, read Paris in Winter: Experience the Magic of the City of Light

Nate Robinson
About Nate Robinson
Mad for travel and an incorrigible foodie, Nate is as at home in a Mexican taqueria as he is at Tsukiji. When he's not abroad, you can always find Nate with a book in one hand and a tiki cocktail in the other.

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