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Best alternative to France if looking for Apres Ski

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Myself and 7 friends, all based in England, have a skiing holiday booked in France for the end of January 2022.

It is looking increasingly unlikely that this will go ahead given current travel restrictions.

France was our ideal location because of the apres ski. We're looking at alternatives (either Italy, Austria or Andorra we expect) but are hoping to ensure wherever we go will have apres ski and some freedom in terms of attending bars etc.

Can anybody give me any insight to which countries have apres ski as normal, and which ones have restrictions which mean apres ski is unlikely to happen? It doesn't seem easy to find any guidance on this elsewhere online.

I'd be grateful for any input.

Thanks all! Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wait for next year, it is off or severely restricted everywhere. Normally Austria is the best fro apres but many of the best places are closed and it is table service only.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@deadzell, welcome to Snowheads!

What type of apres ski are you looking for? (Austria is far more known for its apres ski than France, so I'm wondering how you previously chose France as your "ideal location because of the apres ski.") For e.g. are you looking for dancing on tables in the mid to late afternoon or clubbing into the early hours?


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 5-01-22 18:46; edited 1 time in total
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Andorra.!,. arinsol had a good night life wink .. solden in austria as well as st. Anton
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Is this a trick question?

Everywhere is usually better than France for Apres skiing, just not so much this year.
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@deadzell, welcome to Snowheads.

I am intrigued that you were considering France for the apres. What would sort of thing are you looking for? Apres in France is pretty tame normally unless you like actually going

Most of Europe has fairly tight controls on music/dancing etc this year.

Austria would be the go to for great apres and is the best in Europe. But this year Everyone is supposed to be seated.

I am not sure what other countries are doing! Others will advise.
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Quote:

France was our ideal location because of the apres ski.


@deadzell, have you ever actually been to France?

@beeryletcher, hah hah hah Twisted Evil
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Austria for Apres always. St Anton is popular, although I'm a big fan of Saalbach and the apres is strong. Mayrhofen was pretty party when I was last there too! But yes, if your primary focus is apres, then I'd suggest waiting until restrictions are eased, although that might not be this season.
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Yeah, I too struggle with the concept of "France for Aprés..." unless you are committed to Les Folies Douces...
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Austria is the best Apres in Europe, by a country mile. Andorra is great if you like average skiing and cheap beer. I've had good nights / afternoons in L2A, Les Arc, and Val Thorens (honourable mention to Cafe Snesko), but really; you need to go to Austria!
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France?? did he say France?? so - better for apres.....? lets try every other alpine country! but when things are "normal" its Austria every time!!!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
France?? did he say France?? so - better for apres.....? lets try every other alpine country! but when things are "normal" its Austria every time!!!
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Once it’s back to ‘normal’ and you’ve got big pockets then Ischgl is pretty damn good for Apres.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Currently, in my corner of Austria, night clubs are closed, but all or most of the bars, including lively après-ski bars, are able to open until 22.00 (which is late enough for most serious skiers). Over the festive period it’s been quite busy; there is the usual music and singing and general conviviality, and even live musicians in a few après bars that are prepared to sail close to the wind. It may be more limited than usual, but it’s still a hundred times livelier, in terms of après-ski than any French resort I’ve been to.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Thanks Tatman, hopefully will be there on the 15th.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Better Apre Ski than France? North Korea, Tajikistan, Saudi, Equatorial Guinea although the last two might be missing the snow.
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RedandWhiteFlachau wrote:
Better Apre Ski than France? North Korea, Tajikistan, Saudi, Equatorial Guinea although the last two might be missing the snow.


Laughing Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks all!

In my Defence it is my first time skiing so am being guided by others... noted that Apres is better elsewhere!
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Are there any other aspects which are important as you make arrangements for your first ski holiday, @deadzell? Like anything to do with the skiing, for example?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@RedandWhiteFlachau, Have you been to any of the counties you list?
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deadzell wrote:
Thanks all!

In my Defence it is my first time skiing so am being guided by others... noted that Apres is better elsewhere!


Someone asked above and I don't think you answered - what type of Apres Ski do you want?

The Austrian Apres Ski scene is amazing but tends to revolve around what I call "disco oompah" and lots of community singing and is something which I can cope with but one of our ski buddies detests it. It made for some interesting apres decisions in Ischgl wink . He walked out of Kitzloch after the second chorus of Schatzi schenk mir ein foto and insisted we went to the Eagle and Child (nice beer and music but quiet).

If you want some lively scene with British/US style rock and pop then France can do it up to a point (Chambre Neuf anyone?) but it is usually Europop or quiet conversation.

For the best of the Brit/US Rock n Pop type of apres then I think the big Swiss resorts (Verbier, Zermatt) do this really well.
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johnE wrote:
@RedandWhiteFlachau, Have you been to any of the counties you list?


I think the answer will be 'all of them'
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

The Austrian Apres Ski scene is amazing but tends to revolve around what I call "disco oompah" and lots of community singing and is something which I can cope with but one of our ski buddies detests it. It made for some interesting apres decisions

It might help to remind members of the party that they will be visiting another country and a different culture, and that they should not expect to hear the same music as at home (although some of the classic rock will be the same, and “deep house” is spreading like another virus variant).
It’s good to be open minded when travelling to the Alps and not expect the same food, the same drinks, the same music, etc. (except when Johnny Däpp is playing, and then you have every right to complain).
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Sorry but I have to join in the surprise..... France and Apres, in the same sentence! Puzzled
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Quote:

It might help to remind members of the party that they will be visiting another country and a different culture, and that they should not expect to hear the same music as at home

That is very true. Though the live music in Arc 1600 is usually British/US rock you do get the occaisional odd one - like a ukalani band. The best I recall was actually a jazz band playing what I think is called swing. Even my feet were tapping
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A bit harsh on a new contributor folks!

My own naivety went like this: having experienced the best week of my life on my first ever ski trip (St Anton) in the 90s, I immediately booked a week in Les Deux Alpes when I returned home, leaving the following month.

It was....a bit different.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@tatmanstours, Agreed
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Quote:
The best I recall was actually a jazz band playing what I think is called swing. Even my feet were tapping


That'd be good.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I was on a Crystal package to Alpe d'Huez, 1999. A group of us ended up at an organ recital one evening!

To be fair, it was quite good. As an encore, the organist broke into a rousing rendition of 'On Ilkley Moor Bar t'Hat'.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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LukeRibs wrote:
Val Thorens (honourable mention to Cafe Snesko), but really; you need to go to Austria!


Is that the Danish bar? That sets the bar on fire every hour? I had one of the best nights of my life in there. Unreal.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
There was a pop-up Irish bar in Ellmau the other year. That was fun.
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deadzell wrote:

Can anybody give me any insight to which countries have apres ski as normal,


Scotlan....
oh, wait! no.

Maybe look at Bulgaria.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
deadzell wrote:
In my Defence it is my first time skiing so am being guided by others... noted that Apres is better elsewhere!


In my experience the apres scene varies from country to country but also resort to resort and a lot will depend on what your friends mean by "apres".

France
In general it's at most just a civilized glass or two at the bottom of the slope, then back to the chalet to chill before dinner. In a lot of resorts that's where you then stay till morning but in some of the more party focused ones (e.g. Morzine) you'd start thinking of going out after dinner but not make a move until say 10pm, hitting a late bar at 11pm before moving on to the night club, rolling back home in the early hours.

Austria
Certainly when it comes to the bigger resorts with party reputations (Ischgl/St Anton/Saalbach/etc) the pattern is more to hit the bars straight off the slopes at say 3:30/4pm and stay there drinking on empty stomachs till 7pm. At this point most of the apres parties wind down and you either go back to your hotel meal or find a restaurant. After stuffing your face there's usually the option to carry on drinking...or you just go to bed, get 10hrs sleep and wake up ready for first lift.

Italy
My experience of Italian apres is that there isn't any - but I think that's more down to the resorts I've been to/the fact one of them was a SH bash so we never left the hotel bar. Smile


You know your friends so if you can give us a guide which apres camp they are most likely to fall in to/what resorts they rave about we can recommend some specific resorts.
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@Tom Doc, yes it is! I think the French are getting an unfair rub of the green here… I’ve had some good nights out in France.

Honourable mention to ‘Pano Bar’ in L2A.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Mjit wrote:


Italy
My experience of Italian apres is that there isn't any - but I think that's more down to the resorts I've been to/the fact one of them was a SH bash so we never left the hotel bar. Smile


I'd agree with you most places (especially Courmayeur, unless a passeggiata by women of a certain age in fur coats counts) but from last week's experience, the apres fire still burns brightly in Sauze d'Oulx (for some reason I thought the original On The Piste documentary was filmed here, but it was Söll apparently)
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Quote:

I thought the original On The Piste documentary was filmed here, but it was Söll apparently


Söll - archetypal Austrian après-ski
Wengen (with which resort the documentary contrasted Söll) - archetypal Swiss/French après-ski.
There are exceptions, but generally Austrian après is more rumbustious, expected, and prevalent - and the music constitutes a genre of its own (on to which this thread could easily be diverted).
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If you are a Brit, and happy to spend your time amongst fellow Brits, Pub Le Ski Lodge in La Tania, Trois Vallees, France is good for lively apres with live (mostly British) 'covers' Bands playing regularly - but sadly not so far this season.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
DidierCouch wrote:
Mjit wrote:


Italy
My experience of Italian apres is that there isn't any - but I think that's more down to the resorts I've been to/the fact one of them was a SH bash so we never left the hotel bar. Smile


I'd agree with you most places (especially Courmayeur, unless a passeggiata by women of a certain age in fur coats counts) but from last week's experience, the apres fire still burns brightly in Sauze d'Oulx (for some reason I thought the original On The Piste documentary was filmed here, but it was Söll apparently)


That's odd - Sauze's the other Italian resort I've been to and we never found much in the way of apres! Not doubting you that it's there, just that we never managed to find it Smile
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@Mjit,
Quote:

we never managed to find it

That probably sums up the biggest difference between Austrian and other countries’ après-ski. It’s the difference between having to find it, and not being able to escape it!
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tatmanstours wrote:
@Mjit,
Quote:

we never managed to find it

That probably sums up the biggest difference between Austrian and other countries’ après-ski. It’s the difference between having to find it, and not being able to escape it!


Laughing Stimmt!
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