OUR TOP 5 PARTY RESORTS IN FRANCE
Après ski: The short intense party between finishing skiing and going back to the Chalet or apartment for dinner. Usually littered with shots, beers, jaeger bombs, and table dancing. We generally think, if you don’t have your ski or snowboard boots and your snow gear on, it’s not true après ski!
'What is the level of après ski?' is a commonly asked question when we chat to people who are booking their holiday, and France has some of the top party destinations at which you can toast a good day’s skiing or snowboarding with your friends. Here are our top 5 party resorts.
1. Alpe d’Huez – Cheap (relatively!) and Cheerful
It’s common practice to spend at least €7 on a large beer if you have a beautifully iconic mountain backdrop and a slightly questionable safe ski back down. But in Alpe d’Huez beers are usually considered cheap at €4.50.
There’s loads of bars in the town, but no pub crawl would be complete without visiting O’Sharkeys, Smithy's, The Crowded House, and of course you must try the slide at Freeride. If you’re happy to skip dinner and stay up until the sun rise then head to the Igloo Bar which stays open until 6am if you dare!
Apartments here won’t break the bank either, stay for a week in early January from £94 per person.
La Folie Douce - Alpe d'Huez (photo credit alpedhueznet)
2. Val d’Isere – Glam with a Matching Price Tag
If you like the finer things in life then Val d’Isere is for you. The prices aren’t for the faint-hearted; but an afternoon at the original Folie Douce with some DJ-inspired singing and, of course, the live saxophone music will loosen even the tightest of wallets for sure.
Once you get back down into resort, there is a plethora of bars to choose from and live music in many from 4pm. Try Victors for 241 cocktails and Bar La Rosee in La Daille, which has a lovely terrace (but keep your ski jacket on as it can be a little chilly once the sun has gone down and the jaegerbombs have worn off!)
Stay in a self-catering apartment from £106 per person for the week and save some cash for drinks.
3. Les Deux Alpes - Party all the way through the Season!
This resort has a fantastically long season due to its glacier, which means partying in one of the 45 bars in resort on a sunny afternoon in April is a must. This really is the number one party town with as many bars in Les Deux Alpes as there are in the whole of the Three Vallees.
Head to the Pano Bar on piste for dancing beats throughout the afternoon. The last run into resort, the Valentin, is best done relatively sober. If you’re a bit wobbly on your feet, getting the lift back down is easy and a better option if you want to enjoy the rest of your holiday (and the evening!) The easy-access gondola also means your non-skiing friends can meet you in the Pano Bar too.
Head to The Umbrella Bar at the bottom of the slope to carry on the party once you’re down in resort.
Stay right next to the Apres action in the Diable area of resort from £90 per person per week.
Le Pano Bar - Les Deux Alpes (photo credit Wasteland Ski)
4. Val Thorens – the Highest Party in the Alps!
Val Thorens has often been overlooked due to it’s proximity to party town, Meribel and super-exclusive Courchevel. It is, however, quickly building a solid reputation for fantastic early and late season skiing due to its height. The Folie Douce here is an old favourite and is conveniently located just above the town, with a short ski down to a good range of bars and clubs.
The Frog and Roast Beef is a popular destination and holds the accolade for the highest bar in Europe, and for those of you who prefer a big club destination, head to the largest club in the Alps, Malaysia.
Studios and apartments in Val Thorens start at just £95 per person for a week in early January.
5. Morzine – a Balance of Nightlife and Alpine Charm
Unlike a number of the top party resorts in France, Morzine also has a lot of character and really feels like a locals' town as well as a party and snow sports destination.
One of the liveliest spots in town is Bar Robinson at the bottom of the slope into town; beware the Mutzig beer here, it packs a punch and more than three beers means you won't need (or care about) dinner!
If you like to watch some pretty epic skiing and snowboarding videos whilst sipping on your pint then The Cavern is for you. Like many bars in Morzine, this is downstairs, and particularly popular, with DJs and a lot of Jaegerbombs and it's open until 2am.
Morzine is one of our most affordable destinations with apartments from £75 per person for a week in early January.
Le Tremplin Bar Morzine (photo credit Inthesnow)