Much like the concept of the ‘nineteenth hole’ in golf, Après Ski is all about winding down after the main event – usually with the help of good food and cold beverages. The in-resort bars, clubs and entertainment are important factors for skiers to consider before booking a holiday – luckily, we’re here to offer a helping hand.
With Jet2.com's cheap flights to Chambery, Geneva, Barcelona, Grenoble, Lyon, Salzburg, Turin & Verona, you can enjoy a ski weekend or snowboarding break at a whole host of superb resorts – and we’ve picked out some of the Après Ski highlights to help make up your mind.
Alpe d’Huez has been the venue for man a ferocious battle in the Tour-de-France with its fearsome climbs and winding hairpins, though it also remains one of Europe's premier skiing destinations. Known more as a party town than its fellow French resorts, Alpe d’Huez boasts a number of impressive Apres-ski nightspots, most notably La Folie Douce – a relatively new venture credited with revolutionizing après in the area. The venue has DJ’s, dancers and live music from 2.30pm every afternoon.
Café and sports bar FreeRide is a fun and lively spot considered an ideal venue for Apres-ski. The bar staff do things a little differently here: operating a “stock exchange” system where drinks prices change every 100 seconds. Oh, and there’s a slide down to the toilets.
Jet2.com offers cheap flights to Chambery and Geneva for easy access to Alpe d'Huez. Find out more.
The site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, the Rhône-Alpes region of Chamonix in south-eastern France mixes rich history with a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere. Despite its relatively small size, the resort packs a serious punch with Apres-ski options and boasts numerous bars and nightclubs, as well as its very own casino and cinema.
Laid-back café bar Monkey is the perfect venue to enjoy brunch before hitting the slopes, though it’s in the late afternoon when the party really gets going. Monkey offers 2 for 1 on beer and wine between 4:00pm and 6:00pm every day, and on cocktails and long drinks between 9:00pm and 10:00pm. On top of that there’s a heated terrace, homemade burgers, live music, table tennis and a weekly quiz. What more could you possibly want?
Getting to Chamonix couldn’t be easier and Jet2.com offers cheap flights to Geneva Airport, just an hour’s drive from the resort. Find out more.
Situated further to the south in the Tarentaise Valley, in the heart of the French Alps, lies the popular skiing destination of Val-d'Isère – a winter Olympics and World Championships venue considered the best in the world. It’s varied and vibrant Apres-ski scene has made it a favourite amongst British, French and Scandinavian skiers in particular, and there’s entertainment to suit all ages.
Bar and restaurant Cocorico can be found close to the nursery slope and bills itself as a “fusion of Austrian Après Ski and the region’s traditional French vibe”. With regular live bands and resident DJ Phil Garner spinning the hits - plus an even bigger terrace and second bar planned for winter 2015 - Cocorico is the place to be in Val-d'Isère.
Jet2.com offers cheap flights to Chambery Airport, situated just over 2 hours from Val-d'Isère. Find out more.
A short journey to the east, situated in the Vanoise National Park, is the resort of Méribel. Actually made up of three neighbouring villages: Méribel centre, Meribel-Mottaret and Meribel-Village, the destination is a firm favourite amongst keen skiers, owing to its distinctive alpine charm, the beauty of its accommodation and its efficient lift system.
In the middle of the town lies Barometer, an energetic bar that boasts a huge selection of wines and local brewed beers, including the robust Mutzig Old Lager (7.3%). The bar also shows major sporting events on big screens, offering those looking for pre-dinner drinks a chilled-out, friendly atmosphere in which to relax.
Located just a short walk from the ski-lifts, Jack’s Bar does what it says on the tin – “live music…big jugs of cold beer, great cocktails and some tasty food.” It also hosts regular comedy nights and has played host to the likes of John Bishop, Al Murray, Micky Flanagan, Ed Byrne and Rich Hall. Don’t’ miss happy hour, every day between 4pm-5pm.
Right next door is Jacks’ sister restaurant Evolution, which offers more of a family atmosphere with board games, homemade smoothies and milkshakes for the kids and a superb selection of winter warmers to heat those frosty fingers and toes after a long day on the slopes.
Find out more about Jet2.com’s cheap flights to Chambery Airport, situated just over an hour from Méribel.
Another skiing and snowboarding resort close to Chambery Airport is Courchevel – often considered the arch rival of Val d'Isère. The glitzier part of town (often known as Courchevel 1850) is renowned for its fine dining and luxury shopping – its restaurants share 11 Michelin stars while luxury shops including Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Prada and Chanel line the streets. Head to the village of Courchevel Moriond (Courchevel 1650) for more of a pub atmosphere with rustic French bars, DJ’s and live music.
Funky Fox hosts a monthly drum and bass night that has proved popular with tourists and locals alike, while its late opening time has seen the bar become a favourite with those looking for a night cap after the neighbouring bars have closed for the evening. There’s regular live music, a Wii competition and good food, particularly the sharing platters.
For a quiet bit of luxury, head to Le Tremplin for fresh seafood and great wine – and make sure to try the oysters!
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