New Year’s Eve; the most talked about party night of the year, and almost always underwhelming – at least for those foolish enough not to spend it in a ski resort.
There’s just something about being in a ski resort that makes everything more magical. Being surrounded by snow and like-minded people, most of whom are on holiday, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of things, especially as lots of ski resorts really know how to put a party together.
It also doesn’t hurt that, when you’re not at the bar, there’s all that skiing to be done. 😊
Here are the top 5 ski resorts for New Year’s Eve:
Renowned for throwing the biggest and best New Year’s Eve party in the Alps, Tignes certainly doesn’t disappoint, in fact it’s the largest free outdoor party in Europe! Held on the snowfront of Tignes Le Lac, big name stars (like David Guetta) turn the slopes in to an open-air night club, with a HUGE fireworks display going off at midnight which really lights up the night sky (make sure to bring your own bottle of bubbles as it’s a BYOB affair).
After the outdoor party head in to Loop Bar, Cave de Loop, or any of several choices in Tignes Lavachet to party the rest of the night away.
If you manage to make it up the hill the next day you’ll more or less have the slopes to yourself until after lunchtime, and with fantastic snow conditions this year (the base is nearly 3m deep already) and 300km of pistes, you’ll have a lot of well-covered ground to cover! If the vis is bad head down to ski the trees in Tignes Les Brevieres, or pop over to the other side of the ski area and enjoy the tree-lined runs of Val d’Isere.
St Anton wouldn’t really be St Anton without the apres-ski, so that’s where many people like to start their New Year’s Eve partying. From lunchtime until about 6pm you can hit up Taps, Krazy Kanguruh or Mooserwirt to kick off your NYE early. All three of these famous apres-ski establishments will be going off from about 3pm.
KK, Taps, and Mooserwirt can all be found just off the Galzig piste, but you don’t necessarily have to ski there – you can also catch the number 3 bus from St Anton itself. Keep in mind that you can also take the bus back down to town as an alternative to skiing down if you’ve had a few too many beers and Jagerbombs…
Once you get back to town, you can grab some dinner (and maybe a nap) before heading into the pedestrianised square in the centre of town for an amazing laser and music show: St. Anton Illuminated.
The family show will begin at 7:30pm, whilst the main event really kicks off at 11:30pm. The fireworks-free event aims to provide an outstanding display without the unwanted side effects of fireworks – like air, soil and noise pollution – which aren’t really the best way to celebrate when your town is surrounded by beautiful wilderness!
To keep the party going once the light show is over, head to Bar Cuba, Anthony’s, Scotty’s or Murrmel Bar, all of which have some epic parties planned.
The next day, if your head isn’t too foggy you should have over 280km of groomers and 200km of off-piste runs to enjoy without the need to share with too many others as they’ll all still be in bed!
One of the most picturesque towns in the Alps, don’t let the cozy Savoyard chalets fool you into thinking this is a sleepy village – Val d’Isere has some of the wildest parties in France!
Unlike the previous entries on this list Val d’Isere doesn’t really have a single resort-level party and instead lets the many (many) bars and nightclubs do their own thing until the wee hours of the morning, as they all get late-hours licenses that last until 4 or 5am!
Big name DJs light up the booths of the two nightclubs: Doudoune and Dick’s Tea Bar (who often have themes like Great Gatsby, or Masquerade Ball). While the parties are legendary, tickets to both venues can be expensive (around €50), and if you want to reserve a table you’re looking at a minimum spend in the thousands of Euros…
Luckily there are a ton of other bars in town with less expensive door charges and fantastic events. The Blue Note is a favourite with the local British community and have a vinyl soul/funk DJ and an “Any not gets you into the Blue Note” policy where you donate what you want and all the money collected goes to charity.
Le Petit Danois also features live DJs and a high-energy crowd, they also stay open for nearly 48 hours with the end of their New Year’s Eve party blending into the next day’s breakfast service. Expect to see a lot of worse-for-the-wear revellers in the Danois around 8am hoping that a full English breakfast will right all the night’s wrongs.
The next day if you’re not feeling up for exploring the 300km of groomed pistes in the area, check out the Centre Aquasportif. It’s not just a gym, it also has a couple of swimming pools and a wellness centre complete with jacuzzis, saunas and a steam room.
Known for having one of the liveliest apres-ski scenes in Austria (and that’s saying a lot), Ischgl really knows how to ring in the New Year, even if Ischgl’s clientele tends to be about 10 years older than the crowds you’ll find in Mooserwirt or the Krazy Kanguruh in St Anton. From about 3pm the atmosphere on the slopes and on the pistes becomes energetic, although very good-natured. Niki’s Stadl is a somewhat surreal experience at apres-ski with it’s Europop/Germanic Oompah vibe, but those that like it, love it. The Trofana Alm is another classic Austrian apres spot on the foot of the slopes and is well worth a visit.
To ring in the New Year there are no less than FIVE different sites for fireworks as well as 13 different music areas which provide the tunes to accompany the light show. Afterwards, Pacha nightclub brings a slice of Ibiza to the Alps so you can keep ringing in the New Year until the wee hours of the morning.
The next day, and all through the week, you’ve virtually guaranteed to have great snow to enjoy with the majority of the skiing located above 2000m, as well as over a thousand snow cannons to ensure there’s plenty of the white stuff even during the earlier parts of the season.
Spending a peak week in the Alps doesn’t have to cost you a mountain of cash, and Sauze d’Oulx is proof that you can have an epic New Year’s week on the slopes even if your wallet is feeling the post-Christmas pinch.
Food and drink, lift passes, ski lessons, accommodation – everything is cheaper in Sauze d’Oulx than it is in the most notorious French and Swiss resorts and you won’t have to compromise on the quality of either your skiing or partying! The 400km wide, tree-lined pistes of the Milky Way ski area are yours to enjoy and if you prefer being off-piste then you’ll be happy to discover heli-skiing in the Upper Susa Valley is a fraction of what you might be used to paying elsewhere – what a way to ring in the new year!
Before midnight you can watch the ski instructor’s torchlight descent at 9pm which – as of last year – is now also open to participation from the general public (although a high level of ability is required). After the descent there is an impressive fireworks display at 10pm.
When it comes to ringing in the New Year at midnight you won’t be disappointed – the bars are also some of the liveliest in the Alps with good times all but guaranteed in Banditos and Paddy McGinty’s.