“I’m only going for the après-ski.”
You’ve probably heard someone say that. And whilst you’d be missing out on a whole lot of fun on the slopes if you did only go for it, après-ski is an important part of any skiing holiday.
But if you’re new to skiing, you’re probably new to après-ski too, and it may be something of a mystery to you. Fear not! We’re here to guide you and ensure you can make the most of it.
If you understand some French, you’ll most likely know that après-ski is translated as “after ski”. Quite simply, it means what you do after you’ve finished skiing for the day. It’s sometimes depicted as an evening spent consuming copious amounts of alcohol, but it doesn’t need to be, and often isn’t. After all, do you really want a hangover to ruin the following day on the slopes?
Après-ski can literally be any activity after a day of skiing. From simple, hearty food to fine dining, hot chocolate to champagne, a cosy evening in watching a movie to drinking and dancing the night away in a nightclub. Here are a few examples to give you an idea of what your après-ski could look like.
There should be options to suit every palate but the best food is always going to be the local specialities. If you’re in Canada, you’ve got to try their favourite, poutine – french fries covered with cheese curds and gravy. Not the healthiest option, but absolutely delicious! Or if you’re in the Alps you might go for a fondue, tartiflette, or raclette. Cheese dishes feature heavily at après-ski, but after such a physical day you’ll have burned off enough calories to have earned it!
If you simply want something warm and comforting you’re sure to find a cafe or bar serving hot chocolate, coffee, tea and a range of other soft drinks. But if you’re after après-ski of the alcoholic variety you won’t be disappointed. As well as your standard wine and beers, mulled wine (sometimes known as vin chaud or gluhwein) is popular across Europe. And just as with food, many countries have their specialities when it comes to shots – Génépi, toffee vodka, and Jägerbombs in France, or Jägermeister, Flügel, and schnapps in Austria. Our advice is to get adventurous and try something you wouldn’t normally have at home.
If you’ve had a particularly strenuous day you might want to treat yourself to a calmer evening. Your hotel or resort may have hot tubs, perfect for relaxing in with or without a drink. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, there might be hot springs nearby where you can get closer to nature. Some of these may be clothing-optional, so be sure to check in advance!
Fancy partying the night away? You’re sure to find what you’re looking for in one of the local bars or clubs. And it probably won’t be quite like any party you’ve ever been to before. Unless you’ve been to a party with lots of people still in their ski boots stomping and dancing to everything from death metal to techno.
It’s really up to you, but typically late afternoon or early evening is a good time to start so that you’ve had plenty of action on the slopes but you’re not completely exhausted. But don’t be constrained by that. Après-ski can start at any time you like. After all, it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.
Ultimately, après-ski can be whatever you want it to be. It’s your holiday, so it’s your choice what you do with your time when you’re not skiing. Resorts do have different types of entertainment on offer though, so if you’re looking for something particular to do in the evenings you should take it into account when planning your holiday.