Apres Ski – The Definitive Guide
Apres-ski can be described most simply as social activities following a day of skiing. Most commonly referring to the period between 16:00-18:30 pm, in which large ski after-parties take place at busy alpine bars. Here you will find people in ski boots dancing on tables and enjoying drinks in the sun. Although, in truth, it can be anything from a relaxed drink back at your chalet to an early evening meal.
What does apres-ski mean?
Apres Ski is a French term derived from the 1950’s. The literal translation of Apres Ski is “After ski” or “After skiing”.
Apres ski history
Apres ski originated in the 1950s with the rise of commercial skiing. The tradition originated in Norway and quickly made its way across to the French Alps. It was at this point that the custom was firmly adopted by the sociable French culture and named Apres Ski.
What was once a group of skiers enjoying some well spirited drinks to warm themselves up after long day on the slopes, has become almost equally part of ski culture as the skiing itself.
Each country has its own take on apres. But something that they all have in common is that apres has developed drastically in scale and popularity over the years. With some of the world’s most highly regarded apres resorts putting on extravagant parties on the slopes 7 days a week.
Meribel is home to one of eight infamous La Folie Douces. The Folie’s show stopping apres is an example of why apres has become such a prevalent part of a skiing holiday. If you haven’t attended one of their parties before, here is a sneak preview of what to expect…
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What time is apres ski?
From around 4pm when the ski day draws to a close. You can of course attend earlier, in some places you may want to get there ahead of time to bag yourself a prime position. Or enjoy a spot of lunch before the action commences. But, do not fear! You won’t need to cut your ski day short in order to attend the main event. Apres usually runs on around until 6:30/7 or the time in which you go for dinner out in town or back at your chalet. If you’d prefer, you can party on with many bars open late into the evening and some until the early hours.
What is an apres ski bar?
Strictly speaking, an apres bar can really be any bar open for service following the end of the ski day. However, in a more literal sense. An apres bar, is one putting on a party following the end of the ski day. This can range from playing out pre-recorded music or a live band, to a fully choreographed show with fire dancers and fireworks. The experience you get will really depend on the bar you visit. Fortunately, in Meribel there is a range of different apres vibes on offer. For a 2020 rundown on Meribel apres, visit this guide from Powder White.
Where is the best apres ski in Europe?
The best apres destination is a much-discussed debate. Of course, we may be biased. But if you’re looking for a combination of world class apres and within the world’s largest connected ski resort then the answer simple! Meribel. Here you will not only have access to Meribel’s fantastic amenities and apres, but also its neighbouring towns and villages. From Courchevel to Val Thorens and everything inbetween. You’ll be truly spoilt for choice with each area offering a selection of great apres bars with a different vibe. If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat before (or after) heading to apres, why not take a look at our guide to eating out in Meribel. There’s a whole host of great restaurants, both on and off the mountain.