FEAR OF THE FIRST GONDOLA QUEUE? TRY APRES SKI
Looking to avoid the perils of the queue for the first gondola, then Austria is better than any other nation in ensuring you will never see it. Austria is without question the King of après ski, even the smallest ski areas have bars built into their lift complexes and mountain huts dot the hills in mountains in Austria offering atmospheric swill holes. And if you feel the need to wear your ski boots for longer off snow than on it, Austria has the music and atmosphere to make you dance till dawn.
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Solden is right up there with St Anton and Ischgl for the après ski crown - for proud Otztalers Solden is the king of après ski. No après ski guide required - Solden après ski is a very visible past time.
ST ANTON AM ARLBERG
Probably the best skiing and maybe the best après ski in Austria? The international mix of visitors to St Anton make for a superb après ski scene, all starting at the famous Mooserwirt hut.
Gerlos offers the best après ski in the excellent Zillertal Arena and some of the best in Austria. Gerlos après ski is concentrated around the base-stations after the mountain huts close for the day.
The sight of a giant plastic beer tankard adorning the roof of a mountain hut just above Flachau is a fairly good indicator of what awaits in the valley - some really great après ski.
Ischgl is one of the big boys of après ski - for some Ischgl is the pinnacle of après ski, it is certainly one of the very best out there. At the 2 main lift centres in Ischgl the après ski rocks from early till late.
Mayrhofen has had the forethought to locate après ski bars at the top of the gondola (required to download into Mayrhofen) as well as at the base-station in Mayrhofen - few escape the après ski!
Soll has been offering top après ski for years now - the Soll and Ski Welt ski pistes are littered with tempting mountain huts. Soll offers the best après ski in the huge Ski Welt ski region.
Saalbach has won awards for its après ski and together with the neighbouring ski holiday resort of Hinterglemm the valley around Saalbach offers superb après ski on the mountain and in the resort.
Kitzbuhel mixes fur shoppers with après skiers and in such a large resort the cohabitation works. The Londoner or Streifalm are ‘must go’ swill holes but Kitzbuhel has many other options.
Obertauern is a big resort with very big après ski. The main street running through Obertauern is awash with après ski bars and the resort offers some of the best après ski in the region.
ZELL AM SEE
Lake-side, pretty and fairly high end, Zell am See also has some great après ski on offer with the range of international guests to Zell am See making for a really great mix and some excellent après ski.