TOP 5 ALPINE MOUNTAIN PARTY
by David Fennings
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Travelers interested in indulging in alpine revelry can choose from a variety of global locations. Abundant snow and stunning scenery aren't the only elements that create memorable winter sports holidays. Adventurous travelers go where every day on the powder ends with a party. Whether your back backing or going with catered ski chalets the following are five great alpine party spots where skiing and snowboarding aficionados can frolic the nights away under the stars.
1. ANDORRA, THE COUNTRY OF LEISURE
The small country of Andorra is a wonderful destination for travelers who want maximum value for their dollars. Located in south Western Europe, Andorra is small in physical size and population and big on alpine pleasures. This small country sandwiched in between Spain and France plays host to several major ski resorts. Andorra's ski resorts are large and family-friendly. The two major alpine skiing areas are Vallnord and Grandvalira. Recently, they have installed modern lifts and invested a great deal of money in maintaining its well-groomed pistes. There's also a massive snowboarding following, particularly with the youth, and most resorts now have parks with half-pipes and jump facilities included. As you would expect from a place that also attracts the younger generation, the après ski scene is brilliant, cheap bars and lively clubs lining the streets.
Summer visitors will enjoy the country's many scenic hiking trails. Because Andorra is not a part of the European Union, it is able to sell duty-free products to visitors at prices much lower than they would pay in other countries. Savings on shopping means more money to spend on revelry.
2. POWDER AND MUSIC AT MAYREHOFEN
The Snowbombing festival in Austria's Mayrhofen brings together winter sports and electronic music in a mystical ambiance. Attendees spend their days enjoying blue skies and powder and their nights at open-air street parties, forest clearings and a nightclub built of snow. Snowbombing is unconventional and even surreal at times. Fancy dress themes are common among this festival's events.
Held annually during the first week of April, the event begins for many attendees with the Snowbombing Road Trip. Beginning south of London, the Snowbombing Road Trip is a leisurely adventure that captures the spirit of the Snowboming festival by featuring such personal touches as issuing all road trip participants their own uniform.
As far as the actual skiing goes, if you can drag yourself away from the partying, Mayrehofen boasts 159 kms of slopes, with 147 snow cannons ensuring maximum piste quality. The slopes range from easy, medium, and difficult, all skills having a vast array to choose from. If you have the guts and skills, the black "Harakiri" slope is one to try and tame.
3. ALASKA'S ALYESKA
The ultimate New Year's Eve party takes place at Alaska's Alyeska resort. Thirty-five miles south of Anchorage, the resort offers fairly easy access to visitors. New Year's Eve festivities begin with a torchlight parade followed by fireworks and a New Year's Eve buffet.
Travelers who have New Year's Eve plans elsewhere have many other party options at Alyeska, however. Spring Carnival at Alyeska Resort takes place during the third week in April and features a costume party, two Slush Cup races and lots of sun and snow.
Alaska's Alyeska resort provides superb skiing for all skill levels. With 1,500 acres, 650' of annual snowfall and 76 trails, this resort has earned the reputation as being "steep and deep". Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 4 and 9 pm, night skiing is provided. Perfect for the romantic couple, imagine skiing underneath a blanket of stars, especially over the Christmas period.
4. AVALANCHE CLUB IN THE FRENCH ALPS
In the mountains of France, Les Des Alpes is the country's second oldest ski resort and contains the largest skiable glacier on the European continent. The Avalanche nightclub features an international music selection with a bias toward Euro-dance and Drum n Bass Music. This 20-year-old club offers regular theme nights and plenty of promotional events.
If you have the legs to ski after a night on the dance floor, Les Des Alpes is the largest and second oldest ski resort in the Dauphine region, providing some of the best skiing in the world. 55 of the most modern lifts service over 200 kms of skiing paradise, with the pistes of the peaks Les Crêtes and Toura the main ski areas.
5. TÄRNABY AND HEMAVAN
Adventurous travelers flock to Tärnaby-Hemavan in Sweden for the unusual winter sports activities such as heli-skiing as well as the Scandinavian style nightlife. This area attracts a young, active and fun crowd. Good skiing is almost always guaranteed in this location, and local establishments offer some of Sweden's best après-ski parties.
Here you'll experience lots of snow throughout the entire winter, ensuring well-groomed pistes. No matter what skill level you are, you'll find a suitable trail or slope. Ski areas are easily accessible by using their shuttle bus service, transferring you between the ski areas. If you are a novice or have never skied before, you can book a private or group lesson, making sure you find your feet and make the most out of your holiday.
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