Ski resorts are upping the alpine ante with large-scale mountain festivals celebrating music, comedy and food. For the ultimate in apres-ski entertainment, read our guide to the biggest and best snow fests in Europe.
Snowbombing, Mayrhofen, Austria
When? April 1-6, 2013
What? This five-day music mountain festival in Mayrhofen is billed as "the greatest show on snow". Snowbombing attracts big-name artists and the 2013 line-up features DJ Shadow, Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada Present Red Light, Example, Wretch 32, The Vaccine and many more.
The music festival takes place across 13 venues including three mountain stages and a nightclub made entirely from snow. The Daily Mail described Snowbombing as "the skiing alternative to Glastonbury". 2013 will have the most extensive musical line-up to datemarks the thirteenth festival and each year it's getting bigger and better.
Snowbombing is sold as an accommodation and entertainment package, meaning the wristband (offering free entrance to the music festival) is included on securing accommodation. After booking, you can add various travel options, including coach transfer from the UK and airport transfers from local airports or take part in the Snowbombing Road Trip. There is also the option to add a selection of optional extras onto your booking, including ski hire, ski lessons and evening meals.
Where? Mayrhofen is set in the heart of the Tyrol. It is home to one of the largest snowboard parks in Europe - the Vans Penken Park. Mayrhofen offers access to 157 kilometres of pistes linked by 48 lifts. The Super Zillertal pass increases the local ski area to a massive 639 kilometres. The resort is known for having one of the liveliest après-ski scenes in the Alps with numerous all-night bars and nightclubs.
Highlights from last year's Snowbombing:
The Big Snow Festival, Sauze d'Oulx, Italy
When? March 17-24, 2013
What? The Big Snow Festival, this year in Sauze d'Oulx, is a week-long mountain festival featuring some of the world's best DJs and live acts as well as ski and snowboard competitions. The Observer newspaper has branded it "a weeklong rollercoaster of skiing, snowboarding and big nights out." Launched by the organisers of the sell-out UK music event, The Big Reunion, the 2013 line-up features live music, Big Snow resident DJ’s, beat boxers, Silent discos, up and coming comedians and much much more.
The Big Snow Festival, launched in 2010, has proven so successful that it has doubled in size. Packages are available on line from £499 including transfers, lift pass, flights, hotel and festival ticket.
Where? Situated in Italy's Via Lattea (Milky Way) ski area, Sauze d’Oulx not only provides an endless array of runs but also a superb choice of bars and restaurants. With great links to other resorts and access to 598 individual pistes, around 400km of runs, three board parks and the option to ski all the way over the border to Montgenèvre in France, Sauze d’Oulx is ideal to keep all levels of skiing and boarding abilities entertained. Big Snow customers can take advantage of the lively après ski atmosphere, from the plentiful selection of bars, clubs and restaurants to suit all pockets.
Highlights from last year's Big Snow Festival
Altitude, Mayrhofen, Austria
When? March 18-22, 2013
What? The Altitude Comedy Festival in Mayrhofen sees the UK's biggest names in comedy performing over six nights at one of the best resorts in Europe. Altitude is the only billingual comedy event in Europe with international performances from some of the biggest stars in comedy. This year, comedian Andrew Maxwell presents Altitude with a line-up including Jimmy Carr, Frankie Boyle, Al Murray, Ed Byrne, Kevin Bridges, Tim Minchin and many more. The aim is for the whole festival to be carbon neutral and raise awareness of global warming.
You can create your own Altitude package from £259, including accommodation and wristband, to full trip packages including travel and ski passes.
Where? Mayrhofen has one of the liveliest après-ski scenes in the Alps with numerous all-night bars and nightclubs. The ski area offers access to 157 kilometres of pistes linked by 48 lifts. The Super Zillertal pass increases the local ski area to a massive 639 kilometres. It is home to one of the largest snowboard parks in Europe - the Vans Penken Park.
Chef's Cup, Alta Badia, Italy
When? Jan. 20-27, 2013
What? Each year Europe's premier chefs gather in Alta Badia, a popular ski destination in South Tyrol, for the Chef's Cup charity race. January 2013 will mark the eighth year of this giant slalom event. Founded by the two-Michelin-Star chef, Norbert Niederkofler, the race attracts more than 100 chefs and winemakers each year. The Chef's Cup is not only a fun giant slalom, it's a big charity event with fine food and a gala dinner. 12 top chefs from South Tyrol create their own signature dish, combining local produce with international ingredients, and each is served in a different mountain refuges throughout the winter.
Where? Alta Badia in South Tyrol is an alpine valley containing the villages: Corvara, Badia, La Villa, San Cassiano, and Colfosco. The area has made a name for itself as a winter destination for gourmet dining on the slopes and contains the highest concentration of gourmet restaurants in Northern Italy. Set in the Dolomites, Alta Badia offers 130 kilometres of ski runs accessed by 53 modern lifts. It is also part of the Dolomiti Superski area which combines 500 kilometres of terrain.
Watch highlights from last year's Chef's Cup:
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