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 7-12, 2014
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 featured DJ Shadow, Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada Present Red Light, Example, Wretch 32, The Vaccine and many more. Next year's line-up is yet to be announced.
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". 2014 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.
Snowbombing 2013 highlights:
Snowboxx, Arinsal, Andorra
When? March 23-30, 2014
What? Snowboxx is a week-long snow and music festival featuring stage events, slopeside parties and late-season powder. This coming year, the capacity will be bigger - in Arinsal and La Massana - this means more clubs, more people and more to do. Both areas are connected by a very short bus ride, if you want to move between them - but there will be loads of events in each area. The line up will also be seriously stepped up for 2014, including grass roots talent, alongside some huge names to make the party unbeatable.
Where? Arinsal is part of the Vallnord ski area in Andorra. Together with neighbouring Pal and Arcalis, the ski area offers something to suit every ability, and your lift pass will get you around all three. Highlights include world-class freestyle parks, wide rolling pistes, and the most challenging freeride area in the Pyrenees.
Highlights from Snowboxx 2013:
Altitude, Mayrhofen, Austria
When? Mid-March (date TBA), 2014
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.
Highlights from Altitude 2013:
Chef's Cup, Alta Badia, Italy
When? Jan. 19-24, 2014
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 2014 will mark the ninth 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.
Highlights from 2013 Chef's Cup:
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