The New Year ski holidays are probably the most popular week on the ski season calendar. A chance to get away after the Christmas frivolities, unwind, work off the excesses of the festive Christmas season, and see in the New Year in style. Where to go of course depends on a range of preferences, whether it is intended as a New Year ski getaway to just relax, or carry the partying on into the next year.
Top New Year Destinations To Party
For the absolute party all week destination, look no further than St Anton in Austria. The party starts at the Mooserwirt and carries on into the town until the lifts reopen, not just New Years Eve, but every day of the season. Seeing in the New Year in St Anton is a raucous, high octane affair that particularly appeals to groups in their twenties and thirties. Not withstanding, if you can rise to meet the challenge, St Anton also has some of the best skiing in the world.
Close behind would be Val d’Iseer in France and Verbier in Switzerland. Both are a little more refined than St Anton, but nevertheless New Years Eve brings out revellers in their thousands. Neither are the lowest cost options, but in our opinion for an upmarket, lively celebration, both take some beating. And like St Anton above, both ski resorts offer world class skiing on and off the piste. Also worth a mention is Meribel where the crowds will be lively, if not quite as concentrated in one area.
Solden in Autria has a particularly raucous party, smaller than the bigger ski resorts previously mentioned, but with several lively bars, it is a great New Year ski destination. Similarly Kappl Iscghl, another Austrian that packs a big après-ski punch and will provide a lively party. Closely behind these two is Saalbach packing a weighty punch for party seekers attention.
Finally on the New Year ski list for the big party is Chamonix, and if size is important, this is the place to be. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 revellers see in the New Year in its market square and surrounding streets, the latter by default used as overspill! Not quite as rowdy as St Anton, but it is a loud, high octane occasion throughout the night and early morning.
Lively But Refined Luxury New Year Skiing Holidays
Courchevel 1850 has to be our number one New Year ski resort if sophistication and fun are high on the list for your group. Notwithstanding the world class and extensive Three Valleys skiing, off the piste the order of the day is glitzy bars, fur coats and boots, champagne and caviar, and a set that is not afraid to flaunt their wealth. The place to be, and more importantly, be seen!
If Courchevel 1850 is a little too overt for your tastes, then Zermatt in Switzerland may just be the perfect compromise. Here there is an understated wealth, the champagne and caviar will be flowing, as will the oysters, but it will be exercised with discretion. The party on New Years Eve will still be large, but enjoyed with a traditional theme and such a classic, aristocratic class in what for us is one of the Alps prettiest towns with stunning Matterhorn and mountain scenery as the backdrop. Like Courchevel 1850, it also has some of worlds very best skiing.
The Most Sophisticated Luxury Ski Resorts
Gstaad probably deserves the first mention as one of the wealthiest and most exclusive luxury ski resorts to see in the New Year. The town itself is intimate and pretty with a select wealth of designer outlets and fine dining establishments. Rowdy it wont be, but id a reserved, stylish, and a truly traditional New Year celebration with aristocratic style is what you are looking for, Gstaad is the place to go. We think our discerning New Year clients will love its charm, class and dignity, as you step back to days gone by.
But probably our favourite, has to be Davos Klosters, also in Switzerland. Not only does it provide an exceptionally refined ski holiday, it has great beginner and intermediate skiers, coupled with a lively, sophisticated town that provides a great venue for family groups or well heeled adult parties.
Family New Year Ski Holidays
La Plagne and Les Arcs in the Paradiski ski region of France are a great New Year ski holiday resorts for a family vacation. The New Year celebrations will be more low key than earlier mentioned resorts, but the skiing is perfect in our view. Many of the ski chalets are virtually next to the piste, the skiing is predominantly red and blue, and being high altitude the snow is typically excellent.
La Tania is a great option for families too, part of the Three Valleys ski region it is a fabulous alternative at New Year to its more famous brothers and sisters, and is especially geared for family visitors. Also in France is the Portes du Soliel and choose here from Morzine, and Chatel in France, or Champery in Switzerland. Chatel offers French sophistication, whilst Morzine a more British feel. Champery a Swiss holiday in that it is more reserved and refined!
Chocolate Box Charm For a Relaxing New Year
Our favourite has to be Kaprun and Zell am See. Two ski resorts separated by just 7km, Kaprun has its beautiful Austrian Castle and characteristic small streets that dates back centuries, whereas Zell am See is the larger of the two and has the beautiful lake snd promenade for a spectacular New Year backdrop for the firework display that sees the next year in.
Chamonix, FranceChalet Prarion
Val d'Isere, FranceChalet Kilimanjaro
Val d'Isere, FranceChalet Lafitenia
Val d'Isere, FranceChalet La Bergerie
Val d'Isere, FranceChalet Mistral
Val d'Isere, FranceChalet Le Chardon