The top venues for après-ski

After an exhilarating day of winter sports, what could be better than relaxing in style at the foot of the pistes? Wellness areas, sunny bar terraces, DJs and restaurants are all ready to welcome you for some unforgettable alpine après-ski.

1. Pit-stop beside the piste

Countless piste-side restaurants, bars and their sun terraces offer the chance to start après-ski even before the day’s skiing is over. In the Veysonnaz sector of the “4 Vallées”, the Tipi at an altitude of 2,000 metres beside the iconic Piste de l’Ours is known for its party atmosphere with live music.  Over at Schönbiel, above Belalp, check out Ricco’s Iglu – known to locals as Riglu. The burgers are a sensation. In the Saas valley, the sunny terrace of the Weissmieshütte mountain hut offers winter sports enthusiasts a scenic setting for a delicious break. Don’t miss specialities such as their spaghetti in a wine sauce, or the vanilla cream slice flavoured with génépi liqueur for dessert

2. Where the party is going on

What is the secret of many of the top après-ski venues in Valais? Superb locations with breathtaking views and great music – whether live bands or DJ sets. In Zermatt, revellers gather at Hennu Stall, midway down the run from Furi back to Zermatt. The house slogan, “Come rock with us”, says it all. In Crans-Montana, the Club Cry d’Er by the eponymous lift summit station wows guests with its 360-degree views of the Valais Alps. Local musicians play here along with well-known DJs. Lower down the mountain, by the base station of the Cry d’Er gondola, the Zerodix lounge bar promises a buzzing ambiance with live music and DJs: a quick après-ski drink here easily lasts longer than planned! In the Champéry region, the panoramic terrace at R.E.D. offers magnificent views of the Dents du Midi and Dent Blanche, with a DJ ensuring a party atmosphere every day from 3 pm. At Saas-Fee, the Black Bull Snowbar invites you to chill out at the foot of the pistes – or, if you have any energy left, to dance away to the bar’s cool beats.

3. Gourmet treats

Après-ski in Valais can also be a gourmet adventure. How about a glass of wine or a cocktail served with home-made tapas? Try the lounge bar of the restaurant L’Atelier Gourmand in Champéry, which promises a cosy atmosphere at the gateway to the ski area of the Portes du Soleil. Still in Champéry, Chez Coquoz offers a selection of exquisite tapas with a Valais touch, ideal with an aperitif. Over at Harry’s Ski Bar in Zermatt’s Matterhorn Lodge, the après-ski has a distinctly international feel. The former “Hennugädi” hosts a unique blend of Swiss and Austrian après-ski culture, whereby staff serve the legendary Stiegl in traditional Tyrolean costume.  Holidaymakers inspired to buy some of the region’s delicacies to bring home can stop off on their return journey at the Fol’terres pavilion in Fully, down in the Rhône valley. This gastronomic treasure trove showcases local wines, alpine cheeses, vegetables, fruit, terrines and many other gourmet treats from more than 100 Valais producers.

4. Authentic and unpretentious

At the Stafelbar in the heart of the ski area of Grächen, guests sit on cosy sheepskins along long wooden benches or around a fire, or stretch out on loungers by the edge of the piste to enjoy views of the surrounding 4,000-metre peaks.  The atmosphere is just as authentic and unpretentious at Aftersky in Ovronnaz. Holidaymakers mix with locals over games of billiards and darts and to enjoy the house beers and cocktails. Across the Rhône valley, too, beer enthusiasts are in for a treat. Le Barloucâ in Veysonnaz – part of the “4 Vallées” ski area – serves more than 75 different brews. And since Le Barloucâ also serves Assiettes Valaisannes (platters of local cheese and cured meat) along with a choice of snacks, and stays open until midnight, you can happily spend all evening exploring their beers. Higher up on the slopes above Veysonnaz, Les Caboulis is a traditional alpine chalet with a sunny terrace right beside the piste: expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere and a menu of tasty Valais dishes. Over in Saas-Fee, the Steinbock Bar is always popular with guests: located in a historical building in the heart of the village, it offers an attractive setting in which to enjoy a delicious après-ski session with views of the Saas-Fee mountains.

5. Late into the night

Après-ski can lead seamlessly to dinner and clubbing – and for such occasions, you won’t have to search long for the ideal venue. In the resort of Champoussin, Le Nid in the restaurant / ski hostel Le Poussin also stages live music in the evening in a pub atmosphere. Up on the slopes of Belalp, the après-ski at the NewWaveBar in Bruchegg continues all evening with cocktails and pancakes. A little further up the Rhône valley at Bettmeralp, the Disco Bachtla is the place to go for a buzzing night out during the winter season. This local club with international sounds is a magnet for party-goers from the region as well as for holiday visitors. The venue also offers billiards, darts and table football.

6. Après-ski cocooning

At the pool and spa complex in Zinal, a wellness area with hammam, sauna and whirlpool bath welcomes guests year-round. The Anzère Spa & Wellness centre, meanwhile, offers relaxation and fun for all the family, with indoor and outdoor pools, paddling pool, sauna, hammam and other facilities. In Veysonnaz, the outdoor whirlpool baths of Chalet Royal showcase views of the snowy summits as you enjoy the soothing jets and bubbles. Over in Saas-Fee, you can immerse yourself in an oasis of tranquillity that features a pool, sauna, spa bar and gym, and offers a range of facial and body treatments as well as massages. At the Eringer Hotel, located at the foot of the pistes in the “4 Vallées” ski area, the lounge-style atmosphere and the extensive thermal spa area (5,000 sq. m) – with views of the Rhône valley, the Dent Blanche and the Matterhorn – promise total relaxation.