New Year's Eve: Ski Resort Guide

Tom Metcalf, The Daily Telegraph, December 19, 2013


The big resorts pull out all the stops for New Year's Eve. Tignes creates an open air nightclub in Le Lac village for its annual Fire Mix Party, which this year features internationally-acclaimed DJ Joachim Garraud to welcome in the New Year with a free electro set.

Val Thorens hosts Val Tho Crazy Night where events include a live concert, a torchlight descent by ESF instructors, a ski and snowboard freestyle show, children's entertainment and fireworks at midnight.

Neighbouring Courchevel has a three-day New Year festival starting on December 29 with a number of shows combining theatre, music and dance. On New Year's Eve there's a party at the bottom of the slopes with music from DJ Balazko and fireworks. On 2 January ESF instructors will be putting on a show demonstrating various winter sport techniques with a torchlight descent and more fireworks.

In La Plagne the Nuit du Pompon Rouge returns with an interesting concept: previously a "discotheque on snow", the Bellecote snow front will this year be turned into an "undersea world" from 10.45pm. The resort promises "magical surprises" to get you in the mood to celebrate. Your guess is as good as ours.

If late-night discos aren't your thing, Les Menuires has a torchlit descent, fire jugglers and fireworks, which can be enjoyed with a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate.


Austria is famed for its après and New Year's Eve is no exception. In Hochoetz the 2020m Panorama Restaurant is the place to be, with live music from 9pm, a paragliding demonstrating and fireworks at midnight.

Kitzbuehel provides another New Year highlight. This year, thousands of spectators will gather on New Year's Day to watch the instructors of the Red Devils and Element3 ski schools take part in a torchlight procession before the bravest jump over fire. This is followed by the main spectacle – a display by fireworks designer Armin Lukasser. The event starts at 5.30pm and is free.

In Ischgl revellers can follow an Austrian tradition by welcoming in the New Year with the Danube Waltz after the live broadcast of the pealing of Vienna's Pummerin bell at midnight. Then, at precisely 12.06pm, fireworks will be lit at five different sites around the resortt accompanied by music from twelve sound stations.

For celebrations without fireworks, take the New Year's Train, or Silvesterzug, from Jenbach to Mayrhofen and enjoy a trip along the Zillertal railway. Musicians will be on board to provide entertainment.


In Laax the Riders Palace hotel hosts the New Year's Bang, where Austrian electro pop group Allen Alexis will help usher in 2014 along with DJs from the Riders Palace Homemade Crew.

For a hip hop fix, head to Davos for the Big Bang Davos, where Swiss and international stars will keep you entertained with their turntables from 10pm on New Year's Eve till 5 in the morning. Linked Klosters, meanwhile, has a peculiar New Year's Day tradition of pig racing, where ten piglets compete to bring good luck into the new year.

Verbier has a bar and DJ in the central square from 4pm until dawn, with a live concert at 10.30pm and fireworks at midnight.

After classical music? Then Gstaad has nine days of concerts by young talents and international artists from December 27 to January 4. The Gstaad New Year Music Festival is the flagship event in a not-for-profit annual programme.

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A healthy way to ring in the new year is by taking part in the BoClassic New Year's Eve run in Bolzano-Bozen, South Tyrol. The course is a 1,250m circular route through the city's historic centre run four times by women and eight by men. Elite athletes take part too, so you can test yourself against the world's best.

In Merano, also in South Tyrol, one of the piazzas is transformed into an ice rink, open from 10am on New Year's Eve, and there's live music and entertainment throughout the day. In the ski resort, Merano 2000, the slopes are open and illuminated until 2am with the cable car running from 6pm to 1.30am.

Brunico-Bruneck, near Kronplatz, has a torch relay and freestyle show followed by a New Year's Eve party with live music and DJs before the town dances the last Harlem Shake of the year at 11.30pm (this is actually a thing).

North America

SnowGlobe festival in South Lake Tahoe takes place December 29 to 31 and features big names, such as Snoop Dogg, Tiesto and Cut Copy. As well as music there will also be fireworks displays and big air skiing and snowboarding demos between main stage sets. Reduced-price lift tickets for Heavenly Mountain will also be available.

Whistler has a range of New Year's Eve celebrations. From 6pm in the village there will be an alcohol-free evening of family entertainment including music, arts, crafts, food, dancing and ice skating. From 11pm in the Skier's Plaza watch Whistler Blackcomb Ski School instructors hit a big kicker in a special New Year's Eve Fire & Ice Show. Then, at midnight, there will be a display of lights and sounds to welcome in 2014.

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