Songs with altitude: France’s Snowboxx festival | Skiing holidays

There’s practically nothing pretty like blinding white, early-morning mountain solar, a blast of crisp, cold air and an Alpine valley stretching in advance of you to start off your working day. Welcome to Avoriaz, sitting on a cliff-deal with at 1,800m – and the only absolutely pedestrianised resort in France. It is also home to Snowboxx, a week-lengthy tunes festival wherever you can combine skiing with partying, digital music, late-night DJ sets and forest raves. As it’s ski-in, ski-out and auto totally free, you can get everywhere by foot. Improved nonetheless, just take a horse-drawn carriage to get close to.

Component of Portes du Soleil, one of the world’s most significant ski locations, featuring some 600km of ski runs, Avoriaz is a modern-day vacation resort that crisscrosses France and Switzerland. It was objective-developed in the 1960s, with superior-rises and chalets sharp-angled and wood-clad, working in sympathy with the mountains.

What far better residence for Snowboxx, which sees festival-goers heading from the slopes to La Folie Douce, an great terrace bar with DJs? There are 5 phases in the Snowboxx village showcasing 70 functions providing dwelling, techno, and drum’n’bass. The 2023 lineup involves Armand van Helden, Becky Hill, DJ EZ, Hannah Would like and Paul Woolford.

Head for the hills: the rather, contemporary vacation resort of Avoriaz

Through my stop by, the costume code for the Snowboxx bottomless brunch – a pageant spotlight – was 80s retro. Regardless of what the topic is, you can be absolutely sure that fancy dress will be included.

The scene on the terrace of Le Grand Café, conveniently close to L’Amara Residences, the cosy-luxe apartment block where by we were being staying, was extremely substantially vintage all-in-ones, warm trousers, leggings and mirror shades. Many thanks to the DJs, we ended up soon dancing off our croissant and fromage.

Afterwards on we took a collection of chairlifts and skied throughout to the Cookie Café, the greatest restaurant in Portes du Soleil at 2,227m, where by we shared a scrumptious pizza and loved the amazing 360-diploma perspective. That night, right after a lot more snowboarding in the afternoon, we fortified ourselves with an correctly heart-halting fondue at bar-cafe Le Chapka, before heading off to the most important arena for a lot more Snowboxx DJ sets. An unforeseen shock is how exciting a skiing journey can be once you toss dancing and songs into the combine.

When the music stops: enjoy the views while horse-sleighing.
When the music stops: delight in the sights even though horse-sleighing. Photograph: Cyril Bennett

The next day we made a pit-cease at Les Lindarets, a beguiling hamlet that is dwelling to grazing goats in summer months and an exceptional Savoie restaurant termed La Crémaillère.

“Welcome to paradise” was chalked on the chalet blackboard. After having their pommes sautées et chou Savoyard, trout and prawn salad and tarte aux myrtilles, I can see why. I took 4 photos of the tarte by itself. I imagine it was really like.

My lunch choices could possibly sound abnormal, but our group experienced had an eventful morning ski-joëring. This Scandinavian equine sport, launched to St Moritz in 1906, is occasionally explained as a cross in between skiing and horse sliding – which is when your horse arrives to an abrupt, sliding stop. Being dragged along on the snow keeping on to a semi-rigid harness while your horse clipped by way of the forest taking sudden bends at a speed was anything of a challenge. The hearty lunch was my reward, followed by an afternoon steam in the L’Amara spa’s hammam – one more perk of a skiing holiday break providing as significantly entertaining off the slopes as on them.

Snowboxx, 18-25 March 2023. Rates begin at £299 per human being for a 7-working day stay, including lodging and a pageant wristband Avoriaz tourism is at L’Amara Residences at ski-joëring at

Slopeside specials

5 of the ideal European comedy and music festivals

Austria: Altitude Comedy Competition The lineup at this comedy competition in Mayrhofen ski resort in the Zillertal Valley consists of Marcus Brigstocke, Ivan Brackenbury, Emmanuel Sonubi and Cerys Nelmes. 3-7 April

France: European Gay Ski Week At Les Arcs in the Paradiski ski area highlights contain DJs, clubs, cabarets, a pool social gathering and fine eating. 18-25 March

Switzerland: Zermatt Unplugged An acoustic music pageant on the Matterhorn. Much more than 120 concerts about 5 times on 16 distinctive levels featuring global artists, which includes Peter Maffay, Alice Merton and Patent Ochsner. 11-15 April

Italy: Swing on Snow Seiser Alm Winter season Songs Festival Concert events are free at this conventional people competition on the slopes and in the villages on the Seiser Alm in the South Tyrol. Incorporates folks, jazz, soul and classical audio. 15-19 March

France: Tomorrowland Winter season Dance music pageant in the south-experiencing Alpe d’Huez resort, portion of the Grand Domaine ski spot. Lineup includes Afrojack, Kölsch and Axwell. 18-25 March