As you’ll likely know by now, the Alps is a winter nirvana, with its tidal wave of peaks, landscapes of seemingly endless snow, and slopes replete with pristine powder. If, however, you feel like taking a break from your usual snowboard and ski circuits, we recommend going off-piste with this selection of the finest events being held around the mountain range this season – from Tomorrowland’s winter edition, to a classic-car rally on a frozen lake.
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2023
Hosted by Méribel and Courchevel, this year’s World Ski Championships kicked off this past Monday and is once again a fine showcase of what’s possible on the slopes, from technical, slick slaloms to blood-pumping downhill races, almost vertiginous descents and madcap jumps.
Dates: 6–19 February
Where to stay: Aman Le Mélézin, for its sleek, understated mountain luxury
The ICE St. Moritz
Conceived in the mid-1980s, when Marco Makaus witnessed a group of British sportsmen driving their vintage Bentleys around St. Moritz’s frozen lake, and finally brought to life in early 2022, this celebration of luxury and speed gives an adventurous, cinematic quality to the traditional automobile show, with some of the world’s most elegant vintage and classic cars being driven and exhibited on ice and snow. As with most of events of this ilk, judging is de rigueur, and some of last year’s winners included the single-seat Maserati 4CL and the Lamborghini Miura, one of the finest supercars in the world.
Dates: 24–25 February
Where to stay: Kulm Hotel, for its pool that has ringside views of the rugged terrain
Returning for its third edition, the winter version of the world-famous electronic-dance festival Tomorrowland will see renowned DJs and music producers jet to the ski destination of Alpe d’Huez, France. There will be eight stages, including one set at a 3,330m-high altitude, and the likes of Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki are the marquee draws. Moreover, though festival fare has a repute for stale, burnt burgers and limp mystery meat, this party in the mountains will offer outdoor barbecues and cheese fondues – to work it all off, festivalgoers can show off their skills at the resort’s 250 kilometres of slopes.
Dates: 18–25 March
Where to stay: With the relentless untz-untz-untz, you may never need to hit the hay
One of Europe’s most legendary – and most dangerous – toboggan tracks, Cresta Run has been open to whip-snap-fast sleds for roughly 140 years. Winter-sport enthusiasts and adrenaline addicts flock here to experience the high-velocity rush of the steep drops, sharp angles and twisting bends, with speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, and, throughout the season, which runs from just before Christmas to early March, there are over thirty competitive races (for members only). Remaining highlights of the season include The Grand National, whose first edition was held in 1885, and the two-day Brabazon trophy.
Dates: Closes early March
Where to stay: Badrutt’s Palace, a magnet for royals, celebrities, and royal celebrities since its opening in 1896
Coppa delle Alpi
A spinoff of the 1000 Miglia, the Coppa delle Alpi takes heritage cars and the free, bold spirit of the headline event into the Alps’ elegant passes. Set to occur from 1–4 March, the open-road race will cover roughly 1,100km of the Alpine arc, crossing through Italy (the first leg will begin in Tirano and the final leg will end in Bormio), Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Last year, Fontanella-Covelli, driving a 1939 Lancia Aprilia, claimed the grand prize ahead of second-place Crugnola-Mosconi, who rode in a 1937 Fiat 508 C.
Dates: 1–4 March
Where to stay: Stage 12 hotel, in Innsbruck, for its punchy drinks menu; the edelbrände selection goes down particularly well after a few days of car gazing.
Want more Alps-appropriate action? These are the best ‘snow-mobility’ vehicles to take to the slopes…
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