There’s an amazing 254km of slopes to enjoy in Ötztal’s ski resorts, where high-altitude, snow-sure pistes guarantee a long season of fun in the Austrian Tirol.
Sölden is the biggest resort, with 144km of pistes including the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glaciers, plus some seriously long runs that will keep mileage-hungry skiers happy.
Keen-eyed James Bond fans will have spotted Sölden’s most famous building in the 2015 movie Spectre – the audacious glass-walled ice Q restaurant, which serves superb Austrian cuisine to go with fabulous mountain vistas.
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Movie buffs will also be able to experience 007 Elements, a new James Bond cinematic installation built inside the summit of the Gaislachkogl Mountain in Sölden, bringing some of the hit films to life in an unforgettable way. Don’t forget to check out the spectacular views of the Tirolean valleys while you’re there.
And this winter, you can feast on more wonderful views in the new panoramic restaurant opening on the Rettenbach glacier.
The season starts early in Sölden when it hosts the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Opening on Rettenbach in late October. From then on it’s non-stop good times until May, including the free monthly Electric Mountain Parties. Discover for yourself Sölden’s legendary après-ski scene both on and off the mountain.
Thrills of a different sort are on offer during the Adrenalin Cup. Ski-pass holders can enter for free in any of 10 sports. Challenge yourself on the freeride, slalom and giant slalom courses and you’ll be able to check your points and pick up film clips thanks to electronic scoring.
Hop on the free shuttle bus to reach Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, which is full of Tirolean charm and is a favourite with families. Early birds can take part in First Line Obergurgl, where a maximum of 50 people are allowed on the slopes with a guide long before anyone else. Once you’ve made your fresh tracks, enjoy a generous breakfast at the Hohe Mut Alm.
Speedy and extremely efficient lifts whisk you to slopes that soar above the 3,000m mark. When you reach 2,175m at the base station of the Kirchenkar gondola, you can stop at the new Top Mountain Crosspoint, home to Europe’s highest motorcycle museum as well as a panoramic restaurant.
If you’re in need of pampering, take the bus from Obergurgl to Aqua Dome in Längenfeld. Wallow in the warmth of thermal pools – both indoors and outdoors – in an enchanting mountain setting.
To discover the intimate side of Ötztal, head to Hochhoetz, in the north of the valley. It’s easy to get cosy in this small, family-friendly resort once you stop at any of its seven mountain huts dotted around the ski area.
And don’t forget to look out for Snow Village, which was Austria’s first igloo village.
With daily scheduled flights to Innsbruck from London Heathrow and London Gatwick, as well as services from Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool, it’s easy to discover the Austrian Tirol. For more details, see oetztal.com and visittirol.co.uk
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