Ski Vacation Planning – Austria
The resort offers abundant opportunities for enjoying snow, and snow activities. Nestled below one of Austria’s greatest and highest ski areas, the Ischgl ski area crosses the border into Switzerland. It joins up with the small resort of Samnaun, Switzerland.
Ischgl is a Tyrolean ski resort. Tyrolean refers to Tyrol, an alpine region divided between two areas. These are the Austrian State of Tyrol to the north and east, and the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol to the south.
The resort is a premier skiing region and the largest connected one in the Tyrol region. The Silvretta Ski Area links Ischgl, Austria with the Swiss duty free zone of Samnaun. This area has 40 lifts, ropeways, and approximately 235 kilometers of groomed ski runs.
The winter season in Ischgl begins in late November. With plenty of challenging runs for skiing, the resort also offers ski school and ski kindergarten. In addition, ski rentals and huts are available as well as mountain transport.
Ischgl is able to add to any natural snow they receive. The resort’s snowmaking capabilities are due to the 653 Snow Cannons they have that keep the ski runs blanketed nicely should the weather not co-operate.
Most of the ski area is above 2000 meters, which makes for a long ski season. It is significantly higher and larger than some of Austria’s other famous ski areas including Kitzbuhel. The resort has state of the art ski lifts. This includes a high capacity gondola running on two cables rather than one. This offers premier stability.
They also have a double-decker cable car for fast access to the ski slopes. The resort altitude is 1380 meters. The resort is especially suited to intermediate skiers. It has 9 Black Runs (45 km), 43 Red Runs (132 km), and 13 Blue Runs (38 km). It has 200 km of downhill pistes, and 50 km of cross-country trails including the Inmobiliarias en Andorra one.
Ischgl also offers snowboarding activities. The Snowboard Fun Park has half pipe and quarter pipe courses. For the novice looking to try the sport, snowboard lessons are available, as well as snowboard rentals. The resort hosted the first ISF Snowboard Championships held in 1993, and the Snowboard Masters in 1994.
However, this region doesn’t stop there; more outdoor activities await those who traverse to this pristine winter wonderland. One can shoot down a toboggan run, or spin, twirl, and shoot a puck on an ice rink. One can also fire a weighted stone down a sheet of ice at a curling alley. For less strenuous activity, horse-drawn sleigh rides are available.
Those looking to partake of all the region offers will find there’s plenty of after ski activities as well. Numerous fine restaurants are in Ischgl, and more than a dozen pubs. The area’s a home to cafes, pizzerias, and three discotheque nightclubs, where visitors unwind after a day on the slopes.
Music concerts by top level popular acts take place during the season on the main ski slopes. To the side of the ski slopes are many venues that offer opportunities for mingling and getting to know other travelers. These are the slope side entertainment-rooms, which are part of hotels and such.
In addition, after ski activities include swimming, bowling, along with film and theatre shows. The area also features quaint boutiques and a snow sculptures competition with international artists. Neighboring St. Anton, close by over the mountains, has their mix of visitors from around the globe. St. Anton has a lively nightlife in the bars and clubs as well.
If you’re planning a trip to Ischgl, you have a variety of accommodations to choose from to match your needs. The resort area offers hotels, inns, holiday apartments, and guesthouses. You can also arrange private lodging outside the town limits at estate company or private owner apartments.
Ischgl is within two hours drive of two airports. Innsbruck Airport is a one-hour drive away. Of course, all of this is providing you have good weather for driving. The term snowbound is part of the vocabulary of the region and it’s well worth a visit.