If you can’t get enough of winter, the long season in this glorious region of the Austrian Tirol has so much to offer – everything from perfectly groomed peaks to luxury dining experiences
Ötztal’s six ski areas, high-altitude glacier skiing and an extra-long season add up to months of fun on and off the slopes.
Between its 363km of pistes you’ll find the whole range of Austria’s ski experiences – from buzzing Sölden to family-friendly Hochoetz-Kühtai and the laidback little villages of Vent and Gries.
Also, the two glacier ski areas at Sölden – reached directly from the village – mean you can ski from October until May on your Ötztal Super Skipass.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl: The Diamond of the Alps
Discover for yourself why the shimmering slopes of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, above, have earned themselves the nickname of the Diamond of the Alps. Perfectly groomed 112km of pistes soar above the Austrian Tirol (from 1,800m to 3,080m) and promise superb snow conditions throughout the long season.
While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to visit the newly constructed highest motorcycle museum in Europe. If you want to make first tracks and follow an early morning’s skiing with a luxury breakfast, head to Gurgl at 7.30am.
Sölden’s glaciers are enticing enough, but why not take up the Big 3 Rallye challenge? Follow the 50km circuit to do three 3,000m mountains – Gaislachkogl (3,048m), Tiefenbachkogl (3,250m) and Schwarze Schneid (3,340m) – in one day and you’ll be breathless from all the extraordinary views you’ll enjoy along the way. Stick around for the evening and indulge in some night skiing too.
Food fit for film stars
If Sölden looks familiar, it’s because it had a starring role in the James Bond movie Spectre. Step inside 007 ELEMENTS to go behind the scenes of the 2015 film. While you’re there, stop for lunch at the glittering ice Q restaurant, above, which was also in the film.
Top Mountain Star at the summit of Wurmkogl in Gurgl certainly suits its name. This fully-glazed panoramic platform stands at 3,080m and gives you jaw-dropping views of not only the Ötztal Alps but also the Dolomites – and some beautifully prepared food.
Winter sports and thermal pools
Keep the adrenalin going along any of the 15 toboggan runs around Ötztal, including some exciting night-time runs.
If you want to work for your lunch, take a snowshoe hike up to the ultra-modern Schönwieshütte mountain hut above Obergurgl – although it can be very tempting just to hop on the cable car at Steinmannbahn and ask the hut taxi to pick you up.
Slow down the pace with some graceful ice skating on pretty lake Piburg. If that’s too strenuous for you, unwind completely in the indoor and outdoor thermal pools of Aqua Dome in Längenfeld.
Please check gov.uk before travel for the latest government guidance.