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Ski Resort Guide | Kitzbühel

From cross-country epics to spring skiing, Kitzbühel has it all

Featured image credit: Kitzbühel Tourism

Any red-blooded snowsports aficionado will be right at home in Kitzbühel. This historic town is home to one of Austria’s largest and most iconic ski resorts. It’s one of the birthplaces of Alpine skiing, a cross-country Mecca, and host of the prestigious Hahnenkamm World Cup Races for the last 82 years.

Still need a reason to visit? This enchanting Austrian resort also boasts great shopping, a high concentration of gourmet restaurants, and more cosy mountain huts than you can shake a ski pole at. Tempted? Here’s what you need to know.

How To Get There

In terms of accessibility, Kitzbühel is in a prime location. With Munich to the north (120km), Salzburg to the east (80km) and Innsbruck to the west (95km), it’s nice and easy to get to from the vast majority of UK city airports. 

The best option is to fly into Innsbruck and hop on a direct train to Kitzbühel which will take you just over an hour. Quick, pain free, and leaving you with more time to enjoy the mountains.

“Any red-blooded snowsports aficionado will be right at home in Kitzbühel”

Credit: Kitzbühel Tourism

Why Go

With 233km of pristine groomed slopes, an extra-long ski season running from October until the end of the Easter holidays, 57 lifts and a whopping 70km of cross-country trails, it’s no wonder Kitzbühel has been repeatedly voted the best ski resort in Austria.

Experienced skiers can test themselves by taking on the longest ski circuit in the world. It’s a round trip of just under 35km that can be started at any point. Ski from Going am Wilden Kaiser, across to the Kitzbühel Alps to Hollersbach in the Hohe Tauern, without ever using the same slope twice. Best of all, it only requires one lift pass: the KitzSkiWelt Ticket.

“It’s no wonder Kitzbühel has been repeatedly voted the best ski resort in Austria”

Families and beginners can make use of the valley’s numerous free practise lifts to hone their skills before tackling their first blue runs. There are also three toboggan runs and 11 ski schools to keep budding mountain lovers busy.

The town itself is pretty spectacular too. It dates back to the 12th century, boasting a mix of medieval buildings and traditional Austrian architecture. Here you’ll find an assortment of artisan shops, boutique hotels, local museums and some of the best food anywhere in the Alps.

Make sure to pick up a KitzSki Pure Card for your stay. This reusable pass was launched last winter and is made from 100-percent recyclable Tyrolean wood. It’s a world first, and can be used to access the mountain lifts all year around. Pick one up for €3 at the lift stations, or buy online and you’ll have the option to have it engraved with your name.

Credit: Kitzbühel Tourism
Credit: Kitzbühel Tourism

Where To Stay

There’s no shortage of top-notch accommodation here, but if you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of options, the Alpenhotel Kitzbühel is always a good bet. 

This stunning four-star property sits in a unique location directly on the shore of Lake Schwarzsee, offering fantastic views of the Wilder Kaiser and the surrounding mountains. An ambitious expansion project has just been completed too, including a new lakeside lodge with an à la carte restaurant and high-end accommodation.

Credit: Kitzbühel Tourism

Eating And Drinking

Whether you’re looking for upscale dining in the evening or a bite of lunch in a cosy spot up on the mountain, you’ll find something that fits the bill in Kitzbühel. The resort is home to a number of award-winning restaurants helmed by top chefs, as well as 60 traditional mountain huts to choose from.

After something to warm you up after a long day of action? Stop off at BichlAlm Hut on your way down the mountain. This large mountain hut offers brilliant views of the Kitzbühel Alps from the sun terrace, or get yourself a seat in Niko’s Lounge to enjoy them from inside next to a roaring fire. Wherever you choose to enjoy the views in BichlAlm Hut, make sure to do so with a crisp glass of local beer and a steaming hot bowl of Käsespätzle.

“There’s so much to do in Kitzbühel”

Other Activities

Snowshoeing, hiking, tobogganing, eating, drinking, soaking up the local scenery – there’s so much to do in Kitzbühel without strapping a pair of skis on. 

If you time your visit right, you can enjoy the electric atmosphere in the town when the Hahnenkamm World Cup Races returns for the 82nd time. This world-famous event is known for having the most challenging run on the World Cup circuit: the Streif. It’s a steep slope that’s filled with twists, turns, blind drops and epic jumps, and will be graced by top athletes from all over the world between 17-23 January 2022.

Hit This Run

One word, one legend: it’s all about the Streif. The world’s most spectacular descent can be explored in winter or in summer. Be warned though, only very experienced skiers should try to follow in the tracks of some of the world’s best downhill skiers. They key points on the Streif such as the Mausefalle, Steilhang and Hausbergkante are all labelled as ‘extreme’ ski routes.

More leisurely skiers can also gain their own experience of the Streif. The ‘Family Streif’ provides a more gentle opportunity to get a taste of the World Cup action, all while avoiding the most difficult sections. Beginners can try out the ‘Mini Streif’, a skills course at the foot of the Hahnenkamm descent. Another highlight of the Kitzbühel ski resort is the ‘Ganslernhang’ slope. Here, on one of the last classic slalom trails in the World Cup, skiers can attempt to emulate the stars’ techniques. 

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