Featured image credit: Rudi Wyhlidal
Rip groomers on 3,000m peaks; get a proper Alpine workout on the sprawling network of cross-country trails; watch international pros shred at the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Opening.
“The Ötztal Valley, with its six resorts and soaring Alpine peaks, will have something to get your blood pumping”
It doesn’t matter how you get your kicks, the Ötztal Valley, with its six resorts and soaring Alpine peaks, will have something to get your blood pumping. With world-renowned ski areas like Sölden and Gurgl, and family-friendly spots like Hochoetz-Kühtai, no one is left out on a trip to this Tirolean snowsports mainstay.
These are just a few of the reasons to pay Ötztal a visit this winter, and there are plenty more where they came from. Take a look at this condensed guide for some further highlights and key information to help plan your visit.
How To Get There
The easiest way to reach Ötztal from the UK is to fly to Innsbruck. From there, there’s a direct train to Ötztal station which only takes 30 minutes. Then it’s just a short bus ride to your chosen resort.
Innsbruck isn’t the only option though. If it’s easier, you could fly into Munich, Germany (231 km) or Salzburg (263 km). For the former, it’s a two-and-a-half hour train with one change in Kufstein, and for the latter it’s just over two hours direct.
It’s difficult to think of reasons not to go skiing or snowboarding in Ötztal. Thanks to its high altitude and glacier ski areas up to 3,440m above sea level, prime conditions are guaranteed here for a considerable chunk of the year. That means nothing is left up to chance in terms of snow. It’s also the only ski area in Austria to feature three three-thousanders: Gaislachkogl (3,058 m), Tiefenbachkogl (3,250 m), and Schwarze Schneid (3.340 m).
“It’s also the only ski area in Austria to feature three three-thousanders”
To make the most of the area and all it has to offer, visitors can invest in an Ötztal Super Skipass. This access-all-areas card includes six ski areas, 363km of immaculately groomed pistes to tear up, and 90 lifts to facilitate that.
Cross-country skiers are well catered for too. Ötztal has a huge 185km network of trails to explore, covering both classic and skating styles, plus some beginner friendly routes too. All the trails are free to use, and the villages of Längenfeld, Umhausen and Niederthai all offer floodlit skiing after dark.
There’s a huge amount of variety in the area: picturesque mountain villages, lively snowsport towns, vibrant nightlife, upscale dining and accommodation, and lots to do sans skis or snowboard too.