Featured Image Copyright: Ischgl
If there’s one thing that sorts the go-hards from the go-homes on a winter ski holiday, it’s a 7am wake-up call. Whilst the latter is reaching for the snooze button and some extra post-après kip, the hardcore and powder-hungry are up and at ‘em, downing coffee so they can down a few runs before the corduroy gets totally cut up.
If you’ve got a ski boot lodged firmly in the second camp, Austria’s Ischgl is for you. With lifts (including some brand new super speeders) that start moving at 8am, this place is all about early-morning enjoyment. But also, as the following list explains, it’s about so much more too, including a world-renowned party scene that gives its late-risers a reason to get that extra hour or two under the duvet…
How To Get There
Ideally you’d fly direct to Innsbruck, which is regularly serviced by British Airways and EasyJet and is a little over 100km outside of Ischgl, meaning you’ll be there in 90 minutes by car. Otherwise, Zurich is a 2hrs 40mins drive away, and Munich 3hrs. The Tirol region has excellent rail links from these hubs too, so a rail transfer is a great (and scenic) transfer option, especially when you consider that the heart of Ischgl is car-free.
The small and glitzy village of Ischgl is very much the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde of the Austrian Alps. When it comes to the slopes, the resort offers 239km of spotlessly groomed piste, serviced by some of the area’s fastest lifts, including the all-new six-seater Velilleck F1,which will rocket you to the top of the Pardatschgrat ridge at six-metres per second.
“And then, the party monster awakens”
As well as that, there are near-limitless opportunities for the more advanced and adventurous, with a handful of ungroomed but marked runs to test your mettle on, plenty of all-day off-piste action, and freeride guides and the unofficial freeride zone under the Val Gronda lift for those of us who prefer flying through the air than down the pow.
And then, the party monster awakens with waves of après-ragers descending upon Ischgl for the world-famous Top Of The Mountain concerts, which last year saw rock heavyweight Lenny Kravitz close out the season, on a stage that’s hosted a list of household names such as include Elton John, Muse, Kylie Minogue and Rihanna. If it’s round-the-clock good times you’re after this winter, this is where you’ll find it.