ALPINE SPORTS PARK SÖLDEN: News from the Bike Republic, Carts & Cards, Record-Setters & Winemakers

Last updated on 26.06.2024

A basecamp bigger than Vienna – at least when it comes to the surface area: all throughout the year, Sölden is an enormous alpine sports park providing a diverse array of activities for those who like it sporty and special. There is the Bike Republic Sölden (the Alp‘s nation of flow) as well as 300 kilometers of hiking and mountaineering routes, one of the world’s longest Mountain Cart tracks and the Summer Card which makes all of the attractions easy and affordable.

ALPINE SPORTS PARK SÖLDEN © Ötztal Tourismus – Milos Safek

A New National Mega Event

Sölden is THE homebase for all alpine athletes. The village stretches from 1,368 meters in the valley up to the peak of the Wildspitze, the highest mountain in North Tyrol at 3,768 meters. It might not start quite as far up (at 2,666 m), yet the Ollweite Line is one of the highlights of the Bike Republic Sölden in the midst of the spectacular scenery. Stretching over 7 kilometers, the trail boasts jaw-dropping views and quite some rock ‘n roll. It is one of 12 shaped lines in the Republic, alongside the 18 natural trails, 13 enduro routes and 2 pump tracks.

With its exclusive passport for the citizens, its trail visas, and the wide range of tracks – from the extreme Olm Volle Line limited to the pros to the easy and smooth trails for novices – the Bike Republic is a pretty exceptional bike park. For those who are new to trail biking the 400 square kilometer Skill Centre right in the heart of Sölden is the perfect training ground. Once you feel comfortable hit the super flowy Schtiggar Line. The free center shuttle takes you up to the trail head.

In June, the Bike Republic kicks off the season. New in July and August is the After Work Flow Friday: every Friday, the Gaislachkoglbahn I runs until 19:15, while the FALCON Restaurant provides a culinary pit stop until 19:30. The trails are open until 20:00 on these days.

AND with the BYND The Mountain Festival a new, spectacular highlight is added to the lineup of events: the international slopestyle and freeride elite will showcase their peak performances on a massive course during the prestigious Swatch Nine event from 13 to 15 September. Besides the record-breaking endeavors of the world’s top bike athletes, the extensive range of side events include the BRS Signature Whip Off, the Bunny Hop Contest, an Expo Area, shows and parties.

Summer Card and Mountain Cart

Yet, the bike is not only the ultimate tool for having the best time it is also the best way to set out and explore: the Ötztal cycle path spans 50 kilometers from Sölden to the valley’s entrance, where you will find the AREA 47 with Austria’s first and only Indoor Bikepark. PS: bikes travel free of charge on the designated public buses with a valid bus ticket.

The public transport throughout the Ötztal is free with the Summer Card which also includes many other benefits, discounts and admissions, such as a daily free ride on one of the cable cars (excluding bikes). Which means you can, for example, take the gondola up the Gaislachkogl – a mountain packed with activities from bottom to top – literally: the spectacular 007 ELEMENTS installation is housed within the peak on 3,048m right next to the original film set of the James Bond blockbuster “Spectre”. Also at the top, the ice Q as the highest 2-toque restaurant awaits with exquisite gourmet cuisine and breathtaking views.

Besides culinary delights, bike trails and hiking routes, the Gaislachkogl also houses one of the world’s longest mountain cart tracks: for 7,3 kilometers you can ride the fun off-road vehicles from the mid-station all the way down to the valley. Starting this summer, one can even extend the track to a total of 12,3 kilometers. Once a week and only with a guide, there is the opportunity to tackle a challenging new route from the Gaislachkogl summit station to the middle station and then join the normal route.

Iconic Events and Special Grapes

The iconic Ötztal Cycling Marathon will return on 1 September 2024 – yet, all 4,000 starting spots for the 227-kilometer race with 5,500 meters of climbing are booked. This year, the “Ötztaler” has attracted a record-breaking 21,976 cyclists signing up for the draw.

There is also a restriction on the number of participants at Wein am Berg (19 & 20 July). This year’s Summer Edition will highlight female-run wineries. The event kicks off with a gourmet evening at the 5* Hotel Das Central, followed by a surprise menu tasting the next day at iceQ, the original James Bond location.

A vibrant event program also awaits young and old at the Fest am Berg on 4 August: right at the Gaislachkogl middle station, there is plenty on offer with various fun and games stations and musical entertainment.

And those who prefer the motorised way to get around will find lots of like-minded people at the Ötztal Moped Meeting on 21 and 22 June. In addition to joint rides to Niederthai, Gries and over the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, there will be a social get-together with live rock music at the Gaislachkogl valley station.

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