What’s new in the Austrian Tirol for winter 2017-18
Last updated on 31.01.2018
Last year, the Austrian Tirol was at the forefront of ski news: a new Flexenbahn cableway linked Zürs and Stuben/Rauz to make St. Anton am Arlberg the largest ski area in Austria, Stubai introduced the longest (and most expensive) tri-cable gondola to the Alps and British Airways and Monarch added new flight routes. This year, other ski resorts in the Austrian Tirol are building on this success and constantly improving to remain at the top of their game; from new lifts to innovative ideas on how to make guests enjoy their winter holiday even more. British Airways has also added more flights to Innsbruck and Salzburg, making the journey to the slopes even easier.
British Airways introduces more flights to Innsbruck and Salzburg, ready for the ski season
Travelling to the Austrian Tirol has never been easier, with British Airways increasing its flights to Innsbruck and Salzburg, ready for the ski season. The expansion of the route network from London Heathrow includes adding two more weekly services to Innsbruck (now six times a week) and doubling the number of flights to Salzburg (from two to four per week). Plus, British Airways offers direct flights from London Gatwick to Innsbruck five times per week, easyJet has non-stop routes from London Gatwick and Bristol to Innsbruck, and Monarch links London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham with Innsbruck. Resorts such as St. Anton Am Arlberg, Stubai and Mayrhofen are all nearby to Innsbruck whereas Kitzbüheler Alpen, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental and St. Johann in Tirol are all within 90 minutes of Salzburg. Direct flights to Innsbruck cost from £40 pp each way. Direct flights to Salzburg cost from £37 pp each way.
For more information: www.britishairways.com
NEW: Overnight rail journeys give skiers extra days on the Austrian Tirol’s slopes
Skiers can now head to Tirol with an overnight train journey, thanks to new sleeper trains from Austrian rail operator, OBB. The journey begins with a Eurostar to Brussels, followed by an ICE or Thalys train to Cologne, and then a NightJet sleeper train to the Tirol, where skiers will wake up minutes from an array of great ski resorts. Daniel Elkan, founder of independent rail-ski guide Snowcarbon says: “This is a great addition to the suite of rail journeys available to skiers. It might not be a direct journey, but you travel on quality trains and can really make the journey part of the holiday on your way to some fabulous Austrian resorts.” Return rail fares for adults start from £215 pp.
For more information: www.snowcarbon.co.uk/train-guides/eurostar-nightjet
SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental has invested €4.5 million, ready for the up-coming winter
Comprising nine villages, providing direct access to 284 km of pistes linked by 90 lifts, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental is considered one of the largest and most modern ski resorts in the world. Skiers and snowboarders can take in the panoramic views at 3,000 metres or more, plus make the most of the four fun parks, floodlit toboggan runs and winter hiking trails. New for the up-coming winter season, SkiWelt has added 300 heated ski storage units at the bottom lift station (so après-ski goers can kick back and party, safe in the knowledge their equipment is protected), expanded and improved the snowmaking facilities across the resort and introduced seven new piste bashers to ensure even smoother slopes.
For more information: www.skiwelt.at/en/skiwelt-wilder-kaiser-brixental.html
Enjoy two new rides in Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau this year
One of the largest resorts in the Austrian Tirol and home a choice of charming villages, such as Alpbach or Oberau, the Ski Juwel offers skiers and snowboarders a good-value traditional holiday. Ready for the ski season, the resort has added a new eight-seater gondola lift from Auffach to Schatzberg and introduced a new Alpine Coaster in Alpbach, next to the Wiedersbergerhornbahn top station. Opening at the beginning of December, the new gondola, which cost €18 million to build, can transport more than 2,500 people per hour. And known as the ‘Alpbachtaler Lauser-Sauser’, the roller-coaster (that opens at the beginning of September) will treat thrill seekers to an undulating one kilometre track towards the Kohlgruben lift. The Alpbachtaler Lauser Sauser will remain open year-round, so visitors can enjoy it whatever the season.
For more information: www.skijuwel.com
TOUR OPERATOR NEWS
Inghams introduces two new properties in Kitzbühel’s to its winter programme
The four-star superior Schloss Mittersill spa hotel and Chalet Linda in Kitzbühel have now been taken on by Inghams, ready for the winter season. The Schloss Mittersill was a former 12th century castle that dates back to 1150, and can be found perched in an exclusive setting amongst the Alps with views across the city of Mittersill. Situated just five kilometres from the ski lifts in Kitzbühel, guests can make the most of the free private hotel-shuttle service, to reach the slopes in no time. Sleeping up to 37 guests in 14 rooms, Chalet Linda is located just five minutes’ walk from the Hahnenkamm gondola and ski-school meeting point. Inside, guests can relax in the comfy lounge area and tuck into tea and cake after an exciting day on the slopes. The resort of Kitzbühel features 215 km of pistes, 68 itinerary runs within a self-contained ski area and the famed Streif downhill course. A week’s stay, from 13 January 2018, at 4.5* Schloss Mittersill in Kitzbühel, costs from £1,259 (two sharing) on a half-board basis. Price includes return flights from London to Salzburg and transfers. A week’s stay, from 16 December 2016, at three diamond Chalet Linda in Kitzbühel, costs from £464 pp (two sharing) on a chalet catering basis. Price includes return flights from London Luton to Salzburg and transfers.
Inghams (01483 791 114, www.inghams.co.uk/ski-holidays)
Ski Solutions adds Grand Tirolia, a luxury hotel, to its ever-expanding portfolio
Set within attractive grounds, the five-star Grand Tirolia offers skier and snowboarders an Alpine paradise, boasting sensational views of the Kitzbühel. Located just 15 minutes from the slopes (by private shuttle) the hotel offers 81 modern rooms and suites. After a day carving around the vast ski area, travel back to the opulent residence and relax in the award-winning spa: complete with a Finnish sauna and Tyrolean herbal baths; it’s the perfect place to relax any aching muscles. When evening falls, sip smooth wine and flavoursome cocktails at one of the friendly bars, or dine on local delicacies in the sophisticated restaurant. A week’s stay, at five-star Grand Tirolia in Kitzbühel, costs from £1,050 (two sharing) on a B&B basis. Price includes return flights from London to Salzburg and transfers.
Ski Solutions (020 7471 7700, www.skisolutions.com)
Freshtracks, part of the Ski Club Great Britain, adds new holidays to Pitztal this season
Austria’s highest glacier ski resort, Pitztal offers skiers and snowboarders excellent conditions on the slopes from September to May. The 44 km of pistes are designed more for intermediate skiers, with 20.7 km of them being red and the glacier also has its own fun park and halfpipe. New for the 2017-18 ski season, freshtracks now offers three Exploration weeks, departing on 7 January, 18 March and 14 April. Designed for advanced and expert ski standards, the locally-based mountain guides will lead guests to pristine powder stashes for unlimited fun in the snow. A seven-night holiday costs from £1,250 pp (two sharing) and includes half-board accommodation in a three-star superior room, return flights from London Heathrow to Innsbruck, transfers, six days with a mountain guide and a ski club leader on hand throughout. Other meals and lift passes extra. Six-day lift passes cost €218 per adult.
Ski Club Great Britain (020 8410 2015, www.skiclub.co.uk)
Freshtracks, part of the Ski Club Great Britain, introduces Stubai, ready for winter
The largest glacier resort, Stubai, attracts all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The slopes extend up to 3,210 m above sea level and the runs are in good condition from October until June. Home to more than 64 km of pistes, and a good number of ski-touring routes, intermediate and advanced skiers are well catered for and should not leave without taking on the ‘Wilde Grube’, a challenging 10 km descent. New for the up-coming ski season, freshtracks now offers two Exploration weeks, departing on 13 January and 17 February. With an average of one-to-two hours of ascents each day, the trip is designed for advanced and expert skiers. A seven-night holiday costs from £1,099 pp (two sharing) and includes half-board accommodation in a three-star superior room and six days with a mountain guide. Return fights, transfers, other meals and lift passes extra. Six-day lift passes cost €224 per adult with a Stubai guest card.
Ski Club Great Britain (020 8410 2015, www.skiclub.co.uk)