City meets ski areas: this is Innsbruck, of course
Last updated on 02.01.2019
If you’re looking for a varied winter holiday and don’t want to have to choose between active holiday and relaxing city break, Innsbruck is just the place. Because here in the heart of the Alps you can enjoy both the magic of the ski slopes and the pleasures of sightseeing. There’s nowhere else where you’ll find so many attractive ski areas so close to the city. And for winter sports fans it’s just a few minutes on the free ski bus from the city to the ski slopes, with the extra bonus of access to all the ski areas with just one ticket.
Only in Innsbruck can you find the marvellous combination of the atmosphere of a vibrant, historic city and the wide range of sporting opportunities provided by the many ski areas. Christmas markets and sightseeing, museum visit and cosy coffee houses, not forgetting the diversity of the local cuisine, all make for a skiing holiday with plenty of variety. Innsbruck is a model of versatility and offers a winning mix of alpine sports and city life. The region’s outstanding ski areas, each with its own special features, all have one thing in common: they tick all the boxes for a wonderful winter sports holiday. There’s something for everyone here: for families, food lovers and romantics as well as for skiers or snowboarders, whether beginners or advanced skiers, just out for fun or looking for a real challenge.
Kühtai Ski Resort – Austria’s highest lying Alpine Ski World Cup location
Kühtai is a truly outstanding ski area, located just a few kilometres from Innsbruck. And it’s not only its location at over 2,000 metres that makes it unique. The ski slopes in Kühtai lead right up to the hotels’ front doors – and these doors are equally unique. This means that both families and lovers of design have no difficulty finding their “favourite place”. In the historic hunting lodge, for example, or in the Hotel Mooshaus, which opened just under a year ago, with an infinity pool on the roof. The fact that Kühtai itself lies at more than 2,000 metres above sea level makes you feel like you’re in a magical and wonderful winter world well away from traffic noise and the hustle and bustle of the city. The ski slopes lie even higher, so there’s nothing to get in the way of a particularly long, snowy ski season. All the many facilities, from ski school to ski kindergarten, from magic carpet to specialised hotels, are tailored to meet the needs of young families, making Kühtai the perfect place for a wonderful family skiing holiday. Snowboarders and freestylers have every opportunity to show off their sensational stunts in the “KPark” snow and fun park, and serious skiers adore the perfectly groomed slopes. In combination with the Hochoetz ski area, there are no fewer than 80 kilometres of ski slopes which can be accessed using 24 lifts and cable cars, and ski tourers discovered the delights of this area some time ago.
Information at: www.kuehtai.info/winter/skigebiet/pistenplan.html
Olympia Park Axamer Lizum – Olympic history
The Olympia Park Axamer Lizum ski area with its Olympic history is a major attraction because of its size, 40 kilometres of ski slopes and beautiful panoramic runs catering for every need: beginners’ slopes, deep snow routes and demanding Olympic runs. On the legendary downhill runs and giant slaloms on the “Hoadl” you can still capture a sense of the Olympics. The Hoadl Haus panorama restaurant provides gorgeous panoramic views of the impressive Kalkkögel – the “Dolomites of North Tyrol” – and is an irresistible place to take some time out on the largest covered sun terrace in Austria.
Information at: www.axamer-lizum.at/de/pistenplan.html
Vital Park Patscherkofel – food lovers welcome
The Vital Park Patscherkofel on Innsbruck’s home mountain makes enjoyment the number one priority. There are plenty of places where food lovers can call in for refreshments throughout the area, from rustic mountain hut to modern bistro. Every hour the brand-new cable car transports as many as 2,000 people up to the middle station and on to the mountain station at 1,965 metres. Once at the top, skiers and snowboarders can take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains dominating the Wipptal, Stubaital and Inntal valleys, the breathtaking panorama completed by the Nordkette mountains opposite. Skiers and snowboarders rate the “Kofel” very highly because of its demanding World Cup and Olympic downhill, not forgetting the 7 k downhill to Igls with an altitude difference of more than 1,000 metres.
Information at: www.patscherkofelbahn.at/de/winter#winter
Playground Muttereralm – idyllic forest run
The Playground Muttereralm ski area is also to the south of Innsbruck. The moderately difficult Götzens family run through the forest is a very special highlight for nature lovers, the idyllic forest run even having been used as an alternative run at the 1976 Winter Olympics. With 16 kilometres of ski runs, the Muttereralm ski area may well be one of the region’s smaller ski areas, but it still offers everything a winter sports enthusiast could want: a variety of slopes catering for beginners and advanced skiers, a children’s area, touring trails and several toboggan runs.
Information at: www.muttereralm.at/de/winter/skigebiete-innsbruck/61-0.html
Freeride Lounge Nordkette – the steepest ski routes in Europe
The Innsbruck Nordkettenbahnen funicular railway and cable cars take winter sports enthusiasts from the city centre to the high-alpine terrain in just under 20 minutes, and there are fantastic views to be savoured on every descent. The Freeride Lounge Nordkette high above Innsbruck’s rooftops is very popular with advanced skiers and freeriders, and the Hafelekar always gets freeriders‘ hearts beating that little bit faster because this mountain is the starting point for the steepest ski routes in Europe down into the valley. The Karrinne, for example, has a 70% gradient and must only be attempted by experienced skiers and snowboarders. But it’s not only the runs which are breathtaking; the very location of the Nordkette Skylinepark, very popular with freestylers, is also quite stunning. And it‘s the only park in the world that can be called an in-city snowpark.
Information at: www.nordkette.com/de/skifahren-snowboarden.html
Bergbahnen Oberperfuss – family and child-friendly ski area
Only twelve kilometres from Innsbruck, the Bergbahnen Oberperfuss – Rangger Köpfl ski area is family and child-friendly, makingthe sunny ski mountain ideal for the whole family. 17 kilometres of outstandingly groomed, easy to medium slopes mean that skiers of all abilities have plenty to enjoy. Parents in particular appreciate the excellent “all-round visibility” on the slopes, so that a day’s skiing with the children is twice as much fun. The baby lift in Stiglreith and the “Kids Park” with magic carpet are the perfect areas to practise those first turns. Freestylers, on the other hand, will find there’s lots to keep them happy at the “Snow & Fun Park” which is constantly being expanded. There’s also a new 8-seater gondola lift to Sulzstich and a connection from the new Peter-Anich Bahn II mountain station to the existing toboggan run.
Information at: www.rangger-koepfl.at/winter/
Schlick 2000 Ski Centre – friendly and informal
Skiers, carvers and snowboarders can enjoy excellently prepared downhills at the Schlick 2000 Ski Centre at the entrance to the Stubaital valley. Wide slopes at all difficulty levels, a 3 k snow-covered valley run, a speed track with time measurement and a snow park provide winter sports fans with a great range of options. Young winter sports fans will also find plenty of attractions in the family-friendly ski area: children’s slopes, children’s lifts, a separate children’s park with age-appropriate care facilities and the ski and snowboard schools are all evidence of the centre’s commitment to family-friendliness. And one further example: children under the age of ten accompanied by a parent can use the ski area free of charge.
Information at: https://www.stubai.at/skigebiete/schlick2000
Glungezer/Tulfes – Tyrol’s longest valley run
The ski resort on the Glungezer, at a height of up to 2,304 metres, is an unspoilt area where there’s always snow. Alpine skiers and ski tourers adore the powdery slopes and the special atmosphere of this ski area well away from all the hustle and bustle. A generous practice area for beginners and wide “pleasure pistes” are just two of this popular ski mountain’s many advantages. The quiet skiing paradise with natural snow also boasts the added attraction of the longest valley run in Tyrol at 15 kilometres and fantastic views of the Inntal valley.
Information at: www.glungezerbahn.at/de/pistenplan
Stubai Glacier – Austria’s largest glacier ski area
110 kilometres of slopes, 35 runs, 26 lifts and cable cars are what’s on offer at Austria’s largest glacier ski area: the Stubai Glacier. Winter sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities can enjoy a wide range of piste experiences: from wide easy pistes for beginners to challenging moguls and difficult ski routes. The numerous freeride trails make the area interesting for experienced skiers and snowboarders looking for lots of variety. The slopes extend up to 3,200 metres, which not only guarantees perfect, natural snow slopes but also provides breathtaking views of the mountain landscape with 109 peaks over 3,000 metres high. The magnificent views stretch from the Zillertal valley and Stubai Alps to the Dolomites and Limestone Alps.
Free & easy – getting to Innsbruck & its ski areas
Getting to Innsbruck couldn’t be easier because the city has an airport to which there are flights from many cities such as Hamburg, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Birmingham, Newcastle, Dublin, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Antwerp, Moscow and St. Petersburg. From there it’s easy to get to your accommodation by public transport or by pre-arranged transfers. And there are, of course, trains and motorways which bring visitors to Innsbruck from every direction.
9 ski areas, 1 ticket – the Olympiaworld Ski Pass combines nine ski areas: Axamer Lizum, Glungezer, Patscherkofel, Nordkette, Stubai Glacier, Schlick 2000, Kühtai, Oberperfuss and Muttereralm. And the free ski bus gives easy access to 90 lifts and 300 kilometres of slopes.
Welcome Card – free travel to the ski areas: everyone on holiday in the Innsbruck region can manage perfectly well without a car because all skiers can enjoy free travel to the Olympia SkiWorld ski areas on the ski bus. All you need is a Welcome Card, which is issued by participating accommodation providers automatically and free of charge when you check in. The free ski bus runs from 8 December 2018 to 7 April 2019.
Welcome Card: www.innsbruck.info/erleben/welcome-card.html
Ski rental in all of Innsbruck region’s ski areas: even those who don’t have their own ski equipment can easily ski in the Innsbruck region, as skis, ski boots and other equipment can be hired on site. The rental companies provide everything you need, though there’s a charge of course.
Further information at: www.innsbruck.info/erleben/skiverleih.html