There are, of course, other resorts with reliably good snow, or with uncrowded easy and intermediate pistes, or with traditional chalet-style architecture, or with little or no traffic, or with teatime raves on the slopes. But we're hard pressed to think of other resorts that match all of Obergurgl's attractions. The resort attracts a lot of British visitors, many returning time after time, booking the same hotel a year in advance to avoid disappointment, and it's not difficult to see why. Many reporters stress what a good resort it is for families. Obergurgl has grown out of a traditional mountain village, set in a remote spot near the head of its valley - the highest parish in Austria and usually under a blanket of snow. The village is small and has three main parts. First you come to a cluster of hotels near the Festkogl gondola. The road then passes another group of hotels set on a little hill (beware steep, sometimes icy walks here). Finally you reach the nearest thing to a centre - a little square with a church, a fountain, the hotel Edelweiss und Gurgl and an underground car park. Even higher Hochgurgl, linked by a mid-mountain gondola, is little more than a handful of hotels at the foot of its own area of slopes. The lift pass is quite pricey, for a small resort. But for any keen skier it's worth paying an extra 10 euros (at the time of buying your main pass) for a day in Sölden, a short free bus ride down the valley (buses every hour).
Pros

Glaciers apart, one of the most snow-sure resorts in the Alps; good for a late-season holiday

Excellent area for beginners, timid intermediates and families

Queue- and crowd-free, with slick lifts in the main

Quiet, chalet-style village with little traffic and good hotels

Cons

Limited area of slopes, with no tough pistes (but lots of easy lift-accessed off-piste)

Exposed setting, with very few sheltered slopes for bad weather

Little to do outside the hotels

Village is fragmented, and lacking a real centre

Getting there

  • Innsbruck airport: 1.5 hours

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