Sponsored by Tirol

Surrounded by four spectacular mountain chains, home to seven ski villages and including 58 ski lifts, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is the perfect family destination.

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the Austrian Tirol, the Zugspitz Arena is a real hidden gem. Encompassing seven different ski villages, the region has something for everyone and especially families – from tree-lined beginner slopes to the guaranteed snow of glacial slopes. In fact the season is already underway on the lofty Zugspitze Glacier, which is accessed directly from the village of Obermoos via the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn.

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A ski area for all the family

There are five different ski areas to choose from, covering 134km of immaculately prepared pistes. Almost all of the slopes are tree-lined and over 80% are covered with snowmaking – so there’s no need to worry about the snow, even early in the season. Wide, sweeping reds and blues drop down to the valley floors, giving 1,000 vertical metres in places and family friendly nursery slopes can be found in all of the resort villages.

The biggest linked area is at Berwang, where 36km of linked runs span the mountainside between the region’s highest village and nearby Bichlbach. The runs here are all blues and reds so if you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, take the Grubigsteinbahn from Lermoos-Biberweir to ski the reds, blacks and off piste from the 2,100m summit. On a sunny day be sure to head to the peak of the region – the Zugspitze. The 17km of wide, cruisy pistes run over the most northerly glacier in the Alps, the Schneeferner, and guarantee the longest season in the region – a season that has already started!

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Spend your time on swish lifts

Investment in the ski area has outstripped many others and as a result you’ll spend much of your time sitting on heated seats and staying out of the wind and snow thanks to protective weather bubbles. Five new fast chairlifts have been built in the past six seasons so you’ll be whisked around the slopes in luxury. For the little ones, covered magic carpets and fun and games on the snow make for the perfect learning environment.

One lift pass and free buses

Ski buses link all five ski areas and are free with your lift pass. If you want to stay low and ski all the runs aside from the Zugspitze, a day pass costs €43, but purchasing the Top Card pass will unlock the whole area – and some nearby ski areas just over the border in Germany. A six-day pass costs €234.00, significantly cheaper than many other resorts.

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Away from the slopes the variety is unparalleled

The Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is renowned for the quality and variety of what there is to do after a day on the slopes or on a day off. Cross country trails zig zag their way through the valleys and more than 60km of prepared winter walking trails cut through the forests and mountainsides. Throughout the season there are free guided hikes at night, with flaming torches and even llamas – check out the schedule here. Head to Ehrwald for night-time tobogganing – open every Tuesday and Friday until 11.45pm – but be sure to stop at one of the four mountain huts on the way down, three of which have live music.

Count me in – where to stay?

With seven towns and villages to base yourself in, the choice is huge. Berwang is the highest in the region and the 4* Singer Sporthotel and Spa comes highly recommended and is located right on the slopes. Lermoos and Ehrwald sit right at the heart of the Zugspitz Arena area, making both great bases to explore from. Continuing the family theme, the Leading Family Hotel & Resort Alpenrose is perfect – it has a huge range of activities for the younger guests and is a member of “Kinderhotels”, a collection of the very best hotels for families.

Tirol - www.visittirol.co.uk