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8 Ski Areas for Every Taste – Pick Yours for Next Winter

When winter comes to Tirol in Austria, something very special happens. The region transforms into a giant, snowy playground with skiing, snowboarding and more on offer in every one of its many valleys. You’ll discover idyllic villages, tasty local dishes and panoramic ski pistes wherever you go.

The big benefit: With its huge array of options, Tirol has a winter adventure in store for any type of skier. And since it’s never too early to think of next winter, we’ve devised a typology of Tirol’s best ski resorts for you.

Simply pick which type of holidaymaker you are below, and we’ll tell you where to go for your getaway next winter!

One for the Ski Racers: Kitzbühel

The Kitzbühel ski resort combines a sophisticated lifestyle and idyllic nature, quaint traditions and a modern approach to life.
Dubbed the “sports capital of the Alps”, Kitzbühel became world-famous thanks to the legendary Hahnenkamm Ski Races – and advanced skiers have the opportunity to follow in the professionals’ tracks here, whizzing down the mountains at breath-taking speeds.

But that is only one of the things that draws people to Kitzbühel. The region’s charm and its four destinations Kitzbühel, Reith, Aurach and Jochberg, the excellent infrastructure including award-winning hotels and restaurants, the variety of sporting activities and the captivating landscapes are what make Kitzbühel unique.

One for the City Slickers: Innsbruck

How about a skiing adventure in the morning, and a city stroll in the afternoon?

Innsbruck and the surrounding areas unite 13 (!) Alpine ski resorts with world-class culture in a charming medieval city. The best way to explore it all is with the SKI plus CITY pass, a ticket for all-in-one skiing and sightseeing. It gives you access to the surrounding ski resorts with close to 190 miles of slopes and a free ski bus, and includes 22 sightseeing experiences in the city, such as imperial palaces and museums, the Olympic Ski Jump and the Swarovski Crystal Worlds.

Literal highlights in the mountains include Austria’s highest ski village (Kühtai), Austria’s biggest glacier ski area (the Stubai Glacier) and the Nordkette, which you can reach by cable car from Innsbruck’s old town in just 20 minutes.

Christian Vorhofer

One for the James Bond Enthusiasts: Ötztal

The jagged Ötztal Alps form the region’s backbone and are a haven for winter adventure, underpinned by high-tech infrastructure with the two most powerful gondolas in the world and state of- the-art lifts taking you up the mountains.

One of Sölden & Gurgl’s summits is crowned by the iconic restaurant ice Q, a futuristic glass structure that came to fame in the James Bond film “Spectre”. Its big-screen presence is at the heart of the Bond-themed museum “007 ELEMENTS” right next door.

After a cinematic ski run, it feels good to change gears and immerse yourself in the Ötztal's traditional side. Having started out as a modest Alpine farming village, the area organically grew into a resort and retains its family-run atmosphere to this day.

One for the Laid-Back Family: Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau

The Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau resort has everything families are looking for: excellent childcare facilities, ski lessons for beginners and a selection of pistes catering for all abilities. In fact, most of the slopes here are rated blue (easy) or red (intermediate), though there are also some challenging black runs and freeride routes. Snowboarders will find plenty to keep them entertained in the three snow parks.

And despite its large number of pistes and lifts, this resort feels much more relaxed than many other ski areas of a similar size. Guaranteed snow conditions and state-of-the-art ski lifts take the stress out of holiday planning, and friendly mountain eateries and chocolate-box village centres – one of them, Alpbach, even considered “Austria’s prettiest village” – are the right backdrop for making lifelong memories.

One for the Hut Lovers: St. Johann in Tirol

Of course, skiers are looking for snow-reliable, perfectly groomed slopes and modern lifts (tick, tick and tick). But what would a winter holiday be without stopping off at a rustic mountain hut with delicious, home-cooked food?

Located at the foot of the Wilder Kaiser mountain, St. Johann in Tirol offers enchanting scenery, unadulterated Tirolean charm and some of the country’s cosiest huts – and not too few of them: you’ll find 20 huts on 43 km of slopes. With its wide, well-prepared red and blue slopes in the midst of the Kitzbühel Alps, it is also a great place for the little ones to make their first skiing memories.

In short: a modern winter sports region with traditional values for sports lovers and connoisseurs.


© Franz GERDL, 2016, all rights reserved

One for the Jetsetters and Gourmets: Paznaun-Ischgl

Situated in the westernmost corner of Tirol, the Paznauntal is a rugged alpine valley that’s home to three internationally renowned ski resorts: Ischgl, Galtür and Kappl.

Surrounded by dramatic high ranges, this stunning winter wonderland features row after row of snow-capped mountains and lives up to its reputation as every skier's dream destination.

Its expansive ski areas even give skiers and snowboarders the chance to cross the border into Switzerland. After a long day on the slopes, you’ll be spoilt for choice with nine (!) toque-awarded restaurants serving up gourmet cuisine. And at night, you’ll be sure to sleep well – Ischgl has the most 4-star and 5-star hotels of all Austrian ski areas.


One for the Nature Lovers: Tiroler Zugspitz Arena

Surrounded by four majestic mountain chains, the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is the ideal holiday region for mountaineers and all those who simply love being out and about in nature. In the winter, the area’s five ski resorts offer everything from refined, groomed runs to challenging powder stashes.

The region is crowned by Zugspitze mountain, the area’s highest at 2,962m. The Tirolean side of the Zugspitz massif offers tranquillity, the opportunity to relax and laid-back holidays. And it’s not just skiing enthusiasts who are well catered for in the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena. The region is also a genuine insider tip for cross-country enthusiasts: at the foot of the Zugspitze lies a 110-kilometre network of trails.


One for the All-in-One Holidaymakers: SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser

More than 70 peaks over 3,000 m around you and a world of snow at your feet: With 288 kilometres of groomed slopes, 90 lifts and 9 ski-in ski-out villages, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser - Brixental is one of the largest and most modern ski resorts in the world. You have a choice of hundreds of wide gentle slopes, including rolling blue runs and long valley descents.

SkiWelt’s many options mean that you don’t have to choose what kind of holiday you’d like to take beforehand. Instead, each morning you can choose what you’re in the mood for: Is it a high-Alpine-skiing kind of day? Or a sit-on-a-hut-and-enjoy-a-delicious-meal kind of day? The SkiWelt is your oyster!

There you have it – a Tirolean resort for every taste. Which of them will you visit next winter?


Skiwelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental

City Of Kitzbuehel covered in snow

Michael Werlberger

IceQ restaurant on top of mountain - Oetztal  

Rudi Wyhlidal

 Freeriding in Ski Juwel

Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschoenau

Slopes of Paznaun-Ischgl


Winter hiking in the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena

Christoph Jorda