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The Ski Juwel of Alpbachtal Wildschönau

The Winter Gem of Tirol

By Becki Enright (Borders of Adventure) as part of her #YearInAustria

Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau is a region of great winter accolade. Here you can stay in Austria’s most beautiful alpine village and enjoy some of the country’s most historic and revered scenery while skiing in one of Tirol’s Top 10 ski resorts.

Add to that the fact the Giant Slalom Ski World Cup champion Eva Maria Brem learnt her craft here and that the Austrian ski team train here regularly, and you’ll see it’s quite the winter wonderland you need to visit to polish your skills on the powder.

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Superb slopes

46 cable lifts take you up to 109km of piste, with spectacular views of the Kitzbühel Alps, Rofen Range and Brandenberg Alps from all angles. Whether you test the 26km of blue runs, 54km of red or 13km of black, your journey down the slopes will see you encased within some of the best panoramic mountain views of the Austrian Alps.

Start and end your day in Alpbach village, the most popular of the 10 resorts in the Alpbachtal Seenland region. This small historical town was once so isolated before a road connected it in 1926 that it retained its traditions in both its customs and architectural style. It became mandatory in a law declared in 1953 (by the then mayor) that all houses must be built using only timber. This homogenous style creates a beautiful gingerbread house effect when looking down over the valley from the valley slopes.

From Alpbach there are 19 winter ‘round hike’ panoramic walking routes from which to do so, circling the village with 250km of paths and trails for multi-hour adventures leading to sugar dusted rooftop views.

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A mountainous playground

These are in addition to the 14 cross-country trails and four snowshoe hiking routes - a guided one which takes place in Alpbach once a week.

Back on the mountain there’s plenty of ways to explore aside from ski. The highest peak in the region is the Großer Galtenberg, but you can reach great heights by heading to the highest point in the ski resort. At the Wiedersbergerhorn that stands at 2,025m, you can dine in the Horn Alm or Hornboden Lounge before hitting one the obstacle and jumped filled snowparks or taking a tandem paraglide right off its snowy ramps.

Schatzberg is the next high peak at 1,903m and is not only home to another snowpark and tandem paraglide launch pad, but it is home to one of the region’s seven toboggan routes - a 5km toboggan track that leads to Auffach. Be sure to stop in Wurmegg-Hochleger Hut or Gipföhit for some hearty Austrian cuisine or a beer first.

The Reither Kogel is another centre of the activity; with the 2.5km circular mountain walk being a popular route. From the top of the cable car you can chose to hike in either direction, with the lift routes leading you back to the village of Reith im Alpbachtal. There’s also a permanent Giant Slalom racetrack here on the upper slopes of Reither Kogel to test your skills against time, or take the chance to get back to the ski differently… by floodlight or via a ski mountaineering tour.

The Lanerköpfl chair lift in Niederau leads to a 6km toboggan run back to the base, or you can head back up and continue with the speed thrills at the  ‘Race ‘n’ Boarder Arena’ which also as a timer system installed for the carving zone and a slalom lane.

For the pristine snow seekers, you can get a special pass to hit some the virgin slopes in the area at 8am every Sunday, or ride in a piste basher and be a snow plough pilot. Since 85% of all slopes here have snowmaking facilities, you really can have the chance to cut it first.

Away from the snow, the villages are filled with the bustle of après ski and the long-standing traditions of local life. Culinary enthusiasts can choose dishes made with produce sourced from one of the 100 farms still operating in the area – look for the green Tiroler Wiktshaus stamp in the menu. Coffee enthusiasts can head to some of the cosy shabby chic cafes like Café Genuss at Weiherhof or Flachländer in Alpbach, and craft beer lovers can head to the one-man brewery in Inneralpbach and try the unique beers brewed by local, Jos Moser. For the artistic at heart, end your time in this region in Austria by getting involved with the local glass blowing craft in the small medieval village of Rattenberg.

Whether you follow the ski trails of champions or play on the paths that lead to Austria’s awarded alpine village, Ski Juwel has certainly carved itself out as one of Tirol’s glittering winter highlights to visit.

Handy tips for your trip

  • The Alpbachtal Seenland region is made up of 10 resorts: Alpbach, Brandenberg, Breitenbach, Brixless, Kramsach, Kundl, Münster, Radfeld, Rattemberg and Reith im Alpbachtal.
  • The Alpbachtal Seenland Card gives you access to the free bus service in the region, free admission to the adventure pool, guided torch lit walks, guided snowshoe walks and biathlon and ice-curling, as well as discounts at shops, museums, excursions and more. It is free of charge at all accommodation partners when booking at least a one-night stay.
  • There are over 600 accommodation facilities in the area from farmhouse stays to 4-star spa hotels and five local ski (and snowboarding) schools.

Cool highlights

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  • Having fun on the sled © Borders of Adventure Having fun on the sled © Borders of Adventure
  • Panoramaview © Borders of Adventure Panoramaview © Borders of Adventure
  • Nature © Borders of Adventure Nature © Borders of Adventure
  • Mountains © Borders of Adventure Mountains © Borders of Adventure

About the author

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Name Becki Enright

From London

Living in Vienna


Instagram @bordersofadventure

Twitter @BordersofAdv


This article is part of the #YearInAustria project in collaboration with Becki Enright, the award-winning travel writer behind Borders of Adventure. After living in Vienna for one year, Becki wanted to explore more of her adopted homeland, and so this 12-month journey into the very best of Austria began.

We invited Becki to travel the length and breadth of Austria to explore its many cultural, historical, culinary and adventurous delights.

View the #YearInAustria itinerary, read our interview with Becki (Is there more to Austria than schnitzel and Sound of Music?), and see highlights from her trips... Discover it all here!

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