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Manu Schöpf ist Skilehrer im Ötztal © Ötztal Tourismus Manu Schöpf ist Skilehrer im Ötztal © Ötztal Tourismus Manu Schöpf Ski Instructor

“When you visit Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, you'll experience first-class skiing. That's why we call it the 'Diamond of the Alps'.”

Ötztal

Looking for guaranteed snow from October through May? With two snowy glaciers, more than 250km of smoothly groomed pistes and masses of freeride terrain, the exciting ski areas of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and Sölden in the Tirolean Ötztal Valley await. Soak up the scenery of BIG 3 vantage points above 3,000m, make tracks in the powder, and stop at cozy mountain huts for the famous apres ski. It’s fun for everyone from friends to families to first-timers -- even James Bond. We asked local ski instructor Manu Schöpf to share some secrets.

Manu's Winter Tale:

  • Local Ski Instructor, Manu Schöpf from the Ötztal © Ötztal Tourismus Local Ski Instructor, Manu Schöpf from the Ötztal © Ötztal Tourismus

Manu Schöpf is a ski instructor and canyoning guide based in Sölden. Having lived and worked in the Ötztal region for years, he’s been part of Sölden’s transformation into a famous winter destination for skiers and boarders from across the globe. We asked Manu what makes his perfect day: “For a great ski day, I start early by enjoying a morning coffee with a fabulous view at the magnificent ice Q Restaurant atop the Gaislachkogl. Then I take advantage of the Super Skipass -- one pass accesses all ski areas throughout Ötztal with 356km of slopes and finest powder snow. To complete the ideal ski experience, I enjoy eating a Tyrolian Kaiserschmarrn at the Hohe Mut Alm in Obergurgl.”

For more insider tips, watch travel blogger Dave from Travel Dave explore the Ötztal Valley with Travel Dudes: A Winter Guide to the Ötztal Valley: Solden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

5 Things Not to Miss

Sölden, Electric Mountain Festival Finale © Ötztal Tourismus / Rudi Wyhlidal Sölden, Electric Mountain Festival Finale © Ötztal Tourismus / Rudi Wyhlidal

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1. Be first in line (without the line)
There’s nothing better than arcing perfect turns on freshly groomed slopes. Get first tracks every Friday morning with a maximum of just 50 other earlybirds. It’s a 730am start from Festkogl base station to head up with a ski guide for some early runs. Then enjoy a first-class breakfast at the splendid Hohe Mut Alm while the rest of the resort is only still waking up. A great way to start your day in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

2. Join the party at Electric Mountain Festival
Skiing, dancing and top-class DJs meet for an unrivaled mountain party at Giggijoch's Funzone. Join the springtime Electric Mountain Festival at 2,300m, when the hippest artists of the electronic dance music scene turn Sölden into the ultimate DJ party. Concert admission is included with your Sölden day ski pass. April 4-5, 2019. If the Electric Mountain Festival is not enough for you, once a month the Electric Mountain Parties take place at Giggijoch's Funzone.

thermal spring Aqua Dome, Ötztal © Ötztal Tourismus thermal spring Aqua Dome, Ötztal © Ötztal Tourismus

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3. Soak, bubble and steam at the Aqua Dome
Stylish, modern and deeply decadent, a day at the Aqua Dome is sure to relax and rejuvenate. This funky and futuristic-looking wellness resort boasts a huge array of indoor and outdoor pools, waterfalls, saunas and a separate play area for children. Treatments are available. Be sure to slip into the soothing waters of the three giant “levitating” bowls.

4. Discover the training ground of Britain’s best skier
UK’s own Dave Ryding is one of the hottest acts on the World Cup slalom ski racing scene and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is proud to be his principal sponsor. As one of the most popular destinations for British skiers, the mountains of Ötztal Valley are also the professional training ground for its most famous skier. Find out why Britain’s fastest slalom skier chooses the slopes of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl as is his base.
Sunset at the IceQ restaurant in Soelden, Tirol © Bergbahnen Sölden / Rudi  Wyhlidal Sunset at the IceQ restaurant in Soelden, Tirol © Bergbahnen Sölden / Rudi Wyhlidal

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5. Find your peak atop the BIG 3
Sölden is Austria's only resort with three beautiful peaks that tower above 3,000m, which you can reach by gondola. Known as the BIG 3 -- Gaislachkogl at 3,048m, Tiefenbachkogl at 3,250m and Schwarze Schneide at 3,340m – these spectacular vantage points are easily reached by ski lifts so everyone can visit the three vista points to capture fabulous Alpine memories. Faster skiers love to conquer all BIG3 mountains in one day, a thrilling route of some 50km.

Facts & Figures

Did you know that...

  • ... with a capacity of 4,500 and 3,600 passengers per hour, Sölden has the two highest capacity gondolas in the world?
  • ... the Ötztal has one of the longest guaranteed snow seasons in the Alps?
  • ... Sölden is Austria's only ski area with 3 mountains higher than 3,000 meters, which you can reach by gondola?
  • ... Obergurgl-Hochgurgl is the first non-glacier ski area in Tirol to open its slopes?
  • ... the Alpine Ski World Cup kicks off in Sölden?
  • ... the ice Q restaurant on the Gaislachkogl mountain was a filming location for the James Bond movie 'Spectre' and now offers a cinematic installation called 007 ELEMENTS, a must-see for James Bond fans?

Sölden

Altitude: 1,350 - 3,340 m
Glaciers: 2
Lifts: 31 (65,500 passengers/hour)
Huts: 33

144 km of slopes:
  • 70 km blue slopes
  • 45 km red slopes
  • 27 km black slopes
  • 2 km ski route
Longest run: 15 km

Snow-making: 77% of slopes covered (all slopes lower than 2,200 m)

Obergurgl-Hochgurgl

Altitude: 1,800 - 3,080 m
Lifts: 25 (39,400 passengers/hour)
Huts: 11

112 km of slopes:
  • 35 km blue slopes
  • 55 km red slopes
  • 20 km black slopes
Longest run: 8 km

Snow-making: 99% of slopes covered

Practical Information

Ski season: November 2019 - May 2020

Closest airports (to Sölden):
  • Innsbruck (83 km)
  • Munich (231 km)
  • Salzburg (263 km)
  • Zürich-Kloten (281 km)
Price of 6-day lift pass:
  • Adult £237 - £263*
  • Youth £210.50*
  • Child £144.50*
  • Free for children born from 2011 onwards
Top events:
Enjoying the fresh snow in Soelden © Ötztal Tourismus / Dominic Ebenbichler Enjoying the fresh snow in Soelden © Ötztal Tourismus / Dominic Ebenbichler

Further Information

Holiday Offer

* Prices calculated against exchange rate of 22nd May 2019.

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