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5 Words You Need for Your Winter in Tirol

See what makes winter in Tirol so special and learn some Austrian German along the way

Gemütlichkeit

This word describes the kind of warm coziness that you get from being wrapped in a wool blanket in front of a fire when it’s snowing outside. It’s also the atmosphere that permeates Tirol’s historic ski resorts and small wintery villages. The welcoming locals, the wood-paneled huts and chalets, the steaming Tiroler Gröstl - a bacon-topped roast potato dish - they all create a familial comfort that makes you feel instantly at home. 

Schneesicher

Literally it means “snow-sure,” but this is not just a good weather guarantee. Tirol is famous for its certain snowfall that oftentimes lasts into spring. Its 80 ski resorts enjoy an Alpine climate and particularly high altitudes. But to re-enforce these prime conditions, several resorts are fully covered by snowmaking systems, making these areas completely schneesicher.

Apres Ski

Okay, technically this is a French invention, but Austrians perfected Apres Ski. After the slopes close, many skiers head to the sceney or rustic resort bars and dance until morning. Whether you’re in it for the long haul, or just want a quick nightcap, it’s a great way to mingle with Tirolean locals and get a taste of Alpine nightlife. Sample Austrian beers, and learn the melodies of Apres Ski classics like “Skifoan,” a song every Austrian can sing along to.

  • Ski amadé ladies © Ski amadé Ski amadé ladies © Ski amadé

Gletscher

This mouthful of a word means glacier - of which Tirol has a whopping five.  A glacier visit, on skis or just to enjoy the view, is an experience unlike any other. The light blue permafrost that crusts the region’s tallest peaks looks almost artificial. Thanks to the low temperatures, snow conditions are excellent until late spring. Not to mention that from the top of these icy giants, the Tirolean Alps unfold before you like a pop-up book.

Familienbetrieb

A Familienbetrieb is what Austrians call any family-run business. Tirol’s ski resorts aren’t owned by big companies, but are made up of hundreds of such Familienbetriebe. The hotels, inns, and restaurants have been in the same families for decades, if not centuries. No matter which of these establishments you visit, the host will be able to tell you its history.

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