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Ski Updates In Tirol

Credit: Oesterreich-Werbung/Tom-Lamm

Austria’s Tirol boasts over 80 ski areas and 3,000km of skiable land, from famous resorts to local hidden treasures. 300 ski school programmes and hotels designed with children in mind make it the ideal destination for family holidays, while spotlessly maintained slopes, thrilling off-piste and terrain parks provide delights to skiers of all abilities and preferences. Warming up in cosy huts with farm-to-fork Tiroler Gröstl and sweet Kiachl is a real treat that complements hours in the fresh air.

Innsbruck combines luxury urban amenities with the world-renowned winter sports of the Olympia SkiWorld. From skiing and snowboarding to tobogganing, snowshoeing and bobsleigh, visitors here are spoilt for choice. New for 2019/20 is the SKI plus CITY Pass which offers access to more than 308km of pistes, 111 lifts and 13 ski areas. Off the slopes, it covers three swimming pools and 22 lifestyle, cultural and sightseeing opportunities from Swarovski Crystal Worlds through to an alpine zoo and the oldest museum in the world.

Ischgl’s 239km of slopes open at 8am for early morning enjoyment and also offer skiing by stars at night. For more downhill fun, there’s fat biking, tobogganing and paragliding. New for 2019/20 is the Velilleck F1. At 6 metres per second, this ergonomically designed six-seat hooded chairlift is the fastest in the area. It leads up to Pardatschgrat ridge, extending 1,353m past its predecessor. Visnitz N2, an eight- seater chairlift in Samnaun, provides further convenience for skiers.

Home of the ‘Big 3’ – the Gaislachkogl, the Tiefenbachkogl and the Schwarze Schneid – Ötztal offers endless opportunities for winter holiday fun in a breath-takingly scenic location. The Ötztal Superskipass is new for 2019/20, opening up 356km of slopes, 90 lifts and six ski areas: Sölden, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Hochoetz-Kühtai, Niederthai, Gries and Vent. Plus, the Ötztal hotel village introduces a state of the art ten-seat gondola climbing to 2,083m in Hochsölden, taking passengers to the Giggijoch from the valley station in under six minutes.

Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau is a collection of lovely villages with access to over 109km of pistes, plenty of winter activities for families and loads of Tirolean charm. Holidays here are further enhanced with two new options for accommodation. Start and end ski days in style at the new for 2019/20 four star Hotel Angelika in Alpbach and stay close to the slopes in Niederau’s Hotel Wastlhof – a family-run lodge providing the perfect setting for rest and relaxation following hours in the mountains.

The expansive, modern SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental has 284km of groomed slopes, busy with live music, shows and activity from welcoming cabins dotted along the routes. New for 2019/20, SkiWelt welcomes the Fleidingbahn, the Zinsbergbahn and the Hexenwasser. The first is a comfortable, heated-seat eight-person chairlift with a carrying capacity of 2,730 people per hour. The second, a combined cabin/chairlift with an upwards extension of 400m to the Filzbodenbahnstation. Finally, the ‘bewitching’ Hexenwasser, opening in summer 2020, in which each ten-seater gondola is decorated with motifs to a unique theme.

The white peaks of the Kitzbühel Alps soar above the villages of St. Johann in Tirol, Oberndorf, Kirchdorf and Erpfendorf, ready to welcome holiday makers to perfectly groomed slopes, cross- country ski routes and modern, comfortable lifts. Thoroughly family-friendly, shorter gentle routes can be enjoyed by beginners before heading higher where pistes will satisfy even the most seasoned skier. For those seeking culinary delights, St. Johann in Tirol’s high density and range of huts give plenty of choice when choosing between local delicacies, lovingly homemade desserts and regional tipples.

The Tiroler Zugspitz Arena enjoys breathtaking views on all sides and seven ski resorts within easy reach. New for 2019/20, improvements include the Obere Karbahn, a ten-person gondola lift with a middle station and mountain restaurant, as well as the Thanellerbahn, a child-friendly six-seater chairlift. While exploring the region, stay at the new luxury Pure Resort Ehrwald, Zugspitz Resort Ehrwald, reopening in December 2019, the Heiterwanger Hof or pension Zeegershof Heiter, both under new management this season.

Zillertal has the world’s largest skiing valley with 535km of slopes and 180 lifts spanning across four areas. A premium choice for all kind of winter sports enthusiasts, it has challenging downhills, wide routes for carefree carving, snowboard fun parks, racing and speed courses, ski kindergartens, huts and high cuisine galore. New for 2019/20, Zillertal welcomes eight new restaurants and mountain huts this year from beechwood barbecues to sophisticated cocktails, to panorama bars and a vegetarian restaurant with its own permaculture garden.

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Alex Roddie

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