Oetztal: Skiing Right To Your Doorstep; Unlimited Ski Mountaineering
Oetztal encompasses six ski areas: Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Soelden, Vent, Hochoetz-Kuehtai, Niederthai, and Gries.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl's slogan is ‘Skiing right to your hotel's doorstep'. The high altitude of Obergurgl (1930m) and Hochgurgl (2154m) means that good snow cover is almost guaranteed and skiing straight to your hotel is often possible. There are also snowmaking systems on all the slopes.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl has 110 kilometres of pistes for all levels. Wurmkogl-Obergurgl/Pill, the longest run, stretches eight kilometres and has a 1260-metre vertical. The area features fast, modern lifts including the eight-person Obergurgl-Hochgurgl gondola, which connects the two villages in eight minutes, and the four-seater Rosskarbahn chairlift with wind protection shields which can be found right in Obergurgl's village centre.
Beginners can head to the gentle slopes accessed via the Gaisberg or Mahdstuhl lifts. Intermediates have plenty to choose from at the Festkogl ski area and along the Schermerspitze ski trail. Experts can conquer the steep Hohe Mut ski run in Obergurgl and the challenging mogul piste down from Top-Wurmkogl II in Hochgurgl.
Neighbouring Soelden is an Alpine Ski World Cup venue with 151 kilometres of pistes and 34 state-of-the-art lifts. It is famous for its BIG 3 vantage points and is Austria's only ski area with three mountains higher than 3000 metres which are accessible by lifts. This high-altitude ski area (1350-3250 metres) offers good snow cover from November through to May and slopes lower than 2200 metres are lined with snow-making systems. There are also two glacier ski areas at Rettenbach and Tiefenbach.
Uninterrupted skiing can be enjoyed from the village of Soelden up to the glaciers at 3250 metres. With a total length of 12.8 kilometres the ski route from Schwarze Schneide at Rettenbach Glacier is the region's longest ski trail.
Skiers of all levels will enjoy the Giggijoch slopes and expert racers can take on the Gaislachkogl. Off-pisters are in their element at the 3058-metre Gaislachkogl peak and snowboarders have plenty to occupy them at the Boarders' Park at Giggijoch.
Hochoetz-Kuetai is home to 78 kilometres of ski runs accessed via fast, modern lifts. The Acherkogelbahn, a modern eight-seater gondola, takes just eight minutes to reach the Hochoetz skiing area at more than 2000 metres. The area is well catered to families with young children; there are free ski courses in January and March and child care provided in the kindergarten directly alongside the Hochoetz panorama restaurant.
The smaller Vent ski area has 15 kilometres of slopes best suited to beginners and intermediates (15 kilometres of blur runs; 10 kilometres of red runs). The area also boasts unlimited ski mountaineering routes in the Otztal Mountains with plenty of alpine refuges and mountain huts from March onwards.
The small but beautiful Niederthai ski area is popular with families and beginners. Three drag lifts connect the slopes and there are two ski and snowboard schools. The sunny, peaceful ski area of Gries is ideal for families and beginners. It is also home to 15 kilometres of cross-country ski trails and a ski mountaineering centre above Langenfeld.
The Oetztal valley is easily reached via Innsbruck Airport, just 85 kilometres away. Take the A12 Autobahn to Oetztal from there or hop on the Oetztal Shuttle from €40 per person.