Tirol Winter PR News 2020/21

Tirol boasts over 80 ski areas and 3,000km of skiable land, from expansive and famed 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 constant delights to skiers of all abilities and preferences. Warm up in cosy huts with farm-to-fork Tiroler Gröstl and sweet Kiachl while laughing with friends and looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures. However you spend your holidays here, you’re always guaranteed a warm Tirolean welcome.

Innsbruck is Tirol's iconic capital. It has a huge number ski areas on its doorstep: the Stubai Glacier with its ice caves and long October-June winter sports season, Axamer Lizum, Nordkette, Kühtai-Hochötz, Patscherkofel, Glungezerbahn, Schlick 2000, Oberperfuss – Rangger Köpfl, Muttereralm, Bergeralm and Elferbahnen. Free ski buses run to all 13, so it's perfectly simple and easy to visit a wide range during your stay. With the SKI plus CITY pass, guests gain access to all 13 of these ski areas, plus 22 city sights and three pools. That's means that after a morning of, or in between days of, winters sports adventures, holidaymakers can visit the Golden Roof, the Swarokvski Crystal Worlds and the Ambras Castle. The city is home to Christmas markets and a myriad of restaurants in which to enjoy traditional Tyrolean fare such as Gröstl, Knödel and Kiachl, as well as stylish bar and cafes such as the Lichtblick, with its 360° views over the city and surrounding mountains. New for 2020/21 in Innsbruck:

  • In Kühtai, Austria's highest ski resort, a much used drag lift is being replaced by a new, faster 6-seater chair lift. This, alongside the installation of a new ticket office, means that there is now a total of four access points to the “high valley” ski area, which means shorter waiting times and more distanced skiing this winter.
  • Visit Innsbruck's Hofgarten Imperial Gardens between mid-November and mid-January to marvel at the new interactive light installation LUMAGICA from the experts at MK Illumination. A stroll through the 15th century palace gardens is always a treat, and with the open-air light art setting the snow-covered grounds aglow, the natural beauty of this regal setting is proudly on display this winter.

142km of slopes serviced by 49 lifts and seven ski schools await skiers and snowboarders in the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena, in addition to 7.9km of toboggan runs and 131km of cross country tracks tracing through the Wetterstein, Sonnenspitze, Grubigstein and Zugspitze mountians. As the Tiroler Zugspitz is made up of seven different towns - Ehrwald, Lermoos, Berwang, Bichlbach, Biberwier, Heiterwang on the lake, Namlos - guests have the ability to choose a location that perfectly suited to their needs, and each has its own exciting attractions. There's night skiing in Berwang-Bichlbach and special routes for freeriders in Biberwier-Marienberg. Adreneline seekers will enjoy the Ehrwalder Alm Snowpark's obstacles, while there are few more pleasant places to get to grips with the basics than on the Blueline XXL (a very long 10km blue slope) in Grubigstein. Hiking with llamas, igloo building, night sledging, horsedrawn carriages and snowcat rides are all on offer off of the slopes - with 19 mountain huts, such as theWolfratshauser Hütte with its incredible Wetterstein mountain views, ready to serve up hearty meals once you've worked up an appetite.

Kitzbühel is a legendary location when its comes to winter sports, with a history of skiing that goes back over 125 years, 234km of slopes, 57 lifts and 11 ski schools. It's winter sports maven's paradise, with a long October - May ski season and plenty of ski-in-ski-out accommodation options with pistes starting in the town itself. Freeriders will enjoy the brilliant off-piste areas (for which Bichalm is renowned) which are easily accessible with snowcats. The top quality Kitzbüheler Horn Snow Park offers a Kickerline, the Audi Quattro fun slope and the KitzSki Family Park. Away from the slopes, Kitzbühel has 70km of cross country tracks, three toboggan runs, 53 winter hiking routes and 60 mountain huts, in addition to ice skating on the picturesque Schwarzsee lake and curling in Austria's only dedicated centre. For incredible vistas, visitors can summit the Kitzbühel mountain at night with a ride on the Hahnenkammbahn after sunset, or head to Bichalm's mountain spa with its panoramic sauna and sun terrace. 

SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental, a collection of nine villages forming one ski region, offers visitors 288km of pistes with 90 lifts and 22 ski schools, four fun parks, 10km of floodlit slopes for night skiing, 148km of cross country trails, three floodlit toboggan runs and 250km of winter hiking trails, many of which have panoramic views. It's slopeside attractions are unique, with everything from paragliding to an igloo village with a church, hotel, restaurant, bar, sun lounge and art exhibit all made of ice. Its alpine huts, of which there are 80, serve up delicious Tyrolean delicacies and sublime views, such as the revolving panoramic restaurant at the summit of the Hohe Salve, from whence one looks out across 70 3,000m high mountain peaks. Furthermore, SkiWelt, which was home to the world's first solar lift, is proud of its eco-credentials. All 90 lifts operate with eco-electricity, and snow production runs on hydropower. The region's high-tech snow grooming utilises GPS measurement systems to maximise the use of what nature has provided, and heat recovery systems are in place at lifts and gondolas, which is turn is used to warm the areas restaurants and other buildings. A local top tip for skiiers and snowboarders? Embark on the SkiWelt Tour, which provides an unbeatable level of variety and freedom over 106km and 21 valley runs. New for 2020/21 in SkiWelt:

  • The Brandlalm Lake was constructed in the SkiWelt region this summer, adding to the region’s highly sustainable infrastructure. The lake, which is located at 1,340m above sea level and has a capacity of 155,000m², holds water of drinking quality and generates hydroelectric power. This winter, the new lake will contribute to manmade snow production, creating ideal slope conditions.
  • The new Salvistabahn, which runs up to the middle station, adds a 650m extension to grant access to the Kleine Salve. At the top station, a new storage lake and technical centre have been constructed for the purpose of sustainable water storage and snow production.
  • A new 10 person gondola, the Hexenwasser, has been installed. Each of its 72 cabins has a unique design, which corresponds to a short story played through audio systems. The voice recordings are underscored by music from the Bundesmusikkapelle Söll.

Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau is a picturesque region in the heart of Tirol, home to 45 lifts, 109km of slopes (26km blue, 54km red, 13km and 16km dedicated to ski touring) and more than 100km of cross country skiing and winter hiking routes. With 10 ski schools and four snow parks, those new to skiing can learn their first turns on wide, gentle runs, while winter sports lovers can get pointers on their technique from expert instructors or try their hand at tricks in the kicker and jib areas. There's night skiing on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Reither Kogel, when 6km of slopes are lit up for skiing under the stars. Moreover, the Ski Juwel is ideal for families with special ski pass offerings, dedicated schools and expansive practice zones for kids, and plentiful top-quality childcare option. Off the slopes, families with find an alpine coaster, tobogganing runs, igloo building and piste-basher co-piloting. With 25 alpine huts in total, there's something for everyone in terms of food drink. Head to the Giphöhit Schatzberg at the mountain summit for incredible views from its sun terrace, to the Markbachjochalm Niederau for an indulgent family size Kaiserchmarrn, or the Kristallbrauerei in Inneralpbach for a craft beer tasting.

Ötztal has a sublime offering for winter sports enthusiasts, with 363km of slopes, all of which can be accessed with the Ötztal Super Skipass. In addition to this, it provides 35 cross country trails strechting across 143km, 250km of winter hiking routes and 15 tobogganing runs covering 50km. The region is comprised of six different ski areas of Sölden, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Hochoetz-Kühtai, Vent, Längenfeld/Gries, Umhausen/Niederthai - each of which is delightfully unique in its own way. Sölden is the only ski area in Austria with three interconnected 3,000m summits (Gaislachkogl, Tiefenbachkogl and the Schwarze Schneid), on which one can undertake the Big 3 Ski Rallye Sölden 50km long challenge. Hochoetz-Kühtai, on the other hand, is incredibly family friendly, with a gianormous beginner's area, a brilliant nursery and special entertainment for children, such as the WIDI Rallye Quiz: an adventure across the area with mascot WIDI, solving riddles and having fun. Families can also head to Vent, Gries/Längenfeld and Umhausen/Niederthal for gentle, beginner-friendly slopes and top-tier childcare. In Gries/Längenfeld, holidaymakers can brave a walk across the 82m long suspension bridge, which hovers 150m above the Längenfeld valley, while cross country fans will love Umhausen/Niederthal, which has been awarded a Tirolean Nordic Ski Track Quality Seal. Obergurgl-Hochgurgl also has its unique attractions, including the Top Mountain Star with its panoramic bar and impressive architecture, early Fine Line skiing with a ski guide and luxury Hohe Mut Alm breakfast. After all this excitement, it's time for some delicious grub in one of Ötztal's 79 alpine huts - or to really indulge with the Summit Dinner at the ice Q and a dip in the Aqua Dome Längenfeld spa. For more evening adventure, sign up for a lantern walk to the lighted Stuiben waterfall in Umhausen/Niederthai.

Ischgl is an Austrian ski region with a unique offering: in addition to its own 239km of slopes and 45 lifts, visitors can ski across the border to Samnaun in Switzerland and enjoy skiing in two countries in one day. Within Ischgl, there's a snowpark and early morning skiing with three cable cars open from 8am every Monday, right through to night skiing on floodlit slopes in Galtür. On can toboggan at night too, every Monday and Thursday on one of the longest runs in the Alps. Further off the slope activities include cross country skiing on 74km of tracks, winter hiking and snowshoeing on 60km of routes, ice skating and curling, fat biking, paragliding and ziplining on the Ischgl SKYFLY, which measures 2km and reaches speeds of 85km per hour above the slopes. There's cuisine for every palate across the region's 15 mountain huts, from pizza on a sun deck at 2,468m above sea level at the Schwarze Wand to fine dining at the Gault&Millau rated Heidelberger Hütte, traditional fare in the 400 year old Walserstube farmhouse to streetfood dishes at the Ischgl Slope Food stop. There's a range of fun attractions such as January's Shapes in White snow sculpture competition in January. Ischgl's ski season is long, running all the way into May, so there's plenty of time to visit and experience everything it has to offer.

The charming, family-friendly Kitzbüheler Alpen St. Johann in Tirol has 43km of slopes serviced by 17 lifts and six ski schools - as well as a myriad of slope-side activites. From its 250km of cross country tracks and 100 winter hiking and snowshoeing routes (the hike to the Maria Blut Einsiedelei hermitage is a particularly serene experience), to the exciting 531m long Flying Fox Winter Course zipline in Hornpark, there is something for everyone. Murmi's Kinderland, an expansive 1,200m2 indoor playground, will keep children entertained for hours, while gourmands will love the region's 20 mountain huts. Head to the Harschbichalm for incredibles views of the Kitzbüheler Horn at 1,604m above sea level, or the Angereralm with its incredible wine cellar, where one can choose from 6,000 bottles. There's also the Aggstein Schnapps Show-Distillery, which one can visit for a tasting and tour, in addition to the Schaukäserei Wilder Käser dairy, which hosts cheese demonstrations. Other activities include a visit to a Ski Show, where the region's instructors demonstrate their expertise in a fun and thrilling show twice weekly, nighttime tobogganing, markmanship at the Biathalon Centre, and swimming and spa at the Panorama Badewelt. New for 2020/21 in Kitzbüheler Alpen St. Johann in Tirol:

  • The first ever Dirndl and Lederhosen Winter Games will take place on Saturday 20th March 2021, with a quirky and hilariously fun programme including ski races, beer mug lifting, snowball target shooting and zipflbob racing.

Zillertal is an immense ski region, with 542km of slopes spanning across four areas: Hochzillertal-Hochfügen-Spieljoch, Zillertal Arena, Mayhofner Bergbahnen, Ski & Gletscherwelt Zillertal 3000, all accessible with the Zillertaler Superskipass. In addition to this, Zillertal's guests have 40 ski schools, 180 lifts, 125km of cross-country ski tracks, and 460km of snow shoe and winter hiking trails at their disposal. The region is home to some seriously unique winter activities both on and off the slopes. Skiiers and snowboarders can star in their own winter film or try and beat some records with the skiMovie and Speed-Check runs in the Zillertal Arena, run the ractrack at the panorama lift in Hochzillertal and enjoy night skiing every Friday. Kids will love the Arena Coaster in the Zillertal Valley and the Albert Adler Tour on the Ahorn in Mayrhofner Bergbahnen, where the region mascot accompanies young skiiers on a beginner-level obstacle course. From guided tours through the Spannagel Cave - the largest marble cave in the Central Alps - and winter walks to the frozen Schleier Waterfalls to the thrilling  winter via ferrata in Hochzillertal, the slopeside offerings are every bit as exciting. Plus, there's plenty for gourmands to enjoy, with over 100 mountain restaurants and alpine huts, as well as other culinary experiences such as a tour of the Zillertal Bier brewery's Braukunsthaus.