The Austrian Tyrol hosts some of the biggest and best ski resorts in the world. But for those who are looking for a city experience interspersed with some skiing, the choice of the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck is hard to beat.
The city has two ski areas on the outskirts, with another seven which can be reached on the local ski pass. As the local tourist office boasts, that makes 90 lifts and 300km of slopes within easy reach of city centre accommodation.
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The following resorts are all covered on the Olympiaworld ski pass, which is a ticket that can be purchased at the Innsbruck information offices or any of the participating ski areas.
They are connected with a free ski bus service from the city centre to all of the areas - all that skiers need to have with them is their guest card provided by their accommodation.
Those who want to stay in Innsbruck can check hotel availability for their desired dates using the availability search box here. Some of the areas are covered on Ski-Austria, in which case there is a link to the relevant pages while those who want to stay near one of the smaller ski areas can click the 'Check Availability' links for the nearest village.
Innsbruck's own ski area - now marketed as the Nordpark - is an individualist's
skiing dream with a hodge-podge of runs and lifts. Hardly any lifts, plenty
of tough runs, virtually nothing for the timid skier and fabulous views
out over the city. The new connections from the centre of Innsbruck - with an underground railway from opposite the Landestheater to the cable car station at the Hungerburg - have improved the access
to the ski area. The runs from the top station are ski routes down serious chutes, but those who don't dare to try them can still enjoy the views from the Nordkette ridge before sampling the long red runs down to the Hungerburg. The closest accommodation is obviously in the city (see search box above).
Top Altitude: 2256m (ski routes)/1905m (pisted ski runs)
Distance from Innsbruck: lift starts in city centre
The Patscherkofelbahn in Igls has long served Innsbruck's most popular ski area and has enjoyed a cult following amongst some foreign visitors to Innsbruck who remembered its use in the Winter Olympics. Igls has changed over the years, though, from a lively ski resort to a bedroom community for those wanting to work in Innsbruck and live in the mountains. The ski area is a small one especially suitable for families, beginners or for
skiers where a short journey and access to a larger city may be important.
It lies in a spectacular position above the Inn and
Wipp valley with views towards the glaciers of the Stubai ski area (which
is also included on the Olympiaworld ski pass). Now that the lift operations have been taken back into the hands of Innsbruck council, renovations are taking place which will replace the old cable car with new gondolas.
Altitude: 1013m to 1952m (new gondola)
Distance from Innsbruck: 98km
The Glungezer ski area is very much a locals' area, being particularly popular with ski tourers and perhaps paling by statistical comparison with other larger resorts on the Olympiaworld ski pass. However, the ski area boasts the longest run in the Tyrol from the Schartenkogel at 2300m all the way down to the village of Tulfes. Tulfes is a pleasant small village above the Inn valley with the nearest large town being Hall in Tirol (the old mint of the Tyrol with an interesting historic centre).
Distance from Innsbruck: 16km
The Muttereralm ski area links two of Innsbruck's neighbouring villages. Mutters and Götzens are situated on the southern 'terrace' above the main Inn valley. Both connect into this small ski area via gondola lifts. There is a small draglift for beginners and the area is generally good for families and intermediate skiers looking for a quiet resort. There is a ski link from the top of the neighbouring and much larger ski area of Axamer Lizum (but access to the other area is only by bus or car).
Distance from Innsbruck: 7km
The Axamer Lizum is larger and more challenging than all of the resorts mentioned above, yet doesn't quite have the terrain to be interesting for a stay in its own right. That all might change should (very) controversial plans come to fruition which aim at linking the area over into the Stubai valley with Schlick 2000 (see lower). In the meantime, Axams is a nice town, close to Innsbruck, with a ski area that would keep most people busy for a couple of days.
Distance from Innsbruck: 12km
The Rangger Köpfl area is one that many travellers notice on their way from Innsbruck west towards the larger resorts of the Arlberg or the Ötz valley. It is a small ski area with a gondola and a few draglifts above the village of Oberperfuss to the west of Innsbruck.
Distance from Innsbruck: 16km
The larger resorts below are also included in the Olympiaworld ski pass but have their own sections already on the website.
The Schlick 2000 ski area is located just above Fulpmes in the Stubai valley, around 20km from Innsbruck. It is described more fully on Ski-Austria here: Schlick2000 Ski Area
The Stubai glacier ski area is one of Austria's premier snowsure ski areas where it is possible to ski from autumn to spring. It is described more fully on Ski-Austria here: Skiing on the Stubai Glacier
The Kühtai ski area is situated at the top of a mountain pass with its altitude of 2000m guaranteeing the snow and skiing. The ski area and village are described more fully here: Kühtai Skiing