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Find a cheap flight to Innsbruck and let the rail network take you around the Tyrol to some of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Staying in Innsbruck
Innsbruck is a city with a large university, a regional teaching hospital and plenty of active and friendly residents who love to get out and about in the mountains that surround the city.
Here are some suggestions for a week’s skiing in the capital city of the Tyrol with all the transport by train.
Day 1 – Nordkette
Start out close at hand on the Nordkette ski area above the city. There is a train involved here – it’s a funicular from the city centre with some spiffy architecture around its underground stops aiming to look like a glacier crevasse. Get your legs back on the long reds and, if your thighs feel up to it, there is the Hafelekar Ski Route from the top of the Nordkette with a gradient of 70%. Or maybe that’s too much for the first day…
More information: nordkette.com
Day 2 – Westendorf
Take the train to the east and the Tyrolean town of Wörgl, where you switch onto a regional service to Westendorf in the Brixen valley. There’s more than enough skiing for one day in this pretty village in the Brixen valley, but it is also linked into the massive SkiWelt area in one direction and the Kitzbühel-Kirchberg area in the other. (Be careful with the validity of the lift ticket you choose!) Catch an early breakfast and you can be on the slopes before 10.00…
More information: Westendorf Skiing
Day 3 – St Anton am Arlberg
One of Austria’s classic ski areas is easily accessible by rail from Innsbruck. The relatively new train station is just on the other side of the main road from the centre of the ski resort where the lifts rise in all directions. The Arlberg is a fabulous ski area – probably one of Europe’s best – and the lift link to the neighbouring Lech-Zürs area has just made it even more attractive. If you travel too far away from where you started, the local ski bus will take you back to the centre of St Anton again. But it would be a shame to miss the renowned après-ski bars on the home run down to the town at the end of the day…
More information: St Anton Skiing
Day 4 – Seefeld in Tirol
Now it might be time to give your legs and your travelling a bit of a rest. Seefeld is located high on a plateau above Innsbruck with a spectacular train journey of under an hour. Those who still fancy a bit of skiing can take the ski bus to the base of the Rosshütte or Gschwandtkopf ski areas, But Seefeld is also a world-class cross-country ski resort. Those tempted can simply hire some equipment and take off on the easy runs from the centre of the village. Alternatively, the plateau is a great location for cleared winter hiking trails and snowshoe walking…
More information: Seefeld in Tirol
Day 5 – Kaltenbach
Quite a few of the Ziller valley ski resorts have their own train stations but Kaltenbach is one of the easiest to get to by rail. Skiers just need to take the train from Innsbruck to Jenbach and then change onto the narrow-gauge Zillertal railway for the 30-minute ride to Kaltenbach-Stumm station. Kaltenbach is linked to the Hochfügen ski area and can offer a good range of interesting runs…
More information: Kaltenbach Skiing
Day 6 – Kitzbühel
The last day of the rail safari from Innsbruck takes in another of the Tyrol’s renowned ski resorts. Kitzbühel is famous for the World Cup race held there every year and skiers are able to test themselves on the downhill descent if it is not in race use. Kitzbühel is a winter haven for what Austrians call the “Schickimicki” (rich people who like to be seen) but that leaves more space on the extensive and challenging slopes for those who are interested in skiing…
More information: Kitzbühel Skiing
The Austrian National Railways – the ÖBB – offer a weekly Tirol Ticket (restricted to local trains, not valid on national or international express trains) but skiers should also keep an eye on the railways website to see if there are any special ‘rail ticket + lift pass’ package deals.
More information: www.oebb.at