This spectacular mountain region is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, not to mention the legendary apres-ski, delicious local dishes, and pretty chocolate-box villages. There are numerous reasons to visit picture-perfect Tyrol, but here are just a few . . .
The Tyrol’s ski resorts are easily reached from Innsbruck Airport by car, bus or train, allowing you to maximise your time on slopes. Driving times from Innsbruck airport: Axamer Lizum (25mins), Innsbruck-Nordkette (20mins), St. Anton (60mins), Mayrhofen (60 mins), Soelden (70mins) and Kitzbuehel (80mins). Excellent public transport is also available: from Innsbruck free ski buses serve the holiday villages and regular, direct trains run to St. Anton am Arlberg Station (approx. 60 mins) and Kitzbuehel Station (80mins). Other nearby airport include Munich, Zurich and Salzburg.
The Tyrol is home to some of the biggest and best apres-ski resorts in Europe, most notably St. Anton, Ischgl and Mayrhofen. At these resorts the partying starts before you’ve left the slopes and the many lively apres-ski huts, such as the Mooserwirt and Krazy Kangaruh where you’ll find people standing on tables stamping their ski boots to ear-splittingly loud music while swigging beer and having Jägermeister shots poured straight into their mouths by wandering waitresses. Mayrhofen has the Some of the biggest mountain festivals take place in the Tyrol too, the five-day music festival Snowbombing in Mayrhofen and the Top of the Mountain festivals in Ischgl.
The Tyrol also has some of the highest resorts in Europe with great snow records and ski-in/ski-out accommodation. The exclusive ski resorts of Lech (1,450m), Zuers (1,716m) and Oberlech (1,660m) share a linked ski area in the Arlberg ski domain with terrain best-suited to intermediates and freeriders. The villages are some of the highest ski resorts in Austria and see plenty of snow, making for a long, white winter. Similarly, the traditional village of Obergurgl is one of the most snow-sure non-glacier resorts in the Alps thanks to its high slopes. Even higher still is neighbouring Hochgurgl (2,150m), just a gondola ride away, with a cluster of hotels.
The region’s five glaciers offer skiing above 3000 metres, making it possible to ski 12 months of the year in the Tyrol. At the five glaciers – Hintertux (52km of terrain); Kaunertal (22km), Pitztal (41km), Stubai (40km), and Solden (144km) – You’ll find perfectly groomed pistes, modern infrastructure and snow-sure conditions almost all year round.
If you're looking for a more even balance between activities on and off the slopes, consider a city-ski holiday in Innsbruck. The city’s close proximity to the slopes mean you can stay in the city and ski a different resort each day by hopping on and off the free ski bus.
The Olympia Skiworld Innsbruck features 300km of pistes across nine resorts in the Innsbruck area, including Nordkette-Seegrube, Patscherkofel, Axamer Lizum, Muttereralm, Rangger Köpfl, Glungezer, Schlick 2000, the Stubai Glacier and Kühtai, Austria’s highest ski resort.
The apres-ski scene in a city is on a whole other level too; not only a huge number of bars and restaurants, but museums, galleries, theatres, shops, concerts and more!
Picturesque ski resorts
There are numerous pretty, chocolate-box villages to choose from in the Tyrol. Often credited with being the most beautiful ski town in Europe is Kitzbuehel. Inside the old city walls, the medieval village features pedestrianised cobbled streets and colourful buildings with pretty, painted frescoes. The ancient streets are home to quaint shops, upscale cafes and smart fashion boutiques. Other authentic Tyrolean mountain villages include Alpbach, Innsbruck, Lech-Zuers, St. Anton and Mayrhofen.
Huge number of resorts
What a choice! Tyrol is home to more than 80 ski resorts with around 3,000km of slopes, ranging from small resorts suitable for families to SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental, Austria’s largest winter sports region. They inspire both beginners and pros, as there is something to suit everyone, from the steepest, hairiest downhills to easily accessible nursery slopes with excellent ski schools.
Great for non-skiers
Tyrol has a wide range of winter activities, besides skiing and snowboarding. From toddlers to grandparents, you are never too young or old to whizz down the mountain on a toboggan. All in all there are more than 750km of immaculately groomed toboggan trails. Other popular activities include winter walking, snowshoeing and snowkiting. Any why not explore the spectacular scenery on a horse-drawn sleigh or panoramic mountain railway.
Gnarly expert terrain
Only one run on the planet has hosted downhill skiing at three separate events. The Olympia Run on the Patscherkofel at Igls, is a glorious high-speed run for 5.1km over a 1,350m vertical with wonderful views out over Innsbruck. Racers complete the run in under two minutes.
The Valluga Nord in St Anton is another to cross off the bucket list if you’re an expert skier. A five-man gondola will whisk you to the 2,809m summit where you can launch yourself down the 40-55 degree north-facing pitch.
And of course there’s Kitzbuehel's notorious Hahnenkamm racecourse – the most famous race on the World Cup ski circuit, which Chemmy Alcott calls “the gnarliest men's piste in the world” with its hear-stopping 85-degree plunge.
Skiing and fresh mountain air certainly make you hungry, for which there is no better cure than Tyrolean cuisine. Delicious “Gröstl” (sautéed potatoes with onion, meat and a fried egg), traditional “Kaspressknödel” (flattened cheese and potato dumplings) or tasty “Schlutzkrapfen” (ravioli with browned butter) – many delicious surprises are waiting in store at one of the many mountain huts or inviting alpine guesthouses. Both in the middle of your ski-day on the mountain, as well as in the evening after a long day on the slopes.