Sölden is the largest ski resort in the Oetztal valley and its “Think big, think Sölden” slogan is applicable to both its terrain and nightlife.
This Alpine Ski World Cup venue ticks plenty of boxes: it has excellent snow reliability on two glaciers allowing it to stay open from October to May; an extensive network of slopes (145km) with an equally impressive lift system; more than 30 mountain huts in which to quench the thirst; a lively après-ski scene in town with an endless choice of party joints; and is located just an hour’s drive from Innsbruck.
Terrain . . . Sölden’s terrain spans two glaciers (Rettenbach and Tiefenbach) and three well-connected mountains offering varied skiing for all levels. The ski area is particularly well suited to confident intermediates and advanced skiers. Beginners will find gentle runs at Innerwald and Giggijoch while intermediates have varied blue and red pistes throughout the ski area. From the Gaislachkogl (3058m) there are more challenging ski routes as well as lots of off-piste opportunties.
Sölden (1377m) is not a particularly high town but its slopes reach an altitude of 3250m. In fact it offers three mountain peaks above 3,000m called the BIG3: Gaislachkogl (3048m), Tiefenbachkogl (3250m) and Schwarze Schneide (3340m). Sölden’s peaks are so spectacular they have actually been chosen as one of the locations for the new James Bond movie Spectre due to be filmed this winter. Enjoy breathtaking views from the summit, or even lunch in the new Ice Q restaurant on the Gaislachkogl Peak (3048m), before taking one of the long runs back to town. The ski route from Schwarze Schneide at the Rettenbach Glacier down to Sölden is the region's longest ski trail at 15km with nearly 2,000m change in altitude.
Apres-ski . . . Sölden’s main strip is filled with buzzing bars, clubs and restaurants. The vibrant party atmosphere attracts a young, lively crowd; if you’re not looking for party central, go elsewhere. There's more than 80 venues to choose from. Between 3pm and 7pm the village turns into a party location with skiers gathering at the many open-air bars along the main road. Popular joints to kick-off the apres-ski is Eugen's Obstlerhutte mountain hut where there's live music Friday afternoons. Then back in town the party continues at a whole host of bars, including Cuckoo Bar and Giggi Tenne. Popular nightclubs include the Kuhstall and Fire & Ice. The hotels and guesthouses are mostly on the other side of the river, the quieter side.
Top events . . . Electric Mountain Festival (22.11.14-11.04.15) brings top DJs and live acts to Oetztal. After the festival opening in November, there are monthly parties related to the Electric Mountain Festival held in Sölden culminating in the final music and firework show in April. Adrenalin Cup (6.12.14-26.4.15) is a great sports challenge featuring 10 different disciplines battling it out all over the ski area. Hannibal - The Story of The Glacier Crossing (17.4.15) is a unique open-air theatrical performance hosted on the Rettenbach Glacier describing the crossing of the Alps by the Carthaginian army on their way to Rome.
Nearby resorts . . . Five other ski resorts reside in the Oetztal Valley, including Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Hochoetz-Kuehtai, Vent, Niederthai and Gries.