Gossip to Get Ischgl Rocking this Ski Season


I was lucky enough to visit Iscghl for the first time this summer.  However, the resort is most renowned for its fabulous ski opportunities, not to mention its opening ski season concert for a staggering 20,000 people.  It has been announced that this year, on Saturday 27 November, indie rock band Gossip will take to the stage to kick off Ischgl’s ski season.  The concert will take place in an outdoor arena in the shadows of the Silvretta mountains.  Gossip will join the Hall of Fame for Ischgl’s Top of the Mountain concerts, alongside Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Rihanna, The Pussycat Dolls and Lionel Richie, all of whom have performed at previous years’ concerts.  Entry is by valid lift pass.


However, that’s not the only exciting news to come out of Ischgl this winter.  There are two new chairlifts on the mountain: the first is the 8 million Euro Lange Wand chairlift, a luxurious black framed six-person heated chairlift with weather hood that will transport skiers and boarders up to Ischgl’s highest point of Greitspitz; the second is a replacement of the Muller-Bahn with a six-person chairlift with weather hood.

Ischgl boasts more than 41 lifts accessing 238kms of groomed piste.  A one-day lift pass for 27 November costs 55 Euros.  Special season opening packages are available via www.ischgl.com and a taster of what’s on offer is three nights’ accommodation and breakfast, with a three day liftpass (including entry to the concert) from 183 euro.

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Let the Train Take the Strain to Tirol this Winter

If you think flying is the only option for your ski trip to Austria, think again. Train travel may not be the first thing that springs to mind but with improved services and connections, Austria is closer than you think.

Train v Plane

We all know the benefit of train travel in terms of sustainability, but there are some key advantages to skiers in letting the train take the strain.

Increasing charges for skis and luggage v  No charges for skis or luggage

1.5-2 hour check-in v 30-minute check-in time

Long transfers from the airport v Railway stations in resort or a 15-30 minute taxi or bus ride away

Instead of moving from airport queue to airport queue you can sit back, relax and enjoy the journey by train as the scenery glides by. By going overnight you can ski on the day you arrive and depart, giving you two extra days on the slopes.

City Night Line –  Relatively undiscovered by the UK ski market, the City Night Line train is Austria’s answer to the Snow Train.

The resorts of Alpbach, Söll and Hopfgarten are easily accessible using the City Night Line. The journey times are as follows, with adult returns starting from £195. Outbound Depart London St. Pancras 16.02 Eurostar Arrive Paris-Nord 19.17 (change stations) Depart Paris-Est 20.20 City Night Line Arrive Wörgl 09.40

Inbound Depart Wörgl 20.31 City Night Line Arrive Paris-Est 09.23 Depart Paris-Nord 10.13 Eurostar Arrive London St. Pancras* 11.28

Then take a taxi: Worgl to Alpbach (30 mins; €40) Worgl to Soll (15 mins: €22) Worgl to Hopfgarten (15 mins: €22)

Söll Part of the Ski Welt circus, Austria’s largest connected ski area, the resort of Söll has access to over 270km of varied and interesting slopes. Located between the majestic Wilder Kaiser mountains and the Kitzbüheler Alps, the pretty resort offers great value for money, is a popular choice for Brits, with a lively après-ski scene and has top winter wonderland activities for all to enjoy.

How much? A “White Weeks” package at the 3* Hotel Tulpe in January* starts from €570 per person for 7 nights on half board, including a 6 day ski pass Wilder Kaiser – Brixental. (* 8 – 21 Jan 2011). More packages and offers are available at www.wilderkaiser.info

Hopfgarten-Kelchsau-Itter Situated at the foot of the Hohe Salve, the resort of Hopfgarten is located in the heart of the Ski Welt, which has recently been awarded the TOP resort award by the Skiresort Service International. Hopfgarten is Söll’s quieter neighbour, boasting a a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and traditional Tirolean charm.

How much? 7 nights in 3* accommodation starts from € 544,50 per person on half board, including a 6 day ski pass. To book email hopfgarten@hohe-salve.com or call 0043 5335 2322

Alpbach Highly regarded as one of Austria’s most picturesque villages, the charming village of Alpbach is a true winter wonderland and a top choice for families, beginners and intermediates. A wide range of non-ski activities are on offer too, from snowshoeing to sleigh rides and tobogganing. How much? 7 nights at the 4* Hotel Böglerhof in Alpbach starts from €790 per person on half board, including a 6 day Alpbachtal ski pass and weekly activity programme. For more information visit www.boeglerhof.at.

St Anton Extensive and varied slopes, breathtaking scenery, reliable snow, a bustling village atmosphere and some of the best après-ski in the Alps – what more do you want from a resort that has it all! Located in the western part of the Tirol region, St Anton is regarded as one of the top European resorts and it just keeps getting better.

The full daytime journey details to St Anton are as follows: Outbound Depart London St. Pancras 06.22 Eurostar Arrive Paris-Nord 09.47 (change stations) Depart Paris-Est 10.24 TGV Arrive Zurich 15.00 Have a meal at Zurich station Depart Zurich 16.40 Railjet Arrive St Anton am Arlberg 18.57

Inbound Depart St Anton am Arlberg 09.01 EuroCity Arrive Zurich 11.20 Depart Zurich 13.02 TGV Arrive Paris-Est 17.34 Depart Paris-Nord 19.13 Eurostar Arrive London St. Pancras* 20.34 How much? Adult returns start from £195, child returns start from £153. Stay at the centrally located 3* Hotel Ehrenreich in St Anton for 7 nights on half board, with prices starting from €665 per person. To book call 0043 5446 2353.

For more information about train travel to the Alps visit www.snowcarbon.co.uk For more information on the Tirol region – www.visittirol.co.uk

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Outdoor Adventure at AREA 47, Austria

This year one of the most extraordinary outdoor adventure playgrounds in the Alps, AREA 47, has opened its doors. Located at the entrance to the Ötz valley in the Austrian Tirol, this ultimate theme park is exceptional, offering climbing, canyoning, rafting, mountain biking and much more. Combining nature and the latest technology it creates an innovative environment, offering the very best the outdoor world can offer.


Situated where the Ötztaler Ache flows into the river Inn, AREA 47 derives its name from its location at latitude 47oN. Test your balance 30m above ground on the high rope course, your physical limits on the climbing wall or race against the clock on one of the speed climbing routes. For a thrilling descent, ride 400m on the ‘Flying Fox’, experience a true freefall adventure on the ‘Powerfan’ or swing across the Ötztaler Ache on the ‘Megaswing’. Water lovers will have a splashing time with a rafting or kayaking adventure on the Ötztaler Ache and Inn River, canyon through the picturesque gorges or for speed on dry land try the go-cart or KTM Electro tracks.

And who said a land-locked country can’t have fun on the beach? AREA 47 features sandy beaches and plenty of fun with beach volleyball, beach soccer pitches and a Venice beach style gym. The swimming lake with thrilling waterslide park is complete with diving platform and there is even an area for any budding stuntmen to try and land their creative jump stunts down the water ramp on skis, snowboard or even on a bike.

For an overnight experience you can even stay in one of the authentic Tepee’s or traditional log cabins on B&B, with prices starting from €22 per person per night, sleeps up to seven or from €32 per person per night in a lodge, sleeps up to four.

For those holidaying for a week or longer, choose to stay in one of the villages in the Ötz valley, from Haiming at the entrance to the valley, to centrally located Längenfeld or Obergurgl high up in the Ötz valley. Innsbruck is served by easyjet.com.

For more information visit www.area47.at or call +43 5266 8 76 76.
For more information on the Ötz Valley visit www.oetztal.com or on the Tirol

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Yodel Your Way to the Austrian Tirol

Yodel Off, Tirol, AustriaAccording to research by the Tirol Tourist Board, one in three Brits allow international stereotypes dictate where they travel, but when it comes to their own regional stereotypes, two in five are proud of where they are from, with more than half saying stereotypes are just a bit of fun.  So to encourage Brits to cast off their reservations, the Tirol Tourist Board is embracing its stereotype, with the launch of a competition to get the nation yodelling.

In the search for Britain’s Yodel Idol, people are invited to join the biggest yodel-off battle ever heard by submitting their entry at www.yodeloff.co.uk to be in with a chance of winning a fantastic holiday to an Alpine mountain hut for the winner and five friends in August. Not sure how to yodel or simply want a laugh then watch the ‘How to Yodel’ video to make sure your entry gets noticed:

Yodelling originated as a way of communicating between the mountain valleys, before developing into a popular form of music and entertainment in Alpine regions across Austria and Switzerland.  When most people think of the Austrian Tirol, images such as cow-bells, Lederhosen and Edelweiss spring to mind but there is so much more besides. In summer you can find so many diverse activities, suited to all levels of fitness and abilities. Gentle ramblers to dedicated hikers will find something to suit their style, with hut to hut tours, glacier walks or Via Ferrata for the more adventurous. In addition to alpine walking there is a huge choice of activities from cycling and mountain biking to horse riding or golf. There is white-water rafting, canoeing or canyoning for water-sport lovers whilst adrenaline junkies can get their hit paragliding, climbing or bungee- jumping.

For further information on the Austrian Tirol visit www.visittirol.co.uk

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