Skiing in Austria
The world famous home of skiing, Austria, is an ideal resort for anyone who enjoys skiing. The fresh alpine slopes, combined with picture-postcard scenery, and a grand culture of centuries old make Austria an ideal holiday destination, whether or not you simply adore skiing like me!
Austria is home to a wide variety of ski resorts, catering for all abilities and tastes. From the lavishly expensive to the bargain basement (yet still of a consistently high quality), Austria has it all, from the highest peaks, to the snowiest landscapes, and with a bit of research you can find some really great deals.
When in Austria, youíd be mad not to ski the alps. The dream of many skiers, the alps span several European countries, and is a must-ski for an enthusiast. Spend a good few days in Austria, and dedicate at least one of them to skiing the alps. You wonít regret it, I can promise you that!
If you put in the research work before you leave, you will generally be able to find some top quality accommodation at low prices. Whether you are booking within a ski resort, or nearby, you should consult the internet to find last minute deals which might help you save money. A good tip to bear in mind is that the star rating given to accommodation does not indicate quality. You might be better off in a one star than a three star for example, given that the star only represents the level of facilities. Additionally, lower star ratings are usually cheaper, so you can benefit from quality, reduced price accommodation if you know where to look.
Whatever type of accommodation you opt for, if you are flexible enough to leave for your vacation instantly you will benefit from good deals. Hotels often cut their prices at the last minute, on the basis that some money for a room is better than no money, and so if youíre prepared to get away as soon as possible, you will find it can be really cheap, and you can still have a great time all the same.
On top of that, the internet is home to a variety of low cost airlines which run ëno frillsí, no ticket services. In my personal experience, I have found these airlines to be as good as their more expensive competitors, and just as efficient and comfortable. One word of caution about any airline: make sure they are equipped to handle skiing equipment. Some companies will charge a surplus for your skis, so it is important to ask before you book as to arrangements for bulky or large and fragile goods.
Another highly recommended purchase is insurance for both your equipment and yourself. Things do go wrong, on holiday as well as at home. It is important, therefore to make sure you are covered. Particularly when you are placing your equipment in an airplane hold, or when you are indulging in a dangerous sport like skiing, insurance is important for ensuring you donít end up high and dry. You can find good deals if you shop around, and it really is worth the few bucks to get that piece of mind, and actual backup in case things go wrong. In a word, it is essential. Donít leave home without it!
St Anton in Austria
St Anton in Austria is a world renowned skiing facility, positioned in the belt that is known as Austriaís skiing capital. Only 100 miles from Solden, and with Innsbruck and Otztal close by, visiting Austria on a skiing vacation could not get any easier, or more action-packed. The terrain is varied, and offers excellent opportunities for new skiers, experienced skiers and even snowboarding – that is on-the-up in this region. With 2 mountains, and a top of the range ski lift, skiers have no problems getting from A to B on the 30,000 feet slope. With views looking over the snowy hills and farmland, it is no wonder the area is a thriving hub for tourists, from around the world.
The terrain is varied, as well as the gradients that offer great opportunities for high speed, high octane acceleration, and lesser gradients that assist the new skiers in homing in their skills, 30,000 feet high in the St Anton mountains. St Anton does not have the tradition or acclaim that its neighbour Solden has managed to gain, however many from around the world still choose St Anton as their preference for an international skiing vacation. The reasons for this are simple ñ its appeals to a different skiing niche. Whilst Solden has hosted many world renowned skiing occasions, it has became too commercialised for some skiers who claim the facility has became to simple, and almost too forgiving on certain slopes.
With 8 runs and rising, St Anton has failed to give into pressure from around the world, for man-made slaloms, and safety alterations on runs. When you are skiing on certain sloped in St Anton, you have to have your wits about you, or something dangerous could easily happen. The facility has also gained much acclaim from adrenaline junkies in the snowboarding field, who rank St Anton as being one of the best facilities in the world. St Antonís rise in snowboarding also came as it followed the new trend of offering night-time, freestyle snowboarding under flood lights and fireworks. This is becoming the new trend in snowboarding, and what better place to do it, than at St Anton.
During my trip to St Anton to check-it-out I found that the hotels around the area were brilliant, making it no problem for English speaking holiday makers to enjoy themselves. I stayed at a luxury 5 star hotel that had an indoor heated swimming pool. The swimming pool peaked out onto the top of a snowy mountain as you bathed in 40 degrees water.
I would have to say that the general feeling around the area is amazing, as you sense the genuine desire for skiing shared by everyone who goes along and takes part. Before I went I had never been skiing before, and I found the tuition excellent. They had multi-lingual skiing instructors on hand to try and aid any new skiers visiting the slopes. I was also taken to a specific slope that was built for new-starts, which also has an easy access point to a lift – perfect for picking that up as well.
Should you visit it is said that the conditions are best around August, however thatís in the peak of the skiing season, making it impossible to get moving around the slopes. In order to benefit from the best conditions, whilst the slopes are quieter I would say November is the best time. You are also more likely to get discounts from your travel agent at this time.
Solden In Austria
Solden is a world-renowned skiing facility that is often referred to as the home of skiing in Austria. With views that are simply breath-taking, the countered rocky mountains are also home to tourists from around the world that visit each week to experience the slopes that are not only challenging, yet also custom-built in the case of certain slaloms. Solden is also a great place to learn skiing with expert teaching facilities, and a team of 20+ on hand to help new skiers learn, and experienced skiers improve.
The resort is located around 50 miles out with Innsbruck and 20 miles west of Otztal. As you can imagine the area is dedicated to Skiing, with hotels and guest houses attempting to leverage skiing upon their brand, to attract a loyal customer-base from the slopes. This is something that has worked, and with 6,500 snowboarders also choosing to hit the Solden slopes each week Austriaís skiing capital is showing no signs of regression.
With the increased popularity of skiing activities in Solden, the company operating the slopes has more than 20 instructors working at one time, putting wind behind their suggestion that over 1000 new skiers start on their slopes each week. With the rise of snowboarding attracting a teenage audience, Solden has attempted to accommodate, through offering drinking facilities and clubs near by, where the teenagers on vacation can chill at night, after a hard day on the slopes.
So what other features set Solden apart from the rest? Offering night time activities under the fireworks, it is possible to ski and snowboard under floodlights. This is something that has not only attracted skiers from around the world, but also internationally renowned DJs and musicians that feel the cool and hip Solden slopes is a perfect place to hang out.
Skiing at night may appear to be a very dangerous activity, however I have been assured that only basic slaloms are allowed and that the night is primarily aimed at snowboarders, that donít cover as much distance on a board. Austriaís Solden slope has hosted many events to a global and European audience, and just as would be expected, the crowd and the competitors both enjoyed the event, with the winner being a native Austrian himself at the last Stella Artios Cup, that seen over 500 competitors from nearly 40 countries taking part.
With the rise of snowboarding, great skiing locations such as Solden are doing everyone proud in maintaining skiing as well. Through welcoming the snow boarding community with open arms, we are able to see a unity between the sports at the Solden peeks, and we are also seeing younger children being exposed to Skiing, through choosing to go snowboarding and seeing it their.
Whether you are a young child, or an adult, whether you have skied or snowboarded before, Solden is the best location in Europe and throughout the world for skiing activities on a recreational and competitive level. With deep snow, and a firm texture I would recommend Solden to absolutely anyone.
The ski lift is newly fitted making it a very smooth and comfortable ride. The lift covers over 20 miles and was voted the third-best ski lift in the entire world. With excellent accommodation and among the best snowboarding and skiing facilities in the world, I would recommend Solden to anyone looking to experience skiing for the first time, or someone looking to take their skiing to the next level through riding a challenging slalom.