Sölden is the largest municipality in Austria with a total surface area of a little more than 466 square kilometers and is one of Europe’s top ski destinations. It lies at the end of the Ötztal Valley with access to two glacier ski mountains and one of Austria’s best snow conditions. Sölden, Austria, is the official European training base of the USA Ski Team. The village also usually holds the first race of the annual Ski World Cup during the last weeks of October on the Rettenbachferner glacier.
The municipality has a vibrant atmosphere due to the numerous après ski and bars and clubs you could choose from. It also has two areas with a river splitting them; one area is reserved for quieter accommodations and the other for the lively bars, restaurants, and shopping centers.
Sölden Ski Resort
Sölden Ski Resort is one of the leading ski resorts in the Alps visited by around 2 million tourists per year. It has an expansive terrain with over 2,000m elevation, about 144 kilometers of slopes, huge beginner ski areas, and two glaciers that you could ski from October to May. It is also equipped with 31 top modern lifts and 33 huts within the ski area and offers extensive piste terrains of all difficulty levels.
The resort is surrounded by cozy local restaurants and huts that offer great food options.
It is also famous for Electric Mountain Festival and its “Hannibal” reenactment. Tourists wanting to be away from the slopes could look forward to other fun and entertainment sources that are available, like live acts and musical fireworks display.
What makes the Sölden ski area different?
The ski area offers free ski bus shuttles and parking area, ski rental stations, and ski schools topped with access to snow-sure slope glacier ski mountains and state of the art mountain lifts. It is also the only resort that’s home to the ‘Big 3’ or the three mountains whose peaks are higher than 3,000 meters above sea level. It’s one of Austria’s largest standalone ski resorts and has the country’s longest ski trail and biggest skiable vertical.
Sölden has two glaciers: the Rettenbach glacier and the Tiefenbach glacier. Both are available for skiing and have the best ski conditions with wide runs that offer a fantastic view. The ‘Big 3’ (SchwarzeSchneide, Tiefenbachkogl, and the Gaislachkogl) are above 3,000-meter mountaintops that could be accessed by riding a gondola. From the highest point of 3,000 meters to the base at 1,350 meters, the ski area could be done in one run, which means skiing an area with about 2,000 altitude differences without taking a lift. Due to the huge differences in altitude, skiers could enjoy long and challenging runs with 15 kilometers of groomed tracks. There’s also a 50-kilometer loop called the Big 3 Rally that can be followed through the resort.
Après Ski and Restaurants
Tourists don’t just visit Sölden for skiing, they also go there to experience their après ski bars and have a good party. Sölden has everything from bars and night clubs to huts on the mountain. Most of the apres-ski is located on the main road at the village’s beginning, next to Gigijoch lift station.
Right across the street are the après ski bars like Mogul, SchirmbarSölden, Fire & Ice, Almrausch, and Nightclub Catapult. There is also the après ski on the piste at the Gigijoch station like the GigijochMittelstation, Philipp, ObstlerHutte, and Panorama Hutte.
If you want to dine all while looking at a breathtaking view, you could try dining in huts in the mountains. Some of the available restaurants are Ice Q Solden, GampeThaya, and the LopleAlm.
Sölden offers a variety of accommodations for people with different budgets. Their accommodation ranges from chalets and apartments to 5-star hotels. One of their top-rated hotels is Hotel Das Central. A 5-star hotel with 121 rooms and suites with a Tyrolean charm is located 500 meters away from the main ski lift. They also have an available private shuttle service that could take you right to the lifts. Other accommodations are Hotel Tyrolerhof, Hotel Edelweiss, Hotel Solderhof, Residenz Tamara, Hotel Bergland, Hotel Stefan, Hotel Liebe Sonne, Hotel Hochsolden, Hotel Enzian, Apartment Alpin, Haus Birkenheim, GastehausKneisl, and Die Berge Lifestyle Hotel.
The ski resort also has plenty of ski schools that offer ski lessons and other services. These schools offer lessons for all levels of ability. Some schools that are highly recommended are Oxygène, New Generation and, SkiBro. Please be sure to make a booking if you’re traveling during a peak vacation week.
There are a lot of fun activities to do and events to join in Sölden. They even offer a “James Bond Experience” where you get the opportunity to explore the set of the Spectre in the heart of the resort. All these fun-filled events and activities partnered with great food and accommodation make Sölden a great holiday destination.