The ski resorts of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl, collectively known as “Gurgl”, will take your breath away, each actually and figuratively. At 2150m, Hochgurgl is the very best ski resort in Austria, with Obergurgl following shut behind at 1,930m.
The resorts are so excessive that there’s barely a pine tree in sight, and you’re feeling as if you might have reached the legendary Mt Olympus, surrounded by a blanket of shiny snow. Maybe because of this Gurgl has earned its place as “The Diamond of the Alps”.
Attributable to its excessive elevation, Gurgl can expertise some difficult ski circumstances because of excessive winds. The resorts have give you some intelligent methods to maintain guests entertained, ought to the climate take a flip for the more severe (extra on this later).
About Obergurgl & Hochgurgl
Obergurgl first got here into the limelight in 1931, when Swiss explorer Auguste Piccard was trying a historic scorching air balloon flight and needed to conduct an emergency touchdown on the close by Großer Gurgler Ferner glacier – he grew to become the primary man to fly into the stratosphere. In 1948, the primary ski raise was inbuilt Obergurgl, and it has been a well-liked ski resort for British households because the 1960s.
Obergurgl is by far the bigger of the 2 resort cities and has an honest collection of mid to upper-tier accommodations, eating places, après ski bars and outlets. It’s fairly unfold out, so it’s possible you’ll must hop on a bus to journey to one among a number of ski lifts to take you into the mountains.
Hochgurgl has the area’s solely 5-star superior resort, TOP Resort Hochgurgl, however it’s a comparatively small space with monolithic buildings and fewer of a standard vibe. There’s only one gondola that begins in Hochgurgl, and it’s attainable to ski all the best way again right here on the finish of the day.
Collectively Gurgl affords greater than 105km of pisted slopes, with 23 ski lifts and a most elevation of three,082m. Pistes are effectively maintained and on the broader facet with good visibility (fog withstanding) which means which you can ski safely.
The 2 resorts are linked by a 15-20 minute gondola, the High-Specific, and ski circumstances in Hochgurgl are typically extra forgiving than Obergurgl as it’s much less uncovered. Nevertheless, there’s a stunning, lengthy pink on the prime of Hohe Mutt Bahn in Obergurgl that curves across the mountain and is greatest skied early within the morning.
Freshmen and nervous skiers can persist with the blue and inexperienced runs that cluster across the center station of Hohe Mut Bahn. Nevertheless, they might have extra enjoyable snowboarding in Hochgurgl, which has an unlimited collection of blue ski runs in an attractive, sunny surrounding.
Why go there
Wonderful for assured skiers: Obergurgl is healthier suited to extra skilled skiers, as there are many black and steep pink runs. There’s a incredible black run on the prime of the Plattachbahn chairlift – it begins with a delicate blue then as you ski across the nook you might be offered with a steep, vast piste with incredible views of the valley. I will need to have skied it no less than six instances because it was good for practising brief turns.
High quality ski instructors: Whether or not you might be new to snowboarding or hoping to enhance your abilities, the ski instructors in Gurgl are effectively skilled, affected person and inspiring. It’s value reserving a few personal classes to start out with, as you’ll enhance way more shortly than snowboarding in a big group.
The X Issue: In the event you can ski no less than a blue run, then take the Wurmkogl II chairlift to the height of Wurmkogl, which is the very best ski level at three,082m. Cease for a scorching chocolate on the glass-enclosed High Mountain Star bar, and step outdoors on the deck for some spectacular panoramic views of the area. You then select between a winding blue path or an eye-popping black run, which each result in a number of ski lifts, so you may ski a wide range of completely different routes.
What else is there to do?
If it’s a very windy day, then the ski lifts generally have to shut for security causes. If you end up with a while in your fingers, head to the newly constructed Gurgl Carat, an exhibition house, music venue and convention centre has been constructed to resemble a diamond.
Gurgl Carat is at the moment internet hosting an exhibition by British artist Adam Attew, who paints photorealistic portraits of mountainscapes. From distant it’s virtually inconceivable to differentiate Adam’s work from , as he has painstakingly painted each crag, rock and tree. The exhibition house additionally has a 20m by 5m cinema display showcasing Adam’s images and movies of the mountains in Gurgl. Adam’s has simply accomplished his artist residency in Obergurgl and his exhibition will stay within the Gurgl Carat till April 2020.
Hochgurgl’s latest gondola, the Kirchenkarbahn, is house to High Mountain Crosspoint restaurant and High Mountain Motorbike Museum, owned by twin brothers Alban and Attila. The Motorbike museum comprises a formidable assortment of 338 classic bikes, from Harley Davidsons to Ducatis – a few of the bikes have been bought in public sale for over £600,000. Subsequent summer time the museum will broaden to double the scale with a brand new wing, and the brothers hope it’ll turn out to be the biggest bike museum in Europe.
The place to eat: On the slopes in Obergurgl, get pleasure from a standard schnitzel or Käsespätzle (tacky noodles with crispy onions) at Zirben Alm. The High Mountain Crosspoint restaurant on the raise station in Hochgurgl additionally serves a scrumptious thin-crust pizza cooked in a correct Italian oven.
For dinner, get pleasure from a scrumptious Fondue Chinoise at Resort Enzian, the place you prepare dinner a collection of hen, beef, pork and plump prawns in broth and oil, accompanied by greens, jacket potato and an unlimited collection of dips.
Après Ski: End off the day with a pint and a few stay rock music at Nederhütte, which is near the center station of Hohe Mut Bahn.
The place to remain: The four Star Superior Resort Mühle Resort 1900 is positioned on the finish of Obergurgl and has a formidable spa together with a sauna, steam room and swimming pool. There’s a bus cease proper subsequent to the resort to move you to the ski lifts, and the resort additionally affords free transfers if the bus isn’t working.
Ski move: Costs begin from €54 per day for an grownup, masking each Obergurgl and Hochgurgl. If you buy a skipass for 3 or extra days you obtain the valley-wide Ötztal Tremendous Skipass, which additionally contains Sölden.
Getting there: Obergurgl is definitely reached by automotive or taxi in round one hour and 20 minutes from Innsbruck airport (96km). Easyjet provide each day flights from London to Innsbruck from Gatwick Airport.
Extra info: For extra info on Obergurgl and Hochgurgl go to https://www.obergurgl.com/winter.html. Austrian Nationwide Vacationer Workplace’s web site can also be a helpful supply for extra details about holidays in Austria.