Ischgl – Austria
The ski resort of Ischgl sits high in the Silvretta Mountains in the Paznaun Valley in Tyrol, Austria. Due to its lofty altitude and position the resort enjoys a five month long, snow-sure ski season (helped along by some 1000 snow cannons, if Mother Nature is not obliging). The town of Ischgl itself is quite densely developed, but this is softened by a pleasing, chalet-style aesthetic and a no-car-zone in the town centre. The ski resort’s slogan - ‘Relax. If you can...’ - alludes to Ischgl’s lively (to say the least!) après-ski scene, ranging from traditional Austrian bars with plenty of beer and pumping Euro-pop to bars with scantily-clad shot girls. Despite its reputation for being a self-styled Ibiza on ice (there’s a branch of Pacha in town), Ischgl does have a quieter side, and with over 40 bars there are some more serene options. For a sophisticated scene try some of the high-end hotel bars, and just a cursory wander through Ischgl town centre will turn up a few choice contenders for a sit-down-and-chat type of evening.
The resort’s slick and modern ski-lift network (some with heated seats!) and some thrilling on and off-piste slopes, make Ischgl perfect for intermediate and advanced skiers, but timid beginners may be daunted by a ski resort ruled by steep inclines and predominantly black and red runs. The resort ski area connects to Samnaun in Switzerland, so thirsty skiers can cruise down a long red run and stock up on duty free booze at the bottom, before catching a speedy cable car back up.
There’s plenty of good Austrian comfort food to keep you going too, with some (fairly) reasonable restaurants both on and off the mountain. Accommodation is in hotels rather than catered chalets and there are a good range of options, though they are erring on the more expensive side. If you’re a relatively experienced skier and are looking for the buzz of a lively nightlife, then Ischgl could well be the resort for you. With its long ski season it’s a good bet for a sneaky late-season getaway too. IIt's also worth checking the line up for Ischgl’s now famous ski season opening and closing concerts. Past events have seen the likes of Elton John, The Killers and Kylie taking to the stage, so big name acts are most certainly the order of the day in this party-hard, ski-hard resort.
- The Silvretta Sports Centre has an excellent pool fitted with massage jets and waterfalls to soothe away any aches and pains.
- Perfect your flicks and tricks in one of Ischgl’s three terrain parks. They’re touted as the best in Austria, so be sure to swing by.
- Join in the sing-alongs at legendry après-ski bar Niki's Stadl. Every afternoon kicks off with traditional Austrian foot-stompers and a beguilingly enthusiastic crowd.
- Check the line up for the Top of the Mountain ski season concerts. Previous acts include The Killers, Kylie and Sir Elton himself!
- Hit the floodlit toboggan track for a 7km downhill dash through a snowy night time landscape.
Team MadDogSki welcomed in the new season in Ischgl ski resort in Austria. Their legendary parties didn't disappoint, with thumping apres-ski that starts with a cheeky schnapps on the mountain, gathers momentum with a singsong in the gondola, sprawls merrily around the pretty streets of the town, and ends with stadium rock gigs by very famous names. What's more, the ski area is extensive, varied, and - luckily for us - very, very snowy. Discover more about Ischgl here.
Posted by Rob Freeman on 9th May 2014
Sneakily, mischievously, gleefully - the ski season had a surprise in store. And on the very last day, well into May, it was like unwrapping an unexpected gift and finding it was just what you wanted - a fabulous bluebird perfect snow day. In Ischgl it was as good a day as I've experienced all winter. If only the season could go on another week. Or two. Or perhaps that's being greedy.
Posted by Rob Freeman on 1st May 2014
Lancashire's seamers sink Northants and Aldi has barbecues on sale at tempting prices - surely that must mean winter, and the ski season, is over.
At a glance
|Resort altitude||1400 m|
|Highest lift||2872 m|
|Lowest lift||1400 m|
|km of piste||238|
|Number of lifts||44|
|Lift pass price||€197 / 6 days|
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