Kitzbuhel – Austria
Skiing reputedly started in Kitzbuhel in 1893 after local hero Franz Reisch brought a pair of skis from Norway to try out on the mountains of Austria. From these beginnings the town has become one of the largest and liveliest resorts in the country. The ski area has 145km of pistes, including the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill run, and has benefited from many recent lift upgrades. However, in years of sparse snowfall Kitzbuhel (Kitz-bool), at an altitude of just 760m, can suffer.
One of the main strengths of Kitzbuhel is the town itself - its picturesque centre retains colourful medieval buildings, several churches and a nearby castle which is now a hotel. The vibrant après-ski scene is typically Austrian and the nightlife alone is worth the visit to Kitzbuhel. It is a great destination for skiers and non-skiers alike, and serious shoppers will be impressed by the presence of Louis Vuitton and Swarovski.
The main part of the Kitzbuhel ski area can also be accessed from the neighbouring villages or Reith, Kirchberg, Aurach and Jochberg, so check that the ski school or restaurant you are searching for is in the same area as you are.
- For serious skiers the world-famous Hanhenkamm downhill run is a must
- A visit to the nearby town of Kirchberg is a great excursion for non-skiers in the party.
- A balloon trip is a great way see the outstanding beauty of the area.
- Try your hand in the casino. You may get lucky and be able to affors to shop in Kitzbuhel the following day!
- Access glorious powder fields on Bichlalm with guided snowcat tours (bookable at www.alpin-experts.at)
Posted by John Barr on 12th January 2014
A group of friends visited recently from the UK, and I became concerned as the date of their arrival loomed because the snow in the valleys was fading fast, the snow higher on the mountains was thin, and there was no sign of an imminent snowfall on local weather forecasts. However, I need not have been concerned. Not only did we have a snow fall on the third day, but the artificial snow production and piste preparation in this part of Austria are so fantastic that the snow may have been limited, but the skiing was great.
Posted by John Barr on 2nd January 2014
I was thinking about you, stuck in a traffic jam on the M25 on your way to Auntie Masie’s for Christmas lunch. I bet you were looking forward to the over-boiled Brussels sprouts, the rock hard roast potatoes and yet another pair of knitted socks, guaranteed to blister even the hardiest of feet. (Why can’t someone teach dear old Masie how to use Amazon’s wish list facility?) And I was trying hard not to feel smug about spending Christmas day skiing in Waidring with another expat from nearby Fieberbrunn – but I failed.
At a glance
|Resort altitude||760 m|
|Highest lift||2004 m|
|Lowest lift||762 m|
|km of piste||170|
|Number of lifts||53|
|Lift pass price||€233/ 6 days|
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