Innsbruck and Kühtai – The Remarkable Ski Holiday Combination
When booking our annual ski trip, we often tend to go for the same well-known destinations, typically famous resorts with big ski areas.
But if we were to think outside the box a little, what might we wish for? Guaranteed snow perhaps? Lower prices? Great quality? Oh, and perhaps a very short transfer after a quick flight to a quiet and efficient airport?
Well, the good news is it’s all here waiting for you! The Innsbruck region around the beautiful capital city of the Austrian Tirol is also a major ski destination in its own right.
There’s a remarkable regional lift pass covering no less than 13 ski resorts that lie in the mountains surrounding the city. Between them, they offer 308km of pistes served by 111 lifts and cable cars. They also include Austria’s highest resort, Kühtai, situated at over 2,000m above sea level, as well as glacier skiing at the Stubai.
Thirteen ski areas means you could stay a fortnight and ski a fresh area every day if you wish. Several were venues when Innsbruck hosted the Winter Olympics on multiple occasions, and there are some that suit novices and beginners, others with plenty of long cruisers for better skiing. The city’s ski slopes also include areas famed for their challenging freeride terrain as well as renowned World Cup racecourses that anyone can ski outside race day.
This isn’t any old lift pass that just limits itself to the ski slopes either. Known as “The SKI plus CITY” pass, it includes 40 attractions beyond the snow – entry to public swimming pools, many museums, historic buildings and even a city sightseeing bus tour are all included on the pass, which, by the way, costs less than many for ski areas around Europe of comparable size.
How come? Well, Innsbruck is a busy city with summer tourism but battles to maintain visitor numbers in winter, hence the generous terms to encourage more people to visit when the snow is here.
Decisions, Decisions …
So you can choose a ski and city break staying in the city or up slopeside in the mountains and get the same access to the incredible range of skiing and services on offer across the Innsbruck region whichever you opt for. You could, for example, perhaps stay up on the slopes in a ski area like Kühtai, or base yourself in the city itself. On the one hand, you can get away from it all in an intimate, high Alpine mountain village and dip into the many attractions of Innsbruck city itself, or you can stay in the bustling city and be right next to the many shops, bars, restaurants and attractions, then take the free bus to one of those ski areas each morning to hit the slopes. The choice is yours.
The Welcome Card
Even before you consider buying your SKI plus CITY pass, if you stay in the Innsbruck region, including at Kühtai, you’ll be given a free Visitor Card by the majority of accommodation providers when you stay for two nights or longer.
The free-of-charge Welcome Card includes services such as free public transport in the city and region, some free lift rides up in the mountains and a wide variety of leisure activities even before you get on the slopes! (With a stay of 3 nights or more at our partner establishments, you receive the Welcome Card plus, which includes 4 free trips on selected lifts and cable cars. This includes 4 free trips on selected lifts and cable cars.)
If you’d like to try something different for a day or even half-day, or perhaps have some non-skiers in your group, the Welcome Card gives you access to hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ski touring on beautiful, scenic routes, some with free guiding by professional guides included as well.
As the Welcome Card also includes free use of public transport including ski buses, it means a mixed party of skiers and non-skiers can each choose their card and meet up at the base of the ski areas for lunch or at any time the non-skiers want a break from the shops, cafés and other city attractions while the skiers want to take a breather from their exertions too.
Besides public transport and guided hiking, the Welcome Card has more to offer as well, with many discounts for holders on other winter-sports activities, family attractions, swimming pools and wonderful urban cultural attractions.
Kühtai, with its pristine, high-Alpine environment, is a stunning place to stay, and for skiers and boarders that altitude means snow-sure conditions from the start to end of the season.
The fabulous AlpinLodges Kühtai are a wonderful base from which to explore the slopes, and indeed the entire Innsbruck region if you wish.
Comfortable, modern, light and airy, they offer ski-in/ski-out accommodation and much more besides. The spacious apartments boast generous bathroom space as well as a large balcony from which to take in the marvellous mountain views. Technology may not be the priority here, but in fitting with the crisp, modern, Alpine design, you’ll find flat-screen smart TVs and high-speed internet as well as those little bonuses that make a big difference, such as fresh bread rolls delivered daily. If you opt to self-drive from the UK or rent a car in the Tirol, you have an underground parking space waiting for you here too. Some of the apartments even feature a private sauna and an open fireplace.
If you’re not getting enough exercise already on the slopes, the AlpinLodges Kühtai also boast their own fitness studio, and to make the most of the whole area, there’s also a shuttle service provided down to Innsbruck.
For even better value, the AlpinLodges are offering free lift passes for those arriving in the first three weeks of December, before Christmas week, and staying for three nights or more.