Ischgl is a large but traditional Tyrolean village below one of Austria’s greatest and highest ski areas, crossing the border to be linked with Samnaun since 1978, making a unique Austro-Swiss ski area. Considering its status today as one of the best and largest ski areas in the Tyrol, Ischgl has been something of a late developer. It survived as a predominantly farming community despite hardship causing increasing migration until the late 1950s, with the first cable car opening in 1963. Indeed Ischgl’s current success is a remarkable turn-around for a village which once had to send its children over the border to tend cattle in order to make ends meet, a practice so common that the children were even given a name, ‘Schwabenkinder’.
Although there are now more than 9000 tourist beds, making this one of Austria’s biggest resorts, the local population remains below 1500. The 200km (125 mile) ski region is one of the largest in Austria (at least partially) and with a vertical approaching 1400m up to 2872m it is much higher and bigger than some of the country’s other big name ski areas like Kitzbühel. Ninety per-cent of the ski area is above 2000m making this a particularly snowsure area with a long season, traditionally culminating in a big ‘top of the mountain’ concert at the end of April, which in the past has featured some big stars like Elton John, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan and Diana Ross. The concert and many other aspects of the area such as its status as a snowboarding mecca all contribute to make Ischgl one of the coolest resorts in the Alps.
We immersed ourselves in the vibrant town of Ischgl, known for its legendary party atmosphere. But there’s more to discover—now boasting an incredible spa and wellness facility at @silvrettatherme (see below).
Ischgl offers a whopping 239 kilometers of slopes served by 45 cable cars and lifts. Covering all that ground in just 3 days was a challenge, but we managed—and fell head over skis in love! Plus, here’s a unique twist: you can ski across the border into Samnaun, Switzerland .
The skiing experience was nothing short of fantastic:
Ischgl boasts an overwhelming number of après bars—you’ll struggle to visit them all in a week! Here are some highlights:
1️⃣ Trofana Alm: This massive two-floor bar sets the stage for table dancing and classic après tunes. It’s unlike anywhere we’ve been before!
2️⃣ @kuhstall.at: A die-hard après bar known for playing typical German music. Exactly what you’re imagining—and we loved the unique vibe it brought.
3️⃣ Kitzloch: Located right at the base of the main gondola (A2 Pardatschgratbahn) in Ischgl town. Ski straight into the bar after conquering red run 1a! Live singers, DJs, and an electric atmosphere. Fun fact: The record for flügel shots ordered here is 1,111!
4️⃣ @schatzi_ischgl: Directly opposite Kitzloch, this place is famous for après ski and dance routines on tables during late afternoons.
The mountain restaurants in Ischgl could easily be part of a James Bond film. Here are our top picks:
1️⃣ Bergrestaurant Pardorama: An unbelievable glass building perched at the top of the A2 Pardatschgratbahn gondola (2,624m). The views are jaw-dropping, and it’s the perfect spot for a photo (keep an eye out for the two signs).
Bonus: It holds the record for the world’s highest Lego Exhibition!
I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the sheer grandeur of @silvrettatherme, Ischgl’s newest and most colossal spa and wellness facility, and let me tell you, it’s a game-changer!
First off, let’s talk about the size. It’s truly incomprehensible until you see it for yourself, but amidst its enormity, the quality of every detail shines through, leaving guests in awe.
Opening its doors from 10 am to 11 pm, @silvrettatherme offers a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation, whether you’re taking a break from the slopes or winding down after a day of adventure.
Here are just a few highlights from my visit:
1️⃣ The outdoor pool bar is a standout feature, offering unparalleled views of the majestic mountains. Sipping on a reasonably priced limoncello spritz while soaking in the scenery is an experience like no other. And don’t miss the opportunity to snap a photo by the illuminated Ischgl sign – it’s picture-perfect!
2️⃣ The sauna area is a haven for wellness enthusiasts, boasting an impressive array of five different saunas at various temperatures to cater to every individual’s needs. And let’s not forget about the sauna with a capacity of 80 people – it’s absolutely massive!
3️⃣ The rooftop outdoor pool provides a breathtaking setting for relaxation, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains creating a truly serene atmosphere.
4️⃣ The indoor pool is nothing short of impressive, offering ample space and a mesmerizing light show that adds to the overall ambiance, making it the perfect spot to unwind.
5️⃣ For those looking to get their laps in, the sports pool offers a 25-meter swimming pool designed for training and exercise, ensuring that guests can maintain their fitness routine even while on vacation.
6️⃣ And when it’s time to unwind, the relaxation areas offer around 200 cozy beds spread across various zones, providing the perfect place to rest and recharge after a swim or sauna session.
With so much to explore and enjoy, Silvretta Therme offers an experience like no other. Whether you spend hours moving from one area to another or simply kick back and relax, one thing is for sure – you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated and inspired. Don’t miss the chance to experience this extraordinary facility for yourself – it’s an absolute must-visit!
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The resort’s more recent developments have lead to Ischgl being one of the best designed ski areas in Austria and indeed the world. It has hi-tec lifts, including a funitel (ultra-stable high-capacity gondola running on two cables rather than the usual one) and a double decker cable car rapidly accessing the slopes, and slopeside lodging offered by many properties. Although customs regulations between Austria and Switzerland are described by the resort as ‘lax’, you should still carry your passport as customs official have the right to check it, and observe shopping ‘import’ restrictions when returning from the duty free shops of Samnaun to Austria and the European Community.
The Ski Club is the UK’s oldest and largest snowsports membership organisation, dedicated to bringing skiers together to discover better skiing through an enthusiastic community! The Ski Club operates a dedicated Ski Club Rep in this resort, along with 28 other resorts across Europe and North America – ski with us today and find your best day ever on snow.
Alongside Reps, the Club offers a host of services to help you make the most of your time on snow, including travel insurance designed by skiers for skiers, exclusive discounts for our Members, a huge range of information online and in our magazine, amazing Ski Club Experiences, special events in the UK and broad plus incredible Ski Club Freshtracks holidays around the world for every taste in skiing.
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