As Austria's highest
parish, many British skiers return to Obergurgl year after year for its charm, excellent snow record and good variety of pistes. This expanding village offers something for
everyone and being at the end of a valley does not suffer from overcrowding,
with many locals stopping further down the valley at Solden, which can be skied
for a day with the “Joint Ski Pass Plus”.
The Otztal Alps is the largest glacial area in the
eastern Alps with 256 peaks over 3,000m - 50
of which are around Obergurgl! Little
wonder then that the village enjoys a very long skiing season from mid-November.
In recent years there has been a significant
upgrade of the lift system installing new gondolas including some with heated
seats – a great respite in what can be a very cold area given its
altitude. Split between Obergurgl and
its higher neighbour Hochgurgl (2,150m), there are now 24 lifts/gondolas including an 6-8 person gondola and 3 quad
chairs with a capacity of over 39,400 persons/hour. An 8-person gondola
connects the ski areas of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl with a short eight-minute
ride, although there is also a free shuttle bus service from the village. This 3.6km long gondola with 50 cabins
travels horizontally across the mountains and has an hourly capacity of 1,200
persons. You can even hire a private
cabin to throw a champagne party for yourself and a few friends for the
journey! The lifts serve 110km of
slopes, split evenly between the two villages, offering 35km are easy (blue)
runs, 55km intermediate (red) and 20km of difficult (black) pistes. All of these are covered by snow making
machines should the slopes require a “top-up” early or late
season. In-between blasts down the well
groomed pistes, one of the "musts" is a visit to the Wurmkogl (3082m)
from where you can look down onto the Italian Dolomites. From the top there is an 8km run covering an
altitude change of 1,260m, commencing with an exhilarating black run (not for
the faint hearted) before it joins an excellent red "motorway" piste
back to the intermediate station and the Schermerbahn lift. From here you continue on a relaxing blue
section before a stunning red run winds through the trees back to Pill at
New for 2010 season is a floodlit toboggan run that
follows this red from Hochgurgl back down to Pill. Hire the toboggan’s from the base lift
station, take the Hochgurglbahn Sektion I from where there’s a short walk to
the start. Totally exhilarating!
During his time visiting over 120 resorts around
the Alps, the Editor has sat both in and outside many mountain "huts"
but can honestly say one of the best ever found has been "David's
Hutte" here in Obergurgl. Located
at the bottom of the "Steinmannbahn", David's Hutte has an extensive
menu available all day with live music on Wednesday and Thursday evenings when
it is worthwhile cancelling your hotel dinner and eating at the
"Hutte" instead! The food is excellent, the friendly staff just
as excellent and even if you only turn up for a morning hot chocolate or
Gluhwein, you will be treated to the same friendly, efficient service (see
resort photo gallery).
Festkogl Alm at the top of the Festkogelbahn &
Rosskarbahn offers fantastic views of the valley and an opportunity to watch
skiers attempting the two runs from the top of the Plattachbahn, whilst the
Nederhutte is “the” place to end up after your final run down the mountain for
the best “après ski”. Once the sun
falls, the piste is floodlit to aid the final run back down to the village.
Although the village of Obergurgl
is not that large, it is attractive and has a good selection of shops and
restaurants. If you are self-catering in an apartment the "SPAR"
supermarket stocks just about everything for all your needs. If you are searching for a souvenir there is
plenty of choice including a superb wood carving shop just behind the Edelweiss
The hotels have their own bars, glowing log fires
and evening entertainment, with the Hotel Edelweiss & Gurgl being highly
recommended by the Editor.
This hotel is where the Editor stays, providing guests
with excellent cuisine, a comfortable bedroom, blazing log fires and a well
stocked bar, all accompanied by an excellent service from friendly and helpful
staff! It was completely renovated in
the summer of 2008 with a new dining room and winter garden. New balconies have been added to bedrooms on
the south side and these rooms have a safe, hair dryer and a "wellness
basket" with bathrobe and sandals (see Obergurgl Hotels).
The hotel also has a fabulous Wellness Centre with
swimming pools, sauna, solarium and many other keep-fit essentials for a skiing
holiday. Resident staff are on hand to
provide a wide range of welcome massage treatments following a hard day’s
skiing; there is an indoor pool and an excellent outdoor heated pool where you
can swim and watch skiers come down the mountain. It also provides an excellent kindergarten
for the four-year-olds and upwards with fully trained staff so that mums and
dads can go off and enjoy a morning or afternoon ski.
The hotel also has its own brand new indoor riding
centre with 16 "Haflinger Horses" and is a mecca for the
younger guests! This centre was the
venue for this season’s opening ceremony – a night of live traditional Austrian
music and partying, which was attended and thoroughly enjoyed by the Editor!
A further advantage of staying at the Hotel
Edelweiss & Gurgl is the ski shop and hire facility introduced in the
2004 season. If you do not have your own ski equipment, or would rather not
carry your boots and skis, you can hire the very latest equipment from the
hotel as one of its' guests.
Even if you arrive with your own skis and they need
waxing or some other attention, this is done overnight in the ski shop so your
skis are as "good as new" in time for skiing the next morning. The heated boot room also ensures your feet
start the day dry and warm.
The location of the hotel relative to the slopes is
outstanding. Walk out of the boot room
or ski shop and you are met by a 4-seat chair which directly links the
Festkogel, or alternatively you can take a two stage gondola to enjoy some
excellent skiing below the Hohe Mut Haus (2670m).
In December and springtime (after Easter) the hotel
offers "white weeks" packages (out of peak season deals) at inclusive
rates much lower than at other times and including a 6-day ski pass. The Hotel Edleweiss also has a package
arrangement exclusively for Inghams guests.
The 2009-10 season opens in mid November and runs
through to end of April.
A hotel steeped in tradition since 1889, located at
the most beautiful spot in Obergurgl - Edelweiss & Gurgl Hotel in the
The well appointed Edelweiss & Gurgl hotel is
located in the village centre, close to the lifts. The hotel has 132 bedrooms
of the highest standard of comfort, each with en suite bath or shower, toilet,
cable tv, radio and telephone. The rooms are in five categories - standard,
superior, suites, family or single rooms. There are special packages available
in the low season which include a 6-day ski pass and half board.
The history of the Edelweiss-Gurgl goes back 110
years when it was a small guesthouse. Since then the hotel has been extensively
enlarged and modernised and now provides a wellness area with indoor-outdoor
swimming pool, gymnasium, various saunas and a children's club. There is a
variety of evening entertainment and the hotel also has its own farm with a
riding stable which guests can visit.
Telephone: 0043 5256 6223
Email: Click here to email Hotel Edelweiss-Gurgl
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