Located just east of Innsbruck, this area is Austria's largest linked skiing terrain providing around 279km of pisted runs served by over 90 lifts. There are nine villages; Soll, Scheffau, Ellmau, Going, Itter, Hopfgarten, Brixen im Thale, Kelchsau and Westendorf which make up this "ski circus", making it a delight for families, beginners and intermediate skiers alike.
SKIWELT IS AUSTRIA's LARGEST INTERCONNECTED SKI AREA
SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental is one of the most varied winter sports areas in the Alps with the greatest certainty of snow. The area has received many awards, proof that the 279km of ski runs and over 90 modern lifts plus 70 mountain refreshment stops make for "world class" winter fun. There is 13km of night skiing slopes and 7.5km of of floodlit toboggan runs so whether with a family, as a couple, with friends or alone in a group you will certainly see value for money in the SkiWelt region.
Modern lifts and a funicular have replaced some of the older forms of transport and there is little or no waiting, even at busy times. From the slopes, the various villages afford picture-postcard scenes with churches, village chalets and surrounding farmhouses decked deep in snow.
Indeed the snow record through the two valleys is good from mid December through to early April - the higher slopes of the Hohe Salve (1829m) and the even higher slopes above Westendorf provide excellent and challenging runs for intermediate and advanced skiers until late in the season. To ensure good snow from mountain top right down to each of the villages, the region has installed no fewer than 434 snow cannons covering more than 210km of pistes - more than two thirds of the entire pistes in the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser area.
Children will have a great time using the Children's Kaiserland Ski which is new this winter, There is a kids cable car; tubing; kite flying; ski carousel; mini lift, kiddie express; magic flying carpet, together with a leprechaun train and castle lift and all are free of charge at Kaiserland Ski for youngsters up to the age of six years.
The funicular has been built above the village of Ellmau and there is a cable car at Westendorf. Elsewhere, there are no fewer than 94 lifts which include a funicular, 11 gondolas, 38 chair lifts, together with 44 drag and beginners lifts which serve 108km of easy, 120km of intermediate and 22km of difficult pistes. More than sufficient to keep everyone happy for a week or more.
Each of the villages is charming and delightful in its own way. The best known is Soll, with its British pub, excellent choice of bars and restaurants, as well as shops. The slopes above Soll have been extensively re-developed with a high-speed gondola to the middle station and then a new lift to the Hohe Salve. The area around the middle station is a skiers paradise with a number of lifts opening up pistes in all directions with skiing terrain to suit all levels of ability. There are several mountain restaurants and even a shop so there is no need to go to the bottom until the end of the days skiing when you can enjoy a really good, long run back to the village of Soll.
Hopfgarten and Westendorf are slightly larger but nevertheless just as picturesque. Sheffau and Ellmau are really quaint, smaller and probably not quite so bustling in terms of nightlife, but many of the hotels offer evening entertainment so there is not always the need to go out.
There are numerous horse-drawn sleigh rides on offer throughout the area as well as curling, floodlit skiing and a floodlit toboggan run. Tyrolean evenings help burn off calories built up from the excellent helping of traditional food and you can find many saunas which also help to shed those extra pounds.
Parents will find excellent kindergarten facilities with a crche for the very young. A day excursion to the nearby famous resort of Kitzbuhel is possible but an additional ski pass will have to be purchased.
A holiday in the delightful ski village of Soll in the heart of the Ski Welt area could not be complete without staying at the Pension Feichter run by Hans Feichter and his wife. Located just a few minutes walk from the centre of the resort, Pension Feichter is a delightful typical Austrian Pension with en suite rooms to the highest standard. Accommodation is usually on a bed and breakfast basis and evening meals can be enjoyed in any one of the numerous small restaurants which abound in Soll.
The breakfast buffet at the Pension Feichter will set you up for the whole day. To find out more, including prices, log onto: www.garni-feichter.at or e-mail them on: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2009-10 winter season is due to open early December and last until mid April.