Outnumbered in most tourists per year only by Salzburg and Vienna, Sölden is an extremely popular winter sport destination in Austria. Tucked away almost at the end of the Ötztal, this village still didn’t lose its charm. The village is stretched out along the river, with peaceful hiking trails on its side. Sölden is a true paradise for people that love to go on a winter holiday. The opportunities are plenty. The ski area is phenomenal with 3 peaks above 3000 meter and the highest point on 3,250m. The modern lift system will take you up the mountain where you can enjoy 145km of groomed runs stretched out over a huge area. The best feature is the glacier ski area, which is connected by lifts from the village.
Pros and cons of the Sölden ski resort
The village is located on 1,350 m above sea level and therefore snow is guaranteed all season long. There are two valley runs that are open until late April. Because they are located on the South side, snow conditions may vary at the end of the season, but at least they are open.
The highlight of the ski area is the so-called Big 3, three mountain peaks above 3000m all connected by modern lifts. There is a trail that leads you from one peak to another and covers 50km. Two of those peaks are in the glacier area where snow conditions are almost perfect all season long. The 15km of groomed tracks contain a vast open blue run that is super wide as well as a black run which is part of the World Cup circuit. The glaciers are connected to the village by a 15km long run from top to bottom featuring nearly 2,000m elevation.
Freeriding in Sölden is rated 4 out of 5 stars by wepowder.com, mainly because there are some great challenging runs within lift reach. Though every year unfortunately some lethal accidents occur!
Basically the ski area can be divided into 3 separate areas: the Gaislachkogel, the Gigijoch and the Glaciers. The more advanced skiers will head up to the Gaislachkogel where powder runs can be found as well as more challenging runs. The Gigijoch area is an area more suited for beginners. Queues can be long in the morning at the Gigijoch gondola and the Langegg chair lift at the end of the day which connects the Gaislachkogel and glacier ski area with Gigijoch.
There is a Snowpark in Solden with a couple jumps and some obstacles. The good thing is that its long, but its not a really big park. Im not a fan!
Go crazy in Après Ski Sölden
Solden has got it all! On the mountains there are numerous traditional Austrian huts that all have the Tyrolean ambiance. Some sun decks to enjoy the winter sun, lounge areas and huts with live music on your way down to the village.
At the Gigijoch every Friday there is a dj who plays electronic music until the sun starts to set. Don’t drink too much you still got to ski about 4km downhill. On your way down though you will stumble upon various tradition huts with live music from the region. The Obstlerhütte and the Panoramahütte are a great stop on your way down. Once you made it to the village there are several options to choose from. All the après ski bars are centrally located in town. Après Ski Philipp is a little higher up, but they have their own lift down to the village that runs until to party dies. This is a great option if you come down the Gaislachkogel. All next to each other and close to the Gigijoch gondola are the Schirmbar, Fire & Ice, Mogul and the Almrausch. All of them play music until the last man is standing. Looking for a real club in Solden? Then head to Katapult, but make sure to be dressed properly. Still not satisfied than try the table dance or the stripclub!
Where to stay in Sölden?
With so many tourists visiting Sölden prices went up in the last years. The cheapest accommodation can be found on the outskirts of the town, free shuttle busses come by every 10 minutes. In the city center there are still some options for around €30 - €35 per night, but then you will be sleeping in a simple room in the basement. I stayed at several houses and never really paid more than €45 per night. The best option is to rent an apartment with a big group. For this try Haus Seppl or Haus Fender. For affordable options try Haus Daniela, Villa Cornelia or Haus Maria Fiegl. On the Solden website http://www.soelden.com you can make direct bookings. The tourist information is also able to do this when walking in.