It is not a secret that Solden is one of my favorite ski resorts in Austria. I have been snowboarding in Solden multiple times for many years. This year on my roadtrip through Austria I went snowboarding in Solden again and although I constantly shared my love for Solden with you on my social media channels I thought it was time to write down all you need to know when you go skiing in Solden, Austria.
Everything you need to know about (apres) ski in Solden
1. Where is Solden
Solden lies almost at the end of the Otztal, a valley in west Austria, about 90 kilometers southwest of Innsbruck. In summer you can continue driving onwards to Italy crossing the Timmelsjoch pass, but in winter this road is closed.
Austria has many amazing ski resorts and they are still among my favorites after snowboarding in 5 different continents. Read here why Ischgl is so popular, or why Mayerhofen is not my favorite. Weekend trip? Try Kaltenbach or go snowbiking in Obertauern.
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2. Biggest municipality of Austria
With all its glaciers, moutains and meadows Solden is the biggest municipality in Austria with a total surface of more than 450 square kilometer. The village itself is just about 1 square kilometer only!
3. Village of Solden
Honestly the mountain village, which lies on 1350 meter above sea level, is not the prettiest of all. Everything is basically concentrated around one big main road. The village lacks a car free city center like many other mountain villages in Austria have, like for example Saalbach Hinterglemm.
4. One of the best snow conditions
The base of the ski resort lies on 1350m, which makes Solden one of the most snow secure places to go skiing in Austria. Snow conditions are amazing from early in the season till late in April. Another snow secure ski resort in Austria is Obertaueren, totally different and not at all comparable to Solden. But here is where I learned snow biking and snow kiting.
5. Ski season from mid September till mid May
Because there is also the possibility to go glacier skiing in Solden the season starts early and last long. The glacier ski area in Solden already opens in the first week of September and only closes on May 1st.
Check out the winter holidays for countries like Germany and Holland to avoid peak season:
6. Solden ski pass
The Solden ski pass can be bought at every lift station in the valley. Here are the prices for the 2017-2018 winter season.
7. Solden webcam
For live weather updates and snow condition you might want to have a look at the Solden webcam stations with 360 degrees panorama views from 9 different stations in the Solden ski area.
8. Solden Austria ski map
This is the complete Solden ski map with all the 3 different areas: glaciers, Gigijoch and the Gaislachkogl, including the 31 connecting ski lifts.
9. Skigebiet Solden
There is a total of almost 150 kilometer of groomed tracks of which about 70 kilometers is blue, 45 kilometers of red runs and 28 kilometers of black runs.
Basically the ski area can be divided into 3 separate areas: the Gaislachkogl, the Gigijoch and the Glaciers. The more advanced skiers will head up to the Gaislachkogl where powder runs can be found as well as some more challenging runs. The Gigijoch area is an area more suitable for beginners.
There is a Snowpark in Solden with a couple jumps and some obstacles. Its not a really big park, Im not a fan!
10. Only ski resort with 2 glaciers
Solden is the only ski resort in Austria with 2 glaciers: the Rettenbach glacier and the Tiefenbach glacier are both open for skiing and have the best ski conditions imaginable. Very wide runs with views to die for.
In summer cover the glaciers with blankets to protect them.
11. Only ski area with 3 mountaintops over 3,000m
Another unique selling point is the three mountaintops over 3,000 meter high. All these mountaintops can be reached by gondolas: Schwarze Schneide (3,340), Tiefenbachkogl (3,250) and the Gaislachkogl (3,048).
12. Three panoramic viewpoints over 3,000m
All the mountaintops over 3,000m have panoramic viewpoints. They are easily accessible from the gondola, but at the Schwarze Schneide you have to walk uphill a little. You can leave your skis at the gondola and walk for about 10 - 15 minutes and climb 90 meters higher to the highest point in the ski resort at 3,340m. From here you can see all the way to the Dolomites in Italy and the Zugspitze in Germany. Worth the little walk!
At the Tiefenbachkogl there is a glass bridge at the top offering amazing views over the second highest mountain in Austria: the Wildspitze.
At Gaislachkogl there is another 360 panorama viewpoint.
13. Incredible altitude difference
One of the reasons I really like Solden is the difference in altitude. The base starts at 1,350 meter but the Gaislachkogl gondolas bring you above 3,000 meter straight away. From the highest point in the ski area all the way to the base is more than 2,000m altitude difference and the best thing about it is that this can be done in 1 run without taking any lifts.
14. Long runs
With the massive difference in altitude the runs are long and challenging. Therefore is snowboarding in Solden among my favorites. Experienced skiers can eat their heart out with groomed tracks that are as long as 15 kilometers.
This is an example of a day snowboarding in Solden with my friends recorded on Ski Tracks.
15. Big 3 rally
There is a 50-kilometer loop that can be followed through the ski resort. Of course does this loop contain all the 3 mountaintops above 3,000 meter and therefore it is called the Big 3 Rally in Solden. This 50-kilometer loop also includes the lifts. Experienced skiers and snowboarders can complete this loop in 3 hours.
16. Snowboarding in Solden
Solden is perfect for snowboarders as there are hardly any flat areas. Snowboarders never have to unbuckle.
17. Freeriding in Solden
There are definitely some areas for free riding in Solden, but it is not my favorite. The Gaislachkogl has some cool free ride runs, but I like Solden better for its groomed tracks.
18. FIS Ski World Cup opening
Every year in October the winter season kicks off on the glacier in Solden with the Giant Slalom. Solden is also the European training base for the US Ski team.
All you need to know about Apres Ski in Solden
19. Apres ski in Solden
Just as important for some people coming on a winter holiday to Solden is the apres ski and if you are looking for a good party then Solden is the place to be. Solden has it all: huts on the mountain, night clubs, apres ski bars and events.
Most of the apres ski is concentrated in on the main road in the beginning of the village, next to the ultra modern and new Gigijoch lift station.
Right across the street from Gigijoch there is Mogul, an apres ski bar that plays a mix of everything. From modern hits to electronic dance music and R&B to German apres-ski. Mogul is all in one and turns after the apres ski into a nightclub. People go here straight after skiing, there is no dress code and an uncomplicated vibe. It gets busy around 5pm and it won’t stop before 3am.
21. Schirmbar Solden
Probably the most popular and to me the best apres ski bar in Solden. It is opposite Mogul and actually always too crowded, they still smoke inside (I hate it) and the playlist is pretty much the same for the last 10 years. Still it has the best vibe and I keep on returning to the Schirmbar! LOL. The music is a mix of golden oldies, sing along songs and German apres ski. The Schirmbar gets busy straight after skiing and closes at 8pm.
22. Fire & Ice
At 8pm when the Schirmbar closes with the sounds of Robbie Williams Angels’, everyone crosses the street and starts partying at Fire & Ice. The apres ski party continues in this way bigger establishment. This two floor bar hosts a lot of events throughout the ski season. There is a resident DJ playing all kind of music. The vibe is much more laid-back than in the Schirmbar simply because it is way bigger. There is no official dress code.
A much more Dutch orientated apres ski bar is the Almrausch next to the Schirmbar. This small bar regularly plays Dutch apres ski songs and therefore a lot of Dutch people can be found in here.
24. Nightclub Catapult
For those people that still can’t get enough after the apres ski there is also a nightclub in Solden. Catapult is a proper club with a dress code and people in ski clothes won’t get in. Catapult starts late and only gets busy after midnight.
Apres ski on the piste in Solden
25. Gigijoch Mittelstation
On the Gigijoch station on 1,900m there is a huge outdoor bar where DJ’s play funky tunes. Especially on Fridays and in weekends this is a great place to hang at the end of a day skiing. If the weather is good this is most likely where you will find me around 3pm. Don’t drink too much though as you still have to ski down a good 4 kilometer.
On the side of the Gaislachkogl there is the apres ski bar called Philipp. It is almost at the base and there is even a little lift that take people down to the main road. Apres ski at Philipp starts around 3pm and goes on until around 7pm. It is not so crowded as in town and a way more relaxed atmosphere. Apres ski music is played and there is the opportunity to stand outside when it is good weather.
27. Obstler Hutte
This is my favorite hut on the mountain in Solden. The Obstler Hutte is about 1 kilometer downhill from the Gigijoch top station at the bottom of Hoch Solden. It is a typical Tyroler mountain hut with often live music. When it is good weather it is perfect to sit outside in your t-shirt.
28. Panorama Hutte
A little more quiet and almost down at the base of Gigijoch there you will find the Panorama Hutte. You will always pass it on your way downhill from Gigijoch and when there is an organized event this definitely is a place to stop as well. Drink a schnapps in the last rays of sun of the day, before you emerge in the apres ski in Solden village.
Other huts on mountain in Solden
29. Ice Q Solden
On top of the Gaislachkogl there is the fine dining restaurant Ice Q with the most fabulous view. Dining above the clouds with views all the way to Italy. The food is top quality in this stylish restaurant. To make sure you have a table inside, I recommend you to make a reservation.
The Ice Q restaurant is also where they filmed the latest James Bond movie Spectre!
30. Gampe Thaya
A completely different atmosphere can be found at the authentic Gampe Thaya hut on the connecting run between Gaislach and Gigjoch. When the weather is good this is an amazing spot to sit outside, and eat in an uncomplicated atmosphere also with amazing views.
31. Lople Alm
All the way on the outside of the skigebiet Solden there you will find the big panoramic sun terrace of the Lople Alm. A great place for a drink in the sun in a much more quiet area of the ski resort. Sometimes there is live music which makes it hard to leave when you finally found a great spot in the sun.
32. Electric Mountain Festival
Throughout the ski season there are a lot of events organized on the mountain, but Electric Mountain Festival is the one that stands out. Around the first week of April a huge stage is build on the Gigjioch top station and 2 days in a row international top DJ’s are lined up to make the crowd go crazy on electronic music. The festival with the most amazing view, high up on the mountain.
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More reasons to visit Solden
33. Wellness Aqua Dome Langenfeld
Just before you reach Solden you will have to drive through the village of Langenfeld. Here you will find the absolutely amazing Aqua Dome Wellness Center, a sauna wellness complex with the most amazing view in the world. I drove past many times and always wondered what it would be like inside. This year I finally visited this incredible place. If you are a fan of wellness skip a day on the pistes in Solden and head to Aqua Dome Langenfeld.
Last but not least Solden joined forces with the nearby skigebiet Obergurgl. This ski resort that lies about a 20-minute busride away from Solden all the way at the end of the valley. Obergurgl is totally overlooked by many people coming on a ski trip to Solden. For solitude skiing head to Obergurl as this is where you will escape the crowds for sure. Ski bus is included and lift tickets for Obergurgl are automatically included in a 3+ days lift ticket for Solden.
Obergurgl has more than 110 kilometer of groomed runs: 35km blue, 50km red and about 20km is black.
How to get to Solden
Solden lies about 80 kilometer from Innsbruck Airport. It is an hour and 15 minutes drive and there is a taxi shuttle service for €45 per person one-way.
Where to stay in Solden
With so many tourists visiting Sölden prices are going up year after year. The cheapest accommodation can be found on the outskirts of town, where free shuttle busses pass by every 10 minutes in the ski season.
In the city center there are some incredible luxury options:
But if you are lucky you also might find some basic accommodation options in Solden for under $100 per person per night.
I stayed at several guesthouses in Solden and sometimes only paid around $80 per night, so if I can find them you can do so too. There are a total of more than 15,000 beds. The best option is to rent an apartment with a big group. For this try Haus Fender. For affordable options try Pension Maria Fiegl.
Solden ski hire
Everywhere around town there are places to rent skis and snowboards. On the main road you will find many ski and snowboard shops where you can buy discounted equipment as well. Next to the lift stations there are ski hire outlets as well and they have lockers to rent too.
If you have any specific questions let me know and I am happy to help you.