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5 Family Resorts in the Tirol for Next Season

The Austrian ski region is full of quiet, uncrowded resorts.  Some you’ve probably never heard of. Let PlanetSKI be your guide to some of the best resorts to visit for a family trip next winter.

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We are great fans of the quiet and lesser known ski areas in the Tirol.

We fell in love with them on our extended stay in Innsbruck, the capital of the Tirol, over the of 2018-19 season.

We wish we were on the slopes now but all we can do is dream and look ahead to next winter.

Here’s some inspiration if you’re in the same boat and are looking for the perfect place for a family ski holiday in 2021-22.

Sillian and Zettersfeld, Osttirol

These two resorts are in the East Tirol, on the south side of the Alps.

Cue lots of sunny days.

The Osttirol is, nevertheless, exceptionally snow sure.

It has hundreds of 3,000m peaks – 266 to be precise.

There are seven ski resorts in the region, offering everything from easy beginner slopes to a World Cup piste.

Crucially in these Covid-19 times, the Osttirol is famous for having plenty of space on piste and short waiting times at lifts.

Sillian, Tirol, Austria

Sillian, Tirol, Austria – (Photo – Tirol Tourism)

So what of the resorts of Sillian and Zettersfeld?

They’re very different but both ideal for families.

Skizentrum Sillian in the Hochpustertal Valley is small but perfectly formed.

The beginners’ area, known as the Winterwichtelland, is in the centre of Sillian itself.

Older children can enjoy a combination of skiing and other activities at the Bobo Kinderclub and teenagers can dial in their tricks in the Yellowsnow Funpark.

Zettersfeld in Lienz is set high above Lienz, the largest town in East Tirol.

Almost all of its pistes are family-friendly.

There’s a snowpark for budding freeriders.

A recent addition is the 400m funslope with a series of rollers, banked corners, jumps and tunnels.

There is plenty to do away from the slopes in East Tirol:

  • full moon guided snowshoe hikes in the Hohe Tauern National Park
  • a year-round mountain rollercoaster
  • swimming pools in Lienz
  • ice skating on the frozen Tristacher See lake and on the ice rink in Lienz.

Family deals

Youngsters up to the age of 18 pay children’s prices for the Ski Hit Skipass while children under 5 ski free.

Ski school

The Wintersportschule Hochpustertal ski school in Innervillgraten offers fun and educational courses with resort mascot BOBO the Penguin.

The Skischule Lienzer Dolomiten in the Zettersfeld resort is popular with families and offers new courses every year.

For more on the area:

Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau 

This ski area has excellent childcare facilities, 10 ski schools and pistes for all abilities.

A few years back the resorts of Alpbachtal and Wildschönau in the western mountains of the Kitzbühel Alps joined forces.

Alpbach – photo Alpbachtal Tourismus Matthias Sedlak

Although it created a big wintersports arena with a large number of pistes and lifts, it has a more relaxed feel than many ski areas of a similar size.

It’s a favourite with families.

Most pistes are covered by snowmaking facilities and, while rhe majority are rated blue or red, there are also some challenging black runs and freeride routes.

There are also three snowparks.

The Snowpark Alpbachtal and Family-Park Schatzberg have easy beginner lines with small jumps and obstacles.

Other activities on offer include sledging, show shoeing, ice skating, piste-basher rides and night skiing.

Sledging – photo Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau

Innsbruck Airport is 45 minutes’ drive by car.

For more:

Tiroler Zugspitz Arena

This ski area in the northern Tirol is 60 minutes from Innsbruck and 90 minutes from Munich.

The terrain is gentle but extensive.

There are 142 kilometres of slopes and 56 lifts.

The high altitude means the snow conditions are reliable.

There are 7 different and picturesque resorts on one lift ticket, all linked by a free shuttle bus.

Ehrwald, Lermoos, Biberwier, Berwang, Bichlbach, Heiterwang am See and Namlos each have about 30km of slopes and most of the runs are blue and red.

After hours there’s floodlit tobogganing twice a week at the Ehrwalder Alm, and a weekly sledding night arranged by the Gamsalm, night skiing, hiking with torches, ice skating and night shows.

Night hiking – photo Tiroler Zugspitz Arena

Some of the hotels have family programmes with baby and kids’ clubs.

Ski schools

5 of the villages in Zugspitz have their own English-speaking ski schools.

There are lessons for children from aged 2 and childcare is provided.

Indoor activities

  • A climbing wall for all abilities
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Indoor tennis courts at Eibsee Hotel
  • Family bathing centre in Ehrwald including a baby pool and a children’s pool

For more:

Hochoetz  

The ski resort of Hochoetz is high above the Ötztal Valley.

The pistes extend from 820m to 2,272m and can be reached by cable car from Oetz in the Ötztal Valley and from Ochsengarten, a village at 1,500m altitude next to the road that leads from Oetz up to Kühtai.

There are 13 lifts and 39km of slopes.

Hochoetz – photo Bergbahnen Hochoetz

A single lift ticket gives access to the two ski areas of Hochoetz and Kühtai for the price of one with a free bus shuttle service between them.

There’s a funpark and experienced skiers can enjoy a challenging run down to Ochsengarten, as well as the permanently installed race course and off piste powder trails.

At the top of the Wetterkreuzbahn cable car is the Zugspitzblick viewing platform with views reaching as far as Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze.

Other activites include toboganning, winter walking, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and ice skating on the lake, Piburger See.

For more:

 Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis 

This entire ski resort in the Upper Inn Valley revolves around families.

  • Easy slopes for the little ones
  • Challenging terrain for teens and adults
  • Child-appropriate ski lessons and lift facilities
  • Professional childcare for babies and toddlers.

Despite that, there is still plenty of terrain for advanced skiers, with black runs and freeride routes on the Pezid and Zwölferkopf mountains.

The three villages of Serfaus, Fiss and Ladis are on a sunny plateau and have a network of pistes from 1,200m up to 2,820m.

Child friendly slopes in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Tirol – photo Tirol Werbung Moore Casey

There are good snow conditions well into spring.

Freestyle fans have eight funpark areas to choose from and racers can use the two permanent race courses.

Off the slopes, the PlayIN Indoor Playground in Serfaus has 12 climbing walls, two climbing towers, an obstacle course, a bouldering room and a 6-storey soft play facility.

Climbing wall, Serfaus, Tirol – photo Tirol Werbung Moore Casey

There are family-friendly accommodation options with rooms designed with children in mind.

You can rent an e-buggy or mountain buggy to help push your youngsters through the snow.

For more:

The Tirol has put in place detailed health and safety guidelines to address coronavirus.

You can find all the information, which is regularly updated, by following these links:

All Photos provided by Tirol Tourism

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