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THE ULTIMATE CITY & SKI BREAK - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Friday September 29, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The capitol of the Tirol, Innsbruck, may not be the most obvious place for a ski holiday. Wrong. City + Ski = Perfection.

There are nine ski resorts just a short distance from the Austrian city and they cater for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.

Now you can ski them all on one lift pass. 

The 'Olympic Ski World Innsbruck' lift pass offers more than 300kms of pistes.  

You can reach all of the nine areas on a free, comfortable and eco-friendly ski bus service.

The UK's largest ski tour operator, Crystal Ski, is now offering it as a ski holiday package next winter for the first time. 

"Innsbruck is one of only three places to have held the winter Olympics twice and is a great destination for a ski holiday with a bit of a difference. Not only is there some great skiing to be had around the area but Innsbruck is the capital of the Tirol and is a real "skiers city'," said Dom Whitehouse, the Crystal Ski Resort Operations Manager for Austria .

"After visiting Innsbruck countless times it's still the setting that amazes me every time. Standing on the banks of the river Inn with the Karwendal mountains right in your face is an unforgettable sight," he added.   
It only went on sale last week and is already selling well.

It seems it's going to be rather popular.  

And what is this?

Innsbruck, the TirolA usual sight














It's a ski lift station in the centre of town that heads up the ski area of Nordkette.

It's a bit like having a gondola in Trafalgar Square in London with a ski resort high above the south bank of the Thames.

You can pop out of the city to ski for a couple of hours, or go for the whole day

And below are skiers and snowboarders heading out from the railway station.

 Innsbruck, the Tirol Heading to the slopes



I've skied Nordkette a few times over the years as I've flown in and out of Innsbruck airport on my ski travels round the Austrian Alps. 
It well worth the effort with gentle nursery slopes, a fun park, some decent red runs plus some very steep advanced terrain if you have the skiils and the nerve. 

And I mean steep.
And then there is the city itself with it bars, restaurants, museums, galleries and much else besides. 

It is my favourite city in the Alps by a country mile and as well as stopping off to ski in Nordkette I always try to make a point of staying a few nights in the city each winter. 

Here's why:

Innsbruck, AustriaInnsbruck, Austria












Innsbruck, AustriaInnsbruck, Austria













See here as the famous Xmas market changed my mood back in 2015.
Innsbruck Xmas MarketInnsbruck Xmas market

So, what about the nearby resorts?

offers wonderful views of Innsbruck and it takes only 20 minutes from city centre to the Seegrube mountain lift station at 1,900 metres above sea level.

The next lift up takes you to the Hafelekar which is also the starting point for the "Karrinne" - an extreme ski run with a gradient of 70% and is only suitable for  experts.

In good snow conditions, it's possible to ski or board all the way back down to Hungerburg.

Patscherkofel is located a few kilometres south of the city (if you miss the bus, take the tram),gives winter sports enthusiasts the opportunity to ski in the tracks of Olympic icons from the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games (remember Franz Klammer?).

Axamer Lizum keeps scoring top points for its immaculately groomed runs and well-equipped snow park with perfect infrastructure for intermediate skiers and boarders.  

Popular with families is Muttereralm with the longest snow park in the region as well as a Kidspark, Slopestyle Area and other attractions.  

Another family-friendly area is on Rangger Köpfl by Oberperfuss, while Glungezer is close to nature and offers magnificent views of the Inn Valley.  

Schlick 2000 near Fulpmes has excellent natural snow but can also be completely covered using snowmaking facilities if required.  

Stubai  is Austria's largest glacier ski resort with the highest point over 3,200 metres.  It is a personal favourite of us at PlanetSKI and don't think for a second all the resorts around Innsbruck are small and for beginners only.

They are not - Stubai offers some very challenging skiing.

As does Kühtai, It is Austria's highest ski resort, is only a 20-minute drive from Innsbruck.

It has state-of-the-art facilities, including the k-park Kühtai, a true playground for all freestylers with limitless off-piste options to be explored. .

If the weather's not right for a day on the slopes, there's always the Olympic bobsleigh track at Patscherkofel.

It also has miles and miles of cross-country skiing tracks and pleasant wooded walks, or ice skating to try.  

And, yes, I have tried the bobsleigh track - with my eyes closed. 

Back in 2011.
Yours truly feeling nervous!Yours truly feeling nervous!

And don't forget the ciity and the surrounding area is steeped in history with some magnificent castles and museums.

Schloss Ambras, InnsbruckSchloss Ambras, Innsbruck


 4* Hotel Grauer Bär Modern style city hotel; indoor wellness area with penthouse swimming pool with panorama, sauna, steam bath, solarium, quiet room and sun terrace; fitness room; beauty and massage facilities; ski room; wireless internet connection in the entire hotel. Price from £685 per person. 

 3* Hotel Zillertal Good-value family-run hotel, airy, simple decorated rooms; Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs; an ideal base for enjoying the slopes of the surrounding mountains, as well as the hustle and bustle of this lively city. Price from £619 per person.    

Other information:  Direct flights from Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle.

First arrival Saturday 23rd December 2017 and last departure 24th March 2018. 

As we said the first holidays have already been sold so you may have to move swiftly.

For the full details of the holidays then see here:
And if you want to looks at what else is new in the Tirol for this winter see this PlanetSKI feature:
Innsbruck, AustriaInnsbruck, Austria













Innsbruck, AustriaInnsbruck, Austria












See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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