Obergurgl sits at the head of the Oetz valley and is one of the the highest and most snow-sure resorts in Austria. Although it has no glacier, it does boast one of the best and longest seasons in the Alps. The village has a sophisticated up-market feel and is traditional in its appearance. These factors coupled with the high quality service and cuisine from the hotels ensures that is has a very strong repeat clientele, especially amongst the British.
Beginners are welcomed to Obergurgl with their own nursery village area, from here progression to the resorts blue runs is swift and easy. The resort ski school is effective and friendly ensuring that guests progress quickly along their learning curve. By the end of the week beginners will be skiing over in Hochgurgl and feeling that they have really travelled far, both in kilometres and in ability.
Intermediates will find Obergurgl a paradise with its uncrowded pistes and superb snow. Whilst the area covers 110km of piste the fact that there are so few skiers on the mountain at any time will allow the mile hungry skier to clock up a huge tally in a short space of time. Generally you will find little need for a piste map after day three as the area is easy to navigate. One of Snowfinders' Nick's favourite runs is the huge descent from the top station at Hochgurglfrom on the Wurmkogl at 3080m straight down to Pil/Untergurgl at 1795m. this route will take you straight down a black and onto reds all the way without stopping - it`s a 1285m vertical which will certainly end up in a case of the old "Cliff Thighburns"!
Experts may tire of the piste skiing here after a few days, in which case there is no better excuse to grab a local guide and explore some great off-piste; the Konigstal being a favourite. Alternatively, your pass can cover, for a small upgrade, a day in Solden with it's larger more aggressive ski area.
Surprisingly, the area is pretty decent for boarders with it`s great lift system and wide pistes. The only drawback being that there isn't a fun park or half pipe at present, however, let's be honest how many boarders and skiers actually use these facilities?
- Reliable and good snow cover
- Very family friendly
- Queue and crowd free
- Traditional village
- Great tea-time apres ski
- Limited slopes for experts
- Little tree lined runs
- Few off slope facilities other than in the hotels
There are not many activities for non-skiers. The leisure complex in the Hochfirst Hotel is said to be good. Most of the 4 and 5 star hotels that line the streets have excellent spa facilities too. Day trips to neighbouring resorts and Innsbruck are all within easy reach. There are over over 12km of trailed walks around the resort and valley floor. The shops in resort are a little limited with mainly ski shops and a few boutiques for the fashion conscious.
Apres ski can be very lively immediately after the slopes close but tends to quieten down towards late evening. The Nederhutte is a legendary venue which is in full swing three times a week. Here the party is rocking by 4pm with all age ranges dancing on the tables to live music as varied as traditional Austrian to Lynyrd Skynyrd to ACDC - it really is one of the best apres ski bars in the alps, however, be sure to get there early to get a table. as the venue is up on the mountain they even run a cat-track to take you back into town for those incapable of skiing back down. Later on the apres ski centres around the various hotel bars but the C.U. bar and The Josl hotel's Kellar bar (sound proofed late night venue) are very popular. A big mention is reserved for the ever popular Krumpn's Stadl Barn with its live music and fantastic hosts. The other nightclub is the Austria-Keller which appeals to a wide age range of clients.
Most guests in Obergurgl choose to holiday half board and this is reflected in the restaurants virtually all being within the hotels. In the main, the food and drinks are very good value in Obergurgl when compared to its French counterparts. On a recent trip Imogen from Snowfinders was able to get a lunchtime beer and burger and chips of exceptional quality at the 4 star Hotel Jennewein at the foot of the slopes for just €12.
A high, snow sure resort with large areas of easy off-piste. A great place for intermediates looking for high end accommodation at a good price.