Ischgl is one of the most impressive resorts in Austria with a great reputation for its après-ski scene. Many natives would rate it as one of the best resorts, with a long season and a reliable natural snow record. The village itself is long and narrow and comprises a mixture of original and faux-Tyrolean buildings. The main street is effectively traffic-free and there’s an underground walkway from the centre of town to the Fimba gondola. There is absolutely no shortage of bars, restaurants and shops lining the pavements.
Resort Altitude: 1,380m
Resort Skiing: 2,900m
Total Ski Area: 240km
Blue Runs: 47km
Red Runs: 150km
Black Runs: 43km
Cross Country: 74km
Ischgl is home to an impressive 240km of cruisy pistes, perfect for intermediates that are looking to clock up the miles. Expert skiers are also well catered for with ten black runs that total one-fifth of the terrain in Ischgl. Unlike most European resorts, there are no nursery slopes in the village, instead, beginners take the gondola up the mountain to a snowsure learners’ plateau.
Ischgl’s ski domain runs from 1,380m up to 2,900m, making it fairly sure of natural snow throughout its relatively long season. In addition, there is a very good snow-making system covering the majority of the slopes. The terrain is overall ideally suited to high-speed advanced and intermediate cruising and the lift system, which is being continuously improved, incorporates 12 high-speed chairlifts and three gondolas that move skiers and boarders rapidly around the mountainside and minimise queues.
Ischgl has long been a popular destination with young boarders and it is now proud to boast that it has Europe’s largest snowboard Fun Park. Situated at Idjoch, it has 35 obstacles, a championship half-pipe, fun boxes, various jumps and an integrated stretch for carvers. The total length is 1,100m and the vertical drop is 350m. Ischgl is often used as a venue for major boarding competitions. The ski area as a whole is fairly boarder-friendly, with lots of chairlifts and not too many drag lifts.
With many ski schools and instructors to choose between, there really is something for everybody.
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There are several big on-mountain restaurants. One of the most charming is the Bodenalpe in the Fimbatal, a pretty little chalet-style hotel serving good food. The Paznauner-Taja has a fun ice bar and often features live music on its terrace. Off the slopes, many of the restaurants are within hotels; the Paznauner-Stube is renowned for having superb food and there are many traditional restaurants and cafes, too, many of which will serve the classics: pizza, pasta, meats and vegetarian options.
Many visitors appear to come here more for the après-ski scene with the fun starting mid-afternoon at the foot of the slopes, where hotels such as the Elisabeth have lively ice-bars and the Kitzloch offer dancing and singing. Later at night, the action moves to the Pacha, now arguably the most cutting-edge nightclub in the whole of the Alps.
For those not clipping into skis in Ischgl, there is a variety of activities to partake in. There are many kilometres of snowshoe and hiking trails, perfect for experiencing the Alpine beauty at a more relaxed pace. There is also a toboggan run, a natural ice rink, horse-drawn sleigh rides and a waterpark with a large selection of saunas, ideal for unwinding.