ischgl

Why Ischgl needs to be your next skiing trip

The Austrian ski resort is favoured by celebrities

The skiing season might be over, but now is the perfect time to plan ahead for when the next one comes around and look into the mountains of Ischgl, Austria, which offers some of the best slopes and experiences for veteran skiers and newcomers alike. But while skiing might be the main attraction, during my stay there I discovered the ski resort offered much more from glamorous restaurants to biking and other sporting activities to even a thriving summer of activity programmes, it has it all.

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I was a first-time skier when I headed onto the practice slopes and the tutelage of Teresa, I was quickly able to start getting used to the snow-sport and now cannot wait until the next ski season when I'll be sure to start my journey back to the slopes.

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But it's more than just slopes that this ski resort offers, as during its opening and closing days, it holds a huge concert, The Top of the Mountain, attracting megastar talent from around the world. This year, the Kings of Leon closed out, while previous stars have included the like of Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Elton John and Robbie Williams.

Read on to see more about this jewel of the Austrian mountains, which always manages to attract the biggest of stars.

Activities

Let's be real, if you're on this article then you're interested about the skiing that is offered, and with 239km of slopes, there is plenty on offer for anyone of any ability, in addition with an elevation of 2,000 metres above sea level, the area is just perfect during the winter, and even into the early months of spring.

For a beginner like I am, the training slopes offered a small challenge, but as the hours went by I got more and more confident and filled with a desire to get onto some of the more difficult ones. The resort is divided into the normal blue, red and black slopes, so the resort offers enough for everyone. And for those feeling partially adventurous there is also the Smuggler's Run, which extends all the way down into Samnaun, Switzerland and is so named as it used to be a route for tobacco smugglers way back when.

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And it's not just mountain skiing that is on offer, as you're able to chose to ski off-piste or brave an attempt at cross-country skiing at nearby Galtür. Skiing isn't the only way down the mountains either as those with the need for adrenaline can choose to go tobogganing down certain slopes, reaching speeds of up to 40kph.

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I turned into a capable skier in no time

And for those of you who need more than just skiing and tobogganing to get the juices flowing, you are in luck, as there is also fat biking available, and it is certainly a trek. Perhaps not one for those who aren't in the best of shape, as you climb the steep slopes all the way up a mountainous path in Galtür. Guaranteed to get your legs burning! And if that's not enough, in the nearby village of Kappl, you can do snowshoe walks up the mountain, with stunning snow-covered vistas all the way up and a beautiful chapel at the end.

But if you're in need of a summer break, the area still has a wide variety of activities on offer that aren't available during the winter months with mountain biking, hiking and even white water rafting all on offer.

Food

Iscghl isn't called the gourmet mecca of Tyrol for nothing, with all of the hotels and the surrounding restaurants offering all the best highlights on Tyrolean cuisine. We dined in our four-star hotel, the Hotel Sonne, most nights and were treated to some of the best examples of this cuisine from a wide-ranging menu.

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Another taste highlight for us was in Kappl, where we were treated to a gorgeous meal where you cooked the meat to whatever your flavour yourself. Delicious in every sense of the word.

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Fat biking was one of the hardest workouts I've done in a while

And when out skiing, check out the restaurant they have in the slopes, that is perfect to supply the energy you need so you can hope straight back onto the slopes.

Location

The village of Ischgl itself is beautiful, and very safe with face masks required even when outdoors. Expect gorgeous restaurants, the best bars to enjoy the Apres-Ski, and local shops selling the best local products that you can get your hands on.

Hotels

The area offers a wide variety of four-star, and even a five-star hotel, where we stayed in the beautiful Hotel Sonne, where many of the celebs enjoy staying as well, with a wall in the foyer dedicated to the performers that have come through the area.

Despite being high up in the mountains, you wouldn't know a thing, with the hotel always keeping you at the perfect temperature no matter what the thermometer outside is telling you. Spacious rooms offer twin beds, a large TV and a shower that you just won't want to get out of.

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The Austrian vistas were second to none

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Dining is reserved for hotel guests in the upstairs section, while anyone is available to dine downstairs, and a large spa is available for guests. Featuring saunas, steam rooms, relaxation rooms and even an L-shaped pool, it is the perfect place to let the hours go by when the slopes close for the night.

A one-day ski pass for Ischgl starts at £63 with prices rising for longer stays, with rooms starting as low as £95 per day at Hotel Sonne. Ski passes can be purchased at the hotel.

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