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The real Austria  lives on in Obergurgl

The real Austria lives on in Obergurgl

It took just 80 minutes drive from Innsbruck airport to tiny and beautiful Obergurgl – hidden way above the end of the long Oetz valley.

We drove through the livelier, larger party-town of Solden, and glad we did because we found peaceful Obergurgl  nice and quiet and perfect for couples, middle-aged single adult groups or families though we didn’t see many as it was out of term time.

An absence of village bars and hostelries meant there weren’t many other young people either so thankfully we rarely heard the scary scraping of a snowboard rushing  behind you!

Being pre-Easter the slopes were quiet too, giving us access to the region, including big-brother Solden with its twin glaciers and Spectre’s mountain Ice Box HQ that 007 Bond tackled in his movie.

The twin villages are among the Alps snowiest resorts with skiable snow available until end-April.

Best Runs

 You can ski the whole area including every run in Obergurgl/Hochgurgl in two days easy (or one if you’re pushing it)  so it’s not a huge ski area. The Top Express is a vital lift which goes right to left from Obergurl to Hochgurgl and that doubles the ski area and it’s included in the ski pass.

OberGurgl – Up Roskarbahn lift from the centre allows the main cruisy blue (6) all the way down, it’s wide and very easy but run number 12 is a lovely red run back that we particularly enjoyed. It’s not too challenging but interesting enough especially with a bit snowfall.  There’s a cracking red at the far end of the town (1). You take the Hohe Mut Bahn lift to the where there is a really nice restaurant (Hohe Mut Alm) which has a lovely inside dining area with open fire, probably the highlight for a lunch booking on the mountain in Obergurgl. Down from there, when it’s not busy with people falling out from lunch, it’s a great run although the lower part of that run 3 & 5 is particularly enjoyable with the Zirben Alm bar at the bottom which is owned by the Edelweiss & Gurgl Hotel. The outdoor terrace is often in the mid to early afternoon sun.

Hochgurgl - There’s a huge network of Blue runs often in the sun, taking the Hochgurglbahn lift or the Wormkogl lift up from Hochgurgl, or the Top Express over from Obergurgl. There’s also a really well organised self service restaurant at the top of this lift called the Wurmkoglhutte. Great for a coffee or something more hearty such as ribs and wedges with lashings of BBQ sauce, a freshly made Pizza or Currywurst and chips. So many options and one of the best run self service I’ve seen in a resort. Mountain Star at the top of the Wurmkogl peak for an Incredible View of the Otztal Alps on one side and the Italian Dolomites on the other. Great for a drink or some lunch. A must-see unless you’re a bit uneasy with heights!

The twin villages are among the Alps snowiest resorts with skiable snow available until end-April.

A  lovely little town/village without a huge amount of nightlife but some lovely hotels and a little bit of apres Ski. Ample skiing for 3-4 days after which it may become a trifle monotonous.

 We would go back every few years with a group of chaps, probably won’t take the family as there isn’t really enough to do for a week but we had a suberb time and really felt like we knew the resort within the 4/5 days we were there.

Our hotel ratings..

 Mathiesn – 3star superior, very comfortable hotel where we stayed, ran by a lovely family who are open for around 9 months of the year. Breakfast and Evening meal included.

Bellevue – 4 star Superior - Amazing wine list with the like of Domaine de la Romanee Conti at over 8000 euros a bottle! They organise various wine tastings which look incredible. A wonderful hostess who is the daughter of  owner.

Gurglhof – 4 Star superior, stunning hotel at the end of the village. Open fire in the reception, so we stopped for a drink!

Hochfirst – 5 Star wellness resort with indoor and outdoor pool, really was a notch above with an incredible wine tasting room with Chateau Petrus on the menu. They have a tie in with Porsche for electric car charging and there were about 8 Porsches in the car park so weren’t quite sure what the link was but it was interesting.

Obergurgl-townfassl-bar-obergurglHochfirsthotel-jeneweinMathiesnNederhuette

Best Bars

 Fassl Bar (Barrel bar) – Apres Ski bar, very small inside but great fun to greet you at the bottom of the last run of the day. Shaped as 3 very large Whiskey/wine barrels built together with a few drinks tables outside, where the sport of  nagling - whacking nails into a log with a thin hammer -- being a main entertainment other than the music!

Hotel Jenwein – Nice civilised drinks after a day’s skiing which we liked but doesn’t bill itself as an apres-ski bar. At the bottom of the last run also next to the Fassl.

The Nederhutte – The main apres-ski hut on the mountain with a Live band 3 or 4 days a week. It’s a Von Trapp style family business offering Incredible fun with table service, extensive drinks menu whether you want a glass of whispering Angel Rose, beer or a peach schnapps (their signature drink) or a Willy – nickname for a Williams Pear Schnapps… Band starts at 5pm, so get there earlier to get a table.  A skidoo is on hand for those who may struggle to ski home down the last run of the day!

 Other bars …

 Pic Nic – in the town centre where many go here for a shot of apres ski . See You is a really smart bar with also very busy restaurant specialising in burgers and great for families as well as adults

  You can ski every run in Obergurgl/Hochgurgl in two days (one if you’re pushing it) so it’s not a huge ski area). The Top Express is a vital lift which goes right to left from Obergurl to Hochgurgl and that doubles the ski area and it’s included in the ski pass.

www.gurgl..com

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