Solden extends for more than a mile along the Otz valley and benefits a lot from Austria's most snowsure skiing and liveliest apres-ski. Boasting three 3,000m ski mountains and 85 bars and restaurants, the likelihood for enjoyment is, quite honestly, astonishing. The traditional Tirolean buildings are appealing enough, but traffic is Solden's main problem, especially because the resort is only an hour from Innsbruck. Another problem for some is the wild nightlife, but it is stated clearly on tourist brochure: 'This is not the place for zither music and dewy eyed couples'. If you are in it for zither music,proceed to the throb-free Zwieselstein instead.
Having the largest glacier skiing area in Austria and virtually all of the pistes are over 2,000m, Solden is the greatest option for the spring break with the winter season enduring till May. At 1,350m, the resort itself is slightly less snowsure but all the home runs are served by snowmaking.
Lifts number at 34 and the main mountain access is via two gondolas, at opposite ends of the village but connected by a ski bus. One heads up to the Giggijoch ski area, the other towards the perma-snow on the Tiefenbach glacier. The two areas are linked at altitude by the Glacier Express gondola.
There are 150km of mostly intermediate piste to select from. Complete beginners are restrained to a few un-snowsure nursery slopes right ontop the village, but anybody else might want to go for the heights and an extensive selection of blues and reds, as well as a 13km descent from the glacier to the valley floor. Experts may also enjoy the the testing blacks under Hainbachjoch.
An eight-person gondola on the Rettenbach glacier carries you to 3,247m on the Schwarze Schneide ('Black Blade'), granting skiers and boarders to try the the 'Big 3 Rally' -more than 10,000 vertical meters in about four hours of hard skiing.
The cozy Huhnersteign is a preferred place to escape the icy blasts of the high Rettenbachtal. They specialize in blood-warming soups like Tiroler Speckknoderlsuppe (soup with bacon dumplings) and exotic cocktails. To get a taste of the 'highest pizza in Austria' go to the Tre Milla Pizzeria above the Gaislachkogl (3,058m).
More on Ski Resorts in Solden, Austria
© 2012 Athena Goodlight
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