<p>Drinks with a view in Ischgl, Austria</p>

Drinks with a view in Ischgl, Austria

Why Ischgl is the most fun you can pack into a winter ski break

This first-class ski resort has the powder and the prettiness for a winter break to remember

Monday 15 November 2021 10:14

High-end, upmarket and with world-class dining, Ischgl is all about quality. Tucked in a high, sun-flooded valley between the Silvretta and the Verwall Alps, it has attracted jet-set skiers for decades.

With 239 snow-assured, border-crossing kilometres of slopes, the wider Paznaun area is one of the biggest ski areas in the Alps. Just as exciting for experienced freeriders as for families and learners, it’s at an altitude of 2,000 metres above sea level - meaning thick, reliable snow all through winter and into spring.

Skiing and other adventures

Families and beginners will love the little ups and downs of this resort’s Snowpark; while those more confident should strap on their boots for the Smuggler’s Run, which extends from Ischgl to Samnaun, Switzerland - and can be tackled at three levels of difficulty, gold, silver or bronze.

Snowshoe tours and paragliding jaunts mix up your days in this adventurous spot, while smoothly buffed rinks give opportunities for ice-skating, curling and ice hockey. One winter must-do is the Skyfly zipline, where you can whizz over snowy treetops, plunging valley and pointy evergreens below your dangling feet.

Or set out into the snow on foot: a total of six winter hiking routes, spanning 60 kilometres, extend from the town itself - you can even hike across the border and into Switzerland. Even more magical, night owls can even set off on a floodlit, 7km toboggan run under the stars - a whole different kind of nightlife.

Ischgl is famous for its chocolate-box prettiness

Foodie feasts

There are ten toque-awarded restaurants in this foodie enclave, from the wood-panelled Heimatbühne at the swish Trofana Royal hotel - dreamt up by innovative head chef Martin Sieberer - to the cutting-edge design and smooth, earthy textures of Gourmet Restaurant Stüva.

Visitors will find it easy to taste both hearty Tyrolean classics such as Speckknödel or Käsespätzle, reimagined for fine-dining tastes, and hyper-modern creations on tasting menu’s like Schlossherrnstube’s, featuring creations made with rosewater, watermelon, caviar and fennel.

Meanwhile, Japan meets France at sophisticated restaurant Lucy Wang; and the best views in the area are from the terraces of the Alpenhaus, a charming lodge set at the foot of Idalp, the main ski area. This broad, luxurious food scene means Ischgl has been identified as a Tyrolean gourmet mecca by the Gault-Millau restaurant guide as well as gourmet magazine A la Carte.

Stylish village life

Ischgl is known for being a destination town in its own right, with pretty, historic architecture featuring spires and traditional wooden houses. Charming chalet-style buildings spill down the slopes, while cosy mountain lodges nestle against chic spa hotels with steaming outdoor pools.

If you’re focused on keeping your travel as sustainable as possible, it’s also worth knowing that this snow-carpeted area is also the largest climate-neutral ski area in the Alps. Since 1 January 2021, all cable cars, mountain restaurants and snow systems around the resort have run on green electricity.

To find out more about Austria’s Ischgl resort, visit austria.info and ischgl.com.

Please check gov.uk before travel for the latest government guidance.

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