2017 started with long waited ski vacation in Austria. I was planning a trip there for years but every winter something came up delaying my plan and then it was also impossible because of my foot problems.
Luckily this was the year!
Imagine that I come from a country where winter means mountains of snow. Winter in UK means, most of the time, having just a powdered splash in the morning, that you might miss if you are a late sleeper. So, I was so excited thinking I will bath in pure fresh snow for a week. We chose Solden as our destination because of the number of slopes and the après-ski options.
We stayed at SportAlm, a small family run guesthouse. The rooms were recently renovated and a had a wonderful cosy feeling due to warm wood used as a main decorating material. The cleaning lady passed by every day to tidy up and I was impressed by the effort they were putting in washing the entire room daily and changing the sheets at least twice a week. I knew that Germans and Austrians are known for their cleanliness culture but seeing it at its best was pleasantly shocking. This entire resort was picture perfect clean. All the pensions and guest houses looked like they had a paint over last week. Really impressive!
Anyway, going back to SportAlm, arriving was a nightmare because of a snow storm, but once there we were warmly welcomed by the owner with pine schnapps, a local specialty. The pension is very close to one of the main gondolas and it has a ski room too. Breakfast was delicious and no matter if you wanted to go for an Austrian specific breakfast, Mediterranean or just go for healthy choices there was something for everybody. They served locally sourced products (diary, eggs, cheeses, pastry, homemade cookies) but you could also opt for a salmon with vegetables.
The resort offers one of the biggest skiing area in Austria with slopes for every level. As they say: The infinite number of slopes and ski trails for all levels and abilities coupled with the perfect grooming of not less than 145 km of slopes make Sölden a truly unique winter sports center. 33 state-of-the-art ski lifts and gondolas with a total capacity of 70,000 persons/hour guarantee ultimate skiing fun without queuing.
There wasn’t that much natural snow as I was expected, in Europe in the last few years we had very few snow, probably climate change is to blame. Nevertheless, the slopes were looked after by the artificial snow making systems and the levelling machines that went out every evening after slopes closure.
Eating on the mountains is not a problem at all. More than 30 rustic huts and restaurants are welcoming you with a wide variety of options. Again, if you are one of those persons into healthy eating, don’t worry you will not having problems finding something to eat.
Things to try:
Enjoy an après-ski drink right besides Gaislachkogl lift at this flame bar party every evening.
Go for a night ski show, electric mountain party or Hannibal theatre on slopes.
Try out a Tyrolean meat fondue.
007 fan? You have to stop by IceQ.
Relax in thermal waters at Aquadome. Sitting in one of the thermal water cones and admiring the snowed mountains... priceless.