For a wealth of beginner-level runs and friendly atmosphere in an intimate resort setting, few choices beat Obergurgl.
Experts will have off-piste powder and nearby sister-resorts to explore, and everyone, regardless of expertise level, will appreciate the quaint little village and spectacular surrounding scenery.
High at the end of the Ötztal valley, Obergurgl is one of the highest resort villages in Europe.
The village is small, traditional, and used to incoming skiers, so it is friendly and accommodating to tourists. A lot of wealthy tourists visit for the ambiance, so there are shops and restaurants that cater to deeper wallets, as well as more economical choices. Despite the popularity of the area and the core of loyal return visitors, the place doesn’t seem busy most of the time. It’s relaxed and friendly.
The nearest airport is Innsbruck, 90 minutes (96km) from the resort. If you arrive by train, Ötz is the closest one at 40 minutes (40km) away, and shuttles are available.
At 1790-3030m, Obergurgl starts where some resort wane, and rises from there. Needless to say, this adds a lot to the reliability and quality of the snow conditions. Its link to the glacier slopes of Hochgurgl mean that there is always excellent snow around during ski season.
The actual skiing terrain is small in comparison to most modern resorts, at only 112km, but that is ample for most families, and this is a resort geared toward family vacations.
This place is perfect for beginners, and there is a large share of the area for intermediate skiers to enjoy as well. Experts may want to explore the limited offering here and then sample Vent and/or Sölden, which are both included in an Obergurgl lift pass of three days’ duration (or longer). Other experts opt for off-piste experiences too, like Hohe Mut with its excellent and ample powder.
Many of the state-of-the-art lifts include heated seats, the area includes the Audi Quattro terrain park, and recent improvements and developments all add up to a modern, comfortable, resort experience.
From the 15th of November to the 28th of April, this resort offers excellent conditions and on-slope fun in a quiet, beautiful valley.
The local nightclub, the Josl Keller, has a regular DJ and is conveniently located right at the resort. As you might have guessed, the area in general is not a place for wild parties and binge drinking. It caters more to lovers of live music, good food, and a little dancing thrown in to round out the day.
For cheap and cheerful, Pizzaria Belmonde is a good choice, and features a wood-fired oven so the quality is great for the money. On the slopes themselves you might try Wurmkoglhütte where you can sit outside and eat on the terrace. Dish out a little more money and you will enjoy the Salz & Pfeffer Steakhouse or Eidelweiss & Gurgl in town, or one of Hohe Mut Alm or Nederhütte, piste-side.
There is a Motorbike Museum in the Top Mountain Crosspoint building in Hochgurgl, and a pretty good restaurant on site so you can make a visit there and catch a quality meal in one trip.