innsbruck-austria-skiing

 

1. Roll the dice

innsbruck-austria-skiing

Everyone’s lucky when Innsbruck is home base. With no fewer than nine ski areas within a one hour radius, all easily reached by free ski bus, whichever one you choose for the day is a winner. The hot ticket this season is a ride on the Eisgrat gondola at Stubai Glacier: the new 60 million euro gondola is in the history books as the largest single investment made by a ski resort. Eleven minutes up, free wifi, and a glorious sparkling glacier to boot.

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2. Get a gold medal view

Innsbruck Austria-christof-lackner

Host of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, Innsbruck ski jumpers are famously treated to an uninterrupted aerial view of the cemetery as they blast off from the panoramic Bergisel ski jump. We can ascend for the same view, and admire the stunning curves of the Zaha Hadid designed structure too.

3. Head down, hold breath

Another Olympic dividend that speed lovers flock to: the Olympic bob sleigh run at Igls. Don helmet, zip up jump suit and squeeze in tight between professional bob-drivers for a teeth-rattling taxi-bob tour that reaches speeds of 70 miles per hour.

4. Cobble something together

innsbruck-austria-tirol-oesterreich

After skiing, nothing beats slipping into comfy shoes for a walking tour of Innsbruck’s Old Town. Stroll the Imperial home of the Hapsburgs surrounded by a thousand peaks: from the 500 year old the Golden Roof to the Imperial Palace and Emperor Maximilian I’s tomb in the Court Church, all speckled with pretty shops and whipped cream cakes and the heavenly scent of coffee wafting from the cafes of Maria Theresien Street.

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5. Dabble in the extreme

Innsbruck Austria

Two runs come immediately to mind. The first is in fact an easy red run, now. Back in 1976 the Patscherkofel at Igls was the icy victory ground for Franz Klammer’s wild downhill Olympic gold medal run. The second is and always will a serious challenge. Directly above the city of Innsbruck, the dog-toothed crest of the Nordkette mountains  are reached via the top station, Hafelekar. You’ll have a magnificent view over Innsbruck and the Austrian Alps, before it’s heads down onto the celebrated, fairly extreme ski route called Karrinne. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.