With an authentic, fashionable ski village, cracking apres-ski scene and a massive high altitude ski area, Ischgl gives its more popular neighbour St. Anton a run for its money! Sitting high in the stunning Silvretta mountains, the resort has a traditional Austrian feel crossed with a chic up-to-the-minute resort. The large ski area has around 200 km of snow sure local pistes, and is a part of the larger Silvretta ski area, which offers more than 370 km of piste over six valleys and the chance to ski over to the duty free haven of Samnaun in Switzerland.
There are some good nursery slopes, but unfortunately this is not really the ideal destination for complete beginners, because the learner slopes are located high up the mountain, and the main run down is a red that can become crowded at peak times. The fast, modern lift system will move you quickly across the massive ski area, and there are many challenging runs for intermediates and experts. The off-piste powder-packed bowls are incredible in this area. A 90-metre half-pipe, quarter-pipe and abundance of jumps and rails draw freestylers to one of the best terrain parks in Austria.
The village has retained its alpine charm despite developing exclusive shops, restaurants and hotels and is walkable from one end to the other through a series of elevators and short-cut tunnels. Look out for the cows that can be seen in original winter farming chalets, spread throughout the high-end hotels. The sophisticated night life at Ischgl is becoming more and more well known, with a formidable list of cocktail bars, wine bars, pubs and nightclubs. You'll find a lively, beckoning establishment of every variety to tempt you into a (few!) après-ski tipples. Be careful though, the Austrians somehow still manage to ski hard after partying late into the night - it might be wise not to try to keep up...
Despite its reputation for great nightlife, Ischgl is also known for its family-friendly outlook and has much going on for families.
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Ischgl for Different Ski Abilities
Ischgl's main focus is not a beginners' resort, but its high-altitude nursery slopes are snow-sure and sunny. However it is their position that makes it not quite so good for learners. The run back down to the resort is a red that can get crammed full of people at peak times, meaning you'll have to catch the gondola back down to the resort. There are ski school offices and ski, board and boot hire shops near the nursery slopes. There are easy blues for you to progress on to when you are ready.
Ischgl and neighbouring Samnaun are covered in excellent blue and red runs, with absolutely everything from wide cruisers to reds dotted with short steep stretches. All of the pistes are usually very well groomed. Head to the easily accessible The Paznauner Taya area via the Sassgalunbahn chairlift for some fun easy reds, or head to the Palinkopf to ski the long long piste 40. Definitely do the day trip from Ischgl to Samnaun it is an unbeatable day out. Make sure you check out the duty free shops amidst the quaint old wood chalets, and have a delicious lunch.
Experts will have lots to keep them busy in the Silvretta ski area. There are some great black pistes and even better off-piste. Choose one of several good blacks coming off the Greitspitz, the Palinkopf and the Paznauer Taya lifts. In particular, routes 20 and 21 will get the heart racing. There are some fantastic marked off-piste routes such as those under the Palinkopf and the Hollenspitz, but remember - these are not patrolled.
Ischgl Ski School
Ischgl's only ski school, the Schneesport-Akademie, has over 100 instructors and offers everything from private and group classes to off-piste guiding. It is a good idea to request an English-speaking instructor when you book your lessons. All ski school classes meet at Idalp.
00 43 5444 5257
There's a kindergarten run by the ski school at Idalp for non-skiing kids (3 to 5 years) between 10am and 4pm. The normal ski school takes children from five. There's also an enclosed kids learning area, with an adventure garden and cartoon characters to ski through and around.
Après Ski and Off the Mountain Activities
Après-ski in Ischgl is serious business! You'll find one of the best nightlife atmospheres of any of the European ski resorts here. The action starts at the slopeside bars which pack out and are buzzing as soon as people start to finish skiing for the day. Things kick it up a notch later when everyone moves on to one of the many, varied and excellent bars, pubs and clubs for drinks and ski boot dancing. Try the Allegra American Bar in the hotel Tscla, the Guxa cocktail bar, Feuer & Eis, Kuhstahl and Pacha Nightclub. There's an abundance of quality restaurants serving local Tyrolean cuisine including fondues and farmers' buffets, as well as a massive variety of international food. For something a little sophisticated, try The Hotel Elizabeth's restaurant or grab fondue at Kitzloch. Salz & Pfeffer, Grill Alm and La Bamba are also popular. For a different meal experience, eat at one of the restaurants reached by lift up and toboggan run down or by sleigh ride.
off the mountain
Ischgl is an attractive, charming alpine village, and it's worth spending a day sightseeing. The Annakapelle chapel is the oldest chapel in the Paznaun valley and was built in 1610. The Maria-Schnee-Kapelle chapel, built in 1643 has a beautiful high altar created by Michael Lechleitner in 1660. There are also a couple of historical sites and museums worth a look. You can also try: Floodlit tobogganing (7km), ice skating, curling, winter walks, a leisure centre with indoor pool, steam baths & sauna, bowling, indoor tennis, sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, paragliding, sleigh rides, snow shoeing, indoor tennis and open-air concerts.
Ischgl is situated high up in the Silvretta mountain range, approximately 100kms from Innsbruck and close to the border with Switzerland. The most convenient means of reaching the resort from the UK is by taking a plane from London to Innsbruck and then either hiring a car or taking public transport to complete the journey. Another option is to fly into either Munich or Innsbruck airports. Innsbruck has good rail connections to the rest of the European continent, and rail transportation is an affordable, efficient and comfortable alternative to driving. From Waterloo station in the UK, take the Eurostar to Paris, from where you can take a connecting overnight train from gare de l'Est to Munich, and then another connection to Innsbruck via the Eurocity train. Trains run from Innsbruck to Landeck, from where there are free, hourly buses to Ischgl. Innsbruck's provincial airport is accessible from all major European cities, including London, Paris and Amsterdam. If you are coming from any other part of the world, you will need to go through the international airports in Munich or Zürich. Shuttles go from Munich Airport to Innsbruck, from where regular trains go to Landeck and free buses run hourly to Ischgl ski resort.
The closest airport is Innsbruck Airport (100 km), and the trip to Ischgl takes about 90 minutes. Transfer from Munich Airport (300 km) takes around three hours, and approximately the same from Zurich is about the same distance. All three cities have good rail links to the Tirol and Ischgl's nearest station is Landeck, with frequent buses to the resort from the station. Taxis are also available and can be pre-booked.
Innsbruck has good rail connections to the rest of Europe. From Waterloo station in the UK, take the Eurostar to Paris, from where you can take a connecting overnight train from gare de l'Est to Munich, and then another connection to Innsbruck via the Eurocity train. Trains run from Innsbruck to Landeck, from where there are free, hourly buses to Ischgl. Bus schedules are available at the Tourist Board, or take a taxi. It is about 30 km from Landeck to Ischgl.
Driving from the UK is a pretty lengthy journey. You'll need to get a car ferry to the French port of Calais and then drive over 1,000kms. The highways between Calais and Ischgl are of a high standard, but there are many tolls.
Merinannies provides first class childcare in Ischgl. Their testimonials and returning clientele show the level of care they provide which relies on the quality of their nannies. Merinannies offers flexible a reliable private nanny service to suit every family's requirements. Their team consists of qualified, experienced and checked nannies, first aided, specialh needs trained and multilingual nannies. They take care of babies from the age of four weeks to 14 years for short weekends or full weeks and long term.