Those who do not want to wait for the first snow can head for the glaciers. On 8th October, fresh powder snow made it possible to start the ski lifts at the glaciers both in Kaprun and Stubai. Both glaciers open the new winter season with a varied programme. Even a short stay in the Alps is absolutely ideal to recharge one's batteries.
The area which is located a mere 40 kilometres southwest of Innsbruck, is the largest of all Austrian glaciers. At the same time, however, it is one of the more moderate ones, i.e. family-friendly. It offers 35 slopes of all levels of difficulty (a total of 65 kilometres), which are connected by 26 lifts and cable cars. Skiers can get there quickly and conveniently with the new 3S-Eisgratbahn cable car. From the Mutterberg parking lot, the trip to the Eisjoch central station takes just 11 minutes up to 2 900 metres above sea level. The blue piste on Eisjoch is relatively flat and wide. More demanding variants can be found around the parallel four-seater on Rotadlkopf. Most of the slopes on the Stubai Glacier, as on other glaciers, are of easy and medium difficulty. Those seeking an excellent restaurant will not be disappointed. There are plenty of them with a large selection of genuine delicacies. Stubai Zoo Snowpark is one of the best snow parks in the Alps – this year a 300-metre-long Jibline was added, including its own ski lift – Zooshuttle. The Snowpark opened on 16th October.
Extensive Glacier Programme
The great Stubai Premiere will take place on the glacier from 5th to 7th November: 40 renowned manufacturers will be exhibiting their latest models of snowboards and freeriding equipment in the newly opened Snowpark. The sixth FIS Freeski World Cup will take place from 17th to 20th November. 20 countries have already registered for this start of the World Cup.
Opening of Kitzsteinhorn The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, the only glacier area in the Salzburg region, is also launching this year's ski season with exciting events:
Snow-How-Days, a large glacier event held from 7th to 9th November, will provide the opportunity to test the best brands of the latest ski and snowboard models. Visitors can try everything free of charge and listen to valuable advice from professionals. Snow-How-Days also attracts with its culinary experiences. The new Weitblick restaurant serves a Flying Dinner – 3x3 courses, with delicacies from various altitudes on Kaprun. An interesting event awaits ski mountaineers on the glacier: MEIN ERSTER 3000ER - my first three thousander - is a first-class ski tour with a mountain guide, which you can take part in if you love the intense feeling of freedom on the Alpine peaks.
Ascent to the Powder Snow Paradise The 3K-K-ONNECTION cable car will take you directly to the glacier area, right from the centre of Kaprun. There are 61 kilometres of slopes, 5 freeride tracks and 3 perfectly equipped snow parks. www.zellamsee-kaprun.com
Accommodation Tips near the Glaciers
SPA-Hotel Jagdhof***** Stubai Glacier, Neustift
The atmosphere of this traditional family hotel is characterised by luxury and cosiness. The hotel boasts four Gault & Millau hats in the award-winning Hubertus Stube á-la-carte restaurant, where guests can enjoy creatively prepared traditional Tyrolean specialities. The hotel's highlights include the well-stocked wine cellar, where wines from the old and new world await diners, as well as the Genuss-Gondel gondola – Tyrol's smallest gourmet restaurant.
The spacious SPA-CHALET with a total area of 3 000 m2 provides an oasis of calm. VITAL WELT sauna world boasts 20 saunas and steam baths and a Beauty Salon. The hotel's VIP Shuttle Bus transports guests directly to the cable cars below the glacier.
People who are young at heart will also feel great at the 4-star HAPPY STUBAI Hotel, a lively traditional hotel that masterfully combines boutique style with happy chic. A place where hipsters meet active families and also energetic senior citizens who all love life amidst Nature. The young, creative team conjures up colourful delicacies in the Happy Kitchen, inspired by Tyrolean and international cuisine. GOOD MORNING AUSTRIA – this is definitely the best breakfast in the whole valley. Everything is freshly prepared from local ingredients and to suit every taste. The Chill-out-Area with a heated 20-metre long outdoor pool provides relaxation and a recharge of batteries after a mountain adventure. A Skibus which stops almost in front of the hotel transports guest to the valley station of the cable car for the glacier. www.happystubai.com
Sportresort Alpenblick **** 4-Star Superior, Zell am See Fit for life & for the Piste. Plus: absolutely family-friendly!
Sportresort Alpenblick is located 750 metres above sea level, not far from Lake Zell. After sporting activities, guests will find everything needed for quality regeneration in the hotel. The expansion and new construction of the Resort over the past year are proof of its continuing development. “Build-up instead of Lock-down” is the motto of the family owners. The new 300-m² gym with state-of-the-art equipment and views of the Alpine peaks is spectacular. The Fit-Mind-Body programme is the perfect preparation for the start of the ski season: performance diagnostics and fitness checking guarantee optimised and tailor-made personal training, thanks to which guests will be adapted for their first glacier piste, as well as for the entire winter season. "Our trainers and experts use state-of-the-art diagnostic and training methods to support training. For every age and every training level," emphasises Phillip Aigner, the young enthusiastic sports coach.
Combined with the healthy Fit Kitchen and regeneration in the 1 300 m2 wellness area, the start of the glacier season will definitely be a success.
Ski-Plus: Obtain a Ski Pass at Reception and board the Skibus at the hotel entrance. There is, of course, a hotel ski coach available. Early birds can ski on a cross-country trail together with the hosts.
Family-Plus: The children's ALPI CLUB will also take care of the youngest guests. It is equipped with indoor and outdoor playgrounds. Family rooms are available for families with children and there are also special family wellness offers.
Hotelis – Spa and Wellness Hotels is a group which has been headed by Director Gabriela Havlínová since May this year. It is a young, dynamically developing network of 4-star hotels in West Bohemian spa towns. The trio consists of the Grandhotel Nabokov in Mariánské Lázně and Villa Smetana and the Parkhotel Humboldt in Karlovy Vary.
Are you ready for absolute peace and perfect rest? At the same time, you want to play golf in the midst of the Alps and relax in a beautiful wellness area of 4700 m2? If so, Hotel Astoria in Tyrolean Seefeld is not to be missed. It is instantly clear why guests are so happy to return here.
Hotel Tennerhof is exceptional: it uniquely combines the intimate, cosy atmosphere of a small Tyrolean-style family enterprise with first-class service. A private garden, a large wellness area with indoor and outdoor pools, a restaurant and a wine cellar all contribute to a perfect holiday.