Ischcool …

Peak across the panoramic views and you’ll definitely get cold fingers packing the views from this resort into your ‘phone or cameras, but it’s worth it to take home and savour the stunning sights from these beautiful alps.

Located high in the Paznaun Valley, many of this resort’s snow-sure pistes reach across the border into its shared ski area with Samnaun, Switzerland, adding sunny runs, and even more photo-friendly opportunities.

Ischgl’s ski scene is a credit to those who run it, with well-groomed, powder-perfect pistes and a swift lift infrastructure – its latest lift whisks you from the town to an altitude of 2,624 metres in under 10 minutes!

A treat for intermediate skiers, there is a range of wide slopes, ideal for those skiing with a group of mixed ability, as everyone has their own space to bomb or carve gently down the mountains.

We also had some snowboarders in our group, and found it easy to stick together, thanks to the many wide, accommodating lifts and rendezvous points on the runs.

And it was also easy to hook up for lunch with our beginners, thanks to the well-planned trendy eateries, such as Restaurant Panorama at Idalpe, which is near the lift, ski school and nursery slopes,

It has a self-service and a full service restaurant with fine food, fine wine and even finer views – it was hard to pull away from here for the afternoon on the slopes.

To be honest there were so many appealing places to stop and take in the peaks that it’s amazing we spent any time skiing!

Restaurant Pardorama at Pardatschgrat is another place you could easily park your skis, cast aside any façade of being a fitness fan and go ‘all out’ as a foodie.

The new cable car also means non-skiers can get to this restaurant, which sits at 2,624m, so everyone can enjoy the place.

We also ate here one evening, taking in the striking view of the town at night as we ascended and descended in the high-speed gondola.

Après ski

For many the fine slopes and fine dining are just part of a day that merges readily into a heady après ski scene, with boutique shops, uber-cool bars and clubs that rock ‘til sun rise.

We were lucky to see the start of the season concert with ex-army ski champ’ James Blunt adding his crowd-loving rock and folk sounds to the long list of star-studded acts that have opened and closed Ischgl’s ski years.

Accommodation

 Staying in the heart of the action in Iscghl is not for the faint hearted, so the decision to stay in the nearby village of Galtuir was welcome, as it gave us all the chance to take some space amidst all the adrenaline.

We found the friendly four-star Hotel Ballunspitze to be a showcase of traditional Tyrolean architecture, with plentiful fresh food from the Paznaun region.

We also checked out the trendy Arthotel Elisabeth in Ischgl, which is like visiting a contemporary gallery that also happens to be a four-star hotel, with a very fine dining restaurant … and skiing to the door.

Ischgl is just over an hour away from Innsbruck airport, so the resort is easy to get to, but hard to leave!

Why come here?

1. To ski – There’s more than 238kms of pistes. 45km black, 127km red, 38km blue, and heated ski lifts! There’s also good cross-country skiing.

2. To après ski -It’s almost impossible not to après ski in Ischgl, as most of the home runs conveniently end in a lively bar scene, or close to the promenade.

3. Opening and closing concerts – Top acts at Ischgl have included Robbie Williams, the Killers, The Corrs, Alanis Morissette, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Deep Purple, Kylie Minogue, Sting, The Scorpions, Amy Macdonald, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis, Mel C, the Pussy Cat Dolls, Sugababes, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, P!nk, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Roxette.

 

 

Briony Key has worked for the Scotsman and Travel Weekly and currently writes for Time and Leisure, planetski and Family Ski News. She loves action sports and is this year taking on a Ben Nevis challenge for the British Heart Foundation. Her hobbies include travel, restoring old furniture and working in theatre wardrobes.

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