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Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

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Australia
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Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

We will be travelling to Germany in December and we are really keen on just chilling out over the Xmas period (4-5 days) and interested in maybe crossing the border into Austria to do this. We have never skied before, but would be happy to stay somewhere were we could take beginner lessons or undertake other winter activities such as snowshoeing (have done this once in the States), sledding or winter hiking. Could we base ourselves in Innsbruck for a few days and undertake day travel to surrounding ski resorts on public transport or is there a ski resort or alpine village that we should consider instead that is not frightfully expensive or too upper class?

Vienna
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1. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

Hi!

Innsbruck would be a good base for a skiing holiday. There are many skiing Resorts within easy reach by public Transport and there is even a free ski bus for visitors with a valid Innsbruck guest card.

Also other winter sports activities are possible in the surrounding of Innsbruck. See innsbruck.info/en/…winter-holidays.html for further Information on winter Holidays in the City.

If you could come to Innsbruck in the days before Christmas, you could still enjoy the beautiful Christmas markets One of them will be open until the 6th of January, but the others cClose dowm on the 23rd of December. See http://www.christkindlmarkt.cc/?n=1&lang=2 for Information.

If you would prefer to leave the town for some days to enjoy winter activities in a more remote location, you can head from Innsbruck to the Stubaital valley (http://www.stubai.at/en) or to Kühtai (kuehtai.info/english/winterurlaub/home.html)

Best regards, Christina

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

Keep in mind that Innsbruck might very well not be having snow, considering it's low altitude. It's a pretty city, but without snow it might be a bit gloomy. A snowy, romantic Tirolean village is what you (should) wish for!

In the surrounding Tirol province, literally hundreds of winter/skiresorts are available, with much better snowchances.

If your afraid of high prices avoid Kitzbuhel, Lech, Ischgl and St.Anton.

Nice villages are Westendorf, Ellmau, Seefeld, Berwang, and many, many others.

It might be difficult to find accomodation as many will expect you to book for a full week. But it should be possible in the lesser popular resorts.

Visit: http://www.tyrol.com/

Dublin, Ireland
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3. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

flexen. st anton, lech, and ischgl are in the Arlberg,(I think) not the tirol. kitzbuhel is in the tirol ok, but is not as pricey as many think. however, it is quite a low resort, and not snow sure at Christmas. lack of snow would also affect westendorf and ellmau

seefeld or igls are the two closest resorts to which are at same level as kitz.Innsbruck, but if the op is in Germany around munich area, they could consider zell am see, or possibly lermoos / ehrwald

Edited: 10 March 2014, 21:09
Lancaster, United...
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4. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

Nakagoli, the Arlberg straddles the Tyrol and Vorarlberg, Lech is in the latter and St Anton the former. Ischgl is separate from the Arlberg (although plans in the pipeline for a lift/piste link between St Anton and Kappl, in the same valley as Ischgl) and in the Tyrol.

Madanouticecream, staying in Innsbruck would be a possibility, you would probably find it a lot easier to get shorter stays than if you were to look for accomodation in a ski resort where providers tend to hold out for week long bookings until the last possible minute. As already mentioned, there are the Christmas markets that take place there every year, and skiing is easy to get to via public transport from the city centre without too long a journey. May not have that much snow in the city, but the surrounding mountains will have snow cover at Christmas. The other options which again have been mentioned are to look at ski villages/towns which will have more snow and the skiing on your doorstep. If places being snow covered are what you are after, then you'd need to look somewhere a little higher like maybe Sölden (has glaciers and hosts a round of the FIS ski championships early season, Nov time IIRC).

Australia
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5. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

Dear Christina,

Many thanks for your reply. We are still researching to decide what would be the best option: i) stay in Innsbruck so that we can take in the local sights there and also travel to surrounding ski resorts utilising the bus; or ii) stay in a resort for the duration.

Do you have any suggestions on what we can do to celebrate Christmas? I understand that it is usually celebrated on the eve of 24th December, rather than on the 25th (unlike Australia). Are there restaurants that take Christmas lunch or dinner bookings in Innsbruck? Do the buses or local attractions close on the 25th (or surrounding days) that we would need to consider?

Oak Park, Illinois
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6. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

As many of the posters on this forum know, I visit Innsbruck every Christmas, leaving on Dec. 27th. I stay in Igls, a small ski resort village with a ski school on public transportation from Innsbruck (The "J" bus.) They manuacture snow, also at the ski school, but when I was there last year the temperatures in the 50s made that impossible. However, there are many beautiful walking paths leading from Igls, all cleared, so that is always a good option.

As for Christmas eve many restaurants are open, especially those in hotels, and it is best to have a reservation. Our Christmas Day meal is always a special event, with mountain views and the beautiful old-fashioned Christmas decorations.

All the buses and trams run on a holiday schedule the 24, 25th, and 26th, but the holiday schedule in Innsbruck is not that restricted.

Northern New Jersey
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7. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

We were in Innsbruck for Christmas and skiing, December 2013. You should know that there are free ski buses from a few different stops in Innsbruck, taking you to the various ski areas. They publish a schedule, through the tourism board website. You could check it online, certainly in the fall, if it's been taken down for winter 2013-14. Much better than driving a car on unfamiliar mountain roads, maybe in the dark, with the uncertainties of mountain weather.

The Innsbruck Hbf is an important regional transit hub, and within easy walking distance of the Altstadt.

As for snow, the Stubaier Gletscher is the big daddy in the immediate Innsbruck area, on the ski bus circuit, and virtually guaranteed snow. It might not be the greatest for beginners, though. You could read reviews. The other, lower-altitude and closer ski areas generally have snowmaking.

Innsbruck does roll up the sidewalks on the 24th, early afternoon, and I have heard also for the 25th. Very different from Rome, which was buzzing with families out walking together on the street those days. But I hear that the ski areas remain active. We had fun on the 24th at the Aquadome spa in the Otz valley. We went by rental car, although mass transit is available. We walked to Christmas Eve services in the Altstadt around 6 p.m., and it was interesting to see that area of Innsbruck deserted, as it is usually buzzing. The Christmas market was closed. We left on the morning of the 25th.

You absolutely need dining reservations on the 24th in Innsbruck. Most restaurants close, and the tourism board website will tell you which ones are open, mostly in the hotels. Even at our own hotel, we were closed out of the dining room because we had not reserved in time. We used room service. It was very slow and not great, because it was clear that the kitchen was very preoccupied with the sold-out crowd in the dining room. The dinner options were also rather expensive on the 24th.

Most mountain resort lodging is sold by the week, in high season, especially at Christmas, which is one of the reasons we stayed in Innsbruck. I don't regret it, but it helps to know the quirks in advance. And probably to just budget and book for a pricey Christmas Eve dinner,

Northern New Jersey
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8. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

One more thing -- Bolzano (Bozen) Italy is a wonderful day trip from Innsbruck, easily accessible by direct train from the Innsbruck Hbf.

vienna
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9. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

I would suggest a stay at one of the neighboring villages rather than Innsbruck.

As a beginner skier taking a ski bus to the individual skiing areas takes much time - and remember - this time of year offers the shortest amount of day light - Most probably dark by 4;300

A village like Seefeld offers everything you need.

And may be important not far from the german border for travel convenience.

Nice local train to Innsbruck if you wish.

Note contrary to a mention above the altitude of Seefeld ( yes- it is in Tirol )is 1200 meters - much than Kitz or numerous other areas - Much better chance of better snow.

The village has fine beginner facilities with rental and ski schools adjacent.

In the center a pedestrian zone with a nice Christmas Market - arts , crafts . local foods etc.

The adjacent Church with music and special services.

Being in a resort you find many cafes, restaurants , shops open to cater to visitors. Mountain huts too.

The evening of the 24th is the traditional time for celebrations - gala dinner and opening of small presents. Reservations a must - 25th and 26th much less trouble to find dining.

Attending church a regular ritual.

all skiing open on Christmas - from most accomodations an easy walk.

Horse drawn sleighs, winter walks on cleared trails , cross country skiing , toboggans too.

Even a small casino if you like it.

Tourist office should be able to assist with accomodations-

more info

www.seefeld.com

www.pfarramt-seefeld.at

10. Re: Spending Christmas in a Ski Resort

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