3 hours driving one way, so it is better to stay in Sölden overnight
What you need to know before you go: All occupants of the vehicle must have safety signal vests. It is also important not to forget the vignette for the toll highways in Austria. You can buy it at the border gas station.
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Sölden, the Austrian highest mountain ski resort is located in the south of the country, near the Italian border. Three peaks here exceed 3 000 meters (10 000 feet); there are several glaciers, where one can ski almost all year round.
Getting to Sölden from Munich
It is the most remote Austrian ski resort, almost 250 km (155 mi) from Munich, but it is still worth going there. We left Munich quite early, around 7 am and reached Innsbruck at 9 am. We made a brief stop for coffee and sandwiches, glanced at a rather pretty downtown and continued on to Sölden. It is about one hour drive from Innsbruck to Sölden.
Briefly about the town of Sölden
You cannot find more beautiful Tyrolean landscapes with such high mountain peaks anywhere else. We felt right away that the mountains are higher and topped with larger snow caps here than in other ski resorts we had visited. This place with several small towns is called Ötztal Valley; this valley is located at an altitude of more than 1000 meters (3300 feet). The surrounding glaciers are striking in their beauty, and one almost feels their power and eternity. In 1991, a well-preserved natural mummy of an ancient man was found in the ice here; he was named after the valley – Ötzi the Iceman.
The town of Sölden is small, but the diversity of sports opportunities here is striking. In addition to the ski slopes, there are skating and curling rinks, tennis courts, bowling alleys, etc. We also saw hang gliders and mountain motorbikes. They say that Sölden is also one of the leaders in après-ski. Indeed, opportunities for relaxation after skiing are abundant – the downtown is full of restaurants, cafes, bars and discos, many of them stage different shows including striptease.
As for the ski slopes, which are all situated within a relatively small area, the choice is very large, one can find almost all levels of difficulty. Yet, most of the slopes are for more experienced skiers, or at least not for those who have never tried skiing. We arrived rather late, and the lines to the chairlifts were already pretty long. The ski slopes were already heavily beaten. We figured that it would be better to stay in the resort for the night and to come for the second day of skiing the next morning early, around 9 am, and even earlier.
On the first day, we decided nevertheless to go up to one of the highest points. One can choose among the so-called Big Three – three mountain peaks over 3000 meters (10 000 feet) high. The cable car took us to Tiefenbachkogl, which is 3250 m (10 700 feet) high. From the observation deck, which is made of glass, there is a spectacular panorama of the surrounding mountains. After admiring the view, we enjoyed skiing until about 5 pm. Actually descending on skis from the top lasts at least 4 hours. On the way down, we made a couple of brief stops for snacks. BTW at all intermediate stations one can warm up with mulled wine (Glühwein).
In the evening, we put away our ski equipment and moved to the town to relax a little bit. We went first to Marco’s Treff, a well-known party place in Sölden. Then we checked a few bars and clubs on the main street, Dorfstrasse. So, we can confirm that there is indeed no shortage of entertainment in Sölden.