One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about Sölden is, of course, the famous Ski World Cup Opening! This year, the best alpine skiers from all around the world will compete against each other in this spectacular event marking the beginning of the ski season.
Numerous events, exciting music acts and legendary parties will once again also be part of Sölden’s World Cup Opening. And of course, you’ll also find a lot of other non-world-cup-related things to do in the Ötztal valley ski area, such as skiing rallies, festivals, ski lessons and parties all night long! Sölden surely is THE place to be during the World Cup Opening!
The CheckYeti team has prepared a list of the 5 things you should do when you’re in Sölden. This blog article will give you insider tips on what to do and where to go during your next unique adventure in Sölden.
- Big 3 Rallye: a challenge for experienced skiers
- Ski lessons in Sölden: learn to ski like a pro
- World Cup Opening: a memorable party weekend
- Gaislachkogl: drink a Martini like James Bond
- Après-ski: party until sunrise
Big 3 Rallye: a challenge for experienced skiers
You’re looking for an exciting adventure while conquering the region’s highest peaks and enjoying a breathtaking panoramic view? Then the Big 3 Rallye is just what you need!
The Big 3 Rallye is a skiing tour that is 4 hours, or 50 kilometres, long. Doing this tour will allow you to discover the resort’s giants – 3 mountains that are over 3000m high. The Big 3 Rallye starts at the valley station of the Giggijochbahn – the local cable railway. The Giggijochbahn will take you directly to the tour’s first peak, the Schwarze Schneid. Once there, you have the option to go to the viewing platform that is 3340 metres high!
After a short break, the tour continues and you’ll arrive at the Tiefenbachkogl mountain, which gives you an amazing view of Tyrol’s highest mountain, the Wildspitze (3776m). From there, you’ll have to ski down Austria’s longest slope and after that, you’ll take the Gaislachkoglbahn to reach the tour’s last stop, the Gaislachkogl. The tour’s big finale is marked by a memorable descent on “Piste 1”, from where you get to enjoy the Ötztal valley’s unique mountainous panoramic view one last time.
Ski lessons in Sölden: learn to ski like a pro
You don’t necessarily have to know how to ski in order to have fun in Sölden. However, it is a great advantage if you do, as there is no experience quite as unique as skiing down freshly groomed slopes in a sunny and beautiful landscape.
The ski schools in Sölden offer a great range of ski and snowboard lessons for children and adults of every age and experience level. Whether you’re looking for group lessons, snowboard lessons or even a private instructor – every snow-sports enthusiast can find the perfect offer here. In Sölden, group lessons for adults are usually held at specific times and ski instructors mostly supervise small groups. In doing this, ski schools try to avoid busy times and crowded slopes.
Thanks to the region’s two glaciers, Tiefenbachgletscher and Rettenbachgletscher, holidaymakers can be sure to find enough snow for skiing from September through to May. This means that total beginners and also experienced skiers can work on their skiing technique, even during the off-peak season.
CheckYeti Tip: Already know Sölden’s slopes like the back of your hand? Then the Pow(d)er Card is the perfect option! With this ski pass, you’ll not only be able to ski in Sölden, but also in the neighbouring resorts of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl.
World Cup Opening: a memorable party weekend
When Sölden turns into a true skiing metropolis overnight and tourists from all around the world are turning up, you know what’s about to happen; the season’s very first ski race is about to begin.
The Ski World Cup Opening has been taking place in Sölden every year since the winter season of 2000/2001. During the last weekend of October, elite competitive skiers face the slopes and strong opponents on the Rettenbachgletscher glacier. Here as well, it’s ladies first, the opening starting with the women’s giant slalom on Saturday, followed by the men’s giant slalom on Sunday.
During this weekend, numerous events with DJs and live music spread the party vibes. The most popular parties are definitely the KRONE World Cup party in the city centre and the Ö3 party. All parties start daily at around midnight and end in the early hours of the morning. Furthermore, you’ll find a number of smaller parties in the outskirts of Sölden, which are just as promising as the big ones when it comes to après-ski ambience and endless fun.
CheckYeti Tip: You’ve always wanted to be at the World Cup Opening? Ski pass holders can go to the Opening for free. For those without a ski pass, tickets can be purchased either online or on a race day at the sales outlets near the shuttle bus stops.
Gaislachkogl: drink a Martini like James Bond
The “ice Q” restaurant is definitely the best place to drink a Martini, shaken and not stirred. None other than James Bond, her Majesty’s most famous secret agent, enjoyed a short stay in Sölden in the winter of 2015. Daniel Craig and his film crew spent a few weeks in the resort whilst filming the movie Spectre.
A few of the movie’s scenes were in fact filmed in this very restaurant, ice Q, which is located on the top of the Gaislachkogl. However, the futuristic gourmet restaurant is more than just a film location: At a height of 3048m, diners can enjoy a true culinary delight whilst enjoying the spectacular view of the region’s 250 “Dreitausender” (a German term for a mountain that is over 3000m high). The panoramic terrace is a very special highlight, having a suspension bridge that leads to the peak of the mountain.
CheckYeti Tip: We can definitely recommend the 007 Elements exhibition to all James Bond fans. At 3000m, you can follow Mr Bond’s traces and get an insight into the movie world. The exhibition opened in July 2018 and has a special focus on the film Spectre.
Après-ski: partying until sunrise
Sölden is the living proof that the day doesn’t end after the last descent on the slopes. There is a reason why the ski resort is known as the “Ibiza of the Alps”; people here usually are always up for partying all night long.
There is a wide range of clubs and bars all around Sölden, so everyone can be sure to find something that suits their taste. Whether you’re interested in partying in a typical Austrian chalet or rather in more modern bars and clubs – there’s an endless amount of offers and opportunities in Sölden. To help you make a choice, we’ve made a list of the top 4 bars in the area:
- Marco’s Treff: This bar/club is located right next to the slopes and is described as “typically Austrian”. If you’re not in a party mood, then you can also watch live sports broadcasts and eat some delicious barbecue specialities. Open daily from 10am to midnight.
- Schirmbar: This is THE place to be in Sölden for every party animal. While DJ Bomba switches from one party tune to another, you can drink beer, cocktails and even mulled wine. Open daily from 3pm to midnight (October-May).
- Mogul: Some say that parties at Mogul are the region’s craziest parties. Here, the party evening with your mates can start from 4pm and end at 3am at the earliest.
- Panorama: The Panorama Alm is just right for you if you prefer to have a calmer evening. However, there is a great range of beer and gin, and a DJ will be there to make sure you have a fun après-ski experience by playing the best après-ski songs.
- CheckYeti Tip: The Electric Mountain Festival is an unforgettable EDM festival taking place every year in April. The entry is free for those with a ski pass. Day tickets are 35€ (for non-skiers).
Whether I’m describing a beautiful ski area or telling you all about the right skiing techniques, writing articles always makes me want to leave for a new adventure, and I hope reading them has the same effect on you!