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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe

Proudly Presenting: Tirol Ski Resorts You Might Not Know About

06.02.2023 in Recommendations


Most visitors head to Tirol’s big name ski resorts—all are great mountains, but they often overshadow Tirol’s other gems. There are many lesser-known ski resorts that will have you smiling from ear to ear. They naturally present an exciting and diverse landscape, staggering views and un-groomed expert terrain for those who prefer skiing the old-school way. For a classic Tirol ski experience, head to these off-the-radar hills and see what the locals are (quietly) raving about.

My Personal Tips: Some of Tirol’s Hidden Treasures

The ski areas of Hochkössen and Zahmer Kaiser offer an unhassled mountain experience on roomy slopes and serve up beautiful views.

Burglift Ski Resort in Stans is a great venue for kids and freestyle skiers.

Elfer Ski Resort is one of Stubai Valley’s best-kept secrets.

With an emphasis on great skiing, Kartitsch Ski Resort in East Tirol takes you back in time.

Konradshütte Ski Lift in Vils is an amazing single lift ski area in Reutte.

Lechtaler Jöchlspitze Ski Area is fantastic for families and sun worshippers.

See the mountains in an entirely new light with night skiing on fully lit terrain at Reitherkogel in Alpbachtal Valley.

At Karwendel Ski Resort in Pertisau, amazing views of Lake Achensee and the surrounding mountain ranges will have you hooked.

Nesselwängle Ski Resort  in Tannheimertal Valley has unintimidating slopes, the trails are never packed, and there is rarely a lift line. Krinnenalpe is a great spot to take a break from the slopes.

Sun-kissed Schwanner Ski Lifts in Weerberg is an ideal family resort.

Serles Ski Resort in Mieders, Stubaital Valley, is famous for the long uncrowded groomed slopes, for a pleasant lack of lift lines, and a stress-free, relaxing experience.

There’s fun for the whole family at Lärchenhof Ski Lifts in Erpfendorf – Biathlon clinics are offered at the Nordic Center.

Hochmoos Ski Resort is located at the heart of Seefeld Olympia Region — and Hochmoos Alm is an awesome spot for hearty lunch!

Towering high above Inntal Valley, Kolsassberg Ski Resort is a great venue for building snowmen and sledding and tubing fun.

The FIS downhill run at Knittel Ski Lifts in Lechtal Valley provides a training ground for aspiring athletes.

Hager Ski Lifts Mitterland give access to the slopes of Schneeberg Mountain in Thiersee.

Geared towards beginners and families, Sellraintal and Sonnberglift are tiny ski hills close to Tirol’s capital Innsbruck.

Down-to-earth prices. No fuss.

Smaller ski resorts are places where you don’t have to rob a bank to afford a lift pass, parking fees or lunch at the on-mountain eatery. Lesser-known ski resorts deliver enviable experiences for less than the usurious rates sometimes found at more popular destinations. However, some of these low-key atmosphere resorts also have undeveloped infrastructure. So, if you’re looking for more than ten kilometers of trails, immaculate grooming and snowmaking, you’re bound to pay a little more. After all, one grooming machine costs around Euro 300,000! Nevertheless, these resorts will have cheaper lift tickets than the big players of the country.

Free of crowds and free of parents.

Smaller ski resorts are places where you don’t have to walk miles to get to the base from the parking lot. Places where you don’t have to slalom through a crowd to get to the bar. Where you stay at cosy mountain lodges that come complete with sun-drenched patios featuring panoramic views to soak in while you sip your favourite winter drink. Watching your little ones getting up and down the hill ten times. By the way: true adventure happens to kids when they are on their own, away from over-protective mums and dads called “helicopter parents”. Youth skiing should be a parent-free zone – to have experiences that are fodder for vacation-defining moments and stories to share back home!

Charming local flavour and friendly people

Besides its charming local flavour, tiny ski hills are the kind of places where you don’t feel like a tourist as much as somebody visiting the folks. These resorts feature friendly locals and a laid-back vibe. Ski lift operators who greet skiers by their names, who slow down the lift for beginners and who are a flirt with girl skiers. There may be single lift ski areas or hills offering only one or two gondolas or ski lifts. There might be a nursery slope served by a rope tow.

Natural snow and friendly people are the strongest attributes of these hidden gems, for a ski experience the way it used to be. Several mini ski areas dot Tirol’s lesser-known mountainsides, many operated by local governments and all offering that back-to-basics love of snow and sport. This is where the town supplements employee wages, concession items and sometimes snowmaking and lighting out of general fund reserves. These small areas serve the local communities with a great place to take a few turns and learn the sport. Of course, these charming single lift ski areas throughout the country welcome everyone to their runs, but sometimes you have to get off the beaten track to discover them. If you happen to see such a mini ski area on your way around Tirol, just stop and give it a try. Tickets are available on the spot.

Creative and dedicated, Silvia Pfeil is a recognized Tirol family travel expert, inspiring families to explore the Heart of the Alps together.

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