Ischgl from A to Z

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Royal Trofana Hotel - © Valentine Fotos

Mark Browne kicks off the ski season with a look at the Austrian snow sports resort of Ischgl. The area is described as A to Z: A as in active holidays to Z as in zero boredom.

The village of Ischgl in the Tyrolean Alps of Austria, not far from the Swiss border, has a firmly established reputation as a premier European ski destination. Its allure is primarily based on its combination of an expansive ski area, high altitude (2,872 metres of elevation) guaranteeing snow from November to April and a lively après-ski scene. Together with the Swiss town of Samnaun, in the Canton of Grisons, it forms the Silvretta Arena and is the third largest ski resort in Austrian Tyrol.

“Ischgl is situated in the Paznaun Valley and is the central element of the Silvretta Arena”

Ischgl is situated in the Paznaun Valley and is the central element of the Silvretta Arena, the groomed slopes cover an area of 515 hectares; by way of comparison, that is the equivalent of 730 football fields! This meant that there is a diverse range of options suitable for all skill levels. There’s also some very impressive modern lift infrastructure featuring high-speed gondolas and chairlifts which have been consistently upgraded ensuring minimal wait times. Similarly, the resort has 1,100 snow-making machines to add to the reliability and quality of the skiing throughout the season, regardless of natural local weather conditions.

In addition to skiing opportunities, the entire spectrum of winter activities are catered for and the surrounding Paznaun Valley affords great facilities for other outdoor activities such as snowshoeing and winter hiking. These are facilitated though published guides and trail maps posing great ways to experience and enjoy the surrounding landscape with its Christmas-Card beauty.

“Visitors can savour traditional Austrian cuisine or international delicacies”

The other key element of Ischgl’s attraction is its vibrant nightlife and legendary après-ski culture. There is a great choice of restaurants, bars, and clubs for unwinding after a day on the mountains leading to the resort’s motto- “Relax – if you can!”. Visitors can savour traditional Austrian cuisine or international delicacies in the comfort of the village which blends conventional alpine and modern architectural styles. The après ski bar and music options of the village are amongst the most lively anywhere.

When to go

Given its high altitude and snow security, Ischgl offers a relatively long season for winter sports, especially compared to some other Austrian resorts. This commences in November and extends all the way until April. The annual “Top of the Mountain” concerts, featuring renowned international artists, make a great way to officially kick off the season as well as bringing it to a close and they attract capacity crowds. 

Where to stay

Naturally, a resort with so many attractions has a great range of accommodation choices. The Trofana Royal Resort is a standout choice for ultimate luxury hotel accommodation in Ischgl. Located in the centre of the village in less than 100 metres from the main cable car to the hotel, this 5 Star Superior Hotel, designed with traditional alpine style in mind but with an added cosmopolitan elegance, all the comforts, facilities and luxuries that one would expect of such a quality resort as well as easy access to those of the village generally. It’s also in close proximity to the famous après-ski venues of the Trofana Alm and the Champagne Hutte.

“What really sets this hotel apart is its incredible spa and wellness area”

What really sets this hotel apart is its incredible spa and wellness area. Extending to a huge area of 2,500 square meters, the Royal Spa and wellness area with expansive swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor, as well as a heated hot tub whirlpool affording mountain views from the seclusion of the resort’s central courtyard. The beauty section provides a full range of treatments, including assorted baths, massages and manicures. Little wonder it has been recognised as one of the very top spas in the Alps! There is also a fitness centre offering personal training and even a golf simulator. This might be needed given that the hotel has two award winning restaurants, Heimatbuhne and Paznaunerstube. In summary, the Trofana Royal Resort represents an accommodation experience designed to make guests feel like royalty! 

Mark Browne was a guest of the Trofana Royal Resort Hotel.

Photos: Royal Trofana Hotel – © Valentine Fotos