Chapel in Tschafein near Galtür. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung)

Top Ten Places for a White Christmas in Tirol

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Can you believe it’s only two months until Christmas? So, it is time to start thinking about your holidays. What do you need for a perfect Christmas? Most people associate the holidays with family time. And, of course, with the fun you can have with the fluffy white substance named snow, from building a snowman to making snow angels to having snowball fights… While many people are likely dreaming of a White Christmas, Tirol offers a better probability than many other countries for snow on the ground each holiday. Historic weather data suggest that some places around Tirol are very likely to have, year on year, the picture-perfect, blanket-white festive season, although there are no guarantees. For the places in Tirol that are sitting at over 1,000-meter elevation, the phenomenon is just a predictable part of the winter season. Although it’s not all about altitude, as you will see. These are the ten places where you’re most likely to celebrate a White Christmas in Tirol:

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Hochfilzen in Pillerseetal Valley, 960m

When it comes to seasonal averages (1983/84 – 2012/2013), Hochfilzen has 671 centimeters of new snow per year. Thus, Hochfilzen takes the number one spot on our list with a good likelihood of having snow on the ground for the Christmas holiday. Average maximum snow depth during the 30-year record was an incredible 134 centimeters. This makes it the snowiest inhabited place around Tirol. On average, Hochfilzen reaches 143 days with snow on the ground each winter.

Schneeschuhwandern bei Hochfilzen im Pillerseetal. (Foto: Tirol Werbung)

Snowshoeing in Hochfilzen, Pillerseetal Valley. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung)

Galtür in Paznaun Valley, 1,590m

At the end of Paznaun Valley in Tirol’s westernmost corner lies a place where there is a near 100 percent probability of seeing a White Christmas each year: Galtür. Since 1991, Galtür has had snow for Christmas every year (except 2014).

Galtür im Schnee. (Foto: TVB Paznaun – Ischgl / Silvapark Galtür)

Galtür, all covered in white. (Photo Credit: TVB Paznaun – Ischgl / Silvapark Galtür)

Leutasch near Seefeld, 1,135m

Since 1991, there has been snow on Christmas Day in Leutasch almost 100 percent of the time. On 30-year average (1983/84 – 2012/2013), Leutasch reaches 151 days with snow on the ground each winter. So at Christmas, chances are high that this chocolate-box village looks exactly like something you might find in a snow globe.

Leutasch, Rauthhütte, Blick auf Hohe Munde. (Foto: Tirol Werbung, Martina Wiedenhofer)

Snowshoeing en route to Rauth Hut near Leutasch, with Hohe Munde Mountain in the rear. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung, Martina Wiedenhofer)

Obertilliach, 1,400m

An average of 388 centimeters of new snow is par for the course each winter (1983-2013) and the average maximum snow depth during the 30-year record was 93 centimeters. On average, there’s 146 days a year when snow is on the ground. In short, there’s a very high probability of a White Christmas.

Sometimes the snowfall in Obertilliach gets so intense that walls of snow are cut through so that the roads are usable. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung)

Obergurgl, 1,940m

At the end of Ötztal Valley, Obergurgl is located high in the Alps. Sitting at over 1,900-meter elevation, it is not all that surprising that this ski resort experiences so much white powder. With the average of snow recorded in history between 1895 and 1992, Obergurgl is among the top five snowiest places in Tirol. Surrounded by mountains, your winter wonderland holiday getaway is almost guaranteed.

Ausblick von einer Hotelterasse in Obergurgl.

The view from Hochfirst Hotel in Obergurgl.

St. Anton am Arlberg, 1.300 m

Dubbed “The Birthplace of Alpine Skiing”, St. Anton is located high in the Arlberg Region and this uplifted area causes an increase in precipitation. Actually, this is one of Austria’s prime spots to get a lot of snow. In the town’s recorded history between 1895 and 1992, St. Anton boasted an average of 100 centimeters of snow per year. With this high altitude and location on the eastern side of the Arlberg Range, St. Anton is among Tirol’s best bets if you want to celebrate a White Christmas.

Weihnachtliche Idylle beim Museum im Arlberg-Kandahar-Haus in St. Anton am Arlberg. (Foto: Wolfgang Burger)

The picture-perfect, blanket-white festive season in St. Anton am Arlberg: The Local Heritage Museum at Arlberg-Kandahar-Home. (Photo Credit: Wolfgang Burger)

Pertisau am Achensee, 935m

In Pertisau, there’s an average 124 days a year when snow is on the ground. The average maximum snow depth during the 30-year record (1983/84 – 2012/2013) was 89 centimeters. Located on the shores of Achensee Lake, this is a picturesque place in which to celebrate the holidays, and a sparkling coat of snow is a terrific bonus.

Langläufer bei Pertisau am Achensee im Winter 2014/15. (Foto: Tirol Werbung)

Cross country skiers in Pertisau, Achensee Lake Region, in the winter of 2014-2015. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung)

Hinterhornbach in Lechtal Valley, 1,100m

Hinterhornbach receives a 30-year average 507 centimeters of new snow per year (1983/84 – 2012/2013). Over the winter, the average maximum snow depth reaches 106 centimeters and there is snow on the ground for 141 days. So yes, there will be snow for Christmas very likely.

Winter walking in scenic Lechtal Valley. (Photo Credit: Eisenschink)

Winter walking in scenic Lechtal Valley. (Photo Credit: Eisenschink)

Tannheim, 1,110m

During the 30-year record (1983/84 – 2012/2013), Tannheim saw about 82 centimeters of snow each year and had 137 days with snow on the ground on average. There’s a good chance you’ll need your boots on a snowy Christmas Day.

Winterwanderer im Tannheimer Tal. (Foto: TVB Tannheimer Tal)

Walking in a winter wonderland in Tannheimer Tal Valley. (Photo Credit: TVB Tannheimer Tal)

Innsbruck, 578m

Based on snow statistics from the years 1991 to 2013, Innsbruck is taking the last spot on the list with a 39 percent prospect of seeing a white Christmas. Obviously, Tirol’s capital is located much lower than the rest of the places on this list. Still, Innsbruck claims Austria’s snowiest capital city. The snowiest Christmas Day in the town’s recorded history occurred in 1961 with a total of 96 centimeters.

Weiß steht Innsbruck gut. (Foto: Tirol Werbung, Bernhard Aichner)

Innsbruck looks gorgeous blanketed in white. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung, Bernhard Aichner)

Sources and More Information:

General, Winter

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