Tirol sparkles in winter. Blanketed in snow, church steeples stand out against deep blue sky… it’s playtime for winter sports fans and nature lovers! Listed below are 10 things to do in Tirol this winter.
1. Improve Your Skills with a Private Instructor
Whether it’s your first-time or you are on your way to becoming a pro, take the fast track in improving your skills on the slopes and the ultimate learning experience. A private lesson with a Tirol snow sports instructor will take your ability to the next level with individual learning and feedback. Pick up some great advice on technique and tactics for skiing the conditions of the day—and the terrain you want, from moguls to powder stashes. Go one-on-one and build your confidence and explore the mountains with a pro that matches your exact needs. Of course, one-on-one coaching produces the best skill development and the fastest improvement in snowboarding and cross country skiing, too!
2. Go Sledding
Expect getting a giggle-inducing thrill of a different sort — one experienced while zooming down a hill on a sled at the speed of light. It’s a wonderful experience in tune with nature (hiking up the hill) and nothing beats the thrill of careening down the hill afterwards… Tirol boasts great places for sledding, there are more than 750 kilometers of immaculately groomed runs and trails designated to whiz down the mountain on a sled. From 8-kilometer long runs to tracks illuminated at night, you’ll find plenty of superb sledding terrain all across the country. What’s best, if you walk up, sledding is completely free (except a couple Euros to rent a sled if needed). So there will be some money left to head on over to one of Tirol’s many quaint mountain lodges and huts, where hearty local specialties and a hot chocolate are the reward for your trek up the sledding hill. If you can’t remember the last time you went sledding, then it’s been too long. Embrace your inner child and have a blast!
3. Spend a Night in an Igloo
If staying in a hotel or apartment is too little adventure for you, why not experiencing the most special night of your life in a room built entirely of snow and ice? You don’t have to go to the frozen north to enjoy a sub-zero lodging experience as there are Igloo Hotels in Tirol: The Snow Village in Hochoetz, for example, has igloos that are meant for two people and igloos meant for four. The frosty White Lounge in Mayrhofen offers icy accommodations at an elevation of 2000 meters above sea level. A genuine arctic igloo experience is as well guaranteed at the Alpine Igloo Village in Wilder Kaiser Brixental SkiWorld.
4. Take a Cold Snow Plunge after a Sauna
Talking about frosty experiences… why not jump in the snow after a sauna round? In Tirol, it’s fairly common for folks to be naked in the sauna and then dash out for a roll around in the snow. The thought of immersing your body in ice cold snow may seem horrifying rather than soothing, but as the body responds to the drastic change in temperature, it brings about a series of positive effects, such as improving circulation and immunity. A truly unique sauna experience, for example, can be enjoyed at Susanne Pfister’s “Kräuterhüttl” on the shores of Achensee Lake – those feeling especially adventurous can even jump into the ice-cold water of Tirol’s largest lake after a sauna bath.
5. Explore Wintry Woods on Snowshoes
What I like most about Tirol in the wintertime? The stunning natural scenery all blanketed in white! Pine and spruce dusted with luxurious snow, gorgeous mountains sparkling in the sunlight… There’s nothing like being the first to leave footprints in a fresh layer of snow to get away from it all and to connect you with your surroundings. A snowshoe walk in the wintry woods is one of the most peaceful and beguiling activities you can find in the winter. Snowshoeing has the wonderful advantage of allowing you to access pristine, snow-covered scenery, where it tends to be quiet and it gives you a great cardiovascular workout. If you are a first times, give yourself time to get into the groove. On showshoes, you’ll feel a bit like an awkward Bigfoot at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it!
6. Share Your Best Tirol Winter Wonderland Photo
German actor Rudolf Fernau once said, “Memories are like hot-water bottles for your heart.” And although there might be a nip in the air at this time of year, winter in Tirol boasts infinite opportunities for heartwarming moments and memories. During the wintertime, when snow blankets the forests and the lofty peaks, Tirol’s magical scenery always begs to be photographed. Dazzle your Instagram followers by capturing memories and tag your Tirol winter wonderland photos with #lovetirol.
7. Cheer on Your Heroes during World Cup Races in Tirol
Hahnenkamm World Cup Ski Race in Kitzbühel, Biathlon World Cup in Hochfilzen, Nordic Combined World Cup in Seefeld, Four Hills Tournament at Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck, Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup in Innsbruck/Igls, Air & Style Contest in Innsbruck, Freeride World Tour in Fieberbrunn … Whatever your favourite winter sport, Tirol provides plenty of opportunities to cheer on your heroes as they go head-to-head at some of the world’s best sporting events. Witness the finest athletes in the world of winter sports as they complete the quest for the crystal trophies of champions of the World Cup. Clanging cowbells, waving flags and cheering on the world’s best is great fun—without getting active yourself.
8. Enjoy Elevated Dining Experiences
Skiing freshly groomed corduroy works up an appetite. Fortunately, you can satisfy your cravings with a multitude of unique places to eat. Experience gourmet cuisine in a fine dining atmosphere and enjoy fresh food, amazing views and mountaintop venues: Tirol’s extensive selection of award-winning restaurants and chefs offer appetizing fare, with many of them featuring organic, locally sourced ingredients—and some of them are even located slopeside. In Kitzbühel, for example, Berggasthaus Sonnbühel On-Mountain Inn serves up culinary excellence in a wonderful setting. Chef Alexander Fankhauser demonstrates the fruits of his years of culinary experience and passion at the Lamark Hotel in Zillertal Valley. Benjamin Parth, Tirol’s youngest executive chef who has received three chef’s toques, creates epicurean finesse and subtlety at his award-winning “Stüva” Restaurant in Ischgl. And designed for those who enjoy an elevated dining experience in the true sense of the word, Verwallstube Restaurant atop Galzig Mountain in St. Anton is Europe’s highest-lying award-winning fine dining restaurant.
9. Skate on a Naturally Frozen Lake
Nothing beats skating on a naturally frozen pond or lake in the wild outdoors. The sense of freedom and space is extraordinary – you are literally walking on water! In Tirol, there are several spots that freeze up in the winter and allow for some good old-fashioned ice skating. Taking a spin on natural ice is a wonderful experience far removed from public skating on an ice rink; however, you should always check with the local Tourist Information Office before setting out to find out where it’s safe to skate.
10. Make Snow Angels & Engage in Snowball Fights
I know, the restaurant recommendations listed above are a bit pricey (yet definitely worth the experience!) That’s why I want you to link you to childhood memories now. When was the last time you built a snowman? Again, if you can’t remember, then it’s been too long! The best part? It’s totally FREE! Just like these awesome fun activities: Make snow angels! Catch snowflakes on your tongue! Throw a snowball and engage in a fight! The even better part? It’s a great workout, too. Which isn’t a bad thing after all that Christmas cookies and other high-calorie foods of the holiday season, don’t you think so?!
Have a great time enjoying winter in Tirol! I would love to hear your favourite activities to do in the snow!