Obergurgl, high in the Ötz valley, is Austria’s highest parish at 1930m and consequently is one of the Alps' most snow sure resorts with a long season from mid November to mid May. This small village is compact, has no through traffic and the hotels are well placed meaning nowhere is a long walk to a lift, in fact from most hotels you can step across the tiny road, pop the skis on and off you go. Even higher at over 2100m is Hochgurgl which is linked by a mid mountain gondola and has just a handful of hotels at the foot if its own slopes, a couple of ski hire shops and ski schools and nothing else but plenty of snow and mountain views!
The number of kilometres may be fewer than other resorts but these slopes are perfectly groomed and are mainly queue- and crowd- free. The modern and fast lift system links the Festkogel, Hohe Mut and Hochgurgl areas and the runs are mainly red and blue wide, cruising runs. The half dozen or so blacks will keep more experienced skiers happy. If you are seeking a few extra kilometres, then you can always upgrade your lift pass to include a one day extension to the ski area in Sölden, lower in the valley. Plus the scenery is outstanding. Views from everywhere are amazing. From the very modern, glass framed Top Mountain Star restaurant at 3080m, perched on a ridge on the Italian border, the views over the Dolomites are particularly sensational. Hotels here are also worth the extra pennies as the quality and service are exceptional, especially when it comes to dining.
Up here it is tea-time après but that’s not to say that it is not lively. The Nederhütte at the mid-station of the Hohe Mut is one of the best spots and often has live music to suit all ages. Get there early though if you want a seat; mind you with all that fun, schnapps and dancing on tables who needs a seat?! Evenings are quieter allowing you to relax and enjoy your leisurely 5-course dinner over a bottle of wine chosen from an extensive wine list in your hotel. Those seeking a bit more action later will find it in the Josl Keller bar.
These resorts are excellent for families and very child friendly with excellent ski schools, well located nursery slopes and hotels with fabulous child care included in the price.