The Tirol region in Austria is one of the most exciting places to be this winter. With the rise in UK arrivals in the area last season there have been lots of new and improved innovations in Tirol over this summer. From new linked ski areas, to enhanced lift infrastructure and new accommodations, there has never been a better time to visit Austrian Tirol.
Here are the top 5 ski resorts that will be well worth the visit this season:
After years of talk about linking up with Saalbach, this will finally be a reality from December 2015. This area will become the talk of Austria as huge possibilities will open up. The new, high speed Tirol S gondola will link Fieberbrunn in Tirol with Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang in Salzburgerland. This new connection will join up 270km of piste and will become the largest interconnected ski area and most varied in Austria.
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Sölden will be the talk of the town when it hits the silver screen this winter in the James Bond film, Spectre. Anything good enough for 007 will be popular amongst fans and will be the place to be this season. Sölden is an Alpine Ski World Cup venue and one of the most famous ski areas in the world. The state of the art lift system teamed with the 145km of perfect pistes makes this resort a dazzling diamond in Tirol. The 3 mountain peaks over 3000m and 2 glacier ski areas makes the resort one of the most snow-sure in Austria. Powder hounds will bask in the freeride ski and snowboard area at the Gaislachkogl peak. If you heading over this way this winter, don’t forget to ski down the 15km route from Schwarze Schneide at Rettenbach Glacier.
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Mayrhofen is popular among Britons because it is a great all-round resort for both skiers and snowboarders. This season Mayrhofen will be unveiling the new and improved Penkenbahn which is now a state of the art 3S gondola. This will dramatically reduce the lift queues and waiting times getting up the mountain. Mayrhofen and the Ziller Vally resorts (which are linked by easy bus and train links) have a hugely varied circus of pistes which cater for all levels, including high glacier runs, expert parks, pretty tree lined runs and leisurely slopes. The après is up there with the best of Austria; from on-mountain après at the igloo White lounge to dancing on the tables at Brück'n Stadl to late night partying at Harakiri. With brilliant skiing, fun après, large town with plenty of shops and restaurants, plus easy transport links to explore the surrounding areas it’s no surprise that thousands of Brits head here.
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This first rate ski resort is consistently our top seller in Austria. Whilst you’re not skiing or snowboarding on your holiday you want to be discovering the best après ski, and St Anton is renowned as the best ski party town in the world. Intermediate and advanced riders will love the range of challenging pistes across St Anton and the Arlberg region, plus there are plenty of back country areas if you are looking to head off piste with a guide.
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The charming fairytale town, large ski area and friendly Austrian atmosphere keep skiers and snowboarders coming back year after year. Kitzbuhel is the text book example of Austrian skiing and offers everything you would want for a ski holiday in Tirol. In the recent Ski Club of Great Britain consumer research report, Kitzbuhel had the biggest jump in the Top 10 ski resorts, jumping up an incredible 36 ranks to spot number 8 confirming its popularity over last season. The home of the prestigious Hahnenkamm ski race offers 170km of varied ski slopes across the large mountain range. From the mix of blues and red runs on the home mountain, to the fun freeride areas around the 3S and Jochberg to the wide blues at Pass Thurn and the beginner slopes at the Kitzbuheler Horn, there is something for everyone.
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In 2015 we will see the return of actor Daniel Craig for his fourth 007 mission, SPECTRE, as well as bond returning to the sacred ski slopes. Renowned for filming in the most spectacular locations in the world, director Sam Mendes was eager to announce that shooting will be taking place in Sölden, Obertilliach and Lake Altaussee, Austria.
In the movie, a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to the Alps in Austria among many glamorous destinations to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Take a look at the snowy scenes from 0:44...
Skiing, the high-octane preserve of the lone wolf perfectly captures the sophisticated and adrenaline fueled persona of James Bond.
Author Ian Fleming, of the original James Bond novels, has certainly passed his love for skiing on to his star subject. Bond has made regular appearances on the slopes; he has never performed any other sport more. With the love for skiing brimming strong in his blood from his Swiss mother, it’s no surprise he’s a natural on the hallowed slopes.
Daniel Craig in Austria for the filmimg of Spectre
Daniel Craig with co-stars Lea Seydoux and Dave Bautista
"If you are going to live the high life you've got to ski. Its action packed, it's classy, it's quintessential Bond." said comedian and Bond enthusiast Rob Deering
It’s now 15 years since the snow-loving spy was last seen on skis, when Pierce Brosnan survived a dramatic off-piste chase scene in The World Is Not Enough. It's about time he’s back on the slopes, dodging bullets, causing an avalanche and taking down henchmen, all while demonstrating the most sublime downhill technique.
As the first day of production got underway in Lake Altausse, Austria earlier this year, here at Iglu Ski we decided to take you on a journey back in time to revisit some of Bonds most hair-raising and explosive adventures on the sacred slopes.
After much deliberating, we've whittled down the list of great Bond ski scenes to present you our top 5 favorites (expect some outrageous ski attire, gadgets, stunts and even flying ski-mobiles!)
Pierce Brosnan & Elktra King expertly navigate their way down the slopes with the breath-taking mountains of Chamonix in the background, before battling villains in the sky on flying snowmobiles.
Timothy Dalton's Bond in "Living Daylights" swept down a mountain slope on a ski equipped car, and then on a cello case to escape danger and gun fire to cross the border into Osterreich, Austria.
If snowboarding down a mountain in Switzerland on a blade from a destroyed ski-mobile, while evading henchmen with California Girls by the Beach Boys playing is not quintessential Bond then nothing is.
Roger Moore As Bond produces one of the best chase sequences in the Italian Alps of Cortina D'Ampezzo, performing outrageous jumps while being chased by armed villains on motorbikes, before hurtling down a bobsleigh run while escaping the pursuit.
The most iconic sequence in the James Bond franchise is undoubtedly 'The Spy Who Loved Me', when Bond shot straight off the edge of a cliff at Baffin Island in Canada, we saw him fall and fall, and when the Union Jack parachute opened up and the theme tune kicked in, the world cheered.
Channel you’re inner Bond and take to the slopes with our fantastic ski deals. By Myles
It’s a truly gratifying feeling when you finish one of the world’s longest ski runs. Stretch your ski legs to the maximum and conquer one of the greatest pistes known to skiers and snowboarders. Everyone has different ideas about what makes a great ski run. You could prefer tree lines, steep drops, roller coaster terrain or just a long gentle slope. Rather than choosing the top 5 longest ski runs ever, we have selected a variety of favourites amongst the team which you can enjoy on this winter’s ski holiday. Get the most out of your ski holiday and gain those vertical ski miles with these best long ski runs.
Selected by Phil, Sales Team Leader Peak to Creek is an 11 km intermediate run with a variety of terrain and iconic views. You’ll experience a bit of everything on this ski run – from tree glades, to rollers, to steep sections and huge alpine bowls. From Whistler’s Peak Chair to the base by Creekside Gondola, you can rack up to 1544 vertical metres whilst riding this epic piste.
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Phil on his descent down Peak to Creek in Whistler
Selected by Laura, Digital Marketing Manager One of my favourite aspects of the Saulire is the stunning mountain views at the peak (2700m). The Saulire/Creux range is a network of red and black runs between 2700-2000m, which then open up into blues as you ski down into the villages. Whilst skiing down Saulire you can view the famous Couloir formations, including Grand Couloir which you may like to tackle towards the end of your trip once your ski legs are fully warmed up! Even Great Britain’s number one ski cross athlete, Emily Sarsfield, calls this one of her favourite ski runs.
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Selected by AJ, Sales Director
If you are an expert skier or snowboarder and love a challenging piste, La Sache in Tignes down to Le Bréviere is brilliant and very long. La Sache is a long black run that gets steep and fast as long as it’s done before Lunch. After lunch it gets VW Beetle size moguls that really throw the intermediates who clutter up the steepest part of the Run. If conditions are good, you can discover great off-piste on the left hand side as well.
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Selected by Krystelle, Ski Editor Alpe d’Huez is famous for its long ski runs, which is perfect if you love a holiday packed with plenty of skiing. Did you know that the Alpe d'Huez Grand Domaine de Ski offers 5 descents with a total vertical drop of 10,000m between them? My favourite line is the Pic Blanc (3330m) to L’Enversin d’Oz (1125m) – that’s over 2000m vertical meters! From the peak of Pic Blanc it is a black run down to 2700m, but after that it is a mix of red and blue pistes to the finish. The runs take you right across the ski resort over a mix of terrains. Alpe d’Huez is known for its great snow conditions, so even in late season you can still conquer this huge run all the way to the bottom. Or for the more adventurous, Alpe d’Huez is home to the longest black run in Europe, La Sarenne. The illustrious Sarenne is 16 km long and starts at the peak of Pic Blanc. The legend is quite deceptive, as the last half is a gentle slope along the river. Even though it’s not a particularly scary black run, your legs will be burning by the end (if not in the middle!) Read more about Alpe d’Huez in our recent blog 10 reasons Alpe d'Huez is a must-ski destination
Selected by Thomas, Senior Ski Sales Expert This run has it all, not least the heritage of one of the oldest World Cup Downhill courses but also its varied terrain. Named after local legends Oreiller and Killy, OK run means a thousand metres of vertical drop set in stunning surroundings. Access is by underground funicular, cable car or two stage chair lift. The OK confers plenty of bragging rights to ‘intermediates’ who compare times with Ski Sunday stars thanks to generous width enabling plenty of turns if necessary. Skiers marvel at the start of Mont Blanc views and soon find their pace along the well-groomed rollers gradually building up in steepness. Passing the Folie Douce is when one can stretch legs and let gravity tow you into speeds beyond comfort zone. The increasingly blur of surroundings becomes more acute as after the cable car the gradient becomes more of a wall than a slope. Manage this section in a schuss before the tree line will certainly turn heads, especially from those on the terrace of the rustic Le Triffolet restaurant or those on the chairlifts above. The relentless vertical drop within the tree line also starts to take its toll on the thighs, turning at will highly recommended as the piste narrows and crowds increase. The last section is a nice drop finishing in La Daille but not before plenty of bumps present themselves on the sides of the piste should you want to mix up your style. .
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Other long favourites that narrowly missed out in the top 5 are – Best for beginners - Cascades, Flaine: The longest blue run in Europe Best for off piste - La Vallée Blanche, Chamonix: A 22km glacier route starting from the Aiguille du Midi Best ski circuit- Sella Ronda, Dolomites: Ok it’s not just one run, but it’s very gratifying to complete. Best for rollers – Jerusalem, Meribel Best for destroying your legs – Olympic, Avoriaz
Ski-in ski-out chalets make a ski holiday a more enjoyable experience with peace of mind that you will be able to enjoy maximum time on the slopes during your stay. Many ski and snowboard enthusiasts favour a ski-in ski-out accommodation so they can hit the slopes straight away without wasting time getting a ski bus or walking with all your equipment to the nearest ski lift. These types of properties are one of our most popular booked ski holidays. Get your prime spot on the mountain with one of our favourite ski-in ski-out chalets for winter 2015/16.
This is the perfect choice if you prefer a smaller, more traditional style resort compared to the popular ski capitals. Champoluc is a beautiful ski destination filled with stunning scenery and delicious Italian cuisine. The ski area is particularly suited for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders, and there are endless opportunities with the epic off piste. The Chalet Hotel De Champoluc is located at the foot of the home-run slope back to resort, which is next to the main Crest gondola and ski hire shop, making it the perfect spot for a ski holiday in this Italian gem.
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Chalet Hotel De Champoluc
Val d’Isere, France
Chalet Maison Rose is one the best located ski chalets in Val d’Isere. Based by the Solaise nursery slopes and lifts you can easily be the first to the top of the mountain every morning. The charming traditional style building is just 5 minutes from the town allowing you to easily explore the glamorous town and night spots of this fantastic ski village. If you are thinking about visiting Val d’Isere this season, read about what’s new for winter 2015/16.
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Skiing back to Val d'Isere
Obergurgl, Austria The British love skiing in Austria, we love the beautiful villages, the tree lined pistes, the cheaper prices compared to France and the quicker transfer times. Unfortunately there are a lack of chalets in many resorts and it is often un heard of for a ski chalet to ski-in ski-out… this is what why Chalet Christophorus is one of our most popular Austria chalets. This adult only chalet is surrounded by ski slopes allowing you to ski straight down to the Festkogl gondola each day. Obergurgl has an excellent snow record with a longer than most ski season, making it an excellent choice for a ski holiday in Austria.
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Obergurgl ski area
Avoriaz, France Avoriaz is another super high ski village that offers properties with fantastic close proximity to the slopes. Chalet Violetta is situated right by the piste giving skiers and snowboarders the best opportunity for a full day on the slopes and enjoying your ski holiday to the max. No walking, no bus rides, just pop on your skies and off you go.
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Chalet Violetta in Avoriaz
Val Thorens, France You can’t get more ski-in ski-out than this; you can physically ski to and from the doorstep from this popular chalet. Val Thorens is well-known for its easy access to the mountain as the resort is purpose as Europe’s highest ski village so it could benefit from the finest snow conditions and guests can rejoice in the easy slope access.
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Val Thorens ski village and slopes
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