Sölden: Think Big
Sölden is located in the valley of Ötz (Ötztal) in Tirol at 1,368 meters above sea level. This small Austrian town of just over 3,000 inhabitants is Austria's main ski destination and one of the most visited ski resorts in the world. Innsbruck is the closest airport to the ski resort, at just 83 km away - or 1 hour and 15 minutes’ drive.
Its tourist development has made it lose part of the charm of other alpine towns, but at the same time it has created a paradise for ski fans and après-ski lovers.
Its ski terrain is formidable, with a season that begins in October, -since 1993 Sölden has hosted on the Rettenbach glacier the first race on the calendar of the Alpine Ski World Cup-, and runs until May.
Bergbahnen Sölden rank among the leading mountain lift companies in the Alps and are one of the largest employers in the Tirolean Oberland region.
The cable car company owns and operates the 31 lifts in the Sölden ski area, 6 mountain restaurants (including the ice Q gourmet restaurant at 3048 m. in the Gaislachkogl summit), as well as the 5* Hotel Das Central in Sölden, and the Rastland Nassereith.
Sölden has 144 kilometers of slopes and 31 ski lifts that allow access to the slopes without waiting. The indisputable superstars of the lifts are, in architectural and technological terms, the Giggijoch Mountain Gondola (cabins for 10 people) and the Gaislachkogl (cabins for 8 people). Located at both ends of the city of Sölden, they are the two main access to the ski area. In only 12 minutes you go from the village center - changing gondolas in the middle station - to the 3040-meter Gaislachkogl Area. In less than 9 minutes you reach Giggijoch (2283 m).
To guarantee the practice of skiing in the entire ski area from October to May Sölden has a modern artificial snowmaking system that covers 77% of the ski domain.
One of the great attractions of Sölden is the possibility of accessing, and ski down, three mountains higher than 3000 meters: Gaislachkogl (3058 m), Tiefenbachkogl (3250 m) and Schwarze Schneide (3340 m).
A safari ski called "BIG3" will allow us to ski across all ski area in one day and enjoy an overview of the entire ski area. The "BIG3 Rally" is perfectly signposted and starts at the base station of the Giggijoch mountain gondola. An experience, reserved for good skiers, that in a day of skiing allows us to descend 10,000 meters of accumulated altitude and 50 kilometers of slopes, while we enjoy stunning panoramic views.
The longest downhill ski run leads from the BIG3 platform of Schwarze Schneide (3340 m) to the base station of Gaislachkogl mountain gondola (1370 m). With a vertical drop of 1970 meters and an approximate length of 15 km is the longest ski run in Austria.
Since season 2018-2019 the new Ötztal Superskipass allows us to ski in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and Sölden with a single ski pass, but also in the ski resorts of Hochoetz-Kühtai, Niederthai, Gries, and Vent. 363 kilometers of slopes, 90 ski lifts and six ski areas in the longest valley of the Tirol available for those who buy a skipass of 3 days or more.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl known by the nickname "Diamond of the Alps" is one of the first of the "non-glacier" ski resorts to start the winter season thanks to its altitude and orientation.
But along with the visitors who come to Sölden with the aim of enjoying their ski slopes, there is a growing number of tourists who come to this ski resort attracted by its famous aprés-ski. A wide variety of bars and nightclubs in the famous Sölden party mile promise endless nights.
Events such as the Electric Mountain Festival, which in past editions has featured electronic dance music DJs figures such as David Guetta and DJ Antoine, delight party fans. For two entire days, the Giggijoch Fun Zone at 2300 m is transformed into a snow-covered dance floor.
The giant open-air stage at Sölden's Rettenbach Glacier is also the venue of one of the most spectacular events in the Alps: "Hannibal".
The performance of "Hannibal. The Crossing of the Alps" is all about the historical facts of the Second Punic War and its leading character Hannibal, who is described in a biographical way with all modern theater settings on a really incomparable Nature Arena.
And since 2018 Sölden has a new attraction, the 007 ELEMENTS, a brand-new James Bond Installation that takes you on a journey to the cinematic universe of the planet's most famous secret agent.
The installation focuses on the latest production of the Bond factory, Spectre, which was shot in Sölden but also showcases the other titles in the 24-film series.
It is located within a beautiful building designed and built by the Tyrolese architect Johann Obermoser on the top of the Gaislachkog mountain, at more than 3,000 meters above sea level.
007 ELEMENTS guides visitors on a journey through a series of high-tech, interactive galleries, each distilling the craft of the signature elements that define a James Bond film — the beautiful title sequences and dramatic scores; the jaw-dropping action sequences; the cars, gadgets, and technology; the breath-taking locations and iconic studio sets and lastly, a host of compelling characters.