Obergurgl Ski Resort

Obergurgl is a traditional Austrian village, situated high up in the mountains at the head of the Otztal valley. Together with Hochgurgl, Obergurgl offers some of the most snowsure non-glacier skiing in Europe, as well as high quality, family-friendly hotels and lively tea dancing.

Obergurgl is the second oldest ski resort in Austria after St Anton, with a long history of looking after skiers and their families. It's also the exception to the rule that Alpine ski resorts can be charming, traditional mountain villages, or they can be high-altitude snowsure resorts with fast modern lifts, but they can't be both. At 1930m, Obergurgl is the highest parish in Austria with a church dating back to 1737 and has guaranteed snow throughout its long winter season. Its residents have preserved the village from the dangers of over-expansion. Accommodation is still mainly in traditional high-quality 3-star and 4-star family-run hotels, with some apartments, chalets and pensions as well, almost all of which are within 5 minutes walk of the lifts. The centre of the village is mostly traffic-free and pleasant to wander around.

Obergurgl also has a nice holiday ambience. The apres ski starts well before the lifts close with live music and tea dancing on tables at the mid-mountain Nederhutte and other bars on the lower slopes. (If you stay too long and find you can't ski the final run home, you can usually hitch a lift back on a skidoo.) The fun carries on back in the village for a while, but then quietens down because Obergurgl is the kind of resort where most guests return to their comfortable hotels to eat a gourmet dinner at night, rather than carry on drinking in a rowdy bar, and the few bars and clubs that do stay open late are discreetly hidden away. And Hochgurgl is even quieter: it's really just a small cluster of hotels high above the tree line at 2150m and very few people venture outside after 9pm.

Obergurgl's skiing is all about quality, not quantity. The height of the ski area means good snow conditions are the norm which helps skiers and boarders of all standards. The lifts are excellent, with hardly any queues or bottlenecks, and the high speed chairlifts have covers which is a godsend at this altitude. There are nursery slopes for beginners with free lifts for those attached to a ski school and they can also buy a special beginners pass covering a few more lifts. After that, they have plenty of gentle blue runs to choose from, especially in the sector above Hochgurgl. Intermediates will be able to ski all the pistes - even the blacks are not very threatening - but it's not a very large area (112km of piste, 25 lifts, about 40 runs) so stronger keener skiers will run out of new slopes to explore by day three or four, but Obergurgl is part of the Ötztal Super Ski area that also includes nearby Solden. It's only 20 minutes down the valley road and there are frequent free ski-buses linking the two resorts, which together have more than enough skiing for anyone for a week.

Experts will find very few challenges on piste at either Obergurgl or Solden. But the opportunities for off-piste skiing and ski touring with a guide are exceptional, and the Kirchenkarbahn 2 lift, built for the 2018/19 season, has opened up new terrain for freeriding.

So is Obergugl the ideal compromise for a party that demands a high-altitude ski resort with guaranteed snow but also wants a charming traditional village? Well put it this way: you won't find anywhere that is higher which is lovelier, or anywhere lovelier which is higher. But also remember its altitude can be a double-edged sword. In a warm April there are few better ski resorts in Europe. But in a cold, wintry January, Obergurgl can be a fairly bleak place. 

Ski & Board hire in Obergurgl

There are plenty of ski rental shops in Obergurgl and Hochgurgl, but don't expect a bargain if you just walk into the nearest one. SKISET have outlets in both villages and will give discounts of up to 50% to Ultimate-Ski readers who book online in advance here. ALPINRESORTS.com also works with several shops in Obergurgl and thoughout the Otztal valley and it can also secure sigificant discounts on ski and board hire - click her to check shop locations and current special offers.

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Obergurgl Rating

  • Ski Area star rating
  • Snowsure star rating
  • Advanced star rating
  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
  • Resort Charm star rating
  • Apres Ski star rating
  • Non-Skiers star rating
  • Getting There star rating

Obergurgl Statistics

  • CountryAustria
  • RegionSolden
  • Base2,150 m
  • Peak3,080 m
  • Vertical1,280 m
  • Beginner32 %
  • Intermediate50 %
  • Advanced18 %
  • Longest Run8 km
  • Ski Lifts24 
  • Gondolas
  • Chair Lifts
  • Surface Lifts
  • Riders per hour 39,400 

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

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  • 23rd OccLightSnow 1° -7° Patchy light snow New Snow 0cm
  • 24th Sunny 2° -3° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
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  • 26th Sunny 4° -2° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
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Recommended hotels in Obergurgl

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