Part of the 145km Ski Juwel region in Tirol, the Wildschonau is a quiet valley, featuring four picturesque villages and two main ski areas (Auffach and Niederau) best for intermediates, beginners and families with young children.
Niederau, 77km east of Innsbruck airport is the best known ski resort in the Wildschonau, just 6km from the motorway exit at Worgl. Next up 4km further along the valley road is the even prettier village of Oberau, with a tiny ski area serving local needs, then Auffach, further up the valley (9km from Niederau) which has the biggest ski area. The smallest and the highest village in the valley is Thierbach, with a "last run of the day" ski route leading down to the village but no ski lift back up from Thierbach.
Quality award winning ski schools in Auffach and Niederau, excellent nursery slopes and easy blue runs for beginners at Niederau, immaculate well-groomed and wide-open red runs for intermediates on the Schatzberg at Auffach, linked by a new high-speed gondola to more family-friendly skiing on the Wiedersberg Horn at Alpbach; with a single lift pass covering all 47 ski lifts in the "Ski Juwel" Alpbachtal - Wilsdschonau and accessing 128km of pistes, 17km of ski routes and plenty of off-piste terrain above and below the treeline.
Voted best resort in the "Small and Friendly" category by Germany's ADAC (Automobile Association) and the Gold award winner of the 'Friendliest Ski Resort" in 2010/11, the ski resorts in Wildschonau and neighbouring Alpbachtal are geared towards the needs of families with young children including five ski schools in three villages and a range of other activities including cross-country skiing, tobogganing by day or night, snow shoeing, sleigh rides, winter-walking and paragliding
The Wildschonau villages offer a range of affordable accommodation, including a few luxury 4-star hotels as well as many more 3-star hotels, traditional bed & breakfast guesthouses and apartments. Apres ski and nightlife is liveliest in Niederau and get's quieter as you move further along the valley, but apres ski has never been the main draw as most guests come for winter sports, to chill out, relax and enjoy the Asutrian ambience and informal atmosphere.
Rich in tradition and history, the Wildschonau is also a valley of music with 15 choirs, 4 brass bands, traditional folk music and concerts, so expect traditional Austrian live music to play a part in the mix of apres ski on offer; there's even a musicians ski race. Possibly the main drawback for non-skiers is the lack of shops, apart from those selling and renting ski and sports equipment, presumably because it's only 6-15km from Wildschonau villages to the nearby town of Worgl.
The Wildschinau ski areas are comparatively low, but reasonably snow sure from mid-December until late March, backed up by adequate snow-making facilities, but typically not a destination for skiing very early in December or much beyond the end of March.