Alpbach Ski Area ("Ski Juwel")
Alpbach’s ski area is now connected to Auffach in the Wildschonau. The combined ski area (marketed as “Ski Juwel”) boasts 128km of pistes and 17km ski routes served by 47 ski lifts, including 55km on Alpbach’s Wiedersbergerhorn linked by high-speed gondola to a further 55km on the Schatzberg above Auffach in Wildschonau.
Ranked as the 10th largets ski area in the Tirol, the Alpbachtal-Wildschonau ("Ski Juwel") ski area is comprised of six separate ski areas, three in Alpbachtal and three in Wildschonau, all covered by a single lift pass and all geographically distinct. The two largest and most important ski areas - Wiedersberger Horn/Alpbach (55km) and Schatzberg /Auffach (55km) - are now lift-connected following the installation of an important new gondola rising from Inneralpbach to the Schatzberg.
Together, the ski areas at Alpach and Auffach offer 110km of excellent piste skiing - 20km blue, 61km red, 12km black and 17km of ski routes - as well as excellent opportunities for deep snow skiing on untouched slopes off-piste. Consequently, Alpbach, which is among the best small ski resorts in Europe and a perfect ski area for beginners and intermediates, now has two main lift-connected ski areas and twice the amount of skiing on (or near) its doorstep, but with safeguards in place to protect the village.
Alpbach's main ski area (55km) on the Wiedersberger Horn (2,128m) includes 47km of pistes, 8km of ski routes and one vertical kilometre of elevation between 1,000m - 2,025m. There's also plenty of good off-piste terrain between the marked runs and further afield including backcountry skiing from Alpbach to Reith.
Though only 6km in extent, the small ski area on the Reither Kogel at Reith is accessed by a two stage gondola from 600m to 1,337m, and also open for night skiing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 18:30 - 21:15. It's considered to be one of the best night skiing slopes in the Tirol and definitely worth visiting to experience skiing fast red runs on brilliant white floodlit slopes with a jet black night sky and lights twinkling in the Inntal valley below.
With 10 of 16 runs in Alpbachtal categorised as red and 3 of 16 runs designated blue, over 50% and 25% respectively the ski area is best for intermediates, but also good for beginners and very family friendly. Facilities for novices include the easy ski slope in the village and a special area for children at Inner Alpbach, behind the Hotel Wiedersberger Horn.
The east facing slopes on the Wiedersberger Horn include a large open area with easy red and blue runs between below the gondola top stations (1,900m) and above the tree-line (1,700m) and a handful of excellent tree-lined descents for all abilities from 1,850m down to mid-station at 1,350m and making it easy to ski laps.
Although there's not much challenging skiing on piste - just two black runs totalling 6km - the black run from top station of the Widersbergerhornbahn down to mid-station can be challenging as well as fun to ski when filled with moguls or in deep powder snow. The narrow slope between the trees and beneath the Poglbahn gondola is off-piste and inviting, but often fenced off at the top and presumably out of bounds, but gets skied by locals.
Having explored the ski area on Wiedersberger Horn between the two gondolas, intermediate and advanced skiers should ski red run 5 to the bottom of the Hornlift 2000 and ride the chairlift to the Wiedersberger Horn Hutte at 2,000m for the best panoramic views of the region and to appreciate the true extent of the ski area, off-piste included.
The most important improvement in recent years is the addition in 2012 of a new high-speed gondola connecting the ski area at Alpbach with the Schatzberg above Auffach in the Wildschonau, resulting in a combined ski area of 110km of Ski Juwel's total 145km and doubling the extent of the lift-connected ski area in Alpbachtal and the Wildschonau.
Alpbach Ski Lifts & Passes
The Alpbachtal-Wildschonau Ski Juwel region has a total of 47 ski lifts – 7 gondolas, 8 chairlifts and 32 surface lifts – serving six ski areas; the two most important ski areas being the Wiedersberger Horn at Alpbach and the Schatzberg above Auffach, both now connected by a new high-speed gondola.
Alpbachtal - Wildschonau ("Ski Juwel") Ski Lifts
The ski area at Alpbach (55km) is served by four high-speed gondolas, , five chairlifts and five T-bar lifts. These include the new gondola connecting the ski area at Alpbach with Auffach in the Wildschonau. Boarders need not be put off by the number of T-bar lifts as most of Alpbach's T-bars serve low level nursery and training slopes, with the gondolas and chairlifts providing access to the main ski area. Likewise, access to the ski area at Reith is by gondola with three of four T-bars on low lying nursery slopes. Kramsach is far from the two main ski areas and largely irrelevant.
In the neighbouring Wildschonau valley, most of the ski pistes at Auffach (55km) are served by the main two-stage gondola and two 6-person chairlifts and mainly T-bar lifts serving nursery slopes in the beginners' area at mid-station. A gondola and chairlift provide uplift from the base station to the upper slopes at Niederau with wide-open nursery slopes at village level served by half a dozen T-bars.
Alpbachtal-Wildschonau ("Ski Juwel") Lift Passes
All of the ski lifts in Alpbach and Wildschonau are covered by the same Ski Juwel lift pass and the Alpbachtal and Wildschonau guestcard. Children under the age of six ski for free and discounts are available for children aged 6-15 years as well as for seniors. Full details of current season lift pass prices can be found on the ski lift company website.
Alpbachtal Ski Shuttle Bus Services
All but one of the ski lifts in Alpbach is a five minute free shuttle bus ride from the village to the main lift station on the outskirts of the village. The free shuttle bus service also connects each of the main lift stations and villages in Alpbachtal, and runs frequently throughout the day. Likewise, there is a similarly good bus service in the Wildschonau. From Alpbach to Reith is about 10 minutes by bus and from Niederau to Auufach via Oberau is about a 25 minute scenic journey including 10-12 stops en route. The shuttle bus services in Alpbachtal and the Wildschonau are free to guest card holders.
Alpbach Lift Company
Alpbacher Bergbahnen Tirol
Gesellschaft m.b.H. +Co KG
A-6236 Alpbach, Tirol
Tel: +43 5336 5233
Alpbach Mountain Restaurants
Alpbach’s Wiedersbergerhorn ski area includes half a dozen mountain restaurants offering reasonably-priced Tirolean dishes. Though most are self-service, culinary standards are high and all restaurants have a sun terrace with splendid views.
Located next to Albach's Wiedersbergerhornbahn mid-station at 1,350m the Almhof is a traditional rustic mountain restaurant with a sun terrace and a cosy interior and serving tasty Tirolean dishes. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5379.
The Bogalm is one of Alpbach's most popular mountain restaurants for lunch and apres ski. An attractive chalet style hut with rustic interior, serving popular local dishes including Gulaschsuppe, Tiroler Grostl, Albacher Kasspazl, grilled Wurstl and spit roasted Grill Hendl, a speciality of the house. Located at 1,200m near the top of the Galtenberg drag lift, the Bogalm is also accessible on foot. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5177 or +43 (0) 5336 5177. Web: www.alpbach-alm.at (German language only).
Dauerstoa Alm, Alpbach
Located at 1,900m and reached via the Poglbahn and Hornboden top stations the Dauerstoa Alm is an attractive chalet style mountain hut with rustic interior and a popular sun terrace with splendid views. Tel: +43 664 105 1929 Web: www.dauerstoa.at (German language only).
Gasthof Hornboden, Alpbach
Located at 1,827m just below the Wiedersbergerhorn gondola top station and next to the Ski School Alpbach Aktiv Kids Centre, the Gasthof Hornboden is one of Alpbach's bigger mountain restaurants with table service as well as self-service dining areas, a snow bar and a large sun terrace. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5366 Web: www.hornboden.at (German language only).
Kafner Ast, Alpbach
Located at 1,600m next to the 3-seater chairlift, Kafner Ast is a cosy self-service restaurant serving popular Tirolean dishes and homemade cakes, with tables inside and outside on the large sun terrace. Tel: +43 (0) 5336 5265
Wiedersbergerhorn Hutte, Alpbach
Located at 2,030m at the top of the Hornlift 2000 gondola station, the Wiedersbergerhorn Hutte is Alpbach's highest mountain restaurant with spectacular panoramic views and self-service restaurant offering a selection of traditional Tirolean dishes. Tel: +43(0) 5288 72264 or +43 (0) 664 548 8494 Web: www.wiedersbergerhorn.at (German language only).
Almstuberl Gschwendt, Reith im Alpbach
Located on Reitherkogel at 930m, a separate ski area above Reith im Alpbachtal, the Almstuberl Gschwendt is a small and cosy chalet-style hut with pretty interior and full-service restaurant. There's also a small terrace with splendid view of the Inn and Alpbach Valleys. Closed on Mondays but also open in the evening on Thursday, Friday and Saturday when the ski area is open for night skiing. Tel: +43 (0) 5337 64395 Web: www.almstueberl-gschwendt.at (German language only).
Mountain restaurants nearby in Wildschonau
There are more mountain restaurants in Wildschonau, now connected to Alpbach by gondola from InnerAlpbach to the ski area on the Schatzberg above Auffach.
Shatzbergalm Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8835
Gipfo Hit Auffach Tel: +43 664 13 00 871
Koglmoos Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8889
Grutt'n Bar Auffach
Cafe Martin Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8855
Auffacherhof Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8837
Platz Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8928
Gasthof Weissbacher Auffach Tel: +43 5339 8934
Gasthof Schonangeralm near Auffach Tel: +43 664 326 7616
Voted the most beautiful village in Austria, Alpbach is situated on a sun-drenched plateau at 1,000 metres above sea level with splendid views of the ski area on the Wiedersberger Horn on the opposite side of the valley.
A farming community since the 12th Century, from the early 15th to mid 19th Centuries the main economic activity in Alpbachtal besides farming was the mining of copper and silver deposits on Gratlspitz and Schatzberg. The 20th Century saw steady growth in the number of visitors to Alpbachtal, but farming remains important with over 100 farms in and around Alpbach, many of which have been worked by successive family generations for the last 200-300 years.
While tourism is now the main source of income, Alpbach is still a small village with limited bed stock for around 3,300 guests per night in Alpbach and a further 2,000 beds nearby in Reith, mostly in private guesthouses as well as a few 3-star and 4-star hotels. Tourism to Alpbachtal is more or less equally divided between winter and summer with a majority of visitors coming from Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In recent years, Alpach has also benefited from an increase in tourism from Poland and the Czech Republic.
Famed for its traditional style of architecture, the harmony of its timber buildings and floral decorations, Alpbach was voted "Austria's Most Beautiful Village" in a once only contest organised by Austrian Television in 1983 and the winner of the "Most Beautiful Floral Village in Europe" award in the 1993 Entente Floral Competition.
Shops in the village include a butcher, a baker, possibly somewhere even a candlestick maker, a souvenir shop, a few small ski and sports equipment shops and a bank in the centre of the village, but nothing to keep shopaholics busy or entertained for more than a few minutes. There's also a small supermarket located just before the entrance to the village and convenient for self-caterers.
A free ski bus ferries guests to and from three main ski lifts. The nearest of these is the Wiedersberger Horn gondola about 1km from the centre Alpbach with two more main ski lifts 3km away at Inneralpbach, the Poglbahn gondola also to Wiedersberger Horn and last, but not least, a new gondola from Inneralpbach to the Schatzberg ski area above Auffach in Wildschonau.
Tel: +43 5336 20094
Alpbach Apres Ski Bars & Restaurants
Apres ski in Alpbach may be quiet in comparison to some better known Tirolean ski resorts, but there are plenty of mountain huts and the bars, restaurants and hotels in the village deliver good apres ski for all age groups, and in an enchanting traditional village setting,
Alpbach Apres Ski Bars
Postalm Tel: +43 699 127 55 926
Waschkuchl Tel: +43 650 591 83 35
Gondalm Tel: +43 5336 5177
Messner's Internet Café Tel: +43 5336 5171 17
Dorfcafe Tel: +43 650 330 70 36
Gasthof Berghof Tel: +43 5336 5275
Achenwirt Tel: +43 5336 5783
Gasthaus Jakober Tel: +43 5336 5171
Gasthaus Rossmoos Tel: +43 5336 5305
Hotel Alpbacherhof Tel: +43 5336 5237
Hotel Alphof Tel: +43 5336 5371
Romantik Hotel Boglerhof Tel: +43 5336 5227
Hotel Galtenberg Tel: +43 5336 5610
Hotel Wiedersbergerhorn Tel: +43 5336 5612
Hotel Post Tel: +43 5336 5203
Restaurant Zirmalm Tel: +43 5336 5107
Flo's Restaurant Tel: +43 5336 5240
Alpbach Other Activities
Alpbach is a perfect location for families and couples seeking a relaxed skiing holiday in idyllic surrounds. Apart from skiing and boarding, other activities in winter include cross-country skiing, tobogganing, walking and snowshoeing.
Cross-Country Skiing in Alpbachtal
Alpbachtal offers cross-country skiers a mix of classic and skating trails including 21km in Aplbach itself. There are two classic trails (21km) in the immediate vicinity of Alpbach, a trail at Reith im Alpbachtal (5km) and both classic (6km) and skating (4km) trails in Inneralpbach for more advanced cross-country skiers.
Tobogganing in Alpbachtal
Alpbachtal offers a choice of three toboggan runs: The 4km long Bischhofer toboggan run, floodlit at night with Almdisco and traditional music at the Bischoferalm (Tel: +43 676 504 96 75), the 5km long Faulbaumgartenalm toboggan run in Inneralbach with a small hut for food and drink (Tel: +43 669 111 39 936) and more challenging 6km long Reitherkogl toboggan run from the top of the Reitherkogl gondola to the Hub chapel on the outskirts of Reith.
Winter Walking in Alpbachtal
Alpbach is a perfect destination for hiking all year round with 24 defined walking trails in the Alpbachtal and Seenland totalling 120km of which 50km are in Alpbach, 40km in Reith in and 30kin the Inntal valley in and around Kransach. Walks are of between 1 hour and 4 hours duration and are well-signposted.
Snowshoeing in Alpbachtal
Guided snowshoe tours in Alpbach are available from 10:00am every Thursday in winter for a minimum of three and a maximum of 15 persons including hire of snowshoes and walking poles. For more information and to register, contact the Tourist Office in Alpbach (Tel: +43 5336 20094).
Paragliding in Alpbach
Tandem paragliding from the Wiedersberger Horn are of approximately 15-20 minutes duration. For more information and to book contact Skyhigh Raven (Tel: +43 664 4700 200). Tandem flights with state qualified pilots are also available through Conny's Sport. For more information contact Markus (Tel: +43 664 126 59 86) or Peter (Tel: +43 676 930 61 02).
Spa & Wellness in Alpbach
For spa and wellness including massage and beauty treatments the 4-star Romantikhotel Boglerhof (Tel: +43 5336 5227) is highly recommended. For massage only, contact Hotter Maria (Tel: +43 5336 5514-11), Mathias Scwarzenauer, Physio 1000 (Tel: +43 5336 20057) or Beauty & Pureness at the Hotel Galtenburg in Inneralpbach (Tel: +43 5336 5610).
Swarovksi crystal shops can be found in towns and cites the world over, but when visiting Alpbach you are just 36km from the Swarovski's Kritsallworld at Wattens - the second most visited tourist attraction in Austria - which is well worth visiting. Open 9am to 6:30pm daily, last entrance 5:30pm. Swarovski Kristallworld is located at Kristallweltenstrasse 1, 6112 Wattens, Tirol. Tel: +43 5224 51080. Web: www.kristallwelten.swarovski.com.
Alpbach Congress Centre
Breaking with the tradition of dark-wooden chalet style buildings, the Congress Centre Alpbach is an imposing contemporary building on the outskirts of the village. Home to the prestigious European Forum Alpbach, the 1,585 m² congress facilities include a plenary hall with seating for up to 500 delegates, five seminar rooms for 35-195 people, spacious foyers, a coffee shop and restaurant, and a spiral shaped feature gallery with floor-to-ceiling glazing and superb mountain views. Congress Centre Alpbach, A-6236 Alpbach 246, Tirol. Tel: +43 5336 600 100. Email: email@example.com. Web: www.congressalpbach.at.
Alpbachtal Tourist Office
For more information contact the Tourist Office
A-6236 Alpbach, Tirol
Tel: +43 5336 20094