Long a favourite of fun-seeking German-speakers with powerful ski legs and drinking arms to match, Sölden has two glaciers and multiple peaks above 3,000m, guaranteeing year-round skiing. The Ötztal Super Skipass and bus connections to Obergurgl further enhance its appeal.

Sölden, which in English is usually simplified to Solden although Soelden is also sometimes used, hit the international headlines in 1991 when its original diehard patron, a 5,300 year old man, was uncovered perfectly preserved but with “the skin of a roasted turkey”. And then in 2016 a James Bond film was released with key scenes shot in Solden. Ötzi the neolithic hunter and Spectre the movie are both still commemorated in the resort, but its growing global profile is not just the result of canny marketing: Solden delivers what winter holidaymakers want.

For a start, Solden is high enough to be snowsure. The main resort is located at only 1377m (Hochsolden the satellite resort up the mountain is significantly higher at 2090m), but the ridge between the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach glaciers is over 3000m high and there is skiing on both sides, as well as at Schwarzkogl (3020m) and Gaislachkogl (3060m). Some spectacular observation points have been built so even non-skiers can appreciate the high mountain views, but for skiers the main benefit is in the quality of the snow. No wonder that the World Cup ski races start here as early as October.

Then there is the extent of the ski area. The official stats suggest it’s rather small (145km of piste, 33 lifts), but it feels larger, because of the length of the runs and their huge vertical drops. There is a decent variety of terrain in Solden too: none of the black pistes are very scary, but there is plenty of off-piste freeride for experts, enough steepish red runs to challenge intermediates and no shortage of blues for novices and nervous skiers. The ski schools are good as well.

Keen confident skiers, however, should buy the Ötztal Super Skipass which gives access to 5 other ski areas, including Obergurgl, which is just 25 minutes away by bus. The combined ski area expands to about 350km of ski slopes, which is more than enough for most skiers coming to Solden for a week-long holiday.

And lastly there is the typically Austrian après ski. This starts early in the mountain bars and continues into the small hours back in the resort with live concerts and pulsating nightclubs, and ensures Solden’s hotels and apartments are filled with youthful party-seekers. Hochsolden, the semi-isolated ski-in, ski-out suburb higher up the mountain, is more family-orientated and much quieter.

Solden Pros & Cons

+ Snowsure
+ Mid-sized local ski area
+ More skiing in other bus-linked Otztal resorts
+ Good long red runs
+ Lively après ski & nightlife

– Resort is rather large and strung-out
– You have to take a lot of buses to explore all the Otztal ski area
– Après ski can be too rowdy.


Solden Resort Stats

Base: 1377 m
Peak: 3250 m
Vertical: 1873 m
Ski Area: 140 km
Longest Run: 13 km
Beginner: 36 %
Intermediate: 44 %
Advanced: 20 %
Number of ski lifts: 22
Lift Capacity: 39400
Nearest Airport: Innsbruck
Transfer Time: 1 hour 10 mins

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Solden Resort Ratings

Ski Area star rating
Lift System star rating
Snowsure star rating
Beginner star rating
Intermediate star rating
Advanced star rating
Scenery star rating
Charm star rating
Apres Ski star rating
Other Activities star rating
Getting There star rating

Total Ratings = 11

Ratings sum = 37

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