Sőll is a traditional ski resort in the Austrian Tirol that's attractive to both familes and youthful party goers. It's part of the SkiWelt, a vast lift-linked ski area, and Soll has some of its best skiing. But the slopes are not high enough to be naturally snowsure so Soll relies on artificial snow making.
Austria’s vast but low-lying SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental (“SkiWelt”) ski area has over 80 lifts and more than 270km of ski runs linking nine different villages. And whilst they all have their charms, and some like Ellmau and Westendorf have better connections to nearby Kitzbuhel, Söll is still the favourite gateway, and it’s easy to see why.
Although Soll is now quite large, it has a traditional core with an old church, and a pretty backdrop of woods and mountains. It’s not car-free but a bypass diverts most of the traffic around rather than through the village. Accommodation, whether in small hotels, apartments, chalets or B&Bs, tends to be in attractive low-rise buildings. Add just a few flakes of snow, and you have an idyllic setting for a winter holiday in the Alps. The only disadvantage is that the ski slopes and lifts are a 15 minute walk (or a 5 minute bus ride) from the village centre. There is some accommodation near the lifts, but it lacks the charm and atmosphere of the old village.
Soll also manages to combine being family-friendly with a lively après ski scene. From ‘tea dancing’ in ski boots in mountain huts, to clubs and bars that stay open all night, it’s all there if you want it, but easy to avoid if you don’t. And for those who want something more energetic to do in the evening, there is excellent night-skiing.
The SkiWelt’s slopes best suit intermediates who like to cruise around on short, gentle treelined blue and red runs, stopping frequently for breaks in the ubiquitous mountain restaurants (there are about 80 to choose from). And this is true for Soll, although it’s also a good resort for beginners who benefit from nursery slopes at both resort level and mid-mountain, and high-quality ski schools. For experts who want a challenge, the best terrain in the whole of the SkiWelt is the north-face of the Hohe Salve mountain above Soll, but there is not enough to keep a keen skier occupied for a full week.
Snow quality can also be a problem. The SkiWelt’s low elevation means that almost all the skiing is below 2000m, and Soll itself is located at just 705m above sea level, which is very low for a ski resort. The SkiWelt has invested heavily and successfully in artificial snowmaking but it’s not a perfect solution because it requires cold nights, so be careful booking a holiday in late Spring.
Soll Pros & Cons
+ Pleasant picturesque village
+ Large lift-linked ski area
+ Local slopes for all standards
+ Lively après ski & nightlife
+ Impressive artificial snowmaking
– Resort is rather stretched out
– Lifts are a long walk from the village centre
– Too low to be snowsure, even with its snow guns
– The SkiWelt has few steep slopes