Apres Ski in Soll
Söll offers vibrant après-ski, both on and off the mountain. Söll has long been popular with a younger clientele including lots of British and Dutch skiers, but it’s very much a family resort with plenty of quieter options for a more sedate après-ski experience including bars and restaurants in many of the hotels.
Sőll – the biggest village in the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental region – is one of Austria’s most easy-going and popular ski resorts with masses of good skiing for improving beginners and intermediates and vibrant nightlife in a traditional Tirolean setting.
Set in a rural location at 703m above sea level, Söll is an attractive village with a car-free centre and an exquisite Baroque church, with vivid frescoes and red marble pulpit, crowned by a gilded swan church. A less-spiritual attraction is the Whiskeymühle, a vibrant discothèque. Sőll is relatively small and quiet. It takes just a few minutes to explore the village centre on foot and while there is the usual array of shops selling ski clothing and equipment there’s not much retail therapy for non-skiers or shopaholics.
The gondola at Sőll (and nine other gondolas in the region) provides high-speed access to the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental Ski Circuit – the biggest lift-connected ski area in Austria – with 91 ski lifts, 279km of well-groomed slopes and 70 or more mountain restaurants and bars. Sőll’s pretty village centre is half a mile or more from the gondola base station (a 10-15-minute walk if you don’t take the bus), but you’ll soon get used to taking the free ski bus or driving to the base station where there’s plenty of free parking.
If you decide to walk back to the village after a day on the slopes you can break the journey by pub crawling your way back along Stampfanger starting at the Moonlight Bar at the bottom of the valley run, then après ski bars Talstation and Hexenalm before crossing the main road to Salvenstadl on the edge of the village.
The snow-capped peaks of the Wilder Kaiser to the north, tower above Sőll and the nearby ski resorts of Scheffau, Ellmau and Going, which are some 6-11km farther along the B178 heading east from Sőll. The SkiWelt ski area (more than 10,000 hectares) is situated south of this road and to the east and north of the B170 running from Sőll to Itter (6km), Hopfgarten (11km), Westendorf (21km), Brixen im Thale (24km) and beyond to Kirchberg and Kitzbuhel.
Apres-Ski Bars & Nightlife in Soll
Favourite places for après ski on the mountain include the Gasthőf Stockalm at gondola mid-station, the Moonlight Bar at the bottom of the valley run and Hexenkessel at the gondola base station. From Hexenkessel it’s just a short walk to the deservedly popular Salvenstadl (Cow Shed) on the edge of the village, which opens from 3:30pm for its Après-Ski Party and is busy with live music until late. Salvenstadl also has several flat screen TV’s and Sky TV for important sporting occasions. Salvenstadl is also popular later in the evening as are the Rossini café and pub and Bella Vita, both of which offer a more sophisticated ambience.
There’s live music in Sőll most nights including traditional Austrian music and there are plenty of opportunities for partying until late at the renowned Whisky-Műhle disco in the centre of Sőll and a focal point for nightlife. The après-ski is lively and fun, but not sophisticated and nowhere near as busy as internationally renowned resorts such as Ischgl or St Anton.
Restaurants in Soll
There are around thirty restaurants and bars in Söll alone, many within easy walking distance of the village centre, but if that’s not enough you’ll find plenty more restaurants and bars nearby in Scheffau, Ellmau and Going which are easy to get to by car or taxi.
Auf da Műhle (Tel: +43 5333 20590) is an impressive new restaurant situated on the 1st floor of the modernist Whisky Műhle building houses. Reached by a stair case on the right hand side of the building, Auf da Műhle reasonably priced menu includes many excellent dishes with Mediterranean and Asian influences and including freshly baked pizzas, noodles and wok dishes, Australian and Anadlusian steaks as well as classic Austrian dishes such as wiener schnitzel, grőstl and kaisercharrn in a stylish contemporary setting.
Bella Vita (Tel: +43 5333 20360) is another relatively new restaurant in the centre of Sőll offering a choice of reasonably priced Italian, Asian and traditional Austrian dishes. Dorfstub’n (Tel: +43 5333 5907) is more traditional offering traditional Austrian dishes and friendly service.
Hexenalm (Tel: +43 5333 5544) is a delightfully refurbished traditional hotel situated close to the gondola on the outskirts of the village, with a lively après ski bar and an appealing restaurant serving traditional Austrian and pizza dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.
Pizzeria Venezia (Tel: +43 5333 6191) offers light innovative Italian dishes made with fresh Italian spices including homemade pasta, pizza and fresh fish and a good selection of Italian wines from Sud Tirol, Tuscany and Sardinia.
Schindlhaus (Tel: +43 5333 516136) is a is a Gault Millau rated gourmet restaurant in the centre of Sőll with stylish interior that combines a number of regional dishes with an international flavour. Creative chefs Christian and Markus Winkler are highly regarded for their original dishes which include local ox served with wok-cooked vegetables and trout and lobster dishes combining Austrian and Indian influences.
Hotel Greil (Tel: +43 5333 5289) is a small, family-owned 4-star hotel on the outskirts of Sőll, which is mentioned in Guide Michelin 2009 for Tirolean delicacies, Austrian specialities and international dishes presented on the best china from Villeroy & Boch and served with top quality wines in Riedel glasses. The small restaurant is primarily for hotel guests and hence pre-booking to reserve a table is essential.
Hotel Postwirt (Tel: +43 5333 5081) in the centre of Sőll is well regarded and has an à la carte restaurant offering fine dining in a traditional setting with a choice of international dishes and regional specialities.
Many of Sőll’s hotels and guesthouses also welcome non-residents for dinner.
Other Activities in Soll
The Ski Welt is one of Austria’s most innovative family ski regions with a wide range of other activities for families and non-skiers in Sőll and in the neighbouring villages of the Wilder Kaiser.
Photo Credit: SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental
Besides skiing and snowboarding, other sports activities in winter include tobogganing, cross-country skiing, winter walking, snowshoeing, horse drawn sleigh rides, paragliding and swimming at the Panoramabad in Sőll. There’s also snow-tubing and snow-biking nearby at Ellmau. There are few shops in Sőll and other Wilder Kaiser villages, but Kitzbuhel (22km from Sőll) is a wonderfully historic town with plenty of stylish boutiques for shopaholics and more sophisticated nightlife – well worth visiting if you have time.
Night skiing in Soll
Sőll is home to the biggest night-skiing area in the Alps with 13km of floodlit slopes between 700m and 1,700m fully illuminated for night-skiing and boarding around mid-station including Salvenmoos, Keat and Hexen6er runs, a floodlit fun park called snowpark Sőll for boarders and a 3km valley run.
The night skiing area is open from 6:30pm until 9:30pm, Wednesday to Saturday and special lift tickets can be purchased at the gondola ticket office. There’s lively après ski at Gasthof Hochsőll, Grűndalm and Stőcklalm at mid-station and at the Moonlight Bar at the bottom of the valley run. Night skiing attracts lots of local skiers whose standards of skiing (forwards and backwards) will undoubtedly impress you. There are also two floodlit toboggan runs. For more information and prices go to www.skinacht.at (German language website).
Tobogganing in Soll
The Wilder Kaiser region has 14.5km of toboggan runs many of which are illuminated at night including the Astberg-Ellmau-Going, the Steinacker in Scheffau and two toboggan runs from mid-station at Hochsöll to Söll. Toboggans and lift tickets are available at the gondola ticket office in Sőll.
Cross-country skiing in Soll
For some, cross-country skiing is one of the highlights of the Wilder Kaiser with 83km of well-groomed cross-country slopes in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Tirol. The Sunnseit classic track in Sőll can be started from Hotel Alpenpanorama or the Franzlhof and is a 4.5km loop out of the village and back with gentle incline. Scheffau has floodlit cross-country slopes and a mobile biathlon laser shooting, the 6km Kaiserloipe track in Ellmau is suitable for both beginners and advanced and there is more cross-country skiing at Going including a 10km track between the Hotel Stanglwirt and Gasthof Rőmerhof for intermediates.
Winter walking and snowshoeing in Soll
The Wilder Kaiser offers 113km of winter walking trails in and around the villages of Sőll (30km), Scheffau (18km), Ellmau (55km) and Going (10km). The Pirchmoos walk in Sőll is an enjoyable 5.5km walk which will take enthusiastic walkers around 1½ hours to complete. Walking trails are well maintinained and clearly signposted. Maps are available from the Tourist Office.
Horse drawn sleigh rides in Soll
Horse drawn sleigh rides are available in winter throughout the Wilder Kaiser. For information about sleigh rides in Sőll contact: Familie Horngacher (Tel.: +43 664 532 7476), Mathias Krall (Tel.:+43 0664 2051228) or Martina Weiss (Tel: +43 676 311 1965).
Paragliding in Soll
Tandem paragliding flights are offered by Fly 2 Tandem Flights and by appointment only. Take off points are at 1,000m and 1,200m on the Sőll and Hopfgarten sides of Hohe Salve respectively and flight duration is between 5-30 minutes depending on weather conditions and thermals. For more information contact: Fly 2 Tandemflights, Tel: +43 (0) 5335 3403, Email: [email protected] and Web: www.paragliding-fly2.at
Swimming in Soll
For those guests that do not have the luxury of a hotel swimming pool, Panoramabad Sőll is large a public swimming complex with heated indoor and outdoor pools and sauna, bio-sauna and steamroom. It’s located off Stampfanger (behind the Hotel Bergland), the swimming pool is open from 9:30am until 8:30pm and sauna and steam room from 3:00pm. For more information, contact Panoramabad Sőll, Stampfanger 5, A-6306 Sőll. Tel: +43 (0) 5333 5442, Email: [email protected] and Web: www.panoramabad-soell.at
Soll Tourist Office
For more information contact the tourist office in Sőll:
Sőll Tourist Office
Dorf 84, A-6306 Söll, Austria
Tel: +43 (0) 5333 5216
Fax: +43 (0) 5333 6180
Email: [email protected]