Situated near the Italian border, Obergurgl is one of the highest skiing villages in Europe attracting loyal visitors back year after year with its snow-sure slopes and relaxed family-friendly atmosphere.
Lying at the southern end of the Ötztal valley, Obergurgl is the highest parish in Austria with an elevation of 1,930 metres. With its links to neighbouring resort, Hochgurgl (which has a well developed glacier reaching 3,080 metres), Obergurgl has an excellent reputation for reliable snow cover and a long season which runs from November to the end of April.
Obergurgl first rose to prominence back in the 1930’s, as the crash site of the famous Swiss explorer Auguste Piccard’s hot air balloon world altitude record attempt. The incident was widely reported around the world causing an influx of visitors to the area, putting Obergurgl on the map.
Set around an early 18th century church, the village is small and traditional with little traffic and a low key atmosphere, making it particularly popular with families. Accommodation is of high quality and there are plenty of ski-in/ski out hotels and luxury chalets in Obergurgl.
From a skiing point of view Obergurgl is probably best suited to beginners and progressing intermediates as there is little to challenge experts. The resort does however have fabulous panoramic views and with a high volume of visitors returning year after year it’s certainly doing something right.
“Serving delicious Tyrolean cuisine, Obergurgl has a good range of mountain restaurants, whilst in resort hotel à la carte dining rooms tend to dominate the scene.”
Hohe Mut Alm
Reached via a gondola from town, Hohe Mut Alm is a cosy mountain lodge serving traditional Tyrolean cuisine. Warm up in the welcoming woody interior by the open fire or bask in the sun on the large terrace whilst admiring the fabulous glacial views. Don’t miss their fondue evening with live music which takes place every Wednesday evening.
www.hohemutalm.com/englisch / +43 52 56 63 96 32
Top Mountain Star
Perched on a narrow ridge of the Wurmkogel, Top Mountain Star is a futuristic mountain restaurant, panorama bar and viewing platform. At 3,080 metres above sea level, this is the ideal place to stop for a reviver whilst admiring the breathtaking 360 degree views of the Ötz valley Alps, all the way up to the Dolomites.
Located at the bottom of the Steinmann Lift, David’s Hütte is a charming traditional chalet with a lively atmosphere. They host live music and fondue grill evenings every Wednesday and a Bauer evening with roast pork shanks or spiced ribs every Thursday. The large terrace is also popular for apres-ski.
www.davidshuette.net / + 43 52 56 63 32
Edelweiss & Gurgl
For fine dining head to the Gault Millan rated à la carte restaurant at Hotel Edelweiss & Gurgl. The restaurant prides itself on only using local ingredients, such as beef from locally reared Tyrolean Grey cattle. They also have an excellent selection of fine wines from Austria and around the world.
www.edelweiss-gurgl.co.uk/hotel/culinary-delights/a-la-carte-restaurant / +43 52 56 62 23
“The nightlife in Obergurgl is quiet by Austrian standards with most late night entertainment taking place in hotel bars, but there still a few lively spots.”
With live music and plenty of Schnapps on offer, Nederhütte is the place to be when the lifts close. They also have an excellent restaurant and host ‘Dine and Dance Thursdays’ with a choice of grilled meats, fondue or raclette.
www.nederhuette.at/en / +43 66 44 00 71 49
Located under the Hotel Josl, Josl Keller is a popular bar and nightclub with music and dancing continuing into the early hours of the morning. Happy Hour is from 5pm to 7pm and they host regular events too.
www.hotel-obergurgl-josl.com / +43 52 56 65 45 20 0
Located in the Mathiesn Hotel, in the centre of the resort, Fasl is a barrel shaped bar serving different flavours of schnapps. It has a great atmosphere and there is music to suit all tastes from golden oldies to brand new chart hits.
www.mathiesn.at / ++43 52 56 62 80
For apres-ski in Hochgurgl, Toni’s Almhutte is a popular spot. This cosy 400 year old Oetztal hut has a wonderful sun terrace and serves plenty of Schnapps. They also offer local delicacies and delicious fondues.
www.olymphotel.at/restaurant_hochgurgl/tonis-almhutte / +43 52 56 64 91
“Long blue cruising pistes, snow-sure slopes, breathtaking views and easy off-piste runs make Obergurgl a beginner’s dream.”
Covering an area of 110 km, Obergurgl’s ski area is divided into 3 topographically separate but lift-linked areas. The main Festkogl sector is accessed either by gondola from the village or via a 2-stage chair from the centre. Here there are plenty of blues and cruising red runs down to the Hohe Mut sector. The high, gentle bowls of Hochgurgl can be reached by a gondola mid-mountain. With only a handful of fairly straightforward black runs, experts are not well catered for but the slopes around Kirchenkar are good for untracked powder.
A highlight of the ski scene in Obergurgl is night skiing, which takes place on Tuesdays between 6.30pm and 10pm. The ski school showcase their skills in a ‘skiVolution’ show and there is also a firework display.
Obergurgl Ski School
For over 90 years the Obergurgl Ski School has been teaching all ages and abilities how to ski and snowboard. They have over 100 fully qualified and committed instructors and offer group and private instruction, ski touring, freeriding, cross country skiing and telemarking.
www.skischule-obergurgl.com/en/index.html / +43 52 56 63 05
Ski School Exclusiv
Exclusiv has a small team of experienced instructors who offer private lessons for skiers of all ages and abilities. They also run deep snow skiing courses, freeride courses, ski mountaineering tours and snowshoe hikes.
www.skischule-exclusiv.at/en.html / + 43 66 41 82 69 69
“Catering to its clientele, Obergurgl has a variety of family friendly activities on offer from horse riding to indoor golf.”
Located just a few metres from Hotel Edelweiss & Gurgl is a riding centre with an indoor arena and over a dozen Tyrolean Haflinger horses. Activities on offer include group or private lessons, jumping and in the summer, trail riding.
www.haflinger.cc/reiten / +43 52 56 62 23
Opposite the old St Bernhard’s mountaineers chapel, a spacious ice rink is tucked into the Obergurgl mountain slope. In the evening the rink is floodlit and visitors can even try their hand at Bavarian curling.
www.obergurgl.com/iceskating-curling / +43 69 91 27 42 23 4
At Hochgurgl’s indoor golf park, both beginners and professionals can practice their swing. The facility has 7 state-of-the-art simulators as well as a 200m2 putting green. Afterwards golfers can enjoy a drink at the ‘Putt-In’ bar.
www.obergurgl.com/indoor-golf-bowling-winter / +43 52 56 64 66
Aqua Dome Thermal Spa
Attached to a 4 star hotel, Aqua Dome is worth the 30 minute drive from Obergurgl. Choose from one of 12 indoor and outdoor pools with water temperatures ranging from 93 to 97°F. There are also 7 saunas and a gym as well as range of treatments on offer, from hot stone to full body massages and more.
www.aqua-dome.at/en / + 43 52 53 64 00