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Skiing in Austria - Explore The Tirol Region
If you're a skiing enthusiast, then your images of Austria are probably all of snow-covered mountains that you'd love to explore. While there are plenty of magnificent cities to explore in Austria, such as Vienna and Salzburg, the snow capped mountains are definitely the place to go if you're interested in winter sports. The Tirol region, located in the west of Austria, has a number of different snowfields you can visit, so pack up your snow gear and start exploring.

Kitzbühel Region

This area is serviced by the resorts of Kitzbühel, Reith, Kirchberg and Aurach. It's a varied region, with skiing available for all levels of experience. In the 1930s the "Hehnenkamm Race" was held in this area for the first time, and has gone on to become one of the most coveted titles in the men's World Cup circuit. The downhill race on the "Streif" is nothing short of spectacular. If you've watched the race, you can try the run for yourself, except just prior to the World Cup event.

Ischgl Region

The Ischgl region is close to the border of Switzerland, and recently it was linked together with the Samnaun skiing area to form a huge winter sports playground. The Silvretta Ski and Fun Sports Arena has proven to be one of the most celebrated skiing and snowboarding destinations, and almost any type of winter sport can be catered to in this area. Most of the skiing is between 2,000 and 2,872 meters, which means that the northern slopes are covered in snow for up to 7 months of the year. The Ischgl area is also renowned for its après ski pleasures, with the end-of-season celebrations becoming a magnet for celebrities and party lovers from around the world. Concerts are held on the Idalpe, which is around 2,300 meters above sea level, and in recent times well known performs such as Jon Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias and Atomic Kitten have starred.

Seefeld Region

This area has become something of a cross-country skier's paradise, with Nordic events for the Winter Olympic Games being hosted here in 1964 and 1976, the Nordic Skiing World Championships in 1985 and the Cross-Country Skiing World Cup in 1999. So if Nordic skiing is your passion, you can visit Seefeld and know you're skiing on the same trails as some of the world's best cross-country skiers. Seefeld is situated in the largest Austrian nature reserve, and is a charming village situated at an altitude of 1200 meters.

Stubaital Region

Have you ever wanted to try skiing on a glacier? Then visit Stubaital, which contains Austria's largest glacier skiing area. There's over 70 km of pistes serviced by 22 lifts, and you can ski all year round. Stubaital also boasts the longest high alpine downhill tour in Austria, with numerous events set against the spectacular Stubai Alps. There's also an extensive fun park designed for snowboarders, with quarter pipe, tabletop, projump, spine and a half pipe.

Sölden-Ötztal Region

This skiing area boasts a large variation in heights, covering from just 1,400 meters above sea level right up to 3,249 meters. The season opens in mid October with the first events in both the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup and the FIS Snowboard World Cup. So if you'd like to sample world-class runs surrounded by majestic 3,000 meter peaks, visit the Ötztal Arena.

Zillertal Region

Mayrhofen is the lively heart of the Ziller Valley. The Zillertal is a broad side valley, covering over 1,000 square kilometers. You could spend the whole ski season in this one area and never get bored, with over 589km of runs and 173 ski lifts to choose from.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gordon Philips. If you want to read more about skiing in Austria, click over to Gordon's site at Travel Austria Info Zone.
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