Our Family holiday in Tirol

When we had the opportunity to ski in Tirol we wasted no time by taking our kids out of school… it has been 2 years after all!!

Although I am German I have always had a soft spot for Austria as it was my birthplace (a little ski resort in the Vorarlberg called Kleinwalsertal).

We landed in Innsbruck which is just the smallest and most efficient airport I have ever been to.

From here we drove to Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis which is a short 1.15hrs drive from the airport. SFL is made up of 3 parishes and from what I understand owned by only 4 families. It’s extremely family orientated and as expected very well organised.

It has 214km of long beautiful slopes and as you are not allowed to drive in the town itself it even has an underground railway linking the main car park with the centre of town and ending at the ski gondolas. Here you can also hire lockers for your skis and boots, very useful when skiing with kids.

SFL also offers many other activities from, winter and snowshoe hiking to cross country skiing, sunset peak dinners, tobogganing, zip-lining and even a sky swing experience.

 

Or why not treat yourself and book the “First Track tour” and travel on the first cable car to experience the fresh snow before anyone else does, followed by a mountain breakfast – pure bliss! (I am sad to say we didn’t have time to do this… ha ha).

Across the 3 parishes you have lots of choice for your children, with kids entertainment runs and trails. They even have a Ski Kindergarten for smaller kids!

At arrival we were warmly welcomed by the hotel staff and everybody in town greeted us as if we were locals – and this is after BREXIT!

In fact I would be quite happy ditching my German passport to become Austrian after this trip. They could not have been more helpful, caring and fun people!

Whilst our kids were very well looked after at the local ski school (Skischule Serfaus) our guide Markus Falch took us on a mum and dad experience off-piste. It became very obvious that although the resort is very child friendly, that parents can also enjoy themselves with more challenging runs, accessible off-piste and safe in the knowledge that their children are very well looked after.

The ski schools in Austria all seem very flexible and as we enjoy skiing with our kids we only booked them in for the mornings to enjoy lunch and afternoon skiing with them, which is the perfect balance for our family.
Our daughter Erin has learning difficulties and at no point was I worried and her skiing improved immensely.

 

The food was exceptional everywhere we went and on our last night we were taken to a very fun and traditional restaurant called Madatschen. The owner shoots, prepares and grills his own meat on their enormous and beautiful indoor BBQ. The atmosphere was lively and warm with local live music entertainment.

 

The next day we were off to Söll, but decided to take a detour to the Kaunertal Glacier and oh-my-word, I am so pleased we did! WOW!

It is “absolutely” stunning and we skied with the kids from the top of the glacier all the way back to the car – sunshine, no wind and great snow – we were very happy!

The resort is 1.45hrs drive from Innsbruck airport and starts at 2150m. It’s highest point is 3.113m at the Falginjoch.

The glacier resort offers 50km of slopes, has three peaks over 3000m and is 100% barrier free. Awesome…

The resort offers almost 1000 vertical meters and incredible freeriding opportunities as well as perfectly groomed slopes.

The resort in general is not crowded and the visitors have a lots of space with no waiting time at the lifts. The season usually runs from mid/end September and can last until the first week of June.

  • I know what we will be doing October half term this year… !

We happily got back in the car and carried on to Söll, which is one of the 9 villages that forms Ski Welt.

 

Söll is brilliant (full stop!)

It has everything, from 2* to 5* accommodation, very family friendly and super easy to get to from 3 major airports:

From Innsbruck 50 minutes by car or 1.45hrs by train.

From Munich 1.30hrs by car or 2hrs by train.

Or From Salzburg 1.20hrs by car or 3hrs by train.

 

We stayed in an aparthotel, which has also a ski school attached and is perfect for young families and very flexible. We were able to ski all the way back to the hotel and the ski bus comes every few minutes. They have just got it nailed!

Our first night we had dinner at the Schulhaus – “the school house” and were greeted by big smiles form Julia and Hannes Ager, the owners of this amazing establishment. The menu was fun and the food was delicious! We later were very lucky to be shown their amazing Boutique Aparthotel called the “Oldschool” – this place is a must visit!

The Ski Welt ski area is “enormous” with 288km of beautifully groomed piste. Their facilities are very impressive and there is SO much to do… It connects 9 villages with 90 modern lifts with panoramic views of more than 70 mountains with 80 family run mountain restaurants (Oh we all loved the Schnitzels and Dumplings!).

It also has an ALPENIGLU® Igloo Village3 fun parks, 3 floodlit toboggan runs and to top it off this is Austria’s largest night skiing resort.
In fact, the night-time skiing was the family’s favourite. It was so beautiful and very impressive. The slopes felt very safe, well prepared and it was BIG!

 

The kids absolutely loved their instructor Jenny who took them to all the fun places to be, which included visiting the “mountain witches” and mixing their own drink potions from “devil’s spit and witches wee” – it all tasted very nice and the witches were great fun – so we have been told!

We later met up at the Gipfelalm (translated – summit-mountain-hat) – a beautiful restaurant with a rotating platform offering panoramic views. We all shared an enormous pan of Kaiserschmarrn which is an traditional Austrian desert– and yummeeeee  – as our kids called it!

It started to snow heavily on Thursday and we had over 50cm of fresh snow, it was truly wonderful and we were very sad to leave… especially as we only had the chance to try 4 of the 80 mountain restaurants…

I should also add that another highlight was watching David Ryding win Great Britain’s first world cup race on screen, just 20 minutes from Kitzbühel, surrounded by friendly and appreciative Austrians.

We will be back #Tirol #Söll #Skiwelt #Wilderkaiser #Serfausfissladis #Kaunertal !

Babsi Lapwood COO of Mountain Trade Network