Ischgl: 10th visit anniversary
After our visit to Sankt Anton in 2015 we wanted to go back to the biggest skiable domain in Austria, which is also ranked within the 10 biggest of the World. In 2015 we were still forced to take a bus in Stuben towards Lech. Since 2016 there is the new Flexenbahn which brings you towards Zurs.
It is important to know that the domain is not always fully connected. During our visit we could reach Zurs via the Flexenbahn, but we could not get to Lech as there was not yet enough snow to open the last slope. With a 5 minute bus ride you can bridge the gap. The return route was open, but according to us this is not a fun journey. Only the blue slope 180 was open which is close to be flat and with the heavy headwind we really had to work hard to get down.
Another disadvantage is that with the return from Zurs you have 3 lifts in a row (Trittkopfbahn – Flexenbahn – Valfagehrbahn) for about 20 to 30 minutes before you can ski again. We didn’t like this too much. Further you really have to take the closing times of the lift into account to make sure you get back on time.
At the end of the skiing day we went to the Mooserwirt. You can ski in, but we find it wiser to store the ski material and go by public transportation. You can take the free bus (number 3) at the terminal and the bus stop is about 250 meters away from the apres ski bar; very convenient. Returning was via an 18 euro taxi ride. It was with a van, so if you are with a few friends, it’s still affordable. About the Mooserwirt we can be short, it’s an awesome party place. The resident DJ plays the best songs and can really feel what the audience wants. Not only German Schlagers but a mix from everything. We had a great evening.
This year again 2 new lifts in Ischgl and Samnaun. First there is the new F1 Velilleck lift which is the fastest lift in the domain. It brings you back from slope 7 and 4a. The red slope 7 was often abandoned because you had to return with an old wooden 2 seated lift. The kind that doesn’t slow down, doesn’t have a bubble. And when you come back up, you had to go down by black 4 or red 5. Now with the new F1 lift you get back next to Pardatschgrat (2624m). The result is that piste 7 is way more crowded and that you can feel on the condition of the slope. It’s no longer in great condition in the late afterenoon.
The second new lift has been built in Samnaun and brings you to the top of Visnitzkopf (2744m). There are some great slopes in that area. We only managed to take this lift two times this year due to weather conditions, but I’m sure we will frequent it often in next years.
On Wednesday we had great weather and gathered 63 downwards kilometers but there was already quite some wind. On Thursday the wind only increased ans while having lunch in Samnaun we saw messages where people were encouraged to return to their own area. As we got stuck for several hours in Alpe D’Huez (Tomorrowland Winter) we decided to not take risk and headed back to Ischgl itself. There several lift were closed at moments. Mainly the B8 lift (back up to Pardatschgrat) was annoying.
On Friday the wind, called Föhn, was again present and when we arrived on top, we saw that half of the lifts were closed. The lifts B2 and B3 towards Samnaun were closed, but also C2 and C5 which made the 20 range slopes unavailable. We decided to make the best out of it and kept ourselves busy with the downhill slopes back to Ischgl. Also the 30 range slopes were open, but they became very crowded.
In recent years we tend to party a little less late in the apres ski and go a bit earlier for dinner. This leaves that more restaurants are still open. This year we visited again some new restaurants.
Located in the upper part near the church you find this larger restaurant where we were welcomed by a friendly staff. The service was fast and the tasteful food affordable priced. We all had pizza and it was delicious. This is a place we will visit again in the future.
On our way to Eggerstueberl (number 7) we had to change plans as the restaurant was closed on Wednesday. We found this nearby Salner restaurant which had availability without reservation. We were lucky to have spend some more time in apres ski bars, otherwise restaurant would have been full. The food was very good but we had to wait quite some time for it. As we were relatively late we were starved and happy it finally arrived. About service we have mixed feelings. The waiter was very friendly and helpful but the lady serving us was rude and intrusive by constantly pushing to sell more, bigger, more expensive. If it would have been once or twice, it would have been acceptable, but our whole companion was unanimously she was rude. Nevertheless I do think we will visit the place in the future for the great food.
We learned about this hidden place only a couple of years ago but in meanwhile it’s a classic for us. Located on minus 2 you find this dorfcafe where staff is the same for years. The authentic design and clothing of staff makes it a cosy place. Delivery is fast and the food awesome and affordable. I always enjoy our dinner in this place.
Last year we visited the number one restaurant in Ischgl (according to Trip Advisor) and as the food was very good, we decided to go back on our last evening. We try to make it a calmer evening to that the drivers are fit for the next day return trip. The restaurant still works in 2 fixed shifts and you need a reservation to obtain a spot. Although the food was glorious again, I don’t think we will come back easily. Once seated we remembered that it was very warm in the restaurant the year before as well. So warm it’s nearly uncomfortable according to us. And the tables are really close to eachother which makes you don’t have that much space. We were a little cramped around the table. Next to that the table has a lot of nice details and decoration but leaving not too much space to freely eat. So although the food and dessert was heavenly we will search for some alternatives in the next visits. Afterall, we still have plenty of restaurants which we have not yet visited 🙂
Statistics and impressions
This year we had 1 ski day more than previous years but due to the bad weather we did not always ski till the end of the day. Anyway we gathered 242 km downhill kilometers and took 131 lifts. Again a quite impressive result according to us. We leave when the lift opens, take coffee at 11:00 AM, lunch at 01:00PM and stop skiing somewhere around 04:00PM depending on the mood, the weather and the slope condition. Sometimes Marie-Claire even takes an extra lift at the end of the day, which is not reflected in below statistics.
- Day 1: 48.2 km, 27 lifts, 9.691 altitude meters
- Day 2: 40.1 km, 22 lifts, 8.797 altitude meters
- Day 3: 63.0 km, 31 lifts, 14.066 altitude meters
- Day 4: 55.2 km, 31 lifts, 11.570 altitude meters
- Day 5: 36.0 km, 20 lifts, 7.209 altitude meters