A quiet and picturesque valley surrounded by mountains which peak at more than 3000 MASL? A place where you can ski for hours, enjoy the amazing scenery and don’t have to be stuck in queues on the slopes? All of this we can find in the Ötztal Alps, near the Tyrolean glacier Kaunertal. The enthusiasts of winter sports can enjoy a powder snow from October to June. 38 km of ski runs include blue (20 km), red (12 km) and black (6 km), so both the beginners and advanced skiers can try them out. According to some, one of the best ski runs is a nearly two kilometer long, red "9". It’s very diverse, has numerous walls, and ends at the middle station of the chairlift.
Kaunertal isn’t big, but for years has enjoyed a considerable interest of winter sports enthusiasts. The local ski runs are not only beautiful, but also easily accessible - you can drive so close that you can only put your skis or snowboard on, and head towards the slopes. Let’s add to this two chairlifts, five ski lifts and 8-person gondola with heated seats, which will take skiers to the height of 3,100 MASL. There’re also three ski schools and a ski rental.
The youngest child of Tyrolean glaciers
The valley is full of climatic villages. The most important and best known is Feichten, located in the central part of the area, and it's the best starting point for skiers. Other town, Fendels, despite its intimate atmosphere, also enjoys an excellent reputation, just like Kaus and Prutz. Kaunertal valley attracts tourists all year round. In winter it tempts with fluffy snow and many sport possibilities, while in the summer it’s full of cyclists, amateur walkers and experienced mountain hikers. Every year the valley hosts a road bicycle racing contest, which gives you the opportunity to participate in a pretty big event. Anyway, there’s no lack of huge parties, starting with the Spring Classics, ending with autumn Kaunertal Opening.
But that’s not all. Kaunertal scenic route is considered to be the most beautiful alpine route in the Alps. Besides, the glacier attracts with a wide range of attractions for snowboarders – a pipe, trampoline and a fun park. There’re also slopes with different levels of difficulty, including the 1000-meter altitude difference. The valley is also famous for one of the best snow parks in the Alps, attracting crowds of free skiing adherents.
The vast majority of the ski slopes are easy. There’s also a cross-country track with a length of 30 km – for the skate and classic style. You can explore the area not only on skis, but also on snowshoes, sledges and snowboard. And what to do after a whole day spent on the slopes? In the area of the glacier, there’re two restaurants where you can enjoy the scenery from the overlooking terraces.
Fendels – perfect for families with children
But not only the enthusiasts of speed skiing enjoy holidays in Kaunertal. In Fendels, located near the resort, there’s a small ski area for families, offering 16 km of ski runs (8 km of blue, 6 km of red and 2 km of black). Its lifts and slopes are a perfect place for winter fun in the surroundings of sharp peaks and frighteningly clear sky. Every Thursday there’s organized a night skiing and night sledging on 4.5 km of lighted track. Ski runs leading through the forest are also well-lit, which provides a good visibility also on foggy days. Tired after a whole day of skiing, tourists can relax in the elegant mountain restaurant Sattelklause, and the little ones can enjoy a really nice playground.
What’s important, if you buy a one-day pass for the Fendels ski runs, you can also use a free ski bus . In comparison, those skiing on the slopes of Kaunertal, can use a free ski bus only if they purchase a 4-day pass.
Ticket prices in Kaunertal in the season 2013/2014
Favorable prices make the Kaunertal resort appealing to families with children even more. When it comes to ski runs of the glacier, we will pay 36 EUR for a one -day pass for an adult in low season and 40 EUR in high season. 1-day ticket for a child born between 1998 and 2007 costs, respectively, 22 and 24 EUR. In turn, for a day of skiing on the slopes of Fendels off- season, an adult will pay 30 EUR and a child - 18 EUR. In the high season the ticket prices will increase to 33 EUR (adults) and 20 EUR (kids). No matter what time of the year, for skiing at night adults will pay 11 EUR , and children 7 EUR.
For us, Polish people, Kaunertal is the most remote Tyrolean glacier, but still it’s worth a visit. It’s not (yet) as commercial as other glaciers, sometimes crowded to the limits. No matter what time of the year, we’ll spend a great holidays among majestic peaks towering above the serene and peaceful valley. Tourists can enjoy not only a number of great ski runs, but also a Kaunergrat nature reserve, where they can rest among the unique beauty of the virgin nature.