It’s your first time in hotspot ski-resort Sölden and you only have 48 hours to explore it. What should you definitely do and where should you go, to get the best first impression of this very versatile ski resort? A couple of weeks ago I was there. It inspired me to write down this checklist. A list that will guide you along the finest spots Sölden has to offer. According to me, obviously
#1. Take the Gaislachkogl gondola all the way up to the summit at 3.048m
It’s obvious you’re in Sölden to enjoy winter sports. So, first thing you do is grab your gear and head directly to the Gaislachkogl gondola. This one will take you up to 3.048m. in only 12 minutes. The scenery on your way up is amazing and a very nice meet and greet with hotspot Sölden.
#2. Enjoy the magnificent view over the Ötztal mountains
Breathtaking… that’s the only word that describes the view once you’re up here. Mountaintops of 3 different countries, covered with this thick layer of the whitest snow. Pure eye candy! And the good news is…you don’t have to hit the slopes immediately. The über cool Ice Q restaurant is there to serve the finest drinks and dishes, while enjoying the view a bit longer. By the way…did you know that James Bond was at the Ice Q, shooting some scenes for SPECTRE? I think it’s kinda cool to know that even this guy – who has seen and done it all and even has a licence to kill – was overwhelmed by this hotspot and the priceless view over the mountains.
#3. Hit the perfectly groomed and endless slopes
The descent down to the village of Sölden felt like an endless one. I loved every bit of it. Wide, long runs, not too difficult ( mainly red ) and further down beautiful trails among the trees. Had to work hard to stay upright. Due to the fab wine we had at Ice Q restaurant, my legs felt a bit shaky. Halfway we luckily skied across this place where a great smell tickled my nose. Time for a next stop to relax a bit!
#4. Meet Alex and try his finger licking smokey pulled pork burger
At s’Stabele Schirmbar is where you should definitely make a stop on your way down. Halfway, at 1.925m on the slopes you find this relaxed place. I would say it’s one of the coziest Schirm bars on the slopes. Owner Alex and his team serve the best pulled pork burgers and their spareribs – sprinkled with apple juice to make them so delicious sweet / sour – ( as the chef proudly revealed to me are not to be despised. Just follow your nose, you can smell and see the Longhorn Texas Grill doing his job. And by the way, the Schnapps is flowing abundantly, so in addition to delicious food and free wifi, a good vibe is guaranteed here!
#5. Party at Schirm Bar
Sölden is known for its diverse apres ski. If you’re in for a party, you can definitely eat your heart out here! My favorite spot is Schirm Bar. Why? Because this is where you hear the real stuff, that gets you in that typical Austrian apres ski mood. They mainly play the German ‘Schlager’ songs and that’s what I like the most. It can be very crowded and warm but once inside, go with the flow. I’m sure you will love it too!
#6. Check out the village and shop at ModeSzenario
Besides partying Sölden is also known for its large number of shops. They claim to be the ski village with the most sports and luxury fashion stores in the Alps. Of course your suitcase is already packed with everything you need, but it’s always nice – especially for us girls – to have a look around. So, stroll around the village. The luxury stores sell all the latest trends and brands to hit the slopes in style. Make sure to have a look at Mode Szenario. The coolest stuff and high-end brands are on display here. I’m sure you can still find something that was missing in your wardrobe….
#7. Have a traditional Austrian lunch at Wirtshaus Giggijoch
A very nice place to have a traditional, Austrian lunch. At the Wirtshaus they waiter your table and you know me, that’s what I like. I’m not that crazy about self service restaurants, takes away so much of that cozy atmosphere. The other good thing is that you do not necessarily need to hop on your skis to get there. It’s also easily accessible for pedestrians. The Wirtshaus is located at the mountain station of the Giggijoch gondola.
#8. Drink a glass of the rare PINO 3000
If you’re a wine lover this thing on my list will probably excite you the most! And even for those of you, that are not that much into wine this is fun, because it’s about a red wine with a unique story. Let me tell you about it. Three top winemakers from three countries – Austria, South Tyrol and Germany – jointly created it, based on the idea and dream Mrs. Angelika Falkner had. She is the owner of Hotel Das Central in the village centre of Sölden. In the hotel bar and high up in the ice Q restaurant, is where you can order this wine, nowhere else on the planet!
Love the idea that the winemakers all shared the same passion, to create something really special. The PINO 3000 is matured at 3.048m. above sea level on the Gaislachkogl, in noble oak barrels. This process takes a little longer, due to the constant cool temperatures at high altitude. It gets a significantly more fruity character, caused by the changing oxygen content and low atmospheric pressure. Quite a story, don’t you think?