How the profits from contraband helped build a ski resort - Lisa Young sets off on Ischgl’s duty-free trail
Rarely have the proceeds of criminal activity been put to such noble use – at least that will be the view of skiers and boarders. Smuggling was the game and it was very popular indeed in the years after the Second World War when luxuries were in short supply in the remote Paznaun Valley in the western part of Tirol.
Crystal Ski Holidays has added the Austrian resort of Hopfgarten and Drei Zinnen in the Italian Dolimites to its programme for winter 2019/20.
Part of the huge SkiWelt area, one of Austria’s three biggest ski regions with more than 285km of piste, the traditional Austrian village of Hopfgarten is just over an hour’s transfer from Innsbruck and only an hour and a half from Salzburg.
Austria’s Kaunertal glacier will unveil a new ‘Funifor’ style cable car this autumn that has been designed to cope with the thawing of the glacier it provides access to.
A spokesman from the area said: “Due to the glacier retreat of the last decades, the area of the Weißseeferner has changed a lot. Glaciological and geological surveys also point to the expected future changes in this area. In order to cope with this imminent change in terrain, a type of lift was chosen that can overcome large spans with a maximum of two support tower, is wind-stable and occupies as little space as possible.”
VORARLBERG ticks all the boxes for winter magic – perfect slopes and runs for skiers and free riders in state-of-the art ski resorts. There are also quiet trails for those in search of peace and tranquillity, entertaining programmes for families, and quaint villages that are pleasantly small in size.
KATY DARTFORD found that ‘skinning up’ had a whole new meaning when she visited SalzburgerLand in Austria
I’m sweating out what I’m sure is pure Austrian schnapps. But just a few more meters and I’ll be rewarded with views across Salzburgerland’s Grossarl Valley and – of course – lunch on the summit of the Filzmooshörndl at 2,189 meters, followed by a mouthwatering untracked descent.
THE snowstorms have cleared and revealed Superheroes on the sunny, snowy slopes of Ischgl, in the Austrian Tirol. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman will preside over Ischgl until the Spring thaw – thanks to the 26th annual Shapes In White competition, which was implemented due to the abundance of snow in this special snow pocket of the Alps.
Innsbruck is a special place to visit during the festive season says SUE FREEMAN who took full advantage of the shopping and skiing on offer
TODAY we were ladies who lunch. Later we would be ladies who shopped in the Christmas markets. The next day we would be ladies who ski. Not a bad programme for a pre-season trip to the magical Tirolean city of Innsbruck, bound on all sides by snow-covered slopes looking very glittery and festive.
IF you happened to be in Salzburg recently you may have been surprised to see me busking in one of the city squares!
Fortunately, this is not because I have fallen on hard times. I was actually in the city doing some filming for the Austrian National Tourist Board and one of the things they asked me to do was pretend to be a busker with a cap to collect the money out in front of me.
ZELL AN SEE-KAPRUN: The refurbishment of Zell am See’s Areitbahn ropeway, which now includes free wifi, will help bring skiers and snowboarders to the Schmittenhöhe even faster thanks to a 50% increase in passenger capacity.
Nassfeld is the largest resort in the Southern Austrian region of Carinthia, yet it remains relatively unknown to British holidaymakers.
Located close to the Italian and Slovenian borders, the ski area itself is surprisingly expansive and has everything we come to expect from a resort nowadays – terrain parks, a snow cross track, a half pipe and over 100km of pistes ranging from beginner nursery type slopes through to the ‘Carnia’, a piste that is over 7km long.
There are some clandestine activities going on in Sölden that would be worthy of a spy thriller story.
But then that’s not surprising as the ski area, located in the Austrian Tyrol, found itself in the media spotlight in 2015 when it was used as one of the locations for the James Bond film Spectre.
After courting each other for several years, two Austrian ski areas have settled into married life after tying the knot with a new €13.5m gondola. ROB FREEMAN raises a glass of turnip schnapps to celebrate