A few hours south of Ramstein at Ischgl, the stage is set for another awesome season of snow, ice and memories to be made. Ischgl, located in Austria, has great restaurants, many apres-ski bars and nightclubs, fabulous shopping and entertainment opportunities at your beck and call.
The winter community there kicks off the ski weekend 6 p.m. Saturday with a well-received, Top of the Mountain concert by American supergroup The Beach Boys, and one of the winterlong spectacles in the resort town will again be the Shapes in White frozen sculptures depicting various scenes involving the menagerie of the circus.
A ski, wellness and leisure community spanning both through Austria and Switzerland, Ischgl has something for nearly everyone. Skiing with great snow is guaranteed through the first week of May. Village merchants offer duty-free shopping and restaurants range from casual, grab-a-quick-bite atmosphere to elegant, fine dining that has been said to rival what is seen in Salzburg, Vienna, and other larger destinations.
A trip to Ischgl will not wreck a person’s budget, but it will make for an unforgettable experience featuring something new and completely different. Day passes for Silvretta Arena start at €51, but children can gain free or discounted admission, and there are other options to accommodate anyone’s duration during their stay.
Some people come only to see the Shapes in White show each year, where artists from many countries are commissioned to sculpt various scenes from both ice and snow. This year’s theme is “Circus” and around 20 artists from numerous countries including Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands submitted paintings of what they could create with the frozen elements.
Selections were made and 10 people got the final commissions. The finished products often stand as high as 10 meters and will hearken back to a European staple of the traveling circus. There will be lions, tigers, clowns and other imagery from the big top world, offering just one more diversion from whatever visitors were doing before they arrived.
The getaway town of Ischgl is situated in Austria, along the border of Switzerland, with the Alps providing sensational skiing and actually spanning both countries.
The resort is a cluster of restaurants, shops, lifts and is happy to tout a multinational vibe as vacationers annually trek there from all over the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Europe, the United States and even the KMC.
“And that’s the way is should be,” said one woman in the town’s tourism bureau. “We welcome all people to come and see what’s happening here. We have a good time year round here at Ischgl.”
Assorted funparks are open amid all the lifts as well as other sites for boarders and freestylers who seek additional options.
Non-snow months are chances for hiking, mountain climbing, bouldering, biking and other means of traversing the landscape there. There are 45 cable cars that carry people to and from the higher elevations year-round. During winter, many skiers prefer this method of being carried to the slopes. Chair lifts stretch up and down countless parts of the terrain, with Ischgl offering non-stop opportunities both day and night to do something new.
The Piz Val Gronda aerial tramway goes to the highest areas, with one gondola carrying 150 people up to 2,812 meters altitude.
There are 238 km of ski slopes and countless off-piste runs at Silvretta Arena for the more adventurous people. Trails are marked black for extreme difficulty, red for intermediate, and blue for novice.
Over 200 ski instructors are available at nearly 20 equipment shops around town for children or beginners who want a crash course on how to enjoy the slopes. Most people can pick up the sport in a few hours or a half day. If more time is needed, the instructors will do what it takes to get anyone acclimated to the snow.
Calling the tourism bureau is a great way to plan a vacation or people can go through local travel agencies and on any of the various Internet travel sites. It is hard to find anything but positive reviews of Ischgl as nearly everyone who goes has come away with a positive impression.
For more information, email the tourism and booking information office at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ischgl.com.