Best place for a short ski break in Europe: Innsbruck

Innsbruck is known not only for its modern and imperial architecture, but it is also very popular amongst winter sports and hiking enthusiasts. It is an ideal destination if you are in need of a quick skiing getaway and a great place to visit if you enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains whilst being within easy reach from the hustle and bustle of a big city. Having skied in other places like Les Deux Alpes, Alpe D’Huez and Tignes before, Innsbruck has been the best experience for me so far. Here is why:

5 reasons why Innsbruck is a great skiing destination

Getting there is easy and transfers to hotels and resorts are short

Innsbruck airport is small, easy and close to the city centre. You can stay in the town or just outside the city. Either way, you will still be very close to any resort surrounding the Innsbruck area. Take a look at Götzens if you fancy staying just outside the city (10-15 minutes drive from the city centre). There are also free ski shuttles which takes you to your desired resorts.

You can go to any resort around the Innsbruck area

Innsbruck can be a great choice for your skiing holiday because it offers a variety of ski resorts catering to all abilities. You can try different resorts each day, meaning you will have an endless choice of pistes throughout your whole stay. These are some of the resorts you can visit which are not very far from the city centre: Axamer LizumSchlick 2000 – FulpmesGlungezer – TulfesMuttereralmpark – Mutters/GötzensStubai Glacier (Stubaier Gletscher)Bergeralm – Steinach am BrennerRosshütte – SeefeldKühtai.

Slopes are not crowded and there are no queues for the ski lifts

Does the thought of huge crowds and massive queues fill you with dread? Yes? Then Innsbruck might be the right place for you. If you are skiing during the weekdays, even better! If you wake up early enough and get ready for the first lift up, much much better! It will literally just be you, the mountain and fresh powder.

Great value for money on the ski lift passes

There is an OLYMPIAWORLD SKIPASS you can get which costs around 135 euros for 3 days and it gives you access to 9 ski resorts in the Innsbruck area, covering 300km of slopes. You may also get a discount on the lift pass if you have an Innsbruck card, which is provided by some hoteliers. With the discount, our passes cost 120 euros for 3 days, which is great value for money compared to other lift passes in Europe.

Visit the city if you fancy a little break from skiing

Take a stroll around the Altstadt von Innsbruck (Old town). There are palaces, cathedrals, Baroque and Renaissance style buildings – in which some are over 500 years old – all surrounded by snowy peaked mountains, making it all a very picturesque experience.

Where to stay

Stay at the Alp Art Hotel to enjoy great views, breakfast and spa

Views from Alp Art Hotel

Sunrise from Alp Art Hotel

Breakfast room at Alp Art Hotel

Where to Eat

Try the Taverna da Guzzi for amazing homemade style Italian food

Linguine con Salmone

When to Go

Anytime between December and March, except during the school holidays, and you may get yourself an empty piste like the image below

Axamer Lizum

 

5 Best Walks in the UK

Sgurr na Stri – Isle of Skye

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Matthew and I went to Scotland on our motorbike, but I could not go to Scotland and miss out on a hike. Our aim was to get to the Isle of Skye and spend a couple of days there before heading back to London. I came across a picture of Loch Coruisk and I absolutely fell in love with it. The image showed the view from Sgurr na Stri.

After doing some research, I found out that the only way to get there “the quick way” was to go on a boat trip from Elgol. The boat takes you to Loch Coruisk and leaves you to explore for 3 hours and once the time is up they take you back to Elgol. We took the last boat journey that day. Thankfully we made it back on time for the departure to Elgol. See walk details below.

Car Park: Elgol car park
Route: Boat from Elgol to Loch Coruisk → there is no set route, so see map below.
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: approximately 6km to ascend and descend
Time: approximately 3 hours to ascend and descend
Highest ascent: 494m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Buttermere –  Lake District National Park

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Buttermere is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have been to in the Lake District, I may even say it is my favourite spot in the National Park. You can find additional photos and information here: Hiking and Camping at Buttermere and Helvellyn, Lake District National Park. See walk details below:

Car Park: Gatesgarth carpark
Route: Burtness Woods → Bleaberry Tarn → Red Pike → High Stile → High Crag → Hay Stacks → Fleetwith Pike
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 15km
Duration: approximately 5 hours
Highest ascent: 802m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Snowdon – Snowdonia National Park in Wales

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The Snowdon walk is very popular and it cannot be missed on this list. Unfortunately the picture above is the only picture I have from the day we hiked up to Snowdon, but you can find more pictures of Snowdon here: Snowdonia

Car Park: Pen Y Pass carpark
Route: Pyg’s track → Snowdon → Miner’s track → Pen Y Pass carpark
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 12km
Duration: approximately 3 hours 30 mins
Highest ascent: 1085m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Pen Y Fan – Brecon Beacons National Park

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Pen y Fan is one of my favourites because the walk is easy, the views are amazing all around and the landscape of the mountains are unlike anything I have ever seen.  You can find additional photos and information here: Hiking and camping at Pen y Fan, Wales

Car Park:  Neuadd carpark
Route: Track by Tor Gras → Cribyn→ Pen y Fan → Corn Du → Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog → Lower Neuadd
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 12km
Duration: approximately 3 hours 30 mins
Highest ascent: 886m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Helvellyn via Striding Edge – Lake District National Park

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The walk via Striding Edge is breathtaking. You can really feel the adrenaline whilst walking along the ridge. Be prepared to scramble! You can find additional information and photos here: Hiking and Camping at Buttermere and Helvellyn, Lake District National Park

Car Park: Glenridding campsite
Route: Little Cove → Hole in the Wall→ Striding Edge→ Helvellyn→ Swirral Edge→ Hole in the Wall → Little Cove
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, 
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.5km
Duration: approximately 3 hours
Highest ascent: 947m
Dog-friendly: yes

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