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SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental Review

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SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental Review

Rating: ★★★★ 8.9 out of 10

“SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental is one of the largest interconnected domains in Austria. Nine villages joined their forces and created this winter sports paradise. It is best suited for beginners and intermediate skiers. Snow grooming is great. Views are spectacular. Unfortunately the domain lies pretty low, thus snow quality is not perfect all the time. Tourists from Austria, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands dominate the slopes. Villages are pretty different, so inform yourself well before you choose where to stay. Read the rest of this SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental Review to learn everything you should know about the resort.”

Pros: one of the biggest in Austria, stunning views, good infrastructure, diverse, eco-friendly.

Cons: low altitude meaning that snow can be slushy or icy depending on a time of a day, there is lack of expert runs, crowded in high season (waiting times are not that long due to investments in infrastructure and fast lifts).

SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental ski map

Click to enlarge

SKIWELT WILDER KAISER BRIXENTAL SLOPES

Easy 122 km (43%)
Intermediate 129 km (45 %)
Difficult 10 km (4 %)
Skiroutes 23 km (8%)
TOTAL 284 km

SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental has a total of 284 km of pistes. It consists of 9 different areas: Brixen im Thale, Going, Hopfgarten, Ellmau Itter, Kelchsau, Scheffau, Söll and Westendorf.  If that is not enough for you, there is a ski bus which connects the area with the neighbouring Kitzbuhel. If you decide to visit Kitz it is better to go there directly by car or other mean of transport other than ski lifts, since you will save a lot of time. You will need a Kitzbuhel or Salzburg Super Ski Pass.

SkiWelt has lifts which are mainly new and fast. Although my visit was during the high season, there were no long queues around the domain. Snow grooming is great. 80% of pistes are covered with snow-making machines (respectable snow reliability). The highest peaks are Hohe Salve (1.829 m) and Gampenkogel (1.957 m). Villages around the domain are situated at 600 m to 800 m above sea level. Relatively low altitude influences snow quality. It can get slushy on warmer days and then it can freeze in the mornings and afternoons.

Lack of expert runs is evident, however there are long and wide red slopes which will entertain good skiers. If you are an expert skier, try out run number 112 (it is an 80% degree slope). Always have the time of day on your mind, because all villages are not connected by ski shuttle buses. The domain is large and you can get in trouble if you stay far away from your accommodation when they close the lifts.

SkiWelt has an organized tour taking you around the domain, similar to Sella Ronda in Alta Badia. It is a great way to explore the whole area. You can go clockwise or counter clockwise following the signs and you will end up in the same location where you started off. It is appropriate only for expert skiers due to its length (80 or 90 km depending on the direction you choose). If you are not an excellent skier, there are interesting features for the whole family: fun runs, slopes where you can film you descent, giant slalom pistes, snow cross runs etc. Scheffau has a great ski school called Kinder Kaiserland with an exceptional nursery area and innovative teaching technics.

skiwelt mountains panorama

FREERIDE AND TERRAIN PARKS IN SKIWELT WILDER KAISER BRIXENTAL

SkiWelt has many freeride spots. I, personally, enjoyed the area around Hohe Salve (lifts 22 and 42). Also, there are skiroutes which are not groomed. Those are marked with red squares. Westendorf has a very interesting route around the Talkaser area, but you must get there shortly after snowfall because it gets criss-crossed quickly. Off piste skiing is forbidden but no one is going to make a fuss about it unless you get lost or injured in the process. Always take precautions before going off-piste.

There are 3 smaller snow parks and one larger in Ski Welt. Ellmau park (near lift number 99) has only 2 medium kickers, several rails, boxes, and a picnic table. Soll snow park is also rather small, (-) it has 3 medium big kickers and several other elements. The interesting thing about this is that there are no drag lift reserved for freestylers, but there is a gondola instead (lift number 47). Westendorf has 2 terrain parks, a small one and a proper-sized park called the Big Playground. It is situated near lift number 119, and has all the features in all the sizes you could need.

sunny day panorama skiwelt

HOW TO GET TO SKIWELT WILDER KAISER BRIXENTAL

The closest airport is in Innsbruck, only 80 km away, and you will need around an hour to get from the airport to Hopfgarten. The airport in Salzburg is 131 km away, so a car ride shouldn’t take you more than an hour and a half. The Munich airport is 150 km away, but apart from being the farthest from the domain there are also frequent traffic jams around the city. Your transfer can take longer than expected (1 h 35 min).

Hopfgarten, Westendorf and Brixen have train stations but they are not directly connected to any major European cities. The closest stations with a direct link to towns outside Austria are in Kufstein (25 km from Hopfgarten, car ride should take around 25 min) or Worgl (11 km or 15 min from Hopfgarten by car). There is a special train leaving from London at 3:04 am, which stops in Brussels and Cologne. The train arrives at 8:30 am, just in time to leave your stuff and ski for the entire day.

Getting there by car might be a good idea, because you can use your car to get from your accommodation to the first lift since(owing to the fact that the) hotels in the area are mainly not ski in/out. You can also use your car to make an excursion to the neighboring resorts. Austria has great motorways, and the views are spectacular. (, so you are in for a treat with little hassle.)

wilder kaiser view from skiwelt

WHERE TO STAY IN SKIWELT WILDER KAISER BRIXENTAL

Choosing the right village to stay in, out of the 9 on offer, could be a very hard thing to do. There is an even wider choice of hotels within the domain. Pick accommodation close to a ski lift, or at least close to a shuttle bus stop. We stayed in Hopfgarten and it was a good choice. It is an old marketplace village with narrow streets. There is a big, and free, parking near the base gondola station. The village has great location and has everything you might need during your stay (shops, a supermarket, bars, restaurants etc.).

ski lift and mountains in clouds

WHAT TO DO AFTER A DAY ON SNOW (APRES-SKI) IN SKIWELT WILDER KAISER BRIXENTAL

During a day on slopes you should visit Gipfelalm at the top of Hohe Salve. It has an interesting revolving indoor and outdoor platform. Try the traditional Austrian food there. After the meal, I was a little bit dizzy (whether it was because of the revolving platform or the beer :)). Another restaurant with a stunning view and good food is Berg Kaiser in Ellmau. You should visit Alpeniglu, a village entirely made of ice. There you can have a drink, dinner, overnight sleep or you can even get married. If your relationship isn’t that serious you can just enjoy the bar and the incredible ice sculptures. Alpeniglu is situated near the top station of Hochbrixen gondola.

If you want to party during your stay in SkiWelt you should visit Moonlight and Whiskymuhle in Soll.

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