At the end of the Ötztal Valley, where the mighty peaks of the main alpine ridge dominate the skyline, lies the small village of Obergurgl at over 1,900 metres above sea level. Obergurgl and nearby Hochgurgl together have a population of just 500 inhabitants.
Gurgl ski area
Pistes reaching up to altitudes of over 3,000 metres, snowsure conditions until May and plenty of cosy hut and restaurants make the ski resort of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl (Gurgl) at the end of the Ötztal Valley one of Austria's top destinations for discerning skiers and snowboarders.
There are not many places, apart from the few glacier resorts in Tirol, where skiers and snowboarders can enjoy excellent conditions from November all the way through until May. However, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl in the high southern reaches of the Ötztal Valley is able to offer fantastic skiing throughout the season thanks to its large network of north-facing pistes stretching from 1,800m to an incredible 3,080m. Indeed, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl's exceptionally high altitude means that the resort even manages to start the season in autumn. Highlights include a funpark, plenty of off-piste freeriding, night skiing and a wide selection of huts, restaurants and après-ski bars. The two villages themselves are connected by the Top-Express cable car.
The most eye-catching eatery in the resort is without a doubt the Top Mountain Star restaurant on the Wurmkogel mountain. This futuristic building perched on a narrow ridge at 3,080 metres above sea level offers breathtaking views of the Dolomites and the Ötztal Alps. Many of the state-of-the-art lifts, where queues are rare, leave from the villages of Obergurgl or Hochgurgl.