In the Tirolean Ötztal Alps, right on the Italian border, is Obergurgl, a cluster of charming chalets sheltered by handsome mountain peaks on all sides. Its elevation of 6,300 feet (1,930 meters) makes it one of the highest ski resorts in Europe. Obergurgl is secluded and serene, attracting regulars who visit every year. With 68 miles (110 kilometers) of pistes and 24 lifts, this petite resort is beloved by intermediate skiers, families with young children and those looking for backcountry adventures.
Obergurgl guarantees snowfall and is one of the first non-glacial resorts to be able to open its slopes every year due to its high altitude.
Festkogl Alm ski area features a modern ski lodge and ski runs with a greater degree of difficulty. The Schermerspitze ski trail attracts more advanced skiers as well. For unforgettable panoramic views over the Alps and fine dining at the summit’s restaurant, take the gondola lift up to the Hohe Mut mountaintop; then ski down to the village. Take a tour of the region with an experienced mountaineer and become a true explorer.
Obergurgl is a great hiking location in summer, with dramatic peaks and trails and the fascinating Gurgler-Ferner Glacier nearby. This town became famous in 1931 when Swiss explorer Auguste Piccard crashed his hot-air balloon onto the glacier. He was rescued by a local mountain guide in an impressive operation. Make an alpine road trip on the Timmelsjoch, with breathtaking views of the valley and snow-capped peaks.
The township of Obergurgl has several elegant hotels and upmarket restaurants, contributing to the village’s nickname as the “Diamond of the Alps.” Right in the center of the snowy action is the Hotel Edelweiss and Gurgl, which attracts international visitors for its classic Tirolean style and character. Visit the quaint and peaceful 18th-century church of St. John Nepomuk.
Obergurgl is well connected to the neighboring village of Hochgurgl, which is even higher up, on the very top of the Alps.