Nestled in the extraordinary natural scenery of the Tyrolean Alps, Sölden is a renowned ski resort and summer holiday resort in the Oetztal valley.
Its ski areas are among the best in Europe, so much so that it hosts the Ski World Cup, its network of hiking trails is impressively extensive and the variety of tracks and cycle paths makes anyone want to cycle.
Approximately 20 km from the Italian border, Sölden is the ideal destination for an all-sports holiday or a relaxing weekend, to be spent practising outdoor activities or enclosing oneself in a romantic spa with a mountain view. Sölden really does cater for everyone, from the quiet souls in search of peace to the restless souls on the hunt for an adrenalin rush.
Sölden is a mountain resort with a type of tourism related exclusively to scenic beauty: there are no museums or famous monuments to visit, but instead you can admire the peaks and glaciers of the Tyrolean Alps.
Most tourists come here for outdoor sports, but there is no shortage of leisure opportunities even for the laziest holidaymakers.
In the well-stocked shops in the centre, you can stock up on sporting goods for your outdoor adventures, but you will also find pretty souvenirs, clothing and handicrafts: take an afternoon strolling around the centre to do some shopping.
Skiing is certainly the activity that kick-started Sölden’s success as a tourist destination, which is increasingly boosted by the spectacular images of the World Cup ski races.
The numbers of Sölden’s ski facilities are impressive: more than 140 km of perfectly groomed slopes, served by 33 ultra-modern ski lifts, some of which allow skiers to reach peaks of more than three thousand metres.
In addition to the classic disciplines of downhill and cross-country skiing, with slopes for all levels (really all: from absolute beginner to world champion!), you can also try something more unusual and adrenaline-pumping such as downhill and ice skiing.
If skiing is not enough or you don’t like it, you can also try other winter sports in Sölden… probably all the winter sports in the world.
From classic ice skating to the latest tobogganing, via curling, snowshoeing, freeriding, paraglading and more: everything you can do in the snow or admiring the snow can be done here!
With over 300 km of hiking trails starting at an altitude of 1300 metres and reaching up to 3000 metres, Sölden is a true paradise for mountain hikers. Between easy walks with little altitude difference, half-day or full-day hikes and steep climbs, there is something for all levels.
Scattered here and there among the mountains are almost a hundred refreshment stations, including alpine huts and refuges, so don’t be afraid if you are seized by an attack of hunger during your walk!
Cycling in Sölden is no less popular than skiing, and this passion finds its climax in the Ötztaler Radmarathon, a spectacular race considered to be the top event for the world’s best amateur cyclists. The Ötztaler Radmarathon sees the participation of 4,000 participants from 15 nations who have to cover 238 kilometres and a gruelling 5,500 metre difference in altitude.
Not all cyclists who choose Sölden for their holidays are so well-trained; on the contrary, the variety of cycling routes in the area means that cycling and mountain biking are two activities for everyone.
There is a choice of mtb trails of all levels, from gentle to more daring, cycling routes of various lengths (including easy family-friendly cycle paths) and tracks for sprinters; many lifts in the summer offer a bike transport service.
Between one descent, by bike, on foot or on skis, treat yourself to a half day (or better still, a full day!) at the Aqua Dome, the most beautiful spa around Sölden.
It is located in Längenfeld, about 13 km from the centre of Sölden and occupies an area of 22,000 m² dedicated to wellness with 7 heated water pools, indoor and outdoor, 12 different saunas and various relaxation oases. To quench your hunger, there are 4 restaurants and bars, with light dishes for those who don’t want to weigh themselves down and tasty treats for those who want to indulge in the pleasures of good food.
In winter, you can bathe in the 36°-38° warm water while admiring the magnificent view of the snow-covered Alps in front of you; in summer, you can go for a swim and then lie in the sun surrounded by greenery.
Opening hours and admission tickets
Aqua Dome is open all year round from morning to evening. You can choose whether to buy an all-inclusive ticket or just for one area (pools or sauna); if you enter at 6 p.m., the ticket is discounted and you can enjoy the most atmospheric night-time atmosphere. The sauna area is reserved for people over 15 years of age and it is forbidden to enter wearing a swimming costume.
Those who want to admire a splendid panorama without exerting themselves can take the cable car up to the Gaislachkogel glacier, 3,058 metres above sea level.
Another option is to take the Passo Rombo Alpine road (2509 metres), the highest border road in Austria, which will take you all the way to Merano. It is a toll road, but the extraordinary landscapes that will appear before your eyes are worth all the money for the ticket.
For a mountain resort, Sölden has quite a lively nightlife. At the end of an exhilarating day up and down the mountains on skis, you can have a drink in one of the many après-ski bars in Sölden, and if you don’t have any sporting adventures planned for the next day, you can go dancing in one of the local discos.
Sölden is also the trendiest DJ resort in the Alps: the Electronic Mountain Festival is held regularly, a long evening party with DJ sets of the highest quality in the extraordinary natural setting of the mountains. Admission is free for holders of a valid ski pass for the day.
With an abundance of activities to enjoy all year round, Sölden has developed a thriving tourist industry, which translates into an impressive number of accommodation facilities in all price ranges: you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to where to stay, with luxury hotels, family-run hotels, guesthouses, spa hotels, B&Bs…
The most convenient way to reach Sölden is bycar: via Bolzano it is a total of only 5 hours from Milan and a little less from Venice; from Rome calculate about 8 hours.
Since it is a mountain resort, if you are travelling in winter, it is a good idea to check the weather conditions before departure and pay particular attention to driving. It should go without saying – but it is better to do so – that you must have snow tyres fitted or have chains to fit if necessary.
The nearest airport is Innsbruck from there you can either take the Ötztal Shuttle, which will take you directly from the arrivals terminal to your hotel, or take a bus to the Ötztal Bahnhof station and from there a bus to Sölden (approx. one to one and a half hour journey). Please note that some flights may only be seasonal.