The last few winters in Bulgaria were a barren ground for skiers and snowboarders in Bulgaria. The limited snowfall and high temperatures made wintersports a contest in who is going to get the best blue-purple gradient certificate for painful landings on rocks barely covered with snow.
This year things look quite different, but if one wants to have guaranteed fun in the snow, the Alps are the destination to go. There are countless alpine resorts in Italy, France, Austria, Germany, you name it.
Yoddl, yoddl! Does it get any more Austrian than being in the heart of Tyrol? The lovely small city of Solden has just about 3 000 inhabitants, but it lies at the outskirts of 33 (!) lifts and 40 ski/snowboarding trails of varying difficulty.
It was one of the most enjoyable, well organized and neat spots for snowboarding I have ever visted: from conventional slopes, through fun parks and mountain-top views. I have heard that there are no less plesant spots in other Alpine resorts, but Solden is perfect for combining historical sight-seeing in the nearby city of Innsbruck. On your way back you can also visit beautiful Saltzburg, which is about 250km to the Northeast (more on that in the following posts).
(Don’t) Look down!
Solden is also near the second highest paved road in Europe (the Ötztal Glacier Road) and lies beaneath the Wild Peak (Wildespitze) and between two impressive Ötztal Alps glaciers.
I am not afraid of heights, so the view from the elevated platforms was more exciting than scary but my mother certainly had other views on the subject. If you think you cannot handle the view from top, stick to Mulled wine and tasty soups in one of the many venues along the slopes.
Keep the competitive spirit alive
The World Cup series usually open in Solden and the city also offers great evening shows with winter and extreme sports. Make sure you leave some time for an afternoon nap though: after a whole day of riding in the snow along the countless trails, you can barely stand on your feet.
✓Ski pass rates depend on age, number of days and preferred duration during the day: check the prices here
✓Tour operators and Ski/Snowboard clubs often negotiate good deals which can result in substantial discounts to the above-mentioned rates so research your local options
✓It is worth it to stay for at least a week, so look for appartment housing: it is a convenient way to take care of both accomodation and having affordable food options. If you are travelling with a group of friends or with you family, this is the best budget option