30.11.2021 - Basic texts
Winter wonderland times three
It’s still dark outside, but the first winter sports enthusiasts are already tramping through the crunchy snow. It’s early in the morning and the Masner Express, a converted snowcat, is waiting at the top station of the Lazidbahn cable car in Serfaus to transport a group of mountain fans to the furthest corner of the skiing area – or to be precise, to Sunrise Hexensee at the Hexenseehütte mountain hut (2,588 m). Here, more than just an exciting mountain ride through the skiing area awaits the small group of early risers: a spectacular sunrise and a hearty breakfast in one of the most secluded huts in the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis skiing region beckon – followed by a clear run on the pistes. There couldn’t be a better start to a day of skiing. An unforgettable experience.
Winter feeling for every preference
Sunrise Hexensee is only one of the many extras that make a winter holiday in the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis region so special. 20 years ago, the two skiing areas Serfaus and Fiss-Ladis in the Upper Inntal valley in Tyrol joined together and now offer 214 kilometres of optimally prepared pistes at all difficulty levels on the sun-kissed high plateau. But that’s not all. To the left and right of the ski slopes, an extensive range of active opportunities beckon, with snowshoe tours, cross-country ski trails and routes, natural toboggan runs and winter hiking trails at altitudes of between 1,200 and almost 3,000 metres.
The holiday region has made a special name for itself as a family skiing region with the slogan “We are family!” and has already received multiple awards for its family-friendly facilities. Two TOP ski and snowboard schools teach the youngsters skiing or snowboarding. In the Kinderschneealm und Murmlipark areas reserved only for them in Serfaus, as well as Berta’s Kinderland in Fiss-Ladis, the children are playfully and lovingly introduced to skiing by ski instructors. Without the pressure to perform, with plenty of patience, and, most importantly, available in all the children’s first languages. In addition, the two mascots Murmli and Berta accompany the small skiers, making them laugh on this or that adventure ski run and theme piste. “At the Ski Schools Serfaus and Fiss-Ladis, the youngsters already learn to ski from the age of three”, says Martin Stark, the Head of the Ski School Fiss-Ladis. “But we also offer quite a bit more than that,” he adds, smiling.
Fun and thrills for all ages
There’s no doubt about it: families and all those looking for more action will find multiple opportunities for entertainment throughout the skiing area. These include playgrounds, theme pistes, toboggan runs and racing tracks. The natural toboggan run in Fiss was revamped for the winter season 2021/22. The bewitched toboggan run goes over around four kilometres parallel to the Witches’ Trail, promising lots of fun for all ages. Thanks to the new snowmaking facility, the natural toboggan is not only always bright white and perfectly groomed but is also festively lit up during the evenings. Also, the toboggan run’s slope is not too steep and is therefore ideally suited for families. The Schneisenfeger Family Coaster, which whizzes down from the Alpkopf mountain to the Seealm Hög restaurant, reaching peak speeds of up to 40 km/h, guarantees tobogganing fun for the whole family. Older kids who want to get their adrenaline pumping can ride with the Serfauser Sauser, let themselves be swung into steep heights with the Skyswing in Fiss, or fly over the mountains of Tyrol in the Fisser Flieger.
Tip: Those who cannot get enough on the slopes during the day can enjoy nighttime skiing every Wednesday in Serfaus and every Tuesday in Fiss. Nighttime tobogganing also takes place in Serfaus every Wednesday and on Tuesdays in Fiss.
Action on the slopes
Meanwhile, freestylers can romp in six Fun Areas and freeriders can find around twelve off-piste routes. Ambitious skiers and snowboarders put their skills to the test on the “Frommesabfahrt” – which, at about ten kilometres, is one of the longest pistes in Austria. Those who like things edgy will plump for the Pezid-Vertikal or the Direttissima – which, with an average gradient of 70 percent, can be a real test of nerves. “One of my favourite ski slopes is the “12er Sportiv”, as it’s not only challenging but also wonderfully scenic,” explains Ski School Head Martin Stark. But that’s not the only highlight: this winter, a highly modern, detachable 8-person chair lift with seat heaters, child-proof guard and bubbles transports winter sports enthusiasts up the mountain on the North Side of Fiss. The bottom station of the new run is located in between Zirbenhütte and Schöngampalm, whereas the top station remains at its same location around the Gratabfahrt, 12er Sportiv und 12er Abfahrt slopes. One reason for the new construction was of course the better connection of the ski slopes. The most important argument, however, is the reduction of waiting times at the lifts.
Feasting and savouring: Everybody enjoys regional products
Speaking of Zirbenhütte: the snug mountain restaurant lies at the end of the 12er Sportiv slope and attracts you with a big sun terrace, rustic ambience, and a first-class regional kitchen after a sporty day on the slopes. This restaurant is an architectural masterpiece built of Arolla pinewood. The enjoyment factor is increased still further by the high quality of the cuisine, because as Hut Manager Philipp Kaschutnig affirms: “As far as possible, we use only high-quality and regional products, such as eggs from local hens or the tender, aromatic meat of the Tyrolean Grey Calf.” No wonder the “Grauviehpfandl” (“Grey Veal Pan”) is one of his specialities and famed far beyond the skiing region.
Yet winter holidaymakers can enjoy culinary highlights with regional products throughout the skiing area. Best of all, even those who don’t do winter sports can reach many of these gourmet restaurants, mountain huts and high pastures by cable car, and enjoy their unique atmosphere in the midst of the mountains. Incidentally, the children doing skiing courses are also amply catered for – for example at the children’s restaurants Murmlirest and Starrest in Serfaus or at Berta’s Kinderplanet in Fiss-Ladis, where the young skiers not only get to eat healthy dishes with regional ingredients, but also learn how to swoop to a perfect stop under the guidance of their skiing teacher.
The new Tyrolean single malt whisky “Fissky Imperial” is also well known for its regional quality. Whisky experts describe it as slightly smoky and earthy yet fruity, and have already given it an award. It’s distilled from the original, native Fisser Imperial Barley (Fisser Imperial Gerste), a nearly forgotten grain which has only begun to be cultivated on the high plateau again in recent years. In cooking, Fisser Imperial Barley is used for making traditional Fisser Barley Soup, among other dishes.
More than an after-ski respite
No less special is a stop at the Crystal Cube on the Zwölferkopf mountain in Fiss, a giant cube with completely mirrored walls that protrudes obliquely into the landscape near the Z1 panorama platform at the top station of the “Almbahn” cable car, at an altitude of 2,600 metres. There is seating room for up to eight people here (subject to prior reservation) and the location affords a magnificent panoramic view of the breathtaking mountain scenery. Various finger foods, oysters and champagne will make sure that you will not only see but also eat until you can no more. Which is perfect for newlyweds to clink glasses, as the Cube isn’t just an exclusive mountain restaurant, but also one of the highest-situated registry offices in Europe.
More mountain experience: Delighting in the evening ambience
Anyone who loves a tranquil mountain view at twilight but does not want to get out of bed early in the morning, opts for the Sunset Dinner Masner at the Monte Mare restaurant, which is situated 2,430 metres above sea level in the Masner area. And once the sun has set beautifully behind the peaks, and after an aperitif and a delicious dinner, the Masner Express shows up again. It brings the winter sports lovers on an exciting ride down through the ski area into the valley. Fun and enjoyment await guests at the Toboggan and Fondue Evening at the Sonnenburg Family Restaurant. Sledders of all ages can enjoy an illuminated, nighttime toboggan ride every Tuesday.
Relaxing on the slopes: Canopied beach chairs in the snow
Those seeking to feel good and relax rather than marry can enjoy the view of snow-covered trees and mountain peaks from an ergonomic comfort lounger, a free-hanging basket, cosy wicker beach chairs or a comfortable hammock. “Throughout the skiing area, there are inviting “Feel-good Stops” (“Wohlfühlstationen“) at the edge of the piste, where you can take a break from time to time,” explains the ski school director. Why not simply pack some provisions and enjoy them while relaxing and catching some sun at one of these places of power? Yet the Feel-good Stops are just one part of the wide-ranging plan for providing enjoyment in the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis skiing area. The day already begins in a completely relaxed way, without having to tote equipment or trudge in heavy ski boots, because there are spacious ski depots at the bottom stations of the three villages, where the winter sportsfolk can lock up all their skiing gear overnight, allowing them to comfortably stroll through the partially traffic-poor villages to the cable cars. In Serfaus, you do get a little more: here, the fully modernised, free village underground train – which is, incidentally, the world’s smallest and highest-altitude air-cushion suspension underground railway – brings the guests all the way to the station called “Seilbahn”.
Where holiday and safety go hand in hand
The safety and health of our visitors, staff and residents of the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis region are our top priority. For this reason, we strictly adhere to all federal regulations pertaining to COVID-19. A special Covid Task Force has been established to ensure safety in the holiday region. The mountain railways, accommodations and restaurants have devised comprehensive hygiene concepts so that guests can have the safest and most carefree holidays possible. Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis also boasts extraordinary healthcare. A uniform, regional system for contact tracing has thus been established for food service and service providers. The “myVisitPass” is a secure, uncomplicated, digital means of personal registration.
Because of the current uncertainty with planning, many accommodations have decided to offer their guests a Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis cancellation guarantee for the 2021/22 winter season. This applies to all bookings made via the official Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis website or via the Tourism Association.
The latest updates of COVID-19 regulations and measures can be found at www.serfaus-fiss-ladis.at/en/Live/Current-Information-Winter.
“We are family!” – this is the motto of Tyrol’s holiday region Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis. Because the mountains aren’t just for adults but can be lots of fun for children too. Serfaus, Fiss and Ladis are three mountain villages steeped in history, located on a sunny plateau in the Upper Inntal valley in Tyrol, and are surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Samnaun mountain range and Ötztal Alps. At an altitude of between 1,200 and 2,828 metres above sea level, the holiday region offers all guests the ideal surroundings for diverse and incomparable winter holidays: activities for winter sports enthusiasts. Variety for the whole family. Adventures for thrill seekers. Breath-taking panoramas for those who like to take it slow. Extraordinary specialties for food lovers.