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Skiing in Soll – All You Need to Know And Why You Should Go

top of the mountain soll

Soll is part of the largest ski area in Austria, yet feels remarkably unassuming. It has a wonderful laid-back atmosphere, yet dynamic après-ski and superb skiing facilities. Read on to find out why skiing in Soll should be next on your travel list.

I’m sitting on the runway in Munich airport, looking out at the snow covered ground, thinking back over the last few days skiing in Soll. I check my watch, as the pilot announces a short delay, while we get the all clear that the plane has been fully de-iced. I should still land in plenty of time to collect my kids from school. This was a sudden jolt back to reality – a far cry from paragliding off the top of a mountain which I did 24 hours previously…
skiing in soll


I absolutely love skiing, I find it exhilarating. The sense of achievement when I ski from the top of a mountain is so rewarding. Skiing is the only time when I completely switch off. Standing at the top of Hohe Solve, the highest mountain in the Ski Welt region, all I could think about was skiing down that mountain. The fact that it is the highest skiable mountain throughout the region probably added to my apathy for anything else! For those two hours and throughout my time skiing, I didn’t check notifications on my phone, I didn’t think about work emails, I just freed my mind and skied. Four days of skiing in Soll without hearing the word ‘Brexit’ – that in itself is telling!

skiing in soll


I was fortunate to be invited by the Soll Tourist Board and Aer Lingus to see the superb facilities available for Irish skiers in Soll. I travelled with a group of five guys from RTE 2FM’s Eoghan McDermott show, who were broadcasting live from Soll for two days. 

skiing in soll

Why choose Söll?

We flew into Munich airport, which is only a ninety minute transfer to Soll – this is relatively short, compared to other ski destinations. Aer Lingus fly twice daily from Dublin and also weekly from Cork. They also have weekly flights to Salzburg so it is easily accessible for Irish travellers. This is one of the reasons why it is one of the most popular ski resorts for Irish holidaymakers and why 2FM choose Soll for their outside broadcast. 

skiing in soll


One of the other reasons for Soll’s popularity is the skiing facilities – they are superb. Soll is located in the Ski Welt region, Austria’s largest skiing area. It connects nine different villages, with 280 km of piste and 90 different lifts. Your lift pass enables you to ski into these resorts including Westendorf, Elmau and Scheffau. Don’t worry if you are not an advanced skier, there are plenty of easy ‘Blue’ runs. The ski slopes are colour coded, Blue being easy, Red, intermediate and Black, advanced. There is also an excellent ski-school available, so whether you are a beginner or advanced skier, there are lessons available for everyone.


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There are some beautiful runs through the woods too. I skied down an easy blue run and loved it. Another popular run, the ‘Witches Wood’ is more suited to advanced skiers. You can also race your friends on the timed Red Viper ski trial. This is automatically recorded so you can download it and watch yourself excel on the slopes, or in my case, falling over! Soll even has a piste with ski moguls (or jumps). Suffice to say there are plenty of options for advanced skiers here.


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Soll is also home to the largest night-time skiing piste in Austria, so if you fancy spending the afternoon in the spa, you can always pop back to the slopes in the evening time. Another option at night-time is tobogganing. We tried this the first night and loved it. There are two different toboggan runs in Soll, needless to say we tried them both! There are long ski runs and each one takes about a half hour to complete. This is something that a whole family or group of friends can enjoy together. 

Read: Top tips for family skiing

skiing in soll

There is more to Söll than skiing.

There are also plenty of other activities available if you fancy a day off the slopes. Snowshoeing is becoming more and more popular and if you happen to get clear skies, like I did, paragliding is another super choice. I tried this before in Cape Town and loved it, but paragliding off Hohe Solve mountain was even better. It is 1800 meters above sea level, 1000 meters higher than Signal Hill in Cape Town and the views were spectacular. Wolfgang, my instructor from Fly2, made me feel right at ease, even when we were jumping off a slope with skiers all around us! The scenery was breathtaking, the combination of white snowy mountain peaks and clear blue skies is something I will never forget.


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It is also possible to book a husky ride. The owners bring the huskies to Soll from the nearby village of Seefeld. We were allowed to pet the huskies and I immediately fell for ‘Blue eyes’. The ride itself is quite short so really more suited to children, or adults who really love husky dogs! At a reasonable price of €30 per person though, you need to book in advance if you want to try it.


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Soll has great facilities for families. The kids-club / kindergarten teaches kids from age two how to ski in a secured snow park. With fun snow bunnies to hold on to, they will be skiing better than you in no time! Check out the family ski weeks where children under 15 can get a free lift pass. See more here.


For experienced skiers who may not wish to book ski school, Soll offers free ski-guides on selected dates. These will take you on a tour of the mountain and advise you which lifts and slopes will best suit your ability. Once you are able to ski on a red slope you will be eligible, but these need to be booked in advance.  See more here.

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Söll is great value for money

Skiing in Soll is relatively inexpensive compared to other ski resorts. Lift passes cost from €211 for six days compared to €294 in France. Drinks are much cheaper than France too – this is true for most parts of Austria. A pint of Stiegel beer costs about €4 in Soll, the equivalent in Val d’Isere is about €8. Stiegel also happens to taste great by the way! Make sure you try the hazelnut Schnapps too – it also goes very well with Baileys 😉


Dining out is not that expensive either. Many people choose hotels with evening meals included, but if you happen to be staying in one of the many B&Bs or apartments available, there are some great options for dining out. Soll’s pretty village, complete with an 8th century Tyrolean church, is a pleasure to walk around, with a wide selection of dining options to choose from.

soll village



Söll is renowned for fine dining

There are 77 different restaurants in Soll. We ate in BellaVita in the centre of town and it was superb. The coconut and pumpkin soup was delicious. The steaks, burgers and the Thai chicken curry were all good too.

skiing in soll

Another favourite of mine in the centre of Soll is the Feldwebel. Try the local dish of Gröstl, a combination of meat and potatoes with an egg on top, served with homemade coleslaw. It’s hearty and full of flavour, just what you want after a day on the slopes. I had the goats cheese and bacon starter and that was very tasty too. They also make a great wiener schnitzel – sure it would be rude not to….

skiing in soll


You can also choose to dine on the mountain, and with night-skiing available from Thursday – Sunday, it is a great opportunity to ski to dinner. Many choose to have lunch on the mountain as it can be a great meeting point if you happen to be at different ski schools from your friends or family. Make sure you try Alpengasthoff Hochsöll. This is your picture postcard restaurant on the ski slopes. Depending on how hungry you are, try the chicken salad or the mixed grill.

skiing in soll



Soll has superb après-ski

Soll has a reputation for having great après-ski, and after spending four nights there, I can wholeheartedly agree! There is live music from about 4pm every day in many of the bars. Expect to hear plenty of U2 classics as well as ‘I’m gonna be’ from the Proclaimers. There are plenty of feel-good songs you are guaranteed to sing-a-long to! You can choose to let loose and stay out all night, or do what many people do and enjoy a few hours of après-ski before dinner and then have an early night. This is ideal if you are travelling with kids, or want to take your skiing seriously. You can still enjoy the après-ski without the late night.


Of course if you are a night owl, there is plenty to keep you entertained in Soll. Whisky Mühle was my favourite hangout. The atmosphere was electric with three live bands playing in different parts of the venue. The Moonlight bar is a great choice in the afternoon too as it is located at the bottom of the ski slopes and has a DJ from 3pm.

skiing in soll


I naively assumed that the après-ski was the main reason that skiing in Soll was so popular with Irish travellers – apologies for the stereotype! While this is in fact true, (the great après ski, not the stereotype), there is so much more to Soll than Irish bars and Patricks Day parades. Although they actually turn one of the ski-slopes green for St Patricks Day! 

Soll is unassuming and has the ability to appeal to everyone. I love it’s carefree, laid-back atmosphere. You won’t find five-star hotels and art galleries, but instead a charming traditional village with a great heart. In fact I enjoyed Soll so much I am going back for New Year with my family. I can’t think of a better way to slide into 2020 than on the ski slopes of Soll.



How to get there:

Aer Lingus flies twice daily from Dublin to Munich and weekly from Dublin Salzburg. There is also a weekly Saturday service from Cork to Munich. Fares start from €39.99 one-way to Munich including taxes and charges and from €55.99 to Salzburg. Visit and check out Four Seasons Travel for airport transfers.

skiing in soll

Where to stay:

We stayed in the AlpenPanorama hotel which is located about eight minutes walk from the town centre and twenty minutes walk to the gondola station. A free ski-bus takes you from the hotel to the gondola station and back. There are many other hotel and apartment options on the Ski Welt website as well as information on skiing in Söll and the Ski Welt region.



The Travel Expert


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My Love Affair With Club Med Val d’Isere


There are ski resorts, and there are Club Med ski resorts. Check out my review of Club Med Val d’Isere below.

Sitting in the chair lift felt surreal. The scenery was like something from a movie set. I skied a few times, but I never experienced anything like the conditions when I holidayed in Club Med Val d’Isere. The area is so vast, there are so many different mountains and when you think you can’t possibly see anything more beautiful, another majestic peak appears.


So many #ski options in #valdisere ⛷ Loving the mountain! #ski #skiingholiday #skiingtime #sunwayclubmedski #skiing #chairlift

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Val d’Isere is located in one of the world’s best ski areas, Espace Killy. With an altitude of 3480 meters, over 300km of runs and 96 different lifts, the conditions are perfect. You are almost guaranteed snow from late November to April, and 50% of the slopes are suitable for beginners and intermediates. I was lucky to be brought on a four day ski trip to Club Med Val d’Isere, thanks to Sunway Holidays, who are the agents in Ireland for Club Med.


Twelve years had passed since I skied, so I was a little apprehensive. Many told me it was like riding a bike. In the gondola going to the top of the mountain, I prayed this was true! There were eight in my group and I hoped I wasn’t going to be the one holding them back…

I need not have worried, our Club Med ski instructor made me feel completely at ease and within minutes I was skiing like a native. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea. What I loved about Val d’Isere was that there were so many green runs (easy runs for those who don’t know the lingo) at the top of the mountain. Regardless of your ability, beginner or advanced, you can experience the thrill of skiing from the top to the bottom. It is exhilarating.


For many years Everest Base Camp has been at the top of my adventure bucket list, I hoped I would get there one day. Riding a chair lift over 3000 meters, with Mont Blanc in the distance, I actually felt like I was there. I know it might sound like a cliché, but honestly there were times when I felt genuinely overwhelmed. 


#valdisere #skiingholiday #skiingtime #skiing #sunwayclubmedski #mountains #mountain #snow

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From a personal perspective I normally find it hard to ‘switch off’. I’m not one for yoga or meditation. In fact even when I am lying on a sun lounger, I’m constantly checking my phone.  I’m always thinking about what I have to do, and when I can do it. When I skied down the mountain in Val d’Isere, all I thought about was skiing, controlling my speed and the beautiful surroundings. My time on the mountain was my own and for that brief moment, nothing else mattered. I wondered was this what meditation or mindfulness was all about, something that never worked for me in the past.



By day three I was able to ski from Val d’Isere into the nearby resort of Tignes. I downloaded the ski app (ski tracks) which measures altitude, speed and distance. I felt a tremendous sense of pride and achievement knowing I skied 14 km from 3000 meters, and even reached a max speed of 45 km per hour – not bad for a relative beginner!



Ski Facilities at Club Med Val d’Isere

I stayed in Club Med Val d’Isere where unlike most ski holidays, ski lessons are included in the price of your holiday. Lessons are twice per day, two and a half hours per session. Club Med Val d’Isere is an all-inclusive resort, so not only are lessons and lift passes included, but meals and drinks are too. Lift passes and tuition are an expensive part of any skiing holiday, so to have these included is a massive bonus.


The hotel is a ski in – ski out resort (in fact almost all Club Med ski resorts have this facility) so you can ski directly from the hotel to the slopes, something I had never experienced before. I can’t stress enough how great this is.

There is no need to carry heavy boots and skis, to the slopes, and you can put on your ski gear and be on the mountain in minutes. The lockers are situated next to the ski slopes and they are heated – warm ski boots each morning are better than coffee, trust me!


Club Med organise a great send off too, with drinks and snacks outside. When you come back from your lessons, the après ski kicks off, with a DJ playing tunes and friendly staff waiting to greet you with more drinks and hot snacks.




Food at Club Med Val d’Isere

The all-inclusive arrangement with Club Med is excellent. They pride themselves on their extraordinary buffets, with various cooking stations and a variety of choices. This was my second time in a Club Med resort. Although I found the variety in the buffet better in the Algarve, the standard was still far superior to anything I have seen in other all-inclusive resorts.


Every day there are numerous choices of fish, meat and vegetarian options, as well as a separate room with fresh pasta sauces, pizzas and even burgers. For those who don’t like buffets, there are cooking stations, where chefs plate your dish in front of you. This avoids crowded plates, piled high with food – a pet hate of mine.

Wine is served by the bottle at your table and the staff are always on hand for top ups if needed. The staff overall are very attentive. The manager greets guests at all meal times, a rarity nowadays. Deserts are delicious too and so is the selection of home made ice creams. Thankfully most of the excess calories are burned off on the mountain…

I really liked the bar in Club Med Val d’Isere – it is modern with a great atmosphere. There is a wide choice of cocktails available, included in the price of your holiday. Drinks were served in large glasses too, tiny wine glasses are a common sight in all-inclusive resorts – another pet hate of mine!


There is entertainment every night, from musicals to magic shows, followed by a DJ until the small hours. Guests love to get involved in the entertainment at Club Med Val d’Isere, and the dance floor was packed every night with rows of people following the entertainers dance moves. This is typical of what you can expect at all Club Med resorts, a friendly fun atmosphere throughout.




About Club Med Resorts

I should point out that Club Med have a staggering 70 resorts worldwide. Although the name suggests the Mediterranean, they have resorts in the US, China, the Maldives, as well as cruises and adult only resorts. A massive bonus for families is that children under 4 stay free at all Club Med Ski resorts, and under 6 years stay free at Club Med Sun resorts.


Club Med have 23 ski resorts in France, Italy and Switzerland. Club Med Val d’Isere, although suitable for families with teenagers, doesn’t offer lessons to children under 12. For that reason it tends to attract more couples and groups rather than families. However if you are planning a skiing holiday with young kids, some of the other Club Med resorts are perfect for families and include lessons to children from age 4.


The combination of the excellent tuition, great food and the ski in ski out facility, makes them hard to beat. I have seen many parents try to carry their children’s skis and boots as well as their own. The difference between skiing directly from your hotel, versus getting on a ski bus, carrying skis, boots, hats and gloves, is priceless.


How cool are the #kids on the #slopes in #valdisere #sunwayclubmedski #ski #luxurytravel #snow #travellingwithkids #familytravel

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Après ski in Val d’Isere

If you fancy taking a day off skiing, you can use your lift pass to take the gondola to the top of the mountain, and enjoy a coffee on the slopes while taking in the views. The town of Val d’Isere is worth exploring too, there are plenty of good shops and lots of great après ski bars. However, the best après ski bar is located on the mountain.


Part of a chain of French après ski bars, La Folie Douce has to seen to be believed. We went one afternoon and discovered hundreds of people drinking beer and dancing on tables to the latest tunes. It felt like a nightclub at 2am but it was only 4pm – it was crazy but fabulous at the same time! Thankfully it is situated right beside the gondola station so if you have one too many, you don’t have to ski down the mountain – although I’m sure many have tried…

If you don’t want to venture too far, you can always chill out at Club Med Val d’Isere and enjoy the on site facilities. Club Med’s stone and wooden facades fit in perfectly with Val d’Isere’s traditional chalets, and there is a great outdoor terrace with views of the mountain. If you are feeling energetic there are daily fitness classes as well as a large indoor swimming pool, sauna and spa.

I have some some amazing holiday experiences over the years. Skiing down the mountain in Val d’Isere is up there with the best of them. All Club Med Ski holidays include flights, transfers, all meals, drinks, lessons and lift passes so if planning a ski trip make sure you take this into account when comparing prices. For information on prices and Club Med resorts visit


Like Club Med resorts? Read my post on Club Med da Balaia in the Algarve.


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The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery


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