Austria is the Dutch people’s favourite winter sports country, 60% go here to ski. Beautiful locations and especially cosy villages, where you can enjoy the après-ski, are of great appeal to us. We have seen several ski resorts in Austria. As far as we are concerned, the area of Serfaus/Fiss/Ladis stands out. We would like to explain why.
Ski area size
The Serfaus/Fiss/Ladis ski area has almost 200 kilometres of slopes and is therefore one of the largest ski areas in Austria. The three places are situated on a sunny plateau at about 1,400 metres’ altitude. That also means good snow security in the valley. Only in long periods of sunny weather, which is certainly possible on this sunny plateau, is the snow in the villages not great. However, on the slopes, this is no problem thanks to the many snow cannons.
The ski area is located on a sunny plateau in the Oberinntal, Tyrol. From Utrecht it is slightly less than 900 kilometres to the area. The small farming village of Ladis is located east of the area. This village is quiet and the cheapest alternative for accommodation. Fiss, also a former farming village, but now mainly focused on tourism, is the most central. Serfaus is located on the west side of the ski area. This village is completely car-free. It has a metro under the main street. Serfaus has the most luxurious and fashionable hotels in the region. This place is also the most expensive in the area.
Plus points of Serfaus/Fiss/Ladis
Large but compact
Everything is connected, you can ski from every village without taking your skis to all corners of the area. Only the beautiful “Masner” is a little further away, but is also easily accessible. Actually, despite the size, you ski fairly quickly from one side to the other. That is also because the lift capacity is large. With comfortable gondolas and chairlifts, many also heated, the movement is fast, without too many waiting times. Only during holiday periods can there be delays at the villages to get everyone upstairs. After that, everyone spreads out again and you don’t have to worry about crowds.
Something for everyone
The slopes are varied and for every level of skier there is plenty of opportunity to get your money’s worth. There are very nice long and easy blue slopes. For example, the Arrez-Non-Stop is a great, delightful slope that starts from the Pezid, at 2,770 metres’ altitude. Good snow, nice, quiet and great skiing. Moreover, for the more experienced skier the Frommesabfahrt is ideal. A lovely long trip with a beautiful view of the valley. For the real professionals, there are plenty of challenging black slopes. In addition, the Pezid Abfahrt, which is the steepest of them all.
In general, we do not find the food in winter sports areas of Austria very good. For us it is often modern “eating huts”, where meals are made without much care. In this area you will find a number of small cosy mountain huts where you can eat better. Of course, there are also plenty of modern restaurants on the slopes. We found them good too.
The traditional character can still be found mainly in the villages of Fiss and Ladis. Serfaus leaves a more mundane impression, but is also very cosy. Thanks to the metro, the village is car-free and that makes it possible to stroll through the main street. In Serfaus and Fiss there are plenty of opportunities for a cosy après-ski. Ladis is especially ideal for those looking for some peace and quiet.
The only sad thing we find in this area that it does not offer many opportunities for a long day trip. It is just too compact for that. However, for a week you have enough variety to enjoy a really nice holiday.
- The shortest route to the ski area is via the Fernpass. In high season and bad weather this is no fun at all. Waiting for hours is often your fate and when it snows you will have to assemble the snow chains. When in doubt about the crowds and the weather it is better to avoid this route.
- You drive more comfortably through the border crossing at Bregenz. Although here it can be crowded at the Bregenz tunnel. After Bludenz, the route continues over the Arlbergstrasse. Here, you find the Arlberg Tunnel which has waiting times in high season. The advantage of this route is that you will not encounter any mountain passes.
- We stayed at Hotel Tirol in Fiss. In a few minutes you can walk to the valley station, where you can also store your skis. The hotel itself is excellent with top-quality comfort.
- The area is also ideal to visit in summer. We have been here once and enjoyed a few days to the max going through the mountains along well-marked trails.
On the website of Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis you will find more information about the area. The photos on this blog page were taken by Sepp Mallaun.