I can imagine the picture that the word ‘Alps’ creates in anyone’s mind, whether you have experienced Alps or not.
The mighty Alps stretch across eight Alpine regions in eight countries.
Austria has bounty of mountain beauty with the towering Alps, meadows, alpine lakes, exotic flora and fauna. Tyrol is in Western Austria and gets the share of Eastern Alps. With its capital at Innsbruck, its the best destination to skii in Austria with an easy cable car access to the ski slopes
As mentioned above that Tyrol is a region with its beautiful capital Innsbruck. There are direct flights from Vienna, London, and almost all leading capitals and cities of Europe, hence one can fly directly into Innsbruck.
If you can drive, Innsbruck is connected via road too.
I would suggest to take the road option via Germany crossing Brenner Pass. The scenery is breathtaking.
So this is how we traveled, bit of roundabout (as we wanted to save money). We were at Salzburg. From there we took a bus to Munich. From Munich we changed another bus to Innsbruck. While this was a long journey, we didn’t blink at eye as the snow laden views on both sides were simply stunning.
Once you are in Innsbruck you can reach the ski slopes easily.
The Nordkette mountains are the pride of Austrian Alps. The mountain range looms on the city of Innsbruck giving Innsbruck such a stunning backdrop from anywhere in the city center.
The mountains have great skiing slopes which can be accessed from the city easily within half an hour.
Nordkette Funicular and Cable Car
So this is your gateway to the ski slopes. The state of the art funicular designed by Zaha Hadid will take you to the Nordkette mountains in a jet-set fashion in half an hour.
2000 meters in 20 minutes
The boarding point of Nordkette is the Congress Lift station.
First ascent point of the Funicular from the station is to Hungerburg, which comes in 8 minutes.
You can also alight at Alpine Zoo if you wish to take a tour and come back to resume your ascent.
Second stop after Hungerburg is Seegrube at an altitude of 6250 ft. For those who are into skiing but not at steep slopes or those who would like to spend their time on snow with some beer and great food, this is the point you may want to alight. Most of the pics on this blog are from Seegrube.
If you want to go for some serious adventurous skiing on steeper slopes, you have to go further up. From Seegrube take the cable chair car to Haflekar which is at 7401 ft.
There is a big ice bar, music, lounge recliners in Seegrube. Its a perfect place to literally ‘chill out’ when sun shows up and you can enjoy a 360 degree view of Alps with the city of Innsbruck below you.
Pick a beer, play with some snow which is soft and mushy, click some nice views of the city
As one comes up the funicular, its the same way down. Again if you want to alight at Alpine Zoo, you can do that. We first spent sometime at Seegrube, then we descended to Hungerburg for some nice meal. After that we walked to Alpine Zoo. While you go up and down funicular, the sights across the elevation of Nordkette are simply amazing.
After returning to Hungerburg, we walked around to admire some very beautiful and dainty wooden houses laden with flowers. Reminded us of Swiss and German villages.
Nordkette mountains is a must visit if you are in Innsbruck. If you are a ski enthusiast then its a perfect destination for you.
One of the few places which has with the help of technology made it possible to ascent to more than 7000 feet in a span of 20 minutes only.
From urban space to the serene mountain scenery, its a complete packaged treat for your senses.
Reaching Nordkette through Innsbruck Card
Innsbruck Card can be purchased from the Tourist Information Center in the city center of Innsbruck.
This is the sightseeing pass for all tourist spots in Innsbruck. You can purchase the 48hours of 72hours card based on your duration of stay in Innsbruck. The best part is the card includes the visit to Nordkette and back.