The nine villages of Soll sit in the heart of the Kitzbuheler Alps. They form the Ski Welt - the biggest circuit in Austria. Soll and its adjacent ski areas give endless happiness for intermediate skiers but just a few for the advanced. Being able to ski from one resort to another... and another is an entirely enjoyable experience. No bus service links up the resorts, so finding your way home with success is crucial if you wish to avoid an expensive taxi ride.
Soll is relatively quaint, with a lively nightlife. The downside is that it's tiresome reaching the slopes. You have to take the shuttle-bus or drive since it's at the least a 15-minute walk - no fun if you are dragging equipment, though you could leave your skis overnight at the bottom area. Similarly, because of the low altitude, the snow record is mixed.
After taking the beginning stage of the gondola, intermediates and advanced beginners may want to pause at Hochsoll to savor a range of friendly, sunny slopes that spread in every direction. The real gateway to the skiing is attained through the next stage to Hohe Salve, at 1,830m, which is the highest point in the Ski Welt region. Featuring steep slopes on most sides, advanced skiers will be charged while lower intermediates might be alarmed. As it turns out, these runs are one of the hardest they're probably going to come across all day. To launch yourself on the Ski Welt tour, you must manage a steep and occasionally icy run. Turn right for Kalbersalve, the beguiling resort of Hopfgarten and Rigi; a chance to relish the wonderful gladed pistes all the way down to Soll's other neighbor, Itter. If you turn left, you'll be headed for the far end of the circuit: Scheffau, Ellmau and Going, retracing your steps or maybe returning via Brixen. To enjoy the circuit without negotiating the stiff Hohe Salve runs, you may take the cable-car from Hochsoll.
The Ski Welt region is dotted with restaurants - 73 all in all. The Stocklalm is a transformed cowshed near Hochsoll that gives diners the chance to witness traditional bread-baking and cheese-making. Other nearby huts offering simple but good mountain fare include the Grundlalm.
© 2012 Athena Goodlight
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