Kitzbühel, Austria, is internationally famous for hosting one of the most difficult alpine ski races in the World Cup, the precipitous downhill run on Hahnenkamm mountain. One of Austria’s best-known and fanciest ski resorts, Kitzbühel has a ‘snow guarantee’ of 155 days. But it’s not all snow and ice in this Alpine town. In the snow-free months, there’s plenty to draw summer holidaymakers.
An easy walk from Kitzbühel town centre is one of the most scenic bathing lakes in the Alps, Schwarzsee. In summer, water temperatures can reach 25°C, making the lake a hotspot for swimmers. The Wilder Kaiser mountain range dominates the landscape, the craggy summits reflected in the blue-green water. In winter when the lake freezes over, it’s a popular place for hockey and ice skating.
The mountains and valleys that draw skiers to Kitzbühel during the winter draw cyclists by the thousands in the warmer months. The road that leads to the top of Kitzbühel Horn is the steepest road in Austria, a popular but daunting challenge for cyclists from all over the globe. Kitzbühel is equally well-suited to mountain biking and off-road riding, with 800 kilometres of soft terrain trails that follow rivers, wind through forests and traverse mountains.
Hikers in Kitzbühel will find a wealth of well-maintained trails to explore – over 1000 kilometres around the resort! Along the way, you’ll pass lush pastures and flower-filled meadows, Alpine cows and deer, rabbits, foxes and wild fowl. Guided tours are available Monday to Friday and there are numerous mountain huts where walkers and cyclists can stop for a snack and a rest.
How to Get to Kitzbühel
The drive from London to Kitzbühel is about 800 miles and will take you through such cities as Reims, Metz, Stuttgart, Munich and Augsburg. Via the A20 and M20, you can get to the entrance of the Eurotunnel. Be aware that you must book your ticket to pass through the Eurotunnel well ahead of time if you plan to get any farther than Dover!
If you’re not keen on a thirteen-hour drive, budget airlines like easyJet offer very reasonable prices on flights from London to Munich Airport, the nearest major airport to Kitzbühel. You can arrange a Munich transfer with a private or shared shuttle, which will take you and your gear through the Alps to your accommodation in Kitzbühel.
Where to Stay
Pension Johanna – Situated in the centre of picturesque Kitzbühel, this cheery red and yellow budget hotel welcomes you with overflowing flowerboxes at each of its windows. Pension Johanna offers both individual rooms and apartments with full kitchens, which are furnished simply but comfortably.
Hotel Villa Licht – This cosy and intimate 14-room hotel is located only three minutes from the famous Hahnenkamm ski run. The 3 star Hotel Villa Licht is furnished warmly and traditionally, in a style that seems to invite you to linger in the lounge, bar, or breakfast room. In the sunny courtyard you can dine al fresco among curling vines and lush, flowering shrubbery.
A-ROSA Kitzbühel – Built in the style of a Tyrolean palace and surrounded by Alpine peaks, A-ROSA Kitzbühel is your plush royal residence during your stay in Kitzbühel. Whether it’s summer or winter, make use of the hotel’s vast spa facilities, which include seven saunas, twenty-one treatment rooms and a Turkish bath. With its traditional look and modern facilities, you have Alpine ambience with contemporary amenities.