Just twenty minutes from Innsbruck, the Tyrolean capital, the Stubai Valley offers the largest area of glacier skiing in Austria. It has 140 kilometres of slopes spread over four ski stations, modern cable cars and ski lifts, shops, restaurants, childcare, safe snow from October to June and thousands of opportunities for families with children to enjoy a few days of winter sports. These are just some of the attractions Stubai offers that have led the on-line portal www.snow-online.de to name it as the top for family skiing.
The Elferlift station is perfect for expert downhill skiers and snowboarders, while the Valley's other three stations - Stubai Glacier, Schlick 2000 and Serlesbahnen - are best for families.
It's easy to glide down the new Nr-7 slope in the glacier Daunferner, because its width allows for skiing in safety. Kids under ten can ride free on the Valley ski lifts when accompanied by an adult. And the whole family will have fun at Ronny's Kinderland in Schlick 2000 or the Big Family Ski Camp, where ski lessons are offered to the little ones as well as all sorts of games and activities including magic carpets, ski lifts and carousels that all help to make learning fun. There's even a 'kindertante' on duty - a girl who takes care of the youngsters and is ready to comfort them after a tumble.
For those who choose to stay at one of nine hotels partnered with the Big Family Ski Camp, there is very special service: the children are picked up at the hotel and taken to the Glacier station to practise skiing, while their parents enjoy a quiet breakfast. There's a 10% discount on ski lessons, arrival gifts for young skiers, a creche for children aged from three months located at the Stubai station and free rental of ski equipment for children under 10.
In Moreboards, the new snow park located in the heights of Stubai Zoo, the gradient is ideal for snowboarding, while Fulpmes, Neustift and the natural Mieders slope are great for ice skating. There are 60 kilometres of sleigh runs where you can enjoy the sport under the starry Stubai sky, or you may choose to take the Tirol's longest natural sleigh route, more than nine kilometres in length and with 800 metres height variation.
But Stubai Valley doesn't just offer sport. Surrounded by 80 glaciers and 103 peaks over 3,000 metres, it's the perfect place to enjoy the pleasures of winter in the mountain villages. Neustift is the place for skiing and mountaineering, rich in traditions, watched over by the church of St. Georg and looking out on the majestic mountains of Pfaffengruppe. Telfes, the sunniest area, is tucked in amid wild mountain scenery. Schönberg turns its gaze to the Stubai Glacier, which offers a welcome at the end of the valley. Fulpmes, home to the Schlick2000 station, is the departure point for the Stubaital tram, which offers a romantic journey through idyllic forests to Innsbruck. And then there's Mieders, which still retains the spirit and atmosphere of a traditional Tyrolean village, with its farms and charming houses.
A family package (two adults with two children under ten) of seven nights in an apartment, six days flat rate and a five-day ski course for the children, including lunch and childcare, from around £1,400.
The Stubai Tourist Office provides information on all offers and accommodation for your holiday. Tel: +43 (0) 501881-171/172 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org