We respect your
right to privacy!

Cookie settings

By clicking on "Accept" , you consent to use cookies and other technologies (provided by us and other trusted partners). We use such data for anonymous statistical purposes, tailor-made settings and to display personalized content and advertisements. It will help to provide you with an improved website experience. Please find out more about this topic in our Privacy Policy | Imprint

  • These cookies are absolutely necessary for the operation of this site and enable safety related functionalities, for example. Additionally, this type of cookie is as well used to save your personal cookie settings.

  • In order to further improve both our offer and website, we collect anonymized data for statistics and analyzes. By means of these cookies we can, for example, analyze the number of visitors and the effect of certain pages on our website by optimizing our content.

  • We use these cookies to improve usability of the site for you. For example, based on an accommodation search you already made, you can conveniently access the same lodging when you visit our website again.

  • These cookies are used to display personalized content that matches your interests. It enables us to provide you with offers that are particularly relevant to your personally planned trip.

How-To: Your Beginner's Guide to Nordic skiing in Ötztal

Winter sport in lovely Ötztal doesn’t only involve Alpine skiing on endless slopes. Tirol’s longest side valley also boasts some 143 kilometers of cross-country skiing tracks of all difficulty levels for classic-style Nordic skiers and skaters. What’s best: all Nordic tracks within Ötztal are free of charge!

If you are getting curious now and if you still haven’t tried cross-country skiing, simply take a closer look at our theory beginner’s guide to Nordic skiing. Check out the valley’s cross-country skiing hot spots and get to know more about the three basic questions. Why don’t you come and try it for yourself on your next visit to Ötztal?

The question is: classic-style or skating?

The first thing to do for Nordic skiing novices: decide which cross-country skiing style they want to give a try! And there is no wrong answer to this question as both classic-style and skating style promise great fun.

In its beginnings, cross-country skiers established the classic style in a groomed track by moving arms and legs diagonally – precise pole planting is of utmost importance. Since the skating style requires less physical balance, many beginners try the skating style first.

What’s more, skating is much faster than classic-style cross-country skiing as the skis don’t stay in a groomed track but on a sometimes quite slippery snow surface. In a repeated sequence of movements the skating skier pushes the skis to the side and glides.

This technique as well requires exact pole planting. Additionally, a good sense of balance and physical coordination are an absolute must – basically you are standing only on one leg.

What is the perfect length of nordic skis?

The length of your cross-country skis strongly depends on the technique and body height. As a rough guide for Nordic skiers:

  • Classic-style skis: body height + 20 cm
  • Skating skis: body height + 10 cm

Choosing perfect Nordic skis, you should also consider the type of your activity (all-round or race skis) and the body weight.

Nordic Skiing in Ötztal
Nordic Skiing in Ötztal
Nordic Skiing in Ötztal
What is the perfect length of nordic poles?

Quite similar to the length of your skis, the length of your poles is subject to the cross-country skiing technique and your sporty ambitions. Generally, skating poles should be 10 centimeters longer than classic-style poles. Or apply this more detailed formula:

  • Classic-style poles: body height in cm x 0.84
  • Skating poles: body height in cm x 0.89

Cross-country skiing tracks in Ötztal

Nordic Skiing in Ötztal

When it comes to Nordic skiing on immaculate tracks the Ötztal Valley offers a multi-faceted trail network which is free of charge for everyone. Facts and figures at a glance:

  • Total network: 142,8 km
  • Classic-style tracks: 71,7 km
  • Skating tracks: 71,0 km
  • Easy: 36,1 km
  • Intermediate: 102,1 km
  • Difficult: 4,6 km

No matter where you spend a memorable Ötztal winter vacation, there is always a superb cross-country skiing track on your doorstep. Let’s introduce you to the scenic Nordic skiing spots spread between the entrance to the valley and the highest Alpine regions on its rear end close to Vent or Obergurgl-Hochgurgl:

Nordic Skiing in Ötztal

Nordic Skiing in Ötztal


Nordic Skiing in Ötztal

No matter where you spend a memorable Ötztal winter vacation, there is always a superb cross-country skiing track on your doorstep. Let’s introduce you to the scenic Nordic skiing spots spread between the entrance to the valley and the highest Alpine regions on its rear end close to Vent or Obergurgl-Hochgurgl:

more details


The “Ochsengarten Runde” is a moderate, 5,1 km long loop track traveling towards Kühtai through the picture-book winter scenery. Return on the right side of the valley.

more details


Umhausen-Niederthai is Ötztal’s undisputed cross-country skiing paradise: 8 Nordic tracks or loops of all difficulty levels await you here – plus a floodlit night track and a brand-new biathlon laser shooting range for everyone.

more details

Längenfeld / Gries

Längenfeld in central Ötztal offers a wide open basin for unlimited cross-country skiing fun: 8 tracks or loops are spread over Längenfeld and lovely Gries im Sulztal (mountain village at 6 km from the valley floor)!

more details


Besides endless kilometers of Alpine ski slopes, Sölden also has a network of classic-style and skating routes for Nordic skiing fans.

more details


Vent nestles in a secluded and peaceful spot at the rear end of the valley – a perfect place for magnificent cross-country skiing far away from the worries of everyday life. Nordic skiers will find a true heaven in this unparalleled side valley. 

more details


We have reached the far end of our Nordic skiing tour through Ötztal valley: Gurgl, Europe’s highest parish village, offers 4 fabulous tracks or loops for classic-style cross-country skiers and skaters.

more details

Good to know:

  • Check the Nordic ski report and all currently open cross-country skiing tracks at a glance and online HERE.
  • For a complete overview of all Nordic tracks in Ötztal, filtered by difficulty level or distance/duration, simply click HERE.
  • You still don’t have cross-country skiing gear, you want to take part in a professional lesson? Here you will get all important details about equipment rental and Nordic skiing lessons.
Benedikt Steiner

Author: Benedikt Steiner

When it comes to activity and motion, Benni pricks up his ears! He is a passionate snowboarder, mountain biker, climber & hiker and he knows no better playground for outdoor sports than the Ötztal.

He is not the type to sit still - therefore Benni can be often found on the valley's most exciting bike trails and pristine powder snow slopes.