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.

Igloos, romance & more – The Snow Village of Hochoetz

An ice cold night or romantic hours for two? You probably ask yourself this question when you get an overnight stay in an igloo village as a gift. Actually, a great idea, something different, but isn't it terribly cold when you sleep? A night of self-experiment later I can tell you more about it in a very positive way.

Hard to believe: what looks like a pile of snow from the outside turns out to be a large community igloo.
© Schneedorf GmbH


The check-in

The village of Oetz is also called "Merano of the North": Oetz enjoys a mild climate due to its favorable location, even sweet chestnuts and peaches grow in the gardens of the partly medieval buildings. Well, I don't notice any of that on this January morning. Once arrived in Oetz, I leave my car at the base station of Acherkogelbahn, grab my backpack and let the mountain gondola take me to the heart of the Hochoetz ski area.

With every hundred meters of altitude, the majestic panorama of the Ötztal Alps becomes more breathtaking, I notice a slight thrill of anticipation to spend a weekend far away from everything. From the gondola’s top station I trudge past the Ötzi practice ski lift, about half a kilometer in the direction of “Schneedorf” - at least that's what it says on a sign. Where is the Snow Village? I narrow my eyes.

On closer inspection, the snow hills turn out to be a collection of several igloos: two or three larger constructs made of snow are surrounded by a few smaller igloos that are connected to each other. There is no reception, but there is a large igloo with a snow bar, two dining rooms and a heated lounge made of wood at the rear of the igloo. The ceilings and walls of the common room are decorated with elaborate patterns - made entirely of snow. A few tables with wooden stools covered with sheepskins give me a taste of the evening's get-together. The snow room is lit with candles – how romantic.

If you book the "Candlelight Night", you get a romantic igloo for two. With a classic “Igloo overnight stay”, you sleep in a 4-person igloo.
© Schneedorf GmbH


The igloo, the ski area

Normally you can only check in at around 4.00 pm, for me they make an exception. After a welcome drink and a short snow village briefing, I am taken to a small two-person igloo with a bed of snow behind a red curtain.

The bed features a slightly wavy mattress on which sheepskins are draped. A double sleeping bag, which is supposed to provide warmth also at minus 40 degrees, calms my fear of the cold at night. Here, too, sophisticated patterns and images were engraved on the inner walls of the igloo.

So far so good... The day is still young, I'm in the middle of the Hochoetz ski area. I leave my backpack in the igloo and put on my skis right in front of my small accommodation. Boasting 40 slope kilometers, the ski area at the entrance to Ötztal is the smallest (of the three large ones) in the valley. However, the true extent of the ski area is revealed in its genuine coziness, the lack of crowds and the great (!) sun terrace of Panorama Restaurant Hochoetz, nestling at the top station of Acherkogelbahn. If you are yearning for even more slopes, take the skibus to the Kühtai ski area from the base station of the new Ochsengartenbahn. No second skipass is required - the cooperation of the Hochoetz & Kühtai ski regions makes it possible.

Snow Village Hochoetz

© Schneedorf GmbH

Snow Village

© Schneedorf GmbH

Snow Village

© Schneedorf GmbH

Snow Village Hochoetz

Outdoor adventures with a campfire are an absolute must. © Schneedorf GmbH

Campfire romance

In the afternoon I return to the Snow Village. A campfire was lit on the square in front of the main igloo and comfortable chairs were set up all around. A group of Snow Village visitors have just returned from a wintry torchlight hike. My question about showers in the Snow Village was answered with no.

But there are heated washing facilities with toilets and washbasins - perfectly adequate. After a drink at the campfire, we are called to the table. There is cheese fondue. At this point, one thing must be said: even if you are not a fan of cheese fondue per se, you should not miss this fantastic dinner in the Snow Village.

First of all, the cheese fondue tastes different in this environment than elsewhere. I give you my word of honor. Second, it's about the atmosphere and the togetherness, which is phenomenal at candlelight in an igloo. Just in case you don't like cheese at all: a Tirolean snack platter is also on the menu. Dead tired, I'm falling on my skins in my own little igloo. Literally. Cuddled up in my sleeping bag, I spend a dreamless night at over 2000 meters above sea level.


Well rested, fascinated and freshly strengthened after a hearty breakfast, I leave the Snow Village in order to enjoy a few more ski adventures in the Hochoetz ski area under the sunny sky. My first night in an igloo will not be my last one for sure.

I'm either coming back for a romantic weekend with my beloved one or with my family. Because that's the nice thing about it: no matter if alone, as a couple or with the whole bunch of children - it certainly won't be boring.

All details about the Snow Village in Hochoetz can be found HERE.

Snow Village Hochoetz

The cheese fondue tastes different here than anywhere else. © Schneedorf GmbH

This article was first published in February 2017.

Guest blog post by Socialweb

We are several bloggers from different parts of Tirol with varied interests and styles. But together we are SOCIALWEB. What defines us? We all have our own and very private perspectives, but what connects us is great love and attention to detail.

We live the stories we write with all our hearts. For us, Tirol is not just a backdrop, but a constant adventure in which we can always experience something new. We tell our readers about these chance meetings, impressions and challenges while hoping that we can bring this world a little closer to them.