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The small ski areas in Ötztal

Ötztal is particularly famous beyond the national borders for its ski areas of Hochoetz, Sölden and Gurgl. It is simply less known that Tirol's longest side valley also boasts cozy little ski areas away from the hustle and bustle. We want to change that quickly by presenting the valley’s three small ski areas – so clear the ring for the quiet skiing oases of Ötztal!

Niederthai Ski Area

Ski Area Niederthai

In the center of Ötztal near Umhausen you will find the idyllic village of Niederthai on a sun-kissed plateau at 1500 meters above sea level. Encircled by majestic mountains, the village forms the entrance to Horlachtal, one of Ötztal’s scenic side valleys. The area around Niederthai is very popular in summer – as it is only a stone's throw from Niederthai to the Stuiben Fall, Tirol's biggest waterfall.

But Niederthai is also worth a visit in winter. If you are looking for a small but nice ski area and want to escape the hustle and bustle, this is the right place for you! The Niederthai ski area has 3 T-bar lifts as well as a connecting lift on 4 kilometers of slopes.

Due to the convenient terrain and the many hours of daily sunshine, the area is ideal for families and beginners. Additionally, the ski area, the cross-country ski trails and winter walking routes are located nearby, so close that everything can be found in one place. Thanks to the unrivaled Niederthai Card you can experience all activities for free!

Gries Ski Area

Gries, another little gem of Ötztal away from the headlights. Just because of the awe-inspiring, serpentine mountain road, the route into Sulztal is an absolute must - provided you have a good head for heights. Gries, the "upper floor" of Längenfeld (6 kilometers away), makes a popular place for all types of winter sports aficionados - including skiers of course.

The ski area offers a T-bar lift without annoying waiting times. Gries also makes an ideal spot for children and beginners due to the practice slopes, the perfectly groomed ski runs and the tranquility. Of course, there are also ski courses available. Night skiing is scheduled once a week. Due to the high altitude (and the use of snow-making systems) Gries promises absolute snow guarantee until mid-April.

Ski Area Gries

Vent Ski Area

Ski Area Vent

We end our journey from the central to the rear Ötztal in the mountaineering village of Vent. Vent does not have the label “Mountaineering Village” for nothing, as it is the starting point for countless high Alpine hikes and peak conquests - both in summer and in winter. Including also Wildspitze, Austria's second highest mountain at 3770 meters.

The Vent ski area offers 3 T-bar lifts and a double chairlift, which are located at altitudes between 1900 and 2680 meters. Snow is always guaranteed until spring. Sun worshippers will love the ski area because it nestles largely on the sunny side of Venter Tal valley - nothing stands in the way of memorable sunshine skiing all day long. Panorama restaurant Stablein makes a perfect rest stop for refreshments. Ski tourers use the lifts in Vent to save energy on the first altitude meters before continuing into the open terrain.

The extensive slopes are ideal for learning to ski. You will definitely not find queues at the lifts or overcrowded slopes. Simply take a look at the interactive 360-degree image and indulge in the Vent ski area.

This article was originally published in November 2016 and was edited in 2023.

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.