21 October 2019 from Danielle in Destinations

Kitzbühel has just opened for skiing, making it the first non-glacier ski resort in the Alps to open for the 2019/2020 winter season. The Austrian ski area promises almost 200 days of guaranteed snow, traditionally opening in mid-October and staying open for skiing and snowboarding until early May. Kitzbühel shares its ski area with Kirchberg, Jochberg, Hollersbach and Pass Thurn to make up the KitzSki area, which boasts around 200km of pistes and excellent freeriding possibilities.

KitzSki: One of Austria's best ski areas

Kitzbühel has a long skiing history, having opened as a winter sports town more than 125 years ago. Since then, the Kitzbühel-Kirchberg ski area has established itself as one of Austria's leading ski areas, with modern lift infrastructure, endless kilometres of slopes and a jam-packed event calendar. Kirchberg will inaugurate a new 10-person lift this year, replacing the old 6-person Fleckalmbahn. The new lift represents an investment of 27.5 million euros (23.6 million pounds) and will also have a new top station with ski storage facilities and a ski equipment shop.

Bird's-eye view of KitzSki area
The KitzSki area

Hahnenkamm Races and the Streif Downhill

Kitzbühel is home to the Streif downhill, where the legendary Hahnenkamm races are held every year. During this annual FIS Skiing World Cup event, the world's best professional skiers reach speeds of up to 130km/h on this terrifying piste. The Streif downhill has a gradient of as much as 85%, meaning you literally fly over some parts! The fastest person to ever ski the Streif downhill was Austrian skier Fritz Strobl, who skied the entire 3312 metres in 1:51:58 minutes. However, the highest speed was attained by another Austrian skier, Michael Walchhofer, who reached a stunning 153km/h!

Ski slopes for every level in Kitzbühel 

It's not just the pros who love Kitzbühel. The ski resort offers a smooth approach to skiing with free practice lifts in the valley, dedicated children's ski areas and a kid-friendly funslope with waves, tunnels and a bridge. Advanced freestylers can tackle the kicker line at the Kitzbüheler Horn snow park, while freeriders can head to the backcountry where they'll find 200 square kilometres of ski touring terrain. Off the slopes there are plenty of activities to do in Kitzbühel, including horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating and tobogganing.

Horse-drawn carriage ride in Kitzbühel 
Horse-drawn carriages rides in Kitzbühel

Getting to Kitzbühel 

Kitzbühel is located in the heart of Austria's Tyrol skiing region, east of Innsbruck and close to other well-known Austrian ski resorts like the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn and Zell am See - Kaprun. The KitzSki area is easy to reach from Innsbruck Airport and Salzburg Airport, from where you can easily hire a car, book a private bus transfer or take a train to get to the slopes.

Useful links

Kitzbühel weather forecast >
Kitzbühel snow report >
Kitzbühel webcams >
Sign up for a Kitzbühel snow alert >

Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!

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