Generally when you’re motoring about on the slopes you’re powering through on skis or a board, getting by using man-power and gravity. Not so in Obergurgl and Hochgurl. Here the thrills extend to other, more mechanical, adventures suitable for petrol heads everywhere.
The very modern Top Mountain Crosspoint restaurant in Hochgurgl is a fantastic place to stop for lunch. The stylish décor is based around natural wood and steel, and offers up yet another breath taking view of the Ӧtz valley. Sitting outside the restaurant on a sunny day is a must as it is one of the best suntraps in resort.
At the restaurant they provide amazing service and even more amazing food. They serve four varieties of Rinderbouillon, a classic, tasty beef broth. We’d also recommend Tiroler Käsespätzle mit Bergkäse, a cheesy pasta dish with roast onions, and Tiroler Gröstl, hash brown potatoes with onions, sliced beef, fried egg and bacon. Delicious!
Once the food has settled it is well worth venturing further into this spectacular building to find its hidden secret: the highest motorcycle museum in Europe. The museum was the lifelong ambition of the Scheiber family who are passionate about motorbikes. It houses 230 classic motorbikes and some rare classic cars, many of them related to the touring between Austria and Italy along the nearby Timmelsjoch Pass. All it takes is a quick search to find the price some of these vehicles fetched at auction, and you’ll realise over £1 billion worth of cars and motorcycles are housed here.
If you head up the stairs from the restaurant, there is a place where you can play virtual racing games. See what times you can achieve in the time trials – one of the records is held by our very own Inghams representatives!
Near the Top Mountain Crosspoint we teamed up with HeliTirol, Obergurgl and Hochgurgl’s own mountain rescue team, to introduce our latest après ski event – a panoramic helicopter flight over the surrounding mountains. One of our resort representatives, Alex, was very excited and we were lucky enough to have a chance to join a set of guests for one of the flights.
We had a perfect day for this – beautiful sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, perfect visibility for miles and miles. Taking off from Hochgurgl, watching the helipad below getting smaller and smaller, we soon realised the speed we would be flying at and how much ground, or air, we would be covering during our 20-minute flight.
We raced across the valley to Sölden cutting through the Rettenbach valley where the plane chase scene in the latest James Bond epic, ‘Spectre’ was filmed. It felt like we were in the film itself as we circled the Ice Q bar, the setting for the film’s ‘Hoffner Klinik’. Afterwards we flew over to Wildspitze, Austria’s second highest mountain at 3,770 m, and encircled the peak, almost backwards, to get a sensational view of it that few others will have experienced.
At this point it was hard to believe we still had over half the flight time left to explore more of the area. Our pilot asked us what we wanted to see next but everyone was having far too much fun to choose! He took us over the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area where the skiers looked like ants and the resort resembled a model village.
Soaring up to the Top Mountain Star restaurant, we saw the revellers below shielding their eyes from the sun as they watched our helicopter circle above them. This point marks the boarder with the independent Italian territory of South Tyrol. We hopped over the Italian side to explore a part of the Texelgruppe Nature Park, before flying low along the iced up Timmelsjoch Pass, back into Austria and over to Hochgurgl.
I expected this experience to be good. But I couldn’t have dreamt of it being this good. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the resort we all love from a view few people have seen.
You really would be missing out if you didn’t give these thrilling experiences a go. There’s really no better place for a whirlwind adventure than Obergurgl and Hochgurgl.