Seefeld Austria is small by Alpine ski standards but big on charm. A chocolate box pretty, year-round holiday resort, in traditional Tirolean style, set on a wide plateau, its mostly-blue slopes are best-suited to beginners and intermediates. The town will delight non-skiers too.
Seefeld lies at the heart of the Olympiaregion Seefeld - a collection of five small villages best explored on foot or on cross country skis. The downside of this traditional village feel is that its 37km of slopes can be easily skied out in a day or two. That said, the ski area is well thought out, and getting round it is efficient and calm. It's also well worth noting that this is a superb area for Nordic skiing, and the Seefeld plateau has 279km of trails for cross-country enthusiasts that fan out to the other villages in the region.
Families and non-skiers will enjoy Seefeld's leisurely pace - and the many good bars and restaurants, or perhaps even a fling at the casino. It's also handy for weekend breaks, as Innsbruck is just a 45-minute transfer.
Seefeld - Ski Map & Pistes:
There are two main sectors of the Olympiaregion Seefeld ski area - Gschwandtkopf and Rosshutte - both accessed from the outskirts, and at opposite ends of the village. Gschwandtkopf is also reached from two of the smaller neighbours - Reith and Mosern. This area is almost exclusively blue slopes, with just a couple of reds running down to Reith.
A mountain railway is the first ride to take up the Rosshutte side, to the eponymous first peak, from where two cable cars run. One carries you up to the 2,064m summit of Seefelder Joch, where experts can stretch their legs on the only two runs down - both black - which feed a drag lift serving a couple of reds. The other cable car runs across the valley to a station below the 2,224m Harmelekopf peak. From here there are a couple of red runs.
The more adventurous might also want to take the 15-20 minute trip over the border into Germany, to explore the more challenging slopes at Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Mittenwald - both available on the same Happy Card skipass, along with Seefeld. Nevertheless, Seefeld offers some fun for decent intermediates and a relaxing time for lower intermediates and beginners who will appreciate sharing the slopes with like-minded others rather than having faster skiers regularly hurtle by them.
The best beginner slopes are to be found alongside the Geigenbuhel and Birkenlift drag lifts, close to the town, and Seefeld is certainly a good place the learn: the ski school is excellent, and the progression slopes on Gschwandtkopf are plentiful.
Seefeld - Off-Piste, Backcountry & Ski Touring:
Seefeld is not a popular spot for freeriding. Indeed, there is very little off-piste to get pulses racing. Advanced skiers will, however, relish the testing run down the back side of Harmelekopf which should only be tackled with a guide.
Seefeld - Restaurants, Bars & The Town:
Wooden-clad chalet hotels with gently sloping roofs, a pedestrianised village square with horse-drawn carts slowly ambling along, pretty shops, lots of cafés serving gluhwein and hot chocolate - Seefeld lives up to expectations of a winter holiday resort.
For such a small town, there is a lot to see and do away from the slopes. There are more than 50 restaurants, ranging from local Tirolean specialities to international cuisine. The town also has many lively bars and clubs - the best include Fledermaus, Wildfang and Buffalo & Jeep.
Aside from the Nordic skiing, there are plenty of other activities, including winter walks, tobogganing, ice skating, sleigh rides and the superb Olympiabad sports centre. You can also try your hand at curling and at biathlon. The train ride to Innsbruck is also wonderfully scenic.
Seefeld - Ski Hire:
Seefeld - Ski School:
Seefeld's gentle slopes make it a great place to learn to ski and snowboard and the main Skischule offers a full range of ski lessons in Seefeld for all ages. You can also try the Skischule & Skiverleih Mösern / Seefeld.