If Ischgl is the wild child of Austrian ski resorts, Fiss is the sensible older sibling – sedate, scenic and full of traditional Tyrolean charm. While this lesser-known corner of the Alps may not be the place to go if you’re looking for a week of off-your-face après, here are five reasons Fiss makes for an irresistibly low-key alpine escape.
While it may be quieter than other Austrian ski resorts, retaining more of a traditional vibe, Fiss has plenty of al fresco mountain bars to keep you occupied if, like us, you aren’t ready to give up on the Jägerbombs just yet. Hexenalm scoops up the post-ski crowd with its Euro-pop and cheap steins at the bottom of the lifts while by night, you’ll find night skiing on the floodlit Möseralmabfahrt every Tuesday, and Wednesday’s see ski displays accompanied by Tirol’s largest laser show.
2. Pristine Piste
While Fiss’ après-ski scene is more substantial than you’d expect from a small and very local village, so is the skiing. The 200 million euros invested in the region over the last decade is clear to see – with an expansive network of lifts and cable cars as well as huge self-drying ski lockers in which to stash your stuff – a blissful alternative to having to cart your skis and boots back and forth every day. More importantly, you can change out of your boots before hitting the bars, which, as anyone who has ever tried to stumble across one in their ski boots will know is a godsend.
3. Value for money
Fiss’ facilities might measure up to uber-luxe alternatives like Lech and Zürs but its lesser-known nature means you’re able to enjoy more for your money – breaking away from hotel chains at an upmarket yet utterly authentic hotel like the historic Hotel Tirol – just 400m from the piste. Part of the Niche Destinations portfolio and managed by the second generation of the Pregenzer family, huge, pine-scented suites boast balcony views out over the valley, while the luxurious Gipfel Spa and rooftop infinity pool are the perfect place for blissful post ski steam and soak.
4. Snow-Sure Season
Surrounded by the soaring Samnaun Alps, two-thirds of the 200km of well-groomed piste sit above 2,000m, so even on a sunny Saturday in Spring, you’re still able to enjoy the slopes. Perched on a sunny plateau high above the valley, few ski resorts can boast such snow-surety late in the season, alongside 2,000 hours of sunshine a year – ideal Aperol Spritz weather.
5. Traditional Tyrolean Fare
While Fiss may be quieter than other more well-known resorts, the traditional timbered town boasts a host of dining options, ranging from traditional Tyrolean fare on the mountainside to more high-end dining experiences. On the mountain, groups can hire out the Crystal Cube – a mirrored glass box perched at 2600m, offering breakfast and private lunches with panoramic views. While in town, The Hotel Tirol showcases a local cuisine that fuses both Austrian and Italian influences – like the glorious shoulder of Fassona beef, carved at the table. Private dining in their skylounge is ideal for groups of friends, and the host’s motto “life is too short to drink bad wine” will become ever more apparent as the evening wears on.
Hotel Tirol in Fiss (www.hotel-tirol.net) offers double rooms based on 2 sharing on a ½-board basis and a 7-night ½-board package including a 6-day lift pass from €839 per person. Hotel Tirol is included in the prestigious Niche Destinations portfolio (www.niche-destinations.com).