Ischgl (1377m) is a small village in the Paznaun Valley in Tyrol (Austria). Its ski resort Silvretta Arena Ischgl-Samnaun is connected with the ski resort of Samnaun across the border in Switzerland. Together this ski area belongs to the largest skiing resorts in the Alps. Its 238 km of groomed pistes are served by over 40 mechanical lifts including cable cars, gondolas, detachable chair lifts and some T-bars.
Ischgl is well-known (and sometimes criticized) for its lively après-ski parties and roistering nightlife. The resort became famous when it began regularly hosting pop concerts celebrating the end of the annual ski season (Top of the Mountain Concert) at the Idalp (2300m). Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Elton John, The Corrs, Pussycat Dolls, Rod Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, Nena, Sugababes, Enrique Iglesias, Pink, Anastacia, Beyoncé, Melanie C, Rihanna, Gabriella Cilmi, Leona Lewis, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry and Alicia Keys are among the international stars who have performed at these concerts. Paris Hilton and Naomi Campbell also visited the village. Hilton visited several times in fact, on ski holidays and to merchandise Rhich Prosecco. Ischgl hosts the only Pacha club (the Spanish night entertainment brand) in Austria, in Hotel Madlein.
In April 2002 Bill Clinton gave a Message from the Mountains at Ischgl and made this tiny mountain village the location of a world media event.
Ischgl is located on the Austrian side of one of the Worlds largest ski areas. The village itself has access to the ski area in the form of three ropeways; the Pardatschgratbahn, the Fimbabahn & the Silvrettabahn. All lifts are centrally located for easy access and have middle stations.
Once on the mountain Idalp is the main central point on the mountain where many of the ski lifts converge. The Silvrettabahn and Fimbabahn ropeways both have mountain stations at Idalp where there is also a large restaurant with panorama terrace. From here, all areas of the resort can be reached either by high-speed chairlift or piste.
Idalp however can be extremely busy at three peak times during the day, namely, around 9:30-10:30am, when many skiers and snowboarders arrive on the mountain by cable car from the village, 12:00-1:30pm, when most take a break for lunch and 3:30-4:30pm, when skiers and snowboarders head back to the village via ropeway or piste. The red and black pistes which return to the village can also be treacherous, particularly at the end of the skiing day when literally hundreds crowd the slopes at one time. For less experienced skiers, it is probably a better idea to take one of the ropeways back down to the village.
The area above Idalp offers wide, easy pistes and a snow park for those braver skiers and snowboarders. However, well worth a visit are the other parts of the Ischgl area, where the runs are considerably quieter, over towards Höllboden and Paznauner Thaya. These areas offer many red runs and also some more challenging blacks. In fact, the steepest run in the entire resort is located in the Höllboden bowl, accessed by the ultra-modern "Lange Wand" chair lift (code "C5"). This lift transports skiers and snowboarders to the top of a black run with a gradient of "70%", definitely suited best to the more advanced. On the other hand, Paznauner Thaya offers a wealth of red runs which are manageable for Intermediates.
Over in Switzerland, there are a number of excellent blue and red pistes. The runs here are also considerably quieter than on the Austrian side of the resort making the area particularly suitable for the beginner-intermediate range. More information on this part of the resort can be found by reading up on Samnaun.
The lifts on both sides of the resort, as well as the piste conditions are excellent. Almost all lifts in the resort are High-speed chair or Gondola lifts and the pistes are constantly maintained to ensure the best skiing conditions possible.