This small Tyrolean village sits at just under 1,000m at the bottom of a long valley of the same name, overlooked by the 1,899m Gratlspitz mountain. Since the arrival in 2012 of an eight-person gondola linking the Alpbach side of the resort with the Wildschönau valley, Alpbach has become part of the Ski Juwel area, which incorporates the resorts of Reith, Oberau and Niederau, whose 145km of runs make it one of the largest areas in the Tyrol. Here are three gondolas: the Pöglbahn and Wiedersbergerhornbahn for the Alpbachtal side, and the gondola up to the Schatzberg, the highest peak on the Wildschönau side at 1,898m. Lifts are fast with short queues, and pistes are well-marked and generally quiet.
And once you get up the mountain, there’s a diversity of options: there are steeper slopes on the Alpbachtal side and the more cruisey Wildshönau side is good for leisurely afternoons, with nursery slopes, jump parks and cross-country routes. The pistes at Reith are floodlit three times a week.
The area is best suited to intermediate skiers. Some of the 78km of reds are fantastic, offering descents of almost 1km from peak to valley floor. But skiers should bear in mind that what’s classed as a red on the Alpbachtal side is considered a black across the valley. There’s a handful of black runs (18km in total) under the Wiedersbergerhorn.