I have 3 or 4 short breaks every year in Ischgl (for the last 10 years). Me, the wife and 2 kids (although the kids are now 18 (son) & 20(daughter))
Obvioulsy living not that far away (just under 3hrs drive for me) we never deal with package companies etc. Always book directly with the Hotel.
Sometimes all 4 of us, sometimes me & kids, sometimes just me and my son
Normally just before xmas, end of January, last week in Feb (school hols) and easter.
On the numerous occasions we have been only 2 occasions when we stayed outside of Ischgl. Once in Kappl (me and my son) and once in Galtür (me and both kids)
Regretted both occasions - Galtür more than Kappl
We are always by car so have the flexibility to stay outside (if we wish) without relying on skibus etc.
If relying on the skibus/postbus that obvioulsy becomes an issue.
Biggest problem in Galtür we found was that the huge majority of accommodation was Hotel based. We always go B&B in a Hotel Garni. Unfortunately there was a distinct lack of choice of eating out in Galtür.
Just checked Crystal for example and they only offer halfboard in Galtür which sort of reflects my experience.
Obviously if you have a car then the transport thing isn't an issue. Buses could be.
Here as an example is the skibus/postbus schedules from last season
If you look at the Paznaun Ischgl-Galtür-Wirl schedule you will notice that the services are only every hour the "reasonable" ones being 08:25 or 09:25 - taking ~ 20mins to the Silvrettabahn
They could be packed (no idea as I took my car)
Returning 17:00 , 18:05, 19:05 and 20:00 so you can get some good apres ski in (Ischgl on of the top apres ski place sin Austria/europe/the world (depends on your perspective)
If you are happy with the skibus thing (personally now never stay anywhere where I have to get any sort of skibus and where it is impossible to ski down) then you could choose Galtür but be aware of the restaurant thing and go for half-board
Also exact dates would be helpful
The satellite village of Mathon not far from Ischgl has "grown up" a bit in recent years offering varied accommodation types and eating drinking places. Cheaper than Ischgl itself
Has the advantage that as well as the standard Postbus service (Landeck-Kappl-Ischgl-Galtür I mentioned above) also is included on the Ischgl local skibus service "Piel - Florienplatz" "Florienplatz-Piel" (see link of skibuses) running every 10 mins in the morning from Piel from 08:51 and a couple of services earlier from 08:21 - only takes 7mins to Silvrettabahn.
Also staying in Mathon you are counted as "Ischgl" so get the VIP Skipass prices
If you choose to stay in apartments and are relying on public transport obvioulsy there will be an issue in shopping.
Thing is if you are looking at booking a package thorugh a UK company like Nielson, Thomsons Ski Crystal etc you will pay over the odds and also have a restricted choice of accommodation and places to stay.
For comparison just use the www.ischgl.com accommodation search to see what you are likely to pay going direct with certain properties.
Purely as an example for 12th January 2013
This part of January is the lower season
Crystal has the Garni Litzner at 620pounds per person
Coincidently the Litzner is the first place we stayed in in Ischgl just after it opened many years ago
The Garni Litzner itself price is from €48 per night "Ski classic" - €326 for a week
The Garni Neder (which I have tried to book a number of time myself) with crystal 713pounds
Direct from €70 per night - so €490 for the week
Problem is booking independantly is getting to Ischgl.
It really is only easily done by car.
Even flying into Innsbruck it will take ~2hrs (fast Intercity to Landeck then 55mins on the Postbus) - the intercity part costs €15
Private return transfer from Innsbruck with somebody like www.tirol-taxi.at for all 9 will be the best part of €500
Hello giftzwerg - Thank you for this very comprehensive report. It has been useful, especially in relation to the timing of the bus journey to Ischgl. With regard to independent travel - you have given me an insight into how this might work and the pricing of the accommodation especially interesting. Thank you again. I will take another look at how my holiday might be accomplished.
I disagree with Giftzwerg about staying in Galtur. This Christmas will be my 16th. consecutive year staying in the village. We have found it quite easy to get to Ischgl to ski as long as you get your timings right for the ski bus. They are quite regular and reliable except over the lunchtime period and it only takes 15 minutes. You need to avoid queues at the Silvrettabahn in high season but there are two other lifts to take if you stay on the ski bus to the terminus one of which has been completely renovated for this season.
There is plenty of B&B accommodation but I would recommend the family run Hotel Buntali for its very friendly welcome, comfortable rooms and excellent food. It also has a well-equipped wellness centre to relax in at the end of the skiing day. They also have a mountain restaurant in Galtur called the Fluchthornalm which makes for an easy hot chocolate and lunch stop halfway down the slopes.
You will also find that most of the hotels will take non-residents for evening meals.
Staying in Galtur means that you have the choice of skiing in either resort and each is a totally different experience adding to the enjoyment of your holiday.
Skiing in Europe for the first time. Looking for good conditions for intermediate level, and a Swiss friend recommended Galtur. We are open to other areas. We are coming from Rothenburg in Germany, and after skiing plan to drive to Vaduz and ultimately back up to Frankfurt for our flight home. We cannot go too far out of our way, as we only have a week.
Could someone briefly walk me through logistics of skiing in Austria? If skiing "Galtur", does that mean we stay in a local hotel and can then choose from two mountains for skiing -- and then we drive to those mountains? We'll have a car, and hope to stay in the area. We will need to rent skis. We are only looking to ski for one or two days -- probably 12/26 and 12/27.
In Galtür (relative small skiresort) there is one "home"-mountain for skiing, which dependent on the location of your hotel you can reach by foot, by car or by -commonly in Austria- excellent skibusservice.
For extensive skiing you can visit neighbouring Ischgl, which is one of the big names in The Alps.
But considering the dates you're are mentioning, the big question is: Did you already book a hotel?? You're aiming for the busiest period of the year in which hotels in popular resorts with high snowsecurity like Galtür are not fond of booking just 2 or 3 nights...Most accomodation will want you to book a full week.
Should you find it difficult to find accomodation, you might extend your search to same valley (Paznaun) villages like Ischgl, Kappl and See, or towards the nearby famous Arlberg region with St. Anton, Stuben, Zürs and Lech.
By the way: skip Vaduz, it is not worth it!Edited: 27 November 2014, 18:05
By the way, I'm not sure whether Galtür is the best resort for the dark days around Christmas.
Its setting is rather bleak and deserted, beautiful, but mostly to be enjoyed in later winter and spring in my opinion.