Ibiza Alps: where James Bond was also filmed

Sölden is the soul of Tyrol’s ski resorts, located at an altitude of 1,300 metres. This certainly saved him this winter from the complete despair of global warming, which many other Austrian settlements had to contend with. On the 10-hour road leading there, you can clearly see the traces of an unusually mild winter. Instead of the once covered white landscape, birds are now chirping, and only near Innsbruck do snow-capped mountain peaks begin to appear. Closer to Sölden, thanks to snowless winters and high energy prices, you can see that the keys to many of the tenement houses have been nailed to the smaller settlements. Not everyone lives here either.

Of course, we also pay attention to gas prices on the road. After 611 forints at home, it costs 2.04 euros (about 790 forints) on Austrian motorways, 2.4 euros (more than 900 forints) on German motorways (you have to go in a fraction From the road to Tyrol to Germany), however, in the small villages before Sölden, it suddenly drops to 1.6 euros (620 forints).

Crosses the Inn Sölden River. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The next day, on the morning of our first skiing, we also encounter skyrocketing ski pass prices (€69 from 8 am, approximately 27,000 forints, €64 from 11 am, approximately 25,000 forints) – All this is a 10 percent increase in prices compared to last year’s prices, while accommodation fees have increased by 20 percent. But still, there is a layer to accept the extra costs, and more people from other regions now visit Sölden due to the lack of snow.

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Incredible ski slopes

Sölden is not only one of Austria’s largest alpine ski areas, but it’s also home to three mountains over 3,000 meters high, which is why the inaugural Alpine Ski World Cup competition has been held here every October for two decades. . Last year the race had to be postponed due to inclement weather, but who is brave enough or a good skier to descend on the ominous black course where Michaela Zero And Marco Odermatt won the giant slalom, he can do it here.

The Black Edge platform is actually the highest point in the entire Sölden ski area.  Photo: Depositphotos.com
The Black Edge platform is actually the highest point in the entire Sölden ski area. Photo: Depositphotos.com

By the way, the longest ski slope in Austria is also located here, its length is 15 kilometers

  • It starts from the Rettenbach Glacier and goes to the Gaislachkogl cable car,
  • The highest and possibly the coolest cable car in the world,
  • The world record is that it covers the distance of 2,040 meters from the future Valley Station to the Central Station in seven minutes.

But the other ski slopes are also impressive, most of which lead above the forest line, making it a truly special experience for tearing down the snowy slopes in the natural silence among mottled peaks.

James Bond was also filmed here

But what may be most interesting to many: the stunning action scene of the most expensive James Bond movie of all time, Spectre, was filmed here in Sölden, at the top of Gaislachkogl, in 2015. The design restaurant called Ice Q also appears in the film, and it is the highest catering establishment In Austria, and where anyone can now sit down to drink a vodka martini — “not shaken, stirred,” of course. The simple style building resembles an ice cube in the landscape and offers a unique view of the surrounding mountains.

Then, three years later, in 2018, the 007 Elements Museum, which houses the memory of the shooting, opened. In a cave-like building of concrete, iron and glass on two floors, measuring 1,300 square metres, you will be immersed in a world with a true Bond atmosphere. Admission for adults is 22 euros, approximately 8.5 thousand forints, a student ticket is 17 euros (more than 6,500 forints), for children 12 euros (4,600 forints) – if you already have a ski pass for that day. If you don’t have one, you have to pay 54, 29 and 30 euros including the lift.

For those who cannot or do not want to ski every day, there is the only thermal spring in western Austria and Tyrol, located in the Ötz Valley, a few kilometers from Sölden. The futuristic Aqua Dome, the newest and most beautiful spa in the Alps, was built. Built using natural materials: wood, stone and glass, the eye-catching building also offers a great panorama of the surrounding mountain peaks. Admittedly, the €29 entry fee isn’t cheap.

The Aqua Dome awaits tired skiers in Längenfeld, a few kilometers from Sölden.
The Aqua Dome awaits tired skiers in Längenfeld, a few kilometers from Sölden.

They can live

And although Sölden’s main street is not that long, it still functions as a seaside town’s promenade. While it serves as a fashion street for ski clothes and gear, it is full of bars, shacks, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses, which are full despite the high prices. In some bungalows, before the elevators stop, the DJ plays the music at full volume, often brought by groups of friends from Hungary, Germany, Holland, Denmark or Finland, college bands. They enjoy skateboarding until they choke.

But night skiing, night shows with fireworks and huge parties are regularly organized here.

There is a lot of nightlife in Sölden.  Photo: Depositphotos.com
There is a lot of nightlife in Sölden. Photo: Depositphotos.com

In other places, Austrian music is played, while alcohol is consumed in large quantities, for example, a small bottle of Jägermeister is placed in a beer glass, which must be sipped at the same time with some skill.

But a gastronomic revolution is also raging, from Leberknödelsuppe to huge hamburgers, Wiener Schnitzel, great pizza inspired by the nearby Dolomites, to steamed dumplings and Caesar crumbs, and you can even get sushi anytime. We are eye and mouth stimuli. Therefore, you can say that Sölden is the most wonderful winter place full of a touch of luxury, which was nice to go to for a week.

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