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Not only is Kitzbuhel extraordinary due to the fact that its town still exhibits many mediaeval roots, but the skiing here is said to be some of the most phenomenal on the planet. The resort and nearby pistes are found within the Tyrol region of Austria and approximately 100 kilometres east of the capital of Innsbruck. Thanks to the rugged terrain and altitudes reaching as high as 1,996 metres (Kitzbuher Horn), this location is also a renowned skiing destination. Every year, downhill World Cup ski races are held here while there are other smaller events to enjoy while visiting. Another point of interest is that many believe that Kitzbuhel has been famous for skiing for as far back as 1893. Thus, it is also one of the oldest continuously functioning resorts in the world today.
Kitzbuhel offers an impressive 179 kilometres of slopes and each of these is meticulously groomed on a regular basis. There are an additional 54 ski lifts; some of these equipped with heated chairs and covers when the weather turns inclement. The sheer size of this park allows it to stretch over seven municipalities and two provinces within Austria. As the altitude is (generally) 2,000 metres above sea level, up to 180 days of guaranteed optimal skiing conditions can be enjoyed each year.
Not all of the trails and pistes here are geared only towards extremely steep runs. Indeed, there are over 40 kilometres of cross-country trails for those who enjoy a bit of exercise while witnessing the pristine nature associated with the entire region.
There are also some world-famous runs to be mentioned here. Arguably, the most well-known is the Streif. Due to the diversity of terrain associated with this piste, many downhill races are held here. Massive jumps, steep slopes, open gliding sections and sharp turns are meant to challenge even the most experienced of skiers.
There is also a more family-friendly section for skiers and snowboarders who may be in the mood for a bit of relaxation during their stay.
Kitzbuhel has been given the name “Freeride El Dorado” over the years due to its unique powdery conditions and deep snow. There are many steep descents which are perfectly able to suit the needs of adrenaline junkies. Still, trained guides are normally required; some of the spots can be dangerous those who have not ridden here before. Visitors can rent equipment from nearby stores. A handful of brand names include Intersport Kitzsport, element3, Sport Etz and Planet Berg.
As with the majority of ski resorts within Austria at an appreciable altitude, most skiers will choose to book reservations between October and May. However, it is worthwhile to note that January and February tend to be the busiest times of the year. Rates may be higher and there could be instances when there are no vacancies. Booking at least six weeks in advance is therefore a good idea.