Ski & Winter Sports

Nordic Skiing In Scenic Ötztal

Winter sport in lovely Ötztal doesn’t only involve Alpine skiing on endless slopes. Tirol’s longest side valley also boasts some 185 kilometers of cross-country skiing tracks of all difficulty levels for classic-style Nordic skiers and skaters. What’s best: all Nordic tracks within Ötztal are free of charge!

If you are getting curious now and if you still haven’t tried cross-country skiing, simply take a closer look at our theory beginner’s guide to Nordic skiing. Check out the valley’s cross-country skiing hot spots and get to know more about the three basic questions. Why don’t you come and try it for yourself on your next visit to Ötztal?

Langläufer im Klassischen Stil - Langlaufen
Classic-style cross-country skiing © Ernst Lorenzi / Ötztal Tourismus

The question is: classic-style or skating?

The first thing to do for Nordic skiing novices: decide which cross-country skiing style they want to give a try! And there is no wrong answer to this question as both classic-style and skating style promise great fun.

In its beginnings, cross-country skiers established the classic style in a groomed track by moving arms and legs diagonally – precise pole planting is of utmost importance. Since the skating style requires less physical balance, many beginners try the skating style first.

What’s more, skating is much faster than classic-style cross-country skiing as the skis don’t stay in a groomed track but on a sometimes quite slippery snow surface. In a repeated sequence of movements the skating skier pushes the skis to the side and glides.

This technique as well requires exact pole planting. Additionally, a good sense of balance and physical coordination are an absolute must – basically you are standing only on one leg.

Langläufer im Skating-Stil - Langlaufen
… and skating style © Bernd Ritschel / Ötztal Tourismus


The length of your cross-country skis strongly depends on the technique and body height. As a rough guide for Nordic skiers:

  • Classic-style skis: body height + 20 cm
  • Skating skis: body height + 10 cm

Choosing perfect Nordic skis, you should also consider the type of your activity (all-round or race skis) and the body weight.


Quite similar to the length of your skis, the length of your poles is subject to the cross-country skiing technique and your sporty ambitions. Generally, skating poles should be 10 centimeters longer than classic-style poles. Or apply this more detailed formula:

  • Classic-style poles: body height in cm x 0.84
  • Skating poles: body height in cm x 0.89
Langläufer in Niederthai - Langlaufen
© Ernst Lorenzi / Ötztal Tourismus

Cross-country skiing tracks in Ötztal

When it comes to Nordic skiing on immaculate tracks the Ötztal Valley offers a multi-faceted trail network which is free of charge for everyone. Facts and figures at a glance:

  • Total network: 186 km
  • Classic-style tracks: 117 km
  • Skating tracks: 69 km
  • Easy: 80 km
  • Intermediate: 94 km
  • Difficult: 12 km

No matter where you spend a memorable Ötztal winter vacation, there is always a superb cross-country skiing track on your doorstep. Let’s introduce you to the scenic Nordic skiing spots spread between the entrance to the valley and the highest Alpine regions on its rear end close to Vent or Obergurgl-Hochgurgl:

# Ochsengarten

Langlaufen in Ochsengarten - Langlaufen
© Ernst Lorenzi / Ötztal Tourismus

The “Ochsengarten Runde” is an easy, 2.72 km long loop track traveling towards Kühtai through the picture-book winter scenery. Return on the right side of the valley. All important details on the Ochsengarten Nordic track are available HERE.

# Umhausen-Niederthai

Langlaufen in Umhausen-Niederthai - Langlaufen
© Ernst Lorenzi / Ötztal Tourismus

Umhausen-Niederthai is Ötztal’s undisputed cross-country skiing paradise: 12 Nordic tracks or loops of all difficulty levels await you here – plus a floodlit night track and a brand-new biathlon laser shooting range for everyone. All important details on the Umhausen-Niederthai Nordic tracks are available HERE.

# Längenfeld/Gries

Langlaufen Längenfeld - Langlaufen
© Ernst Lorenzi / Ötztal Tourismus

Längenfeld in central Ötztal offers a wide open basin for unlimited cross-country skiing fun: 7 tracks or loops are spread over Längenfeld and lovely Gries im Sulztal (mountain village at 6 km from the valley floor)! All important details on the Längenfeld/Gries Nordic tracks are available HERE.

# Sölden

Langlaufen Sölden - Langlaufen
© Stephan Bögli / Ötztal Tourismus

Besides endless kilometers of Alpine ski slopes, Sölden also has a nice network of classic-style and skating routes for Nordic skiing fans. All important details on the Sölden Nordic tracks are available HERE.

# Vent

Langlaufen Vent - Langlaufen
© Anton Brey / Ötztal Tourismus

Vent nestles in a secluded and peaceful spot at the rear end of the valley – a perfect place for magnificent cross-country skiing far away from the worries of everyday life. Nordic skiers will find a true heaven in this unparalleled side valley. All important details on the Vent Nordic tracks are available HERE.

# Obergurgl-Hochgurgl

Langlaufen Obergurgl-Hochgurgl - Langlaufen
© Anton Klocker / Ötztal Tourismus

We have reached the far end of our Nordic skiing tour through Ötztal valley: Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Europe’s highest parish village, offers 5 fabulous tracks or loops for classic-style cross-country skiers and skaters. All important details on the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl Nordic track are available HERE.


  • Check the Nordic ski report and all currently open cross-country skiing tracks at a  glance and online HERE.
  • For a complete map of all Nordic tracks in Ötztal, filtered by difficulty level or distance/duration, simply click HERE.
  • You still don’t have cross-country skiing gear, you want to take part in a professional lesson? HERE you will get all important details about equipment rental and Nordic skiing lessons.


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Author Benni

When it comes to activity and motion, Benni pricks up his ears! He is a passionate snowboarder, mountain biker, climber & hiker and he knows no better playground for outdoor sports than the Ötztal. He is not the type to sit still - therefore Benni can be often found on the valley's most exciting bike trails and pristine powder snow slopes.

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