For many years, Ischgl ski holidays have been overlooked by the Brits - but we're waking up to Ischgl's appeal now...
Ischgl is a pretty, out-of-the-way ski resort, with a jolly, unpretentious atmosphere, despite all the partying. It's right on the border of Switzerland too, and an essential trip is to ski down to the duty-free village of Samnaun with an empty rucksack to stock up on your favourite tipple.
Resort height: 1,400m
The one drawback to skiing in Ischgl is the main piste back into the resort - steep, winding and often unnervingly icy. Most skiers and snowboarders would be well-advised to ride the gondolas back down at the end of the day in order to avoid it.
But apart from that, Ischgl is an intermediate skier's idea of heaven, with most of the area on a high, sunny and snow-sure plateau above the treeline. Many of the runs are fairly short as a result, but what they lack in length they make up for in quality. The exception to the rule is the long piste that leads into Samnaun.
Freestylers and snowboarders will also be happy in Ischgl. There's been a big improvement in the two terrain parks here lately - one of which, the Snow Art Park, is among the longest in the Alps. Snowboarders will like the fact that everyone seems too hungover to compete for the freshly fallen snow on a powder day. At times, it can feel as if you're the only person up there who's interested in the off-piste.
Most people fly into Innsbruck, from where it takes 90 minutes to get to Ischgl...
You can also reach the resort from Friedrichshafen and Zurich airports, although transfer times are longer (two to three hours).
With its modern lift system and reliable snow cover, Ischgl will appeal to a wide range of winter holidaymakers...
The pistes and parks of Ischgl form a fantastic winter playground for intermediate skiers and advanced snowboarders. The off-piste opportunities are also numerous, with plenty of chances to make your own fresh tracks on powder days. However, beginners may struggle on the resort's slopes, while advanced skiers could find the lack of seriously steep slopes frustrating.
Ischgl boasts attractive, traditional architecture and an incredibly lively après-ski scene...
How do the Austrians manage it? In resort after resort they lay on supercharged après-ski, which never gets surly or bad-tempered. Everyone has a few beers, dances like a maniac in their ski boots, and then wanders off quietly for dinner. Perfect. The bars to aim for in Ischgl are at the Trofana Alm and the Hotel Elisabeth. Afterwards, most people eat dinner in their hotels, as part of a half-board package, but for a special occasion head for the fusion restaurant at the super-cool Hotel Madlein or the Paznaunerstube at the Trofana Royal.
Book yourself into the spa at the Trofana Royal hotel - as well as saunas, steam rooms, Turkish baths, pools, and massages, it offers a Cleopatra bath...in milk. There's a range of other activities on offer, such as ice-skating, sleigh rides and tobogganing, and four indoor courts at the sports centre. But all the same, Ischgl is primarily a place for those who love to ski or snowboard.
Despite all the après-ski action, Ischgl is an upmarket resort, and the range of budget accommodation is limited. Still, by staying in a hotel on a half-board basis, you will at least have few extras to pay for, beyond the price of your holiday.
Ischgl is a pretty and compact little town, set in a high valley beneath impressively craggy peaks. It can't match the visual drama of the likes of Zermatt or Mürren, but most people find the traditional look and feel of the resort - along with the well-run hotels - more than makes up for that.