When it comes to envisioning a life of luxury, nothing quite screams glamour like 007 himself. But while James Bond may be known for battling notorious villains, he’s also renowned for his love of card games, food and lavish locations – all of which make for the perfect trip.
And one such location that Bond has jetted off to in the past is the alpine resort of Sölden in the Austrian mountains. With its rustic mountain huts, stunning winter landscapes and picturesque viewing platforms, everyday's an adventure on the slopes.
So, here’s six reasons why you should embrace your inner 007 on your next trip…
There’s something for every kind of holidaymaker
Lying on a deckchair, sipping a crisp glass of white wine with the sun streaming through the clouds… you’d be forgiven for momentarily thinking you’re on a desert island. In fact, that sun lounger is in the Austrian mountains, 3,000m above sea level.
Set in the Ötztal Valley, the alpine resort of Sölden boasts the finest gourmet food, exhilarating ski slopes and panoramic views fit for a James Bond movie – literally! (More about that later…)
Whether you’ve perfected your piste skills or prefer a whole holiday of après-ski, this picture-perfect village will tick every box.
Thrill seekers are in for a treat
The year-round beauty spot has excellent biking and walking trails right up into the mountains, plus quaint cafés for when it’s time to refuel afterwards. And if you love a snowy vista and thrilling pistes for all abilities, you’re good to go anytime between October and April.
With three mountains (branded the “BIG3”) more than 3,000m high, there’s enough snow to keep visitors skiing from September right through to May.
Ride the lift up to the top of Schwarze Schneid for a thrilling 15km descent to the valley floor – the longest slope in Austria!
But there’s room for downtime, too
Thanks to its 10 relaxing saunas, steam baths and Venetian water world, we never wanted to leave Das Central Hotel. The five-star alpine escape serves Wein am Berg festival- goers in April and piste-seekers throughout the holiday season.
Panoramic mountain views are enjoyed from most of its 125 contemporary rooms, each invoking chalet vibes with soft wood accents. Choose from exciting packages including a BMW M Driving Experience or a James Bond secret mission including a helicopter ride!
You can pay homage to 007 himself
Sölden has also played host to a very famous spy. Fans of James Bond movie Spectre can follow in Daniel Craig’s footsteps at ice Q – Austria’s highest gourmet restaurant built specially for the blockbuster film.
Right next door to the striking glass structure is 007 ELEMENTS James Bond Adventure World. The cinematic installation features halls filled with thrilling movie clips and original props used by the likes of Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Visitors can interact with replica items, such as Bond’s explosive pen, and create their agent identity. Apparently, I suffered six bullet wounds and racked up £641 billion in collateral damage…
It’ll tickle your tastebuds
Everyone knows alpine resorts are famous for their après-ski, but Sölden takes your taste buds a step further. Gourmet food and wine festival Wein am Berg will return for its 20th edition from 20-23 April 2023.
We joined hundreds of wine growers, renowned chefs and connoisseurs for three fun-packed days touring the very best slopes with VIP guides and sampling divine wine on top of the world.
You don’t have to be a wine whizz to sign up for the social affair – we novices left knowing our Chardonnay from our Sauvignon Blanc, and the incredible art it takes to make these vintages.
It rivals the West End
Austria tops every show in the West End with its spectacular Hannibal open-air extravaganza. Taking place on a glacier each April, helicopters, snow groomers and extreme athletes reenact the epic tale of a man from Carthage who, in 218 BC, attempted to defy the Romans and cross the Alps with 60,000-strong army and 36 elephants.
Bring your warmest clothes and expect trippy music, contemporary dance and aerial acrobatics. Your ticket is included if you’re with the wine and food festival, or €49 (£41) per adult.
How to book
Das Central Hotel, Sölden, Austria has double rooms from €200 (£168) per person per night, based on two people sharing on a half-board basis. Innsbruck is one hour away by car. BA and EasyJet fly from London to Innsbruck. More details at central-soelden.com/en.
The Wein am Berg festival at Das Central, Sölden, starts from €1,755 (£1,470) per person in a double room for three nights, including the Wein am Berg programme. Ski pass is available for an extra charge. See weinamberg.at/en.
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