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No 2: Kitzbuhel Ski Resort, Austria

Kitzbuhel is a small medieval town in Tyrol, Austria, situated on the Kitzbuhel Ache river. It has a population of 8,204 (as at 1 Jan 2010) and is the administrative centre of the district (Bezirk) Kitzbuhel. The town is situated in the Kitzbuhel Alps about 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the state capital of Innsbruck and is a ski resort of international renown.

Kitzbuhel Ski Resort

While St. Anton holds the crown of "Europe's liveliest ski resort," and Innsbruck is home to one of Europe's liveliest and most beautiful cities (the International Olympic Committee must have thought so as well, as the city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976), Kitzbuhel is considered the "Pearl of the Alps" and is the most famous holiday resort in the Austrian Tyrol. This 700-year-old village offers visitors the charm of an alpine village. Skiing began here in the winter of 1892.

Kitzbuhel and winter sports is a truly timeless and legendary combination. Since 1892, the city known as "Chamois Town" has been world-renowned for its snow sports. The first Hahnenkamm Race took place in 1931. Over the last few decades, this challenging race has become the world's most important alpine ski event. Kitzbuhel is more deeply rooted in skiing history than any other alpine skiing resort.

Kitzbuhel has always been a trendsetting city. Snowboarders and newschool skiers can take full advantage of one premium snow park, bringing high international standards to local youth winter sports. Alpine skiers have a myriad of options to choose from thanks to 170 km of ski runs, 54 gondolas and ski lifts, which transport winter sports fans as high as 2,000 m above sea level. Many charming ski huts await your visit. Powder skiers will find their personal nirvana among the 32 km of ski routes and a wide variety of ski mountaineering opportunities.

Kitzbuhel Ski Resort

The Kitzbuhel Slope Map boasts 60 groomed ski runs for all ability levels, with a total slope length of 170 km. Of these, 67 km are easy (blue), 79 km are intermediate (red) and 24 km are difficult (black). In addition, expert winter sport fans can choose from 32 km of marked ski routes which are marked and monitored but not groomed. Thus, these ski routes offer mostly deep powder and mogul runs. Just like regular ski runs, they are avalanche-safe. The area's 54 mountain lifts and gondolas can transport more than 90,000 outdoor enthusiasts per hour to the top of the peaks. The ski area reaches up to 2,000 m above sea level and includes seven villages and two Austrian states.

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