Ischgl Opens Smuggler's Trails

06 Dec, 2016 by Investors In Property
As with most border towns, Ischgl has had its fair share of smugglers through the years. In harder times, Austrians used to head over the border to Samnaun (home of the Santa World Championship, and not very much else these days) taking butter, cheese and furs to trade. They would bring sought after items like coffee, rice, flour, tobacco, saccharin and spices back across the mountains, selling them on to the locals.

These days, demand for smuggling is rather less than it was, and skiers no longer have to head across the border carrying 40 to 50 kg of contraband. That doesn’t mean the authorities don’t still check heavily laden skiers aren’t bringing back more than is legally allowed, when they ski home after having lunch in the pretty Swiss smuggler’s retreat.



In honour of the local history, there will be a new ‘Smuggler’s Run’ opening this winter. There are three routes you can choose, graded by the number of kilometres covered. Bronze, the shortest, is 19.8km, and the only one that can be taken on by any skier confident on a blue run. The silver run is 24.7km long, while the gold is 35.7km. These routes should only be taken by advanced skiers.

To take part in the Smuggler’s Run, you have to download the iSki Ischgl App, where you will be able to choose your route. The name of the game is covering kilometres, tracking and recording your progress by GPS using the app. Skiers and snowboarders who successfully complete their chosen circuit can enter prize draws every day, week and season. Prizes range from head bands to half-board hotel stays.

So if you’re interested in visiting Ischgl this year, and you fancy trying to win a few prizes while you’re there, this might be exactly the thing. Plus you’ll get to see the old smuggler’s routes, and maybe come back with a story or two. After all, who doesn’t love a swashbuckling story of pirates, smugglers and ne’er-do-wells? 
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