With some of the best ski schools in the Alps, picturesque towns and incredible snow records as standard; Austria has all the ingredients for an unforgettable family ski holiday. Find out more about our selection of the best family ski resorts in Austria, which take you to some of the lesser-known ski areas that lie a little off the beaten track, promising quieter slopes and less crowded queues.
One of our favourite classic Tirolean ski resorts, Alpbach is filled with charming, picture-perfect streets that are lined with friendly, family-run hotels and guesthouses. Regarded as one of the prettiest ski villages in the Alps, Alpbach’s charming landscape is lined with neat rows of wooden chalets, snow-dusted trees and cosy eateries to while away an evening in. The slopes offer some of the best family skiing in Austria with 109km of superbly maintained pistes shared between Niederau-Oberau & Alpbach in the ski area, Ski Juwel. First-timers are well looked after with a choice of nursery slopes and learning facilities, as well as an excellent choice of ski schools that can provide English speaking instructors.
The Alpbachtaler Lauser-Sauser – a modern alpine coaster – is a great family activity. Starting at 1,845m the two-seater sleds take you flying down the mountain, reaching speeds of 42km/h.
Stay at: Haus Edelweiss, a family-run bed and breakfast located close to the nursery slopes.
Located in the wild and beautiful Wildschonau Valley, the magical ski village of Niederau-Oberau is made for cosy Alpine family ski holidays, complete with all the gentle skiing and peaceful evening activities you could hope for. Feast on traditional, authentic Tirolean cuisine in a setting that will be far more tranquil and less crowded than some of the other more mainstream Austrian resorts. Niederau-Oberau is one of the best family ski resorts in Austria not only for its 109km of beginner and intermediate friendly pistes across the Ski Juwel area, but also for its impressive choice of off-mountain activities. Take a magical horse-drawn carriage ride through the village’s twinkling streets, go night tobogganing on the floodlight Oberau run or for a unique family experience, join an igloo building course.
Stay at: Hotel Harfenwirt, which is located in an ideal position opposite the resort’s nursery slopes.
The tranquil village of Ellmau is located in the North-Eastern corner of the SkiWelt, giving access to one of Austria’s largest linked ski areas, which spans an impressive 284km. Across this you will find terrain to suit every standard of skier, from the gentle nursery slopes complete with their own fun parks and play areas, to the more challenging local black runs around Söll. Ellmau is highly regarded as the perfect place to learn to ski, thanks to its wide choice of relaxed slopes that are perfect to work your way through as you gain more confidence. Families with younger children are also well looked after, with a ski crèche available for those between six months and four years old.
Reconvene at the end of the day to enjoy a delicious family dinner at one of the resort’s eateries, which offer hearty local food and a pleasant atmosphere. New at the mountain station is the ‘Hartkaiser Adventure Eldorado’ with its own children’s restaurant, childcare facilities for young children and kids’ adventure ski school.
Stay at: The traditional Hotel Claudia, which benefits from a peaceful location on the edge of the village.
Westendorf offers some of the best family skiing in Austria and is also part of the SkiWelt region, with 284km of varied pistes. Westendorf is exceptionally family-friendly – a practise area for beginners and children is located right in the centre of the village and provides an easy gateway to the SkiWelt area, plus there are several easier slopes on the mountain. Those who are a little more adventurous on their skis can make their way over to the connecting resorts of Ellmau and Söll to explore further pistes and off-piste potential. At the exercise meadow in the valley, the “Mini Playground” is ready. A funpark for beginners and younger riders, it comprises an easy line with mini jump line and mini rail line, ensuring endless fun with slightly smaller obstacles than those found at the Boarders Playground.
The relaxed, rustic atmosphere of the picturesque Tirolean ski village of Westendorf attracts families year after year, with a wonderfully scenic landscape that is lined with traditional buildings such as the domed Church of St Nicholas. Make yourself at home in this gloriously sunkissed valley, and look forward to sociable evenings spent dining on Austrian Alpine cuisine and enjoying an apéritif in the sunshine.
Stay at: Hotel Briem to enjoy a superb central location and a relaxed, family-run atmosphere.
The scenic, lakeside resort of Zell am See-Kaprun combines high-altitude glacial skiing with pedestrianised streets, state-of-the-art lifts and a great choice of bars and restaurants. Beginner skiers can enjoy an abundance of gentle runs, such as the 30km blue slope on the Schmittenhöhe mountain. More experienced skiers in the family can take advantage of the K-onnection and zellamseeXpress lifts; two new additions that connect the slopes up with neighbouring resorts and give way to an incredible 408km of terrain. For expert skiers we recommend trying out the Black Mamba at the Kitzsteinhorn, which takes you down an epic descent reaching an exhilarating 63% incline. Teenagers looking to practice in the park can choose between three snowparks, including the biggest superpipe in Austria in the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier resort.
Stay at: Sporthotel Alpenblick, a spacious family-run property with five on-site restaurants.
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