Whether you’re on the hunt for some of the best parties in Europe’s spiritual home of après ski or want a family-friendly ski area with state-of-the-art, well-linked lifts; Austria offers a wealth of choices for your next ski holiday. Many of its rustic towns were born from once-traditional farming villages, meaning you can expect a unique and authentic atmosphere from the cosy fondue Stüblis that line the streets, and a warm welcome from the locals.
Matched by typically shorter transfer times and budget-friendly costs, Austria ticks all of our boxes for a varied ski holiday with plenty of brilliant terrain. We can help you find the best ski resorts in Austria to cover off all your requirements – from partying till dawn, to waking at sunrise for fresh tracks through the powder.
St. Anton is one of the world’s most high-profile ski resorts. It built its name through not only its infamous après scene, but also its incredible, advanced ski terrain with a whole spectrum of more challenging runs that will be enough to keep any keen skier busy. The vast Arlberg ski area comprises 350km of fantastically maintained pistes and some of the best off-piste in the world. Take a guide up to the top of the Valluga lift to tackle the spectacular routes down to Zürs or carve your own tracks down the wide open pistes around the Galzig mountain. Once exhilarating descents through the powder and mogul fields are out of the way, the action really kicks off at the resort’s world-famous slopeside bars. MooserWirt and Krazy Kanguruh are home to foot-stomping parties that typically kick off in the early afternoon and draw to a close in the small hours at one of resort’s nightclubs.
Stay at: Chalet Nimbus, a luxurious catered five-star chalet that sleeps up to 10 people at a budget-friendly cost.
If you’re chasing the snow, Lech is one of the best places to ski in Austria. Gathering on average 10 metres per season – more than anywhere else in Europe, this pretty village is not to be underestimated when it comes to varied skiing on some of the best pistes and powder in the Zürs ski area. The resort preserves its peaceful slopes by limiting the number of lift tickets sold during busy periods, meaning you can be sure you won’t find yourself on an overcrowded slope or in a never-ending lift queue. Lech resort is endowed with a number of remarkable titles – not only one of the best ski resorts in Austria, it is also the home of the first ever ski school and the world’s longest ski race. When you’re finished on the mountain for the day you can enjoy an undeniable air of luxury in the cobbled town, which has a range of fine gourmet eateries and bars that are brimming with character. Its scenic riverside setting gives way to beautifully peaceful vistas, which can be enjoyed from a range of accommodation choices from the budget-friendly self-catered apartment to the indulgent five-star spa hotel.
Stay at: Four-star Hotel Theodul for a tranquil stay in the centre of resort.
Mayrhofen attracts crowds from all over the world with its exciting range of events. It plays host to one of Europe’s biggest music festivals, Snowbombing, which runs as a week-long extravaganza for music lovers in the spring, with previous headliners including the likes of Liam Gallagher. At Christmas, Mayrhofen transforms into a magical winter wonderland complete with markets and carols to bring in the festivities in style. Up on the pistes, skiers can either stick to the resort’s two local mountains – Ahorn and Penken, or invest in a Zillertaler Superskipass to take advantage of 180 lifts that serve a thrilling choice of terrain, such as that around the snow-sure Hintertux glacier. Experts might even like to try their hand at the famous Harakiri run, which at up to a 78% gradient claims its title as Austria’s steepest slope.
Stay at: Four-star Hotel Berghof for a traditional atmosphere, spa and kids facilities.
Ischgl is another firm favourite that has secured its place on the map as one of the best ski resorts in Austria by playing host to a number of iconic events, which have been praised as ‘bringing music to the mountains’. The likes of Elton John, Bob Dylan and Kylie Minogue have played to thousands of revellers atop Ischgl’s snowy peaks, and visitors continue to flock back season after season for the resort’s renowned après scene. However, Ischgl doesn’t stop there when it comes to paving the way for forward-thinking ski resorts. It has been recognised as the largest climate-neutral ski area in the Alps through its efforts to offset carbon emissions, the implementation of a reforestation programme in the local valley and by powering its ski lifts with almost 100% renewable energy. Read more about our eco-friendly ski holidays here.
Stay at: Four-star Hotel Brigitte with elegant and stylish interiors.
Obergurgl is a long-standing favourite for families who favour its peaceful, wide open pistes and quaint town with a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere. What’s more, its situation just 90 minutes from Innsbruck airport makes it an ideal destination for easy, snow-sure skiing that reaches all the way up to an impressive 1,930m. Spend your days cruising around the 110km of blissful, winding reds and blues, and then stop off on your way home at the brilliant Nederhutte, which is run by a local father and son rock band duo. Once you have familiarised yourself with the local ski area, skiers up for more of a challenge can take the 20 minute ski bus into Sölden to enjoy an additional 144km of slopes, two glaciers, three mountains at over 3,000m and even a visit to the cinematic 007 Elements James Bond installation which sits atop the Gaislachkogl Mountain Gondola.
Stay at: Hotel Alpenland for a fully-catered, four-star, ski-in ski-out option that is perfect for families.
With access to two glaciers, three mountains and an extensive network of slopes stretching out over 144km; Sölden lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to ski in Austria. Make your way up to one of the suspended viewing platforms that reach up to an impressive 3,250m, and drink in dramatic views across the valley. The slopes are served by an excellent series of state-of-the-art lifts, featuring a number of high-speed chairs and gondolas that will whisk you up across the resort’s two sectors, Gaislachkogl and Giggijoch. Adventurous skiers will enjoy the long run from the top of the glaciers, reaching 15km all the way down into the valley – a route that rose to fame thanks to its feature in the chase sequence of the 2015 James Bond Film, Spectre. Other notable runs include the black run 31 on the Rettenbach glacier, which is used for the World Cup slalom races.
Stay at: Hotel Das Central, a spectacular five-star with its own underground fondue chalet.
If you’d like to find out more about the best ski resorts in Austria, please speak to one of our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.