Are you looking to find out the best ski resorts in Austria? Whether you’re on the hunt for schnapps in Europe’s spiritual home of après or want family-friendly ski areas with well-linked lifts; Austria offers a wealth of choices. Here’s our top 10 ski resorts in Austria in some of the best ski areas. You can expect an authentic atmosphere from the cosy fondue Stüblis that line the streets to the warm welcome from the locals.
Matched by typically shorter transfer times and budget-friendly costs, Austria ski areas tick all of our boxes for a varied ski holiday with 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 its infamous après scene and incredible, advanced ski terrain. There’s a whole spectrum of more challenging runs that will be enough to keep any keen skier busy. The vast Arlberg is one of the best ski areas in Austria. The area comprises of 350km 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 are out of the way, the action kicks off at the resort’s world-famous slopeside bars. MooserWirt and Krazy Kanguruh are a great option to set yourself up at for a few piste-side drinks in the afternoon.
If you’re chasing the snow, Lech is one of the best ski resorts in Austria. The resort gathers an average of 10m per season and offers 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. This means you shouldn’t find yourself on an overcrowded slope or in a never-ending lift queue. Lech ski resort is endowed with a number of remarkable titles. Not only is it 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. The resort’s range of fine gourmet eateries and bars 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.
Mayrhofen attracts crowds from all over the world with its exciting range of events. It plays host to one of Europe’s biggest snowboarding 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 ski 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. Access to this extensive ski terrain and glacier make this one of the best ski areas in Austria. Experts might 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.
Ischgl is another firm favourite that has secured its place as one of the best ski resorts in Austria. The ski resort hosts 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. Thanks to its efforts to offset carbon emissions, the implementation of a reforestation programme in the local valley and powering its ski lifts with almost 100% renewable energy, Ischgl has been recognised as the largest climate-neutral ski area in the Alps.
Obergurgl earns its place in our top 10 ski resorts in Austria as a long-standing favourite for families. It’s favoured for 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 are familiar with the local ski area, take the 20-minute ski bus into Sölden for a new challenge. Here you can enjoy an additional 144km of slopes, two glaciers and three mountains at over 3,000m. Don’t miss a visit to the cinematic 007 Elements James Bond installation atop the Gaislachkogl Mountain Gondola.
With access to two glaciers, three mountains and an extensive network of slopes stretching out over a ski area of 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.
One of our top 10 ski resorts in Austria, Kitzbühel is one of the world’s most beautiful ski towns. Colourful buildings line the cobbled streets and the centre is largely car-free. The ski resort holds an international reputation for world-class ski racing. Some of the world’s best ski racers head here annually to hurtle down the Streif at speeds of up to 140mph in the notorious Hahnenkamm Downhill ski race.
Kitzbühel is a great choice for intermediate and advanced skiers. It’s one of the largest ski areas in Austria with 179km of piste and a vast off-piste area of 200sqkm. The resort has a strong snow record and is amongst the first of Austria’s non-glacial ski areas to open.
Söll is a key resort in the SkiWelt ski area, with access to 280km of pistes. SkiWelt is one of Austria’s largest linked ski areas, connecting a number of resorts, including Westendorf and Ellmau. One of the reasons Söll is so appealing is its fantastic value for money. Austria is known for its value over its European neighbours and Söll is no different. In Söll, this value isn’t met with any compromise on first-class ski terrain and lifts, rightly earning the resort its place as one of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Intermediates will love the skiing in SkiWelt, with a plethora of blues and reds to discover. Head to the lower tree-lined pistes on a bad weather day for better visibility and plenty of fun opportunities to pop in and out of the trees. You’ll find Austria’s largest night skiing area in Söll, with an impressive 10km of pistes illuminated into the evening. Ski under the stars and warm up after in a traditional Tyrolean hut with a Glühwein.
One of our top 10 ski resorts in Austria, the picturesque town of Zell am See sits on the shores of Lake Zell. There is a great atmosphere in the town, which has a car-free centre, packed with restaurants, bars and shops. The resort’s local skiing is in the Schmittenhöhe ski area – which offers around 77km of piste. However, when you consider connections to neighbouring resorts, there is a whole host of further skiing opportunity. In fact, the full ski area totals 408km of piste, all included in your Ski Alpin pass.
After exploring the local area, you can head to neighbouring Kaprun which has direct access to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier. Up on the glacier, you’re standing at the highest point in the region. The view over the surrounding peaks is one of the best in Austria. The Ski Alpin Card also gives you access to the Skicircus ski area which offers 270km of piste and is just a short bus ride over the valley.
Saalbach is part of one of the biggest ski areas in Austria, the Skicircus. The area offers over 270km of piste, connecting Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn. The lifts run right into the centre of the village, with many options for ski-in ski-out accommodations on offer. Intermediates will find a wealth of skiing suited to their ability, with over 90% of the slopes blues and reds. Fieberbrunn is part of the Skicircus area and is a real mecca for freeriders who’ll find fantastic off-piste opportunities there. In fact, the area regularly plays host to the Freeride World Tour.
The ski area has over 60 mountain huts, so you’ll never be short of a lunch or hot-chocolate stop-off. Many of these restaurants transform into great places for a post-ski drink come late afternoon. Sprawling terraces, live music and schnapps make for a traditional Austrian end to the day.
With that, we conclude our run-through of the top 10 ski resorts in Austria. To find out more about the best ski areas in Austria, call our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.
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