Are you looking to find out the best ski resorts in Austria? The biggest ski areas in Austria are amongst the best in Europe for skiers looking to cover as much terrain as possible on their holiday. For intermediate and advanced skiers in particular, Austria’s largest ski resorts offer an expanse of routes both on and off piste, glaciers, and snow parks. Here we share some of the largest 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; Austrian ski resorts offers a wealth of choices. Our top 10 ski resorts in Austria are in some of the biggest and 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.
Ski area: 305k
Famed as the birthplace of skiing, the Arlberg is the biggest ski area in Austria. The ski area is home to a number of Austrian ski resorts, including the legendary St. Anton, Lech, St Christoph and Zürs.
The area boasts 305km of downhill skiing, with a wealth of varied runs to suit every skier, whether it’s your first time on the mountain or you’re a seasoned pro. The Arlberg is also one of Austria’s most snow-sure resorts, thanks to its altitude which reaches 2,811m. The ski area is covered by one lift pass and the state-of-the-art lift system makes it easy to zip around.
It’s not just about the pistes in the Arlberg. St. Anton attracts skiers from all over for its famous après scene, with dancing on the tables and steins of beer all part of the experience when you come to the resort. For those looking to enjoy a quieter holiday in the ski region, the attractive resort St. Christoph is a great choice.
Ski area: 288km
The second biggest ski resort in Austria is the SkiWelt, found in the Tyrol region. SkiWelt connects a number of picturesque ski resorts, including Ellmau, Söll and Westendorf. You’ll find 284km of piste to explore with dedicated areas for beginners and children, and snowparks for freestylers.
SkiWelt is a great destination for families and intermediates, with a variety of wide, gentle pistes. The Austrian ski resorts of Ellmau and Westendorf are attractive and laidback options, perfect for families. Those looking for something livelier should head to Söll which has a fun après offering and great night skiing opportunities too.
If you enjoy your long lazy lunches, there’s a plethora of 80 rustic ski huts, restaurants and bars on the mountain. They offer great value for money and we love the traditional Tyrolean hospitality you’ll find here.
Ski area: 270km
With a total of 270km of pistes, Saalbach-Hinterglemm is one of the largest ski resorts in Austria with a diverse offering. The ski area is fantastic for intermediates with plenty of blues and reds to choose between. Advanced skiers can find challenging terrain on the north-facing side of the ski area. We recommend The Nordabfahr piste – this black run has panoramic views of Saalbach. Keen skiers can also tackle the SkiCircus challenge. This circuit takes on 72km of piste linking the five villages of the ski area.
The addition of the Zell Am See gondola linking the ski area to Zell Am See and Kaprun means skiers can now access a total of 408km. This fantastic expanse of terrain would win the ski resort the title of the biggest ski area in Austria. However, the route back from Zell Am See involves a short bus ride to connect back to Saalbach. Until a linked return is possible, it just misses out on the title.
Come the evening, Saalbach is home to some quirky bars. Zum Turm was a medieval jail in a former life, while Goaßstall is a bar with a unique goat theme.
Ski area: 240km
One of the best ski areas in Austria, the title of the fourth largest ski resort in Austria goes to Ischgl. This popular Austrian ski resort has a long ski season and a fantastic snow record, with slopes reaching up to 2,900m. In total, the resort is home to 240km of pistes. This is a good resort for mixed groups, with a variety of blues, reds and blacks available for all standards of skiers. Ischgl is a popular destination for snowboarders with the largest Fun Park in Europe. With 35 different obstacles, including a half-pipe, there’s plenty of fun to be had here.
As one of the largest ski resorts in Austria, you can also expect an exciting scene off the slopes too. Ischgl has a lively atmosphere with everything from the Schatzi Ice Bar to Pacha nightclub on offer. A number of well-known ski festivals are regularly held in the resort. Rock The Mountains kicks off the season in style, while Top Of The Mountain closes the season, up at 2,300m.
Ski area: 179km
Scenic Kitzbühel offers 179km of groomed pistes and is one of the biggest ski resorts in Austria. The Austrian ski resort is widely known for the notorious Hahnenkamm Downhill course. Advanced skiers can try the run for themselves when in resort.
While the event might have put the resort on the map for many, Kitzbühel has a lot more to offer. The ski resort has invested heavily in a high-speed, modern lift system. The extensive range of blues and reds will keep intermediates happy, while experts might enjoy hiring a guide and exploring over 200 square kilometres of off-piste terrain.
The medieval town has been voted the most beautiful ski town in Europe. The pedestrianised town centre is enclosed within the old city walls. Charming old buildings and traditional Austrian restaurants line the streets, contrasting with designer boutiques.
Ski area: 305 km
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. St. Anton is part of the vast Arlberg – the biggest ski area in Austria. The area comprises of 305km 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.
Ski area: 305 km
If you’re chasing the snow, Lech is one of the best ski resorts in Austria and is part of the Arlberg. The Austrian ski 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.
Ski area: 142 km
Making our list of the top 10 ski resorts in Austria, Mayrhofen ski resort attracts crowds from all over the world. 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.
Ski area: 110 km
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.
Ski area: 144 km
Sölden is one of our top 10 ski resorts in Austria. 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.
With that, we conclude our run-through of the top 10 ski resorts in Austria. To find out more about the biggest and best ski resorts in Austria, call our ski experts for more information. They can talk you through all the ski areas in Austria.
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