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 the five largest ski resorts in Austria.
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 around the world 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.
The second biggest ski resort in Austria is the SkiWelt, found in the Tyrol region. SkiWelt connects a number of picturesque 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 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.
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 area to Zell Am See and Kaprun in 2019 means skiers can now access a total of 408km. This fantastic expanse of terrain would win the 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.
The title of the fourth largest ski resort in Austria goes to Ischgl. This popular 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.
Scenic Kitzbühel offers 179km of groomed pistes, making up the final of our five biggest ski resorts in Austria. The resort is widely known for the notorious Hahnenkamm Downhill course on which the World Cup Men’s Downhill is held annually. 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 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.
To find out more about the biggest ski resorts in Austria, call our ski experts for more information. Alternatively, click here for all ski areas in Austria
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We’re working hard to be accurate but these are unusual times. We understand there will be some form of après next season but it will be different this year so please do call to speak to our ski experts for the latest information.