Looking for an unforgettable destination for your next ski holiday? With optimum snow, village charm and world-class facilities, Austria is a real contender for Europe’s top spot.
Looking for a challenge? Austria won’t let you down. You’ll find some of Europe’s most impressive elevations here, and almost guaranteed snow. On the Streif course at Kitzbühel, professionals reach speeds of 140km/h. How’s that for an adrenaline boost?
Obergurgl, also known as the ‘Diamond of the Alps’, is famed for its reliably spectacular snow and range of intermediate runs (as well as plenty for beginners), including the tricky Hohe Mut. When it’s time to take off those skies, head to the Mountain Star panorama bar, which is a mighty 3,080m above sea level.
History and tradition
There aren’t many countries where skiing is more part of the culture and lifestyle than in Austria. The sport has strong roots in the alpine village of St Anton, which was home to both the world’s first ski school and the Arlberg-Kandahar downhill races in the 1920s.
The established infrastructure here is testament to this history, and thanks to the expertise gained over the years, Austria is now home to some of the most modern lift technology in the world. You’ll also find unrivalled passion for snow sports in Austria. During your ski lesson, you may just discover that your instructor’s father was also an instructor (and so was his father before him). Rest assured that you’re in good hands.
Austria is almost as famous for its warm welcomes as it is for its ski resorts. In Lech Zürs am Arlberg, the staff at Chalet Hotel Sonneck, for example, will always be willing to make recommendations and help arrange excursions and reservations for you. The hotel also offers a heated indoor swimming pool and sauna (a real treat for sore muscles) and a sun terrace, which provides a scenic spot to indulge in some après-ski while watching the sun go down over the traditional alpine village. From Lech, you’re well-placed to explore other notable parts of the Voralberg region – Bregenzerwald, the western-most part of Austria, and the family-friendly Brandnertal.
Quaint alpine villages
Austria offers so much more than skiing. Head to Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn to find a haven of winter sports, including tobogganing. 60 traditional, cosy wooden huts with pointed roofs are scattered throughout the area, where you’ll discover anything from restaurants serving Austrian delicacies, like Wiener Schnitzel (a pan-fried veal cutlet), to lively bars featuring craft beers and live music. Zell Am See-Kaprun, with its winding, narrow streets and ancient architecture, is a quintessentially Austrian village. It is nestled in a valley next to the charming Lake Zell, with hard-to-beat mountain views to the south. Its medieval town centre is traffic-free, making it a safe and enjoyable spot for families with small children.