Skiing holidays in Austria
Austria has absolutely everything you’re looking for to have a fantastic memorable skiing holiday. With traditional ‘chocolate box’ villages, the authentic Austrian charm is very appealing. Austrians understand what us Brits need to have a good time with a great choice of ski areas for all abilities, family-friendly fun off the piste, legendary après ski, breathtaking scenery and short transfer times, what more can we ask for?!
The geography of Austria creates different skiing terrain. Steep, high altitude mountains towards Innsbruck and Switzerland, for example resosrts St Anton, Obergurgl and Solden, verses the more rounded, but more extensive terrain around Salzburg and down towards the Italian border.
A great value for money destination, superb local bus links bring many valley villages within a short bus ride of world-class destinations. The ski school tuition is excellent, many Austrians speak excellent English and also welcome other nationalities to teach in their ski schools, so English is widely spoken aiding progression. The ski areas in Austria are big enough for you to discover exciting new slopes daily on your holiday. The supersized lift-linked area of Ski Welt offers over 279km of pisted runs to swish swish down on, combining resorts of Soll, Ellmau, Sheffau, Westendorf, Itter, Going, Brixen and Hopfgarten. The most visited of these is the popular Soll due to its fun-filled après scene. The region has opened up a new connection that can take you over to get close to Kitzbuhel’s skiing area of 160km, creating an area large enough to be in the world’s top ten largest skiing areas.
The Alberg Ski Circus is the most popular skiing area destination, linking party town St. Anton, and quieter, high- class resorts St. Christoph, Lech and Zurs. The Europa ski region boasts picturesque Kaprun and Zell am See by the lakeside, both nestled up on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier. The Zillertal ski area interlinks popular Mayrhofen and Finkenburg. Mayrhofen hosts the annual famous Snowbombing music festival, a highlight of the calendar that draws crowds from all over the globe, with its irresistible combination of great music with the winter holiday experience. Obergurgl and Hochgurgl resorts are some of the most snow-sure ski areas situated at an altitude of 1930 metres above sea level.
Ski Amade is an established resort that is gaining popularity with skiers and snowboarders from the UK. It’s easily accessible as it’s only a quick drive from Salzburg. The collection of 5 regions offers some serious skiing and is named after the city’s most famous resident, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The area encompasses Salzburger, Sportwelt, Schladming-Dachstein, Gastein, Grossarltal and Hochkong. You’re eyes won’t believe it, but Ski Amade has 356 pistes covering 860km of downhill slopes and 270 lifts, all on one very reasonably priced lift pass!
Austrian ski resorts are well known for their après vibe, you’ll be dancing on the tables in your ski boots! With generous beer glasses and schnapps-fuelled nights out, Austrians certainly know how to party. The fun begins sharing funny ski stories of the day in one of the many mountain bars during the late afternoon. Then après seekers can progress onto resort nightlife with the traditional restaurants or cheaper cafes, bars and clubs.
Unique to Austria, you won’t see any monstrous concrete buildings spoiling your ski holiday snaps. Due to strict planning laws, the resorts are only allowed traditional style buildings, making the resorts incredibly picturesque with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Skiing in Austria also generally means you will have short transfer times from the airport, which is ideal for family ski holidays where children won’t need to be confined to the coach or car for too long. Families will also enjoy the activities on offer such as sleigh rides, tubing, tobogganing, ice skating, bowling, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, paragliding and shopping excursions. There is an abundance of family friendly ski holiday options in Austria.
Being towns, taxis are plentiful, cheap and spacious in most Austrian resorts. This means that missing the last lift isn’t such a bank-breaking experience, as in Austria you can often get a local taxi who will take you home in 20 minutes. It is also handy when coming out of the pub and needing a lift to your hotel a bit outside of resort! Accommodation in Austria is comfortable and affordable. The country has a reputation to maintain for high-standard accommodation, so finding the luxury ski holiday in Austria you’ve been dreaming of shouldn’t be hard with some of our great ski holiday deals we’ve got on offer. With lots of lovely family run places to stay it’s also easy to find the perfect bargain ski holiday.
Recommended resorts for groups for Austria...
The Heidi-country ski resorts handiest airports for pre-packaged holidays are Innsbruck, Salzburg’s W. A. Mozart International Airport or Germany’s Munich, all offering a multitude of international carriers.
Innsbruck is the closest airport to centrally located Austrian resorts Ellmau and Mayrhofen. It has two inbound flights daily from budget and scheduled airline carriers. Lech and St Anton (Ski Alberg ski area) are also accessible from Innsbruck airport, however, you why not choose from one of the several daily flights into Swiss airport Zurich which are more popular for this area.
Innsbruck flights are available through budget and scheduled airlines. ATS.net offer private and shared transfers to Ellmau, Kitzbuhel, Scheffau and Westendorf (Ski Welt ski area), Ischgl (Silvetta ski area), Lech and St Anton (Alberg ski area) Mayrhofen (Zillertal ski area), Saalbach, Hinterglemm, (Ski Circus ski area), Zell am See (Europa Sport ski region) and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl amongst others.
Transfers can be anything from as little as 30 mins to 2 hours 30 minutes, although the majority are about 90 minutes to take you up the mountain.
Salzburg’s W. A. Mozart International Airport serves Ellmau, Kitzbuhel, Scheffau and Westendorf (Ski Welt ski area), Saalbach and Hinterglemm (Ski Circus ski area), Zell am See (Europa Sport) ski region. It is possible to get to most ski resorts by shuttle bus or train from Salzburg, although why not treat yourself to a private transfer to avoid stress of bus stations and expensive taxi fees?
The Austrian train network is excellently maintained, with train links to most ski resorts from the nearest international airport. To go green and avoid air travel you can take the Eurostar from London to Brussels, from which you can take the overnight Bergland Express to some of the big player Austrian resorts including Kitzbuhel, St Anton, and Zell am See.
The best self-driving route is taking a P&O or Sea France ferry from Dover to Calais. By cutting across Belgium and Germany you will arrive into western Austria. The 12 hour drive from Calais to resort is a cheaper option than self-driving down through France as you avoid paying tolls.