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Austria: Chocolate-Box Villages; Tree-lined Slopes -


Austria’s large interlinked ski areas offer something for all levels of skier at an affordable price, from extreme snowparks and stomach-lurching verticals to wide open green runs and world-renowned ski schools.


The three biggest ski areas in the Tyrol are Mayrhofen, Kitzbuehel, and Arlberg. In the heart of the Tyrol lies the ski area of Mayrhofen/Hippach with its 157 kilometres of ski runs and 48 lifts.


Snowboarders can practise tricks at Penken Park while experts take on Austria’s steepest ski run, Harakiri, with its 78-per-cent gradient. The area is easily accessible, just 65 kilometres from Innsbruck Airport.


Kitzbuehel is one of Austria’s most popular ski areas and is packed with winter sports and events throughout the winter season. Nestled in the middle of the Kitzbueheler Alps are the resorts of Brixen im Thale, Kirchberg, and Westendorf. Ski slopes range from 800 to 2000 metres in altitude with skiing for all levels: 297 kilometres for beginners, 336 kilometres for intermediates, and 71 kilometres for advanced skiers.


The extensive pistes are connected by 33 cable cars, 84 chairlifts, and 120 drags. Kitzbuehel also boasts 538 kilometres of cross-country skiing. Free ski shuttles ensure fast connections between ski areas. Non-skiers can enjoy winter walking trails, snowshoeing, and ski mountaineering.



Ski resorts in the area of Arlberg include Lech Zuers, St. Anton, St. Christof, and Stuben. The picturesque Lech am Arlberg offers 110 kilometres of ski runs for all levels and is well connected to its neighbouring villages via modern lifts and well groomed pistes. Lech is a particular favourite among royalty and celebrities and boasts a number of exclusive hotels.


Zuers is smaller with only a handful of hotels – all of which are luxurious – and is known for its impressive backcountry skiing. St. Anton is ‘home to the young and lively’ and is the best-known resort in Arlberg. It is renowned for having some of the most challenging skiing in Europe, as well as some of the liveliest après ski entertainment. Skiable terrain reaches heights of 2800 metres and offers plenty of challenging terrain for advanced skiers as well as a wide choice of intermediate runs, but is not well suited to the beginner.



To the east of Innsbruck is the Zillertal Arena, which is one of Austria’s largest and most contemporary ski regions. The 165 kilometres of slopes are divided into 11 kilometres for advanced skiers, 114 kilometres for intermediates, and 40 kilometres for beginners. The ski area is set between 1200 and 2505 metres altitude and linked by 51 state-of-the-art lifts and cable cars.


The Zillertal Arena offers skiing in the Tyrolean regions of Zell am Ziller and Gerlos as well as in the neighbouring province of Salzburg. The area is particularly popular with families for its adventure playgrounds, good ski schools, and gentle beginners’ slopes. It also boasts 1600 metres of cross-country trails.



The southern Tyrol, on the Italian border, is home to the ski area of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl. Here you’ll find 110 kilometres of well groomed slopes, up to 3082 metres altitude, connected by 22 state-of-the-art lifts. Just 25 minutes from Innsbruck Airport, the Stubai Valley offers 140 kilometres of runs, 114 of which are suitable for beginners. Advanced skiers will also find high-altitude skiing up to 3200 metres.


Austria offers the opportunity of combining city breaks with ski holidays in Innsbruck, Salzburg, or Vienna. The 25 ski villages surrounding Innsbruck offer skiing up to an altitude of 3222 metres and there are plenty of slopes for all levels.


Some of the most popular resorts include Nordpark (2334 metres) with its advanced runs directly overlooking the city; Patscherkofel (2250 metres) ideal for intermediates; Axamer-Lizum (2340 metres) just 20 minutes’ drive from the city with runs for all levels; and Kuhtai (2400 metres) with 40 kilometres of trails and wide open off-piste for all levels.


Just an hour’s drive from Salzburg is the ski area of the Gasteiner valley. Gastein offers plenty of terrain, including 60 kilometres for beginners, 117 for intermediates, and 24 kilometres for advanced. Skiers and boarders can enjoy well groomed slopes and reach altitudes of 2650 metres.



Gastein is divided into four ski areas: Schlossalm-Angertal-Stubnerkogel; Sportgastein; Graukogel; and Dorfgastein-Grossarltal. The largest connected ski area in Gastein is Schlossalm-Angertal-Stubnerkogel with 81 kilometres of ski runs reaching up to 2300 metres altitude. Sportgastein is the highest skiing area in the Gastein valley with skiing between 1590 and 2650 metres.


Other popular resorts in the region include Dorfgastein-Grossarltal, Seefeld, Schladming, and Ellmau. Slightly further away, at 1.5 hours’ drive from Salzburg, are the resorts of Zell am See, Kaprun, and Saalbach Hinterglemm. Similarly, Vienna is within one hour’s drive from the resorts of Lilienfeld, Russbach, and Semmering, all suitable for beginners and intermediates.


The Austrian glaciers of Stubai and Kitzsteinhorn offer year-round skiing. South of Innsbruck, the Stubai Glacier is the largest glacier in Austria. Set between 2300 and 3200 metres, it boasts a wide range of runs, particularly blue and red, as well as plenty of off-piste. One hour from Salzburg, above the village of Kaprun, is the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.


The Kitzsteinhorn has a large ski area with lots of varied runs, mostly intermediate, up to 3030 metres.


Austrian resorts also offer plenty to see and do for non-skiers. Sleigh rides, snowshoe adventures, and ice skating are available at most resorts. Austria boasts a modern transport infrastructure; most resorts are within an hour’s drive from the airports of Innsbruck, Salzburg, or Munich. Scheduled buses and trains are also fast and reliable.

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* Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
* Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
* Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
* Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.

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