Austria delivers a very distinctive ski holiday experience, combining beautiful traditional villages and cutting edge technology on the mountains. The resorts tend generally to sit in charming valleys, with onion-domed churches and houses that feature painted exteriors. Ski resorts in Austria are rightly proud of their heritage and it shines through. Austria can also claim to now have the most efficient ski lift systems in Europe as well as excellent snowmaking creating reliable snow-cover even at the low altitudes of some Austrian resorts.
The many wooded mountains provide gentle slopes perfect for beginners and timid intermediates; yet for those looking to push themselves, the Arlberg ski area features some of the finest skiing to be found anywhere in the world. With excellent value on mountain restaurants and plenty of them to choose from, as well as very lively après starting in the early afternoon, it is easy to see why for many skiers and snowboarders, only Austria will do.
The most famous ski area in Austria is the Arlberg, which due to recent developments can now claim to offer Austria’s largest linked ski area. The most famous of the resorts within this area is St Anton, which is one of the finest resorts in the world and the home of Alpine skiing. It delivers everything you could ever want in a winter destination with beautiful chalets, endless skiing with plentiful snow and a lively and charming resort centre. If you like to ski off-piste, endless descents and deep powder then St Anton is a must visit.
Also part of the same extensive Arlberg ski area are the contrasting resorts of Lech and Zürs. Lech has a classical and long established tone with horse drawn carriages and fur coats. Stunning new chalets with stylish interiors all add to the glamour along with some of the most perfectly groomed ski slopes in the world.
Zürs is one of the snowiest places in the Alps with an average of 11m of the white stuff each season! This is the place for relaxation, away from the bustle of modern life and with jaw dropping slopes and extensive off-piste right on your doorstep.
One of the most famous names in European ski resorts, Kitzbühel is not only home to the Hahnenkamm, the world’s most difficult downhill race, but also a beautiful medieval resort centre. The skiing is equally wonderful, with extensive and varied slopes as well as the longest ski season of any non-glacial ski resort in Europe. Nearby, Saalbach-Hinterglemm has the world’s most modern lift system, with almost all fast chairlifts and gondolas. The ski area is best suited to intermediates and affords a wonderful sense of travel, and come the afternoon, some of the best après ski in the Alps.
Obergurgl delivers a rather unique experience in Austria, being a high altitude resort, but thankfully still in a charming and traditional way. With ski slopes reaching up to 3,000m, it delivers consistently excellent snow conditions and is a great choice for families, beginners and intermediates that also like to lunch on the mountain. The Zillertal is the world’s largest skiing valley with 179 lifts and 508km of marked slopes, perfect for your own private ski safari.
In the East of Austria is Semmering, a gem of a small ski resort that is perfect for those looking for an all round winter holiday away from the stresses of every day life. Bad Kleinkirchheim is a large ski resort tucked away on the edge of a national park in Carinthia, in south-east Austria. Locally known as BKK, it is an intermediate skiers paradise and with nearly 100% snowmaking, two excellent thermal spas and low prices, is an excellent and affordable choice for a ski holiday in wonderful Austria.