Austria is the perfect destination for any skiing or snowboarding enthusiast. Whether you´re a skier who wants to perfect your glides or a snowboarder looking to twist some turns in freshly fallen snow, you´ll find everything you need in the mountainous countrysides of Austria. Aside from some of the most beautiful mountains and scenery in the world, Austria offers pristine pistes, top-notch resorts, world-class ski schools and excellent snow conditions. Hit the slopes during the day and enjoy some quality Austrian brew and Wiener Schnitzel in the evening. Sound good, right?
Kitzbuhel is a small Alpine town in the western Austrian province of Tyrol. Filled with upscale shops and cafes in its medieval center, the town is steeped in tradition and gives the true feeling of Gemütlichkeit, a traditional Austrian warm welcome. It´s safe to say that skiing in Kitzbuhel is an absolute dream! Its 230 kilometers of downhill slopes are filled with perfectly prepared pistes and state-of-the art lift system that will surely put a smile on the face of every ski or snowboarding fan. Don’t worry, you don´t have to be an expert to enjoy the slopes in Kitzbuhel. The area offers a total of 57 ski lifts, enabling beginners as well as advanced skiers to enjoy themselves in slopes that match their abilities. The area also offers over 60 mountain huts, each of which is special in its own way. Pick whichever hut you like and treat your taste buds with culinary delights while looking over the mountains after a long day hitting the slopes.
Kitzbuhel is known for its annual Hahnenkamm downhill race, held in the end of January each year. The race is a huge thing over there and has been broadcasted in Austrian television since 1959! The racecourse is often referred to as the most notorious, dangerous, blood-curdling downhill racecourse in the world.
When should you go to Kitzbuhel? The ski season usually runs from November to April with a couple of peaks during those months. For example around New Year´s Day when the fireworks attract thousands of people and ofcourse during the Hahnenkamm Race in January. Kitzbuhel is also a good choice for hiking. If that´s what you´re into, the conditions are especially good during the warmer period, from May to September.
South of the city of Salzburg is the gorgeous lakeside town of Zell am See. The town shares a lift pass with the equally gorgeous village of Kaprun, which is located only 8 kilometers down the road. The area is truly magical and offers a combination of mountains, lakes and glaciers.
Everyone will find a slope that suits their abilities as the area caters well to both beginners and advanced skiers through its variety of slopes due to the access to three mountains with a single ski pass. Beginners or those returning to the sport can hit the wide range of nursery slopes or polish up their skills at any one of the 11 ski schools in the area while the more experienced skiers can head to the 2000-meter Shcmittenhöhe mountain for intermediate skiing or the 3030-meter high slopes of Kaprun´s Kitzsteinhorn Glacier where you are guaranteed snow-sure skiing. Whether you´re into glacier skiing, freeriding, panorama skiing or family friendly slopes, a trip to Zell am See is definitely worth it.
When should you go? The summers are mild and the winters are cold in Zell am See. Peak season usually occurs from January to March but it´s possible to ski on Scmittenhöhe from December to April and basically all year round on Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.
Located in the Ötztal Valley in the state of Tyrol is an Alpine resort named Sölden. The area is one of Tyrol´s most popular tourist resorts as well as one of the most renowned ski destinations in the Alps with state-of-the-art infrastructure and a snow-making system that offers skiers and snowboarders over 140 kilometers of quality slopes.
These seemingly endless slopes of all difficulty levels, a gastronomic offering that leaves no wish unanswered and numerous events throughout the winter make the Sölden ski resort a unique and complete ski holiday destination. A part of what makes Sölden especially appealing is that it´s Austria´s only ski area that has three peaks higher then 3000 meters. The “BIG 3” three thousand meter peaks of Gaislachkogl (3058 m), Tiefenbachkogl (3250 m) and Schwarze Schneide (3340 m) are accessed with modern cable car lifts and offer a breath-taking panorama of the ski resort and the Ötztal Alps thanks to the Panorama-Bridge and the viewing platform.
When to visit Sölden? The most popular time to visit is during peak ski season which usually occurs from December to March though skiing is usually possible from October to May. The FIS Alpine Skiing and FIS Snowboarding World Cups, the first of a great number of glacier events and highlights, celebrate the season´s opening in mid-October with races near Sölden. That could be fun to check out!
Being the capital of Austria´s western state of Tyrol, Innsbruck is famous for its imperial as well as modern architecture and has been a popular destination for winter sports for years. Innsbruck is pretty unique. The city is filled with small boutiques, beautiful museums, fabulous culinary establishments and a wealth of glistening Christmas markets, making Innsbruck the perfect destination for adventurous thrill seekers and culture-loving metropolitan travelers alike.
Enjoy strolling its streets, filled with imperial elegance, and sit down for a cup of coffee in a classic Austrian coffeehouse before taking a cable car from the city center up to the mountains. It doesn’t happen often that you find yourself in a beautiful Baroque town that´s surrounded by 13 quality ski areas that has made the shortlist for “Best European Winter Destinations” year after year and held the Winter Olympics three times.
Innsbruck offers the so called “SKI plus CITY pass” which gives you an all-inclusive access to 22 city sights, 13 ski areas, 3 swimming pools, and public transport, with the free ski bus whisking you to your chosen spot in no time. Like so many of the other Austrian ski destinations, Innsbruck caters to both beginners and the more advanced skiers with its 308 kilometers of snow-sure pistes and 111 lifts, making sure that everybody finds a slope that suits their abilities.
When should you visit Innsbruck? For a ski trip, the peak period runs from mid-December to mid-April. The Air and Style Snowboard contest in February is followed by and open-air concert, while the venerable Innsbruck Festival of Early Music in August celebrates late Renaissance, baroque and early classical music. If those events sound interesting, book your trip in advance!
Austria can get quite pricey quickly due to all its expensive accommodation, restaurants and outdoor activities. If you´re traveling on a budget, here are some tips on saving money that we´ve collected.