Austria: 11 Winter sports areas

Austria prepares for the winter. The temperatures are falling and the ski areas are already very busy with all preparations. In this article you discover which ski areas are most suitable for families. But we also give you tips on small ski areas and the largest in Austria.

Small is beautiful

The slopes of East Tyrol are a true ski paradise for children: small and well-organized. In total there are 157 kilometers of slopes and 37 lifts. In the fun areas and in the ‘snow playground’ youngsters can learn how to ski with children from 3 years of age. By the way: (o) dad and (o) ma are not bored here for a moment. The winter magic in the beautiful nature is not only experienced on skis. Take a look at the winter hiking shoes, take a toboggan ride or discover nature from the horse-drawn sleigh. In the Hochpustertal, near Italy, you will find the sunny ski resort of Sillian. Here you go up to 2,400 meters and you are assured of snow. The number of slopes is clear and varies from blue, red and even black. For children there are excellent ski schools, a practice slope, shelter and a Bobo Kids Club. And when the kids have finished skiing, they can enjoy sledding and playing outside. Also nice: the children’s pass are very cheaply priced.

In Lienz you will find the ski area of ​​Zettersfeld and Hochstein. Zettersfeld is located on the south and has plenty of sun. Once upstairs you can enjoy beautiful views of the Dolomites. So when the children are in their ski class, it is here to enjoy a cup of coffee on the terrace. Sun, mountains, peace: that is vacation! Hochstein is for real sports enthusiasts. The World Cup run runs to the edge of the city. And with a difference in altitude of 1,300 meters you can make one of the longest runs in Tyrol here! The largest ski area in East Tyrol is the Großglockner Resort Kals-Matrei. Here you ski with a guaranteed view of the highest mountain in Austria, the Großglockner (3798 m). Are you a fan of ‘Tiefschnee’? Then visit the Skizentrum St. Jakob im Defereggental. Another so-called ‘Geheimtipp’ is the small, but very fine Golzentipp in Obertilliach, to which even James Bond visited.

“Are you looking for an authentic, friendly winter sports destination, away from the crowd? Then the villages of Kartitsch, Villgratental, Anras, Virgen and Prägraten in East Tyrol are for you. ”

For true winter lovers

In Vorarlberg, around the charming town of Bludenz, you will find the Brandnertal and Klostertal. A great vacation spot for enterprising groups and families with different winter wishes. Who wants to experience something new every day, wants to enjoy comfort, hospitality and regional delicacies, is at the right address here. The Brandnertal has 14 ski lifts and nearly 65 kilometers of pistes and ski routes. For beginners, the ski tour starts right at the lift in the village of Brand. For children there is Kinderland and the real fanatics tackle the obstacles in the Snowpark Backyards. But there is also a lot of fun outside the slopes. Start the day with a segway trip, go looking for animals during the Animal Adventure Trail and end the day with a toboggan safari. Tip: the most child-friendly accommodations are affiliated with the ‘Family Friends Brandnertal’ group.

The Sonnenkopf ski area in the Klostertal is ideal for families. With a total of 37 kilometers of slopes, it is small and well-organized. Little ones from 3 to 5 years old live here in the Schneemannland. For beginners, large and small, the Paluda lift in Dalaas is perfect. Those who want more fun and longer runs can take the ski bus in Stuben to the world-famous area of ​​Ski Arlberg. And if you do not want to get on the slopes every day, a snow hike to the Muttjöchle (2.047 m.) Is a must. What a view! Also fun: evening tobogganing on snow tubes, a culinary course or walking in the snow with a llama.

“Are you looking for an authentic winter sports destination, away from the crowd? Then the villages Brand, Bürserberg, Bürs, Braz, Dalaas / Wald am Arlberg and Klösterle are for you. ”
Winter on the Sonnenkopf © Alpenregion Bludenz Tourismus GmbH / Anja Falch

The sunny South of Austria

If you enjoy active enjoyment, but do not necessarily want to get on the slopes every day, Carinthia is a winter must. Of course you can go skiing, snowboarding, freeriding and ski touring here. But there is so much more. And that combination with, for example, wellness, ice skating, cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and gastronomy makes it so much fun. No one from the family or group of friends will have to get bored!

Carinthia has about 30 ski areas and 900 snow-sure, kilometers of piste, together with neighboring region East Tyrol. Here you will find wide, easy-going pistes for families, but also mogul pistes and half pipes for adventurers and pristine slopes full of deep snow for freeriders. And do you want a special combination of pistes and thermal baths? Then go to Bad Kleinkirchheim. From the slopes you will be in know-time in the saunas of the Thermal Römerbad or you can enjoy the recently completely renovated Therme St. Kathrein. But the lakes also offer a lot of fun in the winter. Like the Weissensee, where every winter many skaters ride the alternative Elfstedentocht. There are also many hotels in Millstätter See, Wörthersee and Turracher See which have a heated lake for bathing. Or enjoy in Millstatt and Pörtschach in the lakes-wellness bathhouse. While you are floating, you can enjoy a breathtaking view! And do you also want to enjoy good food during your holiday? The Alpen-Adria kitchen in Carinthia is highly regarded. Authentic dishes such as cheese noodles, Reindling pastries, lake trout and Gailtaler Speck taste great after an active day in the open air.

Our tip

“Comfortable and fast by plane to Carinthia? Which can! In January and February 2019 Transavia flies directly from Rotterdam to Klagenfurt. ”
Ice skating on the Weissensee © Kärnten Werbung / Michael Stabentheiner

Skiing in Austria and Germany

The Kleinwalsertal, in Vorarlberg, lies on the border with Germany. In winter, this beautiful piece of Austria can only be reached by road from Germany. The valley is about 1000 meters and with the 2-country ski pass Oberstdorf-Kleinwalsertal you can enjoy up to 2,200 meters of 130 km of snow-assured slopes. And the car? You can leave it. The free Walserbus brings you quickly and comfortably to the various ski areas. For young and old, families and groups it is good to be here. With one ski pass you can ski here in different ski areas. How fun is it to cross the border with Germany one day, to make a tour with a guide the next day! The latter is also very possible in this valley for cross-country skiers and snowshoe hikers. Numerous trails and routes are waiting to be discovered. And do you really want something different? Then make a sleigh ride with huskies or whiz down the mountain on a snow bike!

The fact that the Kleinwalsertal was proclaimed ‘GenussRegion’ is not surprising. Guests are pampered in a culinary way. Both in the restaurants in the valley and in the mountain huts you can enjoy typical regional specialties such as cheese, game and beef. During a snowshoe hike you can also visit various farms for a tasting of regional delicacies. What a winter treat.

“Discover the shimmering ice curtains and frozen waterfalls of the Breitachklamm. Enchantingly beautiful in winter! ”

Authentic, small and clear

The Tiroler Zugspitz Arena has 7 villages and ski areas. Yet you only need one ski pass to sail from every mountain. An elevator leaves every village. The ski areas are small but nice, all with about 30 kilometers of piste. Especially families and recreational skiers feel at home here. And do you want to discover another village? Then step into the ski bus that connects all villages. In this way you will cover a total of 140 kilometers of piste. Choose the Top Snow Card! Then you get the German ski resort Mittenwald, Grainau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen as a bonus. So you ski alternately in Austria and Germany. Your ski pass is good for 87 lifts and over 200 kilometers of slopes.

Not only during the day there is much fun in the villages Ehrwald, Lermoos, Berwang, Bichlbach, Biberwier, Heiterwang am See and Namlos. Even in the evenings, it is an action with the active ‘apres-ski’ program that focuses on the whole family. Come and sled on the floodlit courts, go skiing once, experience a cabin night with a snack and a drink, take a torchlight walk or visit a ski show. In the Zugspitz Arena it is fun every night. You will just be short evenings! And are you looking for adventure outside the slopes? 60 kilometers of winter hiking trails await you here. With or without a guide you can make beautiful snowshoe hikes and breathe in enough healthy mountain air for the rest of the year. Do you prefer to have less action and a little more romance? Then step into the sleigh, warmly wrapped under the covers, enjoy the winter magic of Tyrol.

“Every evening there is something on the program: tobogganing, torchlight walks, night skiing and ski shows. Alternately for large and small. ”

Snow, skiing, shopping

Sociability, friendly atmosphere, letting go of everything. Sankt Johann-Alpendorf lends itself perfectly for it. Whether you like speed and make as many runs as possible or just take it easy and regularly grab a terrace with a mulled wine. In the ski area Snow Space Salzburg with its 120 kilometers of perfectly groomed slopes, both feel at home.

The nice thing about this village is that there is a lot more than a pistet fun. Because you do not feel like busy? Then tie the sagglers under your skis and go for a day of ski touring. There are several marked routes here, where you can safely ski off piste. Or go early bird skiing! Get up early to have that perfectly prepared piste for yourself at all times. It can be here from the end of January to March. Another sporting challenge is the toboggan run. You can do this both during the day and in the evening. And are you looking for the ultimate romance of the snow and the mountains? Then get together in the horse-drawn sleigh! Sankt Johann may not be that big, nowhere else can you find so many first-class hotels as here. And quite special, there is a lot to shop here. From designer fashion to handmade costumes, from jewelry to cosmetics and from chocolate to special regional specialties. Get acquainted with the hospitality of the family businesses. Not only in the shops, but also in the cozy restaurants where you will be pampered culinary.

“Do you enjoy skiing, shopping, drinking a terrace and enjoying good food? Come and enjoy a few days in the cozy Sankt Johann-Alpendorf. ”

For true winter lovers

In Vorarlberg, around the charming town of Bludenz, you will find the Brandnertal and Klostertal. A great vacation spot for enterprising groups and families with different winter wishes. Who wants to experience something new every day, wants to enjoy comfort, hospitality and regional delicacies, is at the right address here. The Brandnertal has 14 ski lifts and nearly 65 kilometers of pistes and ski routes. For beginners, the ski tour starts right at the lift in the village of Brand. For children there is Kinderland and the real fanatics tackle the obstacles in the Snowpark Backyards. But there is also a lot of fun outside the slopes. Start the day with a segway trip, go looking for animals during the Animal Adventure Trail and end the day with a toboggan safari. Tip: the most child-friendly accommodations are affiliated with the ‘Family Friends Brandnertal’ group.

The Sonnenkopf ski area in the Klostertal is ideal for families. With a total of 37 kilometers of slopes, it is small and well-organized. Little ones from 3 to 5 years old live here in the Schneemannland. For beginners, large and small, the Paluda lift in Dalaas is perfect. Those who want more fun and longer runs can take the ski bus in Stuben to the world-famous area of ​​Ski Arlberg. And if you do not want to get on the slopes every day, a snow hike to the Muttjöchle (2.047 m.) Is a must. What a view! Also fun: evening tobogganing on snow tubes, a culinary course or walking in the snow with a llama.

“Are you looking for an authentic winter sports destination, away from the crowd? Then the villages Brand, Bürserberg, Bürs, Braz, Dalaas / Wald am Arlberg and Klösterle are for you. ”
Winter on the Sonnenkopf © Alpenregion Bludenz Tourismus GmbH / Anja Falch

A winter jewel

When you go on a skiing holiday with the whole family, it can sometimes be quite a challenge. So many people, so many wishes. And it is precisely here that Alpbachtal Wildschönau – in the middle of the Kitzbüheler Alpen – responds very well. Easy slopes for the little ones, child-friendly ski lessons and lifts, more challenge and fun parks for young people, slopes at all levels for adults, charming villages and good accessibility. Here you go for comfort, quality and modern pistes. The great thing about Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau is that everyone here can find their piste. There are even snow parks built for both beginners and real snow enthusiasts. Boxes, rails, a ramp, a fun slope, you can go through it at any level. And for those who have never really stood on the slats, there are ten ski schools that have adapted lessons for every age. For the youngest, the lessons always playfully. In Happy Kinderland, Ski & Smile and Frosty’s Schneewelt that’s all right. Do not ski the children for a day? Then there is excellent childcare and toddler care throughout the ski area.

And do you all want more than just fun? Then step into the Alpbachtaler Lauser Sauser. The tobogganing fun starts at 1,845 meters, where you make a horizontal loop on the way, two jumps and a 360-degree bend. Also nice: building an igloo together in Niederau or on the Reither Kogel as a co-pilot on the snowbully. Do not forget to enjoy all the delicacies in one of the 25 cozy cabins. Go for Kasspatzn from the largest pan on the mountain or a delicious sweet Kaiserschmarrn. There, both large and small feast!

“Alpbachtal-Wildschönau is the destination for families with small children. In every village you will find a children’s area, children’s ski schools and childcare for the little ones. Everyone feels at home here. ”

Ideal for a short trip

Imagine that you get on the plane at 7 am at Schiphol and are on the track at 10 am. Innsbruck makes it possible. All winter you can be in the capital of the Alps from Amsterdam, but also from Eindhoven and Rotterdam within an hour and a half. Innsbruck is super central: a fifteen minute drive from the airport and from the center you stand in 20 minutes at 2,000 meters in the snow. A combination of skiing, shopping, good food in the evening, opera visit or the slopes to dance and party. In Innsbruck it is possible on the same day! And do you come purely for skiing? The nine ski areas of Olympia SkiWorld provide enough variety for your Ski & City trip. With one pass you have access to 90 lifts and 300 kilometers of piste. Whichever piste you choose, you can be on the track in a maximum of one hour from the heart of the city.

Each ski area is unique here. Take, for example, Ski Resort Kühtai at 2,020 meters, where you can access the slopes from your hotel. Here you are guaranteed to be snowy from December to mid-April. Or come to the Patscherkofel, the giant south of Innsbruck. With the brand new elevator you are so up. Also nice: the Olympia Park ‘Lizum’ with its new funslope trail with 27 elements. Or go for even more adrenaline with the Nordkettenbahn. Freeriders love the Hafelekar with a gradient of 70%. But you can also sit on the highest sun terrace of Innsbruck!

“At 7 am on the plane and at 11 am on the skis in Innsbruck. A few days to the snow has never been easier! ”
Hungerburgbahn Innsbruck © Innsbruck Tourismus / Christof Lackner

Versatile ski area

Who goes on winter holidays to the Bregenzerwald in Vorarlberg, not only fine ski slopes, hiking trails and charming villages await. But also a surprising combination of traditional and modern wood architecture. An inspiring place!

The 22 villages are very practically connected by the 3-valle lift pass. The distances are short, so you can easily try a different ski area every day. For example, the ski areas of Damüls-Mellau, Diedamskopf at Au-Schoppernau and Warth-Schröcken are connected via a gondola to the large Ski Arlberg. With the ‘Auenfeldjet’ ski via Lech Zürs am Arlberg all the way to Stuben and to St. Anton. Piste kilometers full with guaranteed snow! From quiet blue practice runs to black buckels and from ski tours for kilometer-goers to safaris for powder snow enthusiasts. Fun for children: the Kinderland of ski school Au-Schoppernau, where you learn to ski in a playful way. Step on the conveyor belt, turn in the carousel or step into the boat swing. Take a rest in the igloo and make bends again. The lessons for older children are also an adventure with snow rafting, jumping on the bungee trampoline and a BBQ in a real Tipi.

By the way, besides skiing and snowboarding, you can also go cross-country skiing, make a snow shoe tour or go for a culinary walk. Here you walk from one cozy mountain hut to the other for an extensive breakfast, a nice lunch and a dessert. Creative chefs let you enjoy regional specialties. Mountain air just makes you hungry! But in the Bregenzerwald you are not only good at culinary level. The architecture also makes this region extra special. You will find no one not only beautiful traditional farms, but also contemporary architecture with materials such as glass, stone, wood and concrete. The perfect combination between authentic and modern.

“Three valleys with wonderful ski resorts, nearly 250 kilometers of ski slopes and 22 villages full of fun. That is the Bregenzerwald! “