Skiing in Austria

Country: Austria

In a nutshell: Fantastic skiing, pretty alpine villages, the world’s best apres-ski – Austria has a lot going for it. Add friendly locals and cheap prices into the mix and you have a brilliant ski holiday destination.

We like:

  •  – Many Austrian ski resorts are authentic, working villages with ski areas attached to them. The opposite of the purpose-built resorts elsewhere in Europe.
  •  – Austrian apres-ski is great fun and has to be seen to be believed. It turns out that schapps fuelled dancing at 4pm half way up a mountain is a thing.
  •  – The locals are friendly and the prices for food and drink are cheap.
  •  – Most of the resorts have efficient and modern lift systems.

We don’t like:

  •  – Most Austrian ski resorts are best served by Innsbruck or Salzburg airport, and flight availability to these airports is fairly limited.
  •  – Many of the ski resorts are small to moderate in size.
  •  – There are lots of low altitude ski resort- especially around Salzburg.

SKIING IN AUSTRIA

An Austria ski holiday is a fairly unique experience, and is very different to France in particular. In our opinion, it’s all the better for it. Firstly, the skiing is excellent with well run resorts with modern lift networks and perfectly prepared pistes – but that’s not unlike other countries.

Where Austria stands out is with the friendly alpine culture that runs throughout Tyrol, Salzburgerland and the Vorarlberg. Austria’s unique mix of friendly locals, great hospitality, cheap prices and outrageously fun apres-ski stole our hearts a long time ago.

Most of the ski “resorts" are actually genuine mountain and farming villages, and as a result many of the mountain restaurants and huts are run or staffed by local farmers who tap into winter tourism to supplement their summer income. You’ll notice the difference when you step through the door – the friendly welcome is a far cry from the experience you’ll get in a self-service canteen in the French mega-resorts.

If that all sounds a bit hokey, it shouldn’t. Austrian ski resorts are exceptionally well run and many have been investing heavily in infrastructure. The lift networks are typically modern, efficient and in some cases, down right luxurious; high-speed bubbles and chairlifts with heated seats are far from uncommon.

Austria has skiing to suit pretty much every level too. Everything from the epic steep skiing in resorts such as St Anton, Ischgl and Solden; the intermediate paradises of Soll, Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Kitzbuhel; and the first-timer-friendly ski resorts of Seefeld and Alpbach.

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