Austria, nestled in the heart of Europe, is a winter wonderland that boasts some of the most iconic ski resorts in the world. Known for its impeccable alpine scenery, rich history, and a longstanding tradition of winter sports, Austria is a prime destination for those looking to experience the magic of skiing amidst the stunning backdrop of the Alps.
If you’re planning a ski trip to this snowy paradise, here’s a curated list of the best ski resorts in Austria that will undoubtedly elevate your winter getaway.
St. Anton am Arlberg
Widely regarded as the ‘cradle of alpine skiing’, St. Anton offers a blend of challenging terrains, vibrant après-ski scenes, and a picturesque alpine village setting. It’s part of the Arlberg ski area, which provides skiers and snowboarders with a vast interconnected ski area boasting over 300km of pistes.
Highlight: Don’t miss the infamous Valluga descent if you’re an expert skier seeking a thrill. For après-ski, the MooserWirt and Krazy Kanguruh are legendary.
Kitzbühel, with its charming medieval town and world-class skiing facilities, has earned its reputation as one of Austria’s most popular ski destinations. The Hahnenkamm downhill race, hosted here annually, is one of the most celebrated ski races globally.
Highlight: Beyond skiing, immerse yourself in Kitzbühel’s rich history by exploring its cobblestone streets and visiting the 12th-century St. Catherine’s Church.
Known for its expansive skiing area and vibrant nightlife, Ischgl is the go-to spot for those seeking a mix of skiing and entertainment. The resort offers over 238km of pistes and has a reputation for hosting some of the best après-ski parties in Austria.
Highlight: Every year, Ischgl celebrates the beginning and end of the ski season with a live concert featuring international pop and rock stars.
Sölden stands out with its unique offering of three skiable mountain peaks above 3,000 meters. It provides varied skiing conditions, modern lifts, and a glacier for early and late-season skiing.
Highlight: Visit the futuristic 007 ELEMENTS, an immersive James Bond cinematic installation, located more than 3,000 meters above sea level.
Part of the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, this resort offers an impressive 270km of pistes, making it one of the largest skiing areas in Austria. With its modern lift systems, a plethora of dining options, and a plethora of off-piste activities, it’s perfect for families and groups.
Highlight: Explore the Snow Trails – walking paths designed specifically for winter hikers.
Guaranteed snow, top-notch facilities, and a 360° skiing experience make Obertauern a favorite among ski enthusiasts. With its ski-in, ski-out accommodations and diverse terrains, it’s ideal for skiers of all levels.
Highlight: Experience the ‘Tauern Circuit,’ which allows skiers to circumnavigate the entire resort without covering the same ground twice.
Mayrhofen is famous for its vast skiing area, comprising the Ahorn and Penken mountains. Apart from skiing, it offers numerous activities, including paragliding, tobogganing, and ice climbing.
Highlight: Dare to conquer the Harakiri Piste, Austria’s steepest groomed slope, with an incline of 78%!
Lech Zürs am Arlberg
One of the world’s most exclusive ski resorts, Lech Zürs is synonymous with luxury skiing. It’s frequented by royalty and celebrities and offers a sophisticated skiing experience. Its deep powder and extensive ski terrains make it ideal for both intermediate and advanced skiers.
Highlight: Experience the ‘White Ring’, a unique ski circuit that takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the region.
Bad Gastein is more than just a ski resort; it’s a spa town with thermal waters and Belle Époque architecture. Skiing here is complemented by the chance to relax in natural hot springs after a long day on the slopes.
Highlight: The historic Felsenbad, a spa carved into the rock, is a must-visit.
Part of the Ski Amadé network, Schladming offers four interconnected mountains with over 123km of slopes. It’s known for hosting the World Ski Championships and offers terrains suitable for all levels.
Highlight: Attend the night slalom event, a highlight of the annual Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup.
Nassfeld is Carinthia’s largest ski area and is known for its sunny disposition, thanks to its southern location. With 110km of slopes, modern lift facilities, and diverse terrains, it’s a haven for skiers and snowboarders alike.
Highlight: Enjoy the ‘Longest Sunset of the Alps’ due to its unique geographical positioning.
Kaprun, along with its neighboring Zell am See, provides a well-rounded ski experience. The resort is home to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, ensuring skiing is available for most of the year.
Highlight: Visit the ‘Gipfelwelt 3000’ – an impressive visitor center on the Kitzsteinhorn offering panoramic views of the National Park Hohe Tauern.
A two-time host of the Winter Olympics, Seefeld is not just about alpine skiing. It’s also renowned for its Nordic skiing trails, making it a favorite for cross-country skiing fans.
Highlight: Try your hand at biathlon, an exciting mix of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.
Austria’s ski scene is both diverse and enchanting. From the glamorous resorts of Lech Zürs to the historic charm of Bad Gastein and the Olympic legacy of Seefeld, each destination offers its own unique flavor of winter magic. Whichever you choose, Austria promises a ski holiday like no other – rich in tradition, blessed with natural beauty, and brimming with alpine adventure.