Ski holiday in Austria that's right for you
Skiing in Austria 2015/16
Austria is, for obvious reasons, a ski power. 62% of the country is covered by the Alps, allowing for skiing in both winter and summer (on glaciers). The multitude of ski areas enables all fans of skiing, regardless of competence and tastes, to find the perfect resort and routes for themselves.
Ski tourism developed in Austria already in the nineteenth century. In the 30s of the twentieth century, ski schools started to appear, and in 1936 the first t-bar lift was opened. The first chair lift was made available in 1947. The years after the war brought about rapid development of the ski infrastructure, as alpine resorts discovered the benefits of winter tourism.
Depending on the classification, there are over 400 ski stations functioning in Austria, clustered in several regions. The total length of routes exceeds 7000 km.
Austrian resorts heavily invest in snowmaking systems and as soon as the temperature is favourable, they start snowmaking using snow cannons. Most of the resorts have guaranteed good snow conditions from mid-December to the end of March.
The biggest ski resorts
The biggest ski resorts in Austria
have developed over the years a strong position in the market of winter recreation. Among the top ten largest Austrian ski resorts there are only two in which the total number of routes does not exceed two hundred kilometers. The largest selection of slopes can be found by those going for a ski holiday to Zillertal
- in this long valley there are 7 ski stations offering runs with a total length of over 450 km. Skiing down over 300 kilometers of slopes is also offered by the St. Anton am Arlberg - Lech-Zuers - Waerth-Schroecken ski resorts
, Soelden in the Oetztal valley
, Ischgl - located almost on the border between Austria and Switzerland
and the largest in the Salzburger Land ski area of Salzburger Sport
, in which skiers and snowboarders have at their disposal up to 329 km of runs.
The largest number of trails, which you can ride down without taking off your skis, is provided by the Skiwelt am Wilder Kaiser resort
- 279 km of trails are available here from eight towns.
Skiing in Austria for the whole family
While each of the major regions guarantees a successful stay for skiers of all ages, the best family destinations are the medium-sized and smaller ski resorts. Most of them offer a few dozen kilometers of not too difficult routes concentrated in one station and are available directly from the town. Due to their size, they are usually less crowded and have a peaceful atmosphere of recreation and relaxation. Many of them, in addition to the ski slopes, have developed child-friendly activities such as tobogganing runs and swimming pools.
The prices in typical family ski resorts achieve lower levels than the most well-known giants – a family trip is thus also wallet-friendly. In Austria we have an attractive offer for families for example in the Stubai Valley
, where a vast glacier ski area is complemented by two lower stations intended mostly for families. In Salzburgerland, you can find great conditions for families in Rauris
, where 30 km of routes are available after walking just a few minutes from the centre of the town. In Carinthia, which almost guarantees sunny weather, the high ski resort of Heiligenblut
is worth considering, where there are over 50 kilometers of ski slopes well above 2000 m.a.s.l.
Hot springs in ski resorts
Fantastic ski areas are not the only advantage of winter holidays in the Austrian Alps. Nature has bestowed hot springs on several regions, on the basis of which fantastic wellness centers and spas have been created. A visit at the wellness center after a day on the slopes seems to be the perfect choice for regeneration. The combination of thermal springs with skiing is possible in:
Many regions that do not have natural thermal baths possess high-end aquaparks, which will appeal to both children looking for attractions and adults seeking to relax in the sauna.
Austria: skiing on the glacier
In Austria, skiing is possible in eight ski areas on glaciers, of which five are located in Tyrol.
The smallest offer for skiers can be found at the Ramsau am Dachstein
glacier belonging to Schladming - it is more popular among professional cross-country skiers, who like to train here for the World Cup.
The only representative of Salzburgerland is the Kitzsteinhorn glacier in Kaprun. This glacier is well-known because it is part of the extremely popular region of Kaprun - Zell am See.
In Carinthia, the Moelltaler Gletscher glacier
is open almost all year round, where you can ski down over 30 km of runs.
The Austrians provide skiers with five glaciers for skiing in Tirol. The largest number of pistes is offered by the glacier in Soelden
- the town in which every year, in the second half of October, the FIS World Cup begins. Unfortunately, accommodation in Soelden
is not the cheapest, so it is worth visiting the region at the beginning or the end of the season.
The Hintertux glacier in Zillertal
is very popular. You can ski here all year round, which appeals to the pros during the summer.
On the highest glacier in Tirol - the Pitztal Glacier
as well as the youngest Kaunertal
the ski season lasts from October to June.
Skiing in Austria by plane
The Austrian Alps are easily accessible from airports in Innsbruck and Salzburg. Munich Airport also is a good interchange - because of the size of the airport, it is the destination of many airlines.
Ski offers in Austria 2015/16
The ski season in most resorts in Austria lasts from late November to mid-April. The highest regions end the season at the end of April. Areas situated on the glacier usually start in October and are available until June. Generally the most sure period in terms of snow and skiing conditions is from mid-December to the first week of April.
Cheap ski offers in Austria
Promotion and discount seekers should plan skiing in Austria in one of the following periods:
- The first half of December is the time when there’s not too much going on in the resorts. It is usually a period of considerable snowfall and empty slopes. Hotels and apartments do not have a lot of guests and offer very attractive prices. Ticket prices before the season beginning from Christmas week are also lower. By choosing to ski in December, you can combine saving money on ski passes and accommodation, which will result in a low cost of your stay.
- The second period, which should be taken into account by bargain hunters, is skiing in January. Almost the middle of the season, a one hundred percent guarantee of snow and a low price of accommodation. Usually in the second and third week of January hotel prices in Austria fall along with the decreasing occupancy of rooms and suites. The fourth week of January is usually not as attractive in terms of prices, but it is still far from the cost of skiing in February. Unfortunately, ticket prices in January are generally the same as those in the highest season and it is possible to save mainly on accommodation.
- Finally, the end of the season is a great time for cheap skiing in Austria. Holidays in mid-March are an opportunity for very attractive prices of accommodation, as well as often reduced ski pass prices and fantastic weather. At the same time skiing in March is safe in terms of conditions on the runs - they are usually very good until the last day. Those who nevertheless prefer to have certainty may decide to book their stay at a resort with access to a glacier.
Christmas skiing is the best idea for a fantastic gift for the whole family. Instead of spending a fortune on material goods, it‘s worth sharing a great experience together, especially since prices for accommodation in Austria during the holidays are not excessive. Depending on your requirements and wallet, everyone should be able to find something for themselves.
is, apart from a fabulous atmosphere, also a guarantee of good conditions for skiing down mostly empty trails.
Skiing on New Year's Eve 2015 – the New Year 2015/16
New Year’s Week is traditionally the busiest time of the ski season. Prices are the highest and the slopes are crowded. Lovers of good fun will be ecstatic.
By choosing to ski in Austria around New Year's Eve early booking is essential
. Each year we are not able to help many customers who begin searching for a well-priced accommodation in November. Usually all hotels and apartments are already booked in September. As every year, we have for you a list of skiing offers on New Year's Eve and New Year’s Day
, where you can find, in our opinion, offers with an excellent quality to price ratio.
February Half-Term Ski holidays in Austria 2016
Austria is a great country to visit during the winter school break. Just like the rest of the Alps, Austrian ski resorts have the biggest crowds in mid-February, when the winter holidays start in the whole of Europe. In 2016, the week in which all winter school breaks accumulate in almost all of Europe is 6-13 February. It’s worth steering clear of this particular week because the prices are high, and the availability of accommodation is low. However, if you have no choice and only can go on holidays at these dates, have a look at our February Half-Term Ski Holidays page
Easter skiing 2016
Although for many Catholics Easter is more important than Christmas, around the world people prefer to combine their holidays with Easter. Regardless of personal motivation, we must admit that skiing at Easter 2016
is promising to be really great. Easter Sunday is on March 27, 2016, so you can plan your trip for a week from 26 March to 2 April. At that time in Austria it's best to head for the high-altitude resorts, ideally near the glaciers.
Skiing in Austria 2015/16 - summary
Austria has all the necessary conditions for the 2015/16 winter season to provide a fantastic holiday in the snow for you and your family
. Excellent skiing conditions await the impatient on the glaciers from early autumn (on Hintertux skiing is possible all year round). December, January and March provide conditions for the organization of an affordable holiday in one of several hundred alpine resorts. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our whole offer and not just focus on the top Austrian destinations. Skiing in smaller, less well-known to most people resorts like the area of Matrei - Kals am Grossglockner in Osttirol brings a lot of satisfaction.
We invite you to book your holidays in Austria with EuropeMountains.com!