It’s undeniable that Austria, France, and Switzerland have for long been the best places to be during the winter season. But there are several reasons why Austria has always had a special mention among skiers. The evidence is that there are many peoples search for keywords ski vacation Austria on the internet.
The memorabilia of its picturesque alpine villages that flaunt a traditional welcome is worth the trip. But perhaps what makes Austria so famous is that it has something for everyone regardless of their level of experience in the snow.
For hardcore and amateur skiers alike, this country’s 4,470 miles of pristine pistes are more than enough to offer all the skiing fun that you need with your mates. For those who don’t fancy skiing, tobogganing, torch-lit night walks, and dog sled rides offer excellent alternatives. So, who said that you couldn’t bring your entire family along?
Here are our recommendations of the 4 best places for your ski vacation in Austria.
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St. Anton am Alberg: Hard Skiing, Hard Partying
Popularly known as St. Anton, this is among the most famous resorts in Austria. It is in the westernmost Alberg region that sits between Tyrol and the Vorarlberg and can be accessed from either side through the Alberg Tunnel.
St. Anton has been most skiers’ favorite resort since its good old days of impromptu ski bum parties. Its history dates way back in 1901, when the first ski club in the Alps was formed.
It’s also known as the cradle of modern-day skiing thanks to pioneering ski instructor and patron Hannes Schneider who began the Alberg Ski School in 1921. That’s not all. Sankt Anton is also highly respected as where the first cable car was first installed. It’s no wonder that this is one of the best places to ski in Austria.
This resort’s slopes have 305 kilometers of pistes and another close to 200 kilometers of off-piste terrain calling out your name.
The major skiing grounds are along the slopes of the Kapall and Gampen Mountains slopes just above the village.
But I have to put it clear that these slopes aren’t for the faint-hearted. Their high-end blue and challenging red runs are better left for hardcore skiers.
Towards the Rendl Mountain, however, are slightly friendlier reds and blues for the intermediates. They are quiet and less busy. This side has a nicely constructed snowpark, and you’ll certainly enjoy its stretchy home-run red that leads to the gondola base terminal through a forest.
Solden: ‘Think Big Think Solden’
If you’ve watched Spectre, by James Bond, then you’ll be glad to carve your curves right where it was acted.
Solden is about an hour’s drive from Innsbruck. It’s regarded as the full force of winter due to its high attitude and two glaciers that offer reliable snow availability and excellent skiing throughout the year.
This resort has 144 kilometers of slopes that also serve as the Alpine Ski World Cup Venue. Of these, you have a stretch of about 115 kilometers of blue and red pistes in Giggijoch, Innerwald, and the Tiefenbach Glacier.
These are more inclined to offer enjoyable and leisurely rides to beginners and the intermediates alike. There are also around 27 kilometers in the Gaislachkogl and the Rettenbach Glacier for those who dare to challenge the adrenaline-filled black skiing rides.
Other than skiing and snowboarding, Solden also has several breathtaking views including the BIG3 Schwarze Schneide. This natural viewing platform stands 3,340 meters tall and offers stupendous vistas of Marmolada, Zugspitze, Ortler, and the Dolomites about 100 kilometers away.
Without forgetting, the Solden Ski area currently boasts the most powerful gondolas in the world. The most recent Giggijoch gondola has 10-pax cabins and can feed about 4500 persons per hour. The Gaislachkogl gondola has 8-person cabins and moves 3600 persons each hour. This means that there are no queues. It also makes it easy for families.
Soll: Best for Families
Found in the Ski Welt region of Austria, Soll is definitely worth a holiday for a family of skiing enthusiasts and non-skiers. Most snow holidaymakers head here not only because it is the second largest ski area in the Austrian Alps, but because it has everything to keep anyone busy.
Be warned. You could find yourself extending your holiday unknowingly since this is the liveliest resort in the Ski Welt domain. There are all sorts of activities in and around the village from ice skating to splash-binging at the aqua-leisure center.
This charming Tyrolean village offers close to 280 kilometers of pistes connected by 90 lifts. There are 129 kilometers of reds for the seasoned skiers and another 134 kilometers of blues for the intermediates.
What makes skiing in Soll quite interesting is its strategic position in the Ski Welt area. From Hohe Salve, any direction guarantees loads of fun. Hopfgarten is only a 7-kilometer stretch away on a series of thrilling reds. If you prefer thrilling cruises, heading down Itter might interest you.
The Ski Welt region of Austria also connects to Kitzbuhel via Westerndorf and Kirchberg. This brings additional 170km served by 54 lifts to the fun. However, you’ll need a separate lift pass for these.
Soll is the place to go if you’d like to compete in a skiing challenge. The Ski Welt Challenge that interconnects up to 7 resorts (Brixen, Scheffau, Hopfgarten, Soll, Ellmau, Going, and Westendorf) attracts skiers from all over the world.
Ischgl: The Après-ski capital of the Alps
For those who plan to visit Switzerland after their holiday in Austria, welcome to Ischgl. Regardless of being the last stop before the Alps are officially Switzerland’s, Ishgl has managed to create a name for itself as the après-ski capital of the Austrian resorts.
Ischgl, is known for its full-throttle opening and closing parties that encompass everything that a holidaymaker would expect from its nickname. For those who would love a quiet after-ski evening, this resort has a load of smart hotels just for you.
On the other hand, those who enjoy a sophisticated nightlife will enjoy the cavernous bars that encompass cheesy sing-along songs with interesting, silly dances. It can also get a little bit tacky here. If lap-dancing and pole-dancing is your thing, no other village offers this better than Ischgl.
Other than the nightlife wave, Ischgl also offers the skiers a whole 238km of pistes served by 45 state-of-the-art lifts. Accessing the mountain is made possible by heavyweight gondolas that run from both ends of this resort. The slopes are a little friendly than those in St. Anton and offer a bridge to mileage-hungry intermediates who want to up their game.