Snow-covered peaks, one lined up next to the next, no two alike – this sight makes every winter lover’s heart beat faster. That’s why viewing platforms and sun terraces have sprung up in many ski resorts. Here, panorama fans enjoy the view or relax in the sun with a drink or two. SnowTrex knows the Alps very well and presents the most famous sun terraces and viewing decks in the ski resorts of the Alps:
The sun terraces and viewing decks at a glance:
|Name of the observation deck
|Pitztal Glacier ski area
|3.340 - 3.058 m
|Sölden ski area
|Aiguille du Midi
|Chamonix ski area
|Top of Tyrol
|Stubai Glacier ski area
|Stubai Glacier ski area
|Diable au Coeur-Hütte
|Les 2 Alpes ski area
|Kaunertal Glacier - Fendels ski area
|Top Mountain Star
|Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area
|Viewing deck in the Matterhorn glacier paradise
|Matterhorn ski paradise ski region
|Top of Salzburg
|Super Ski Card ski region
|Schnals Valley Glacier ski area
|Dachstein West ski area
|Großglockner-Heiligenblut ski area
|Jungfrau ski region
|Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski area
|Hintertuxer Gletscher ski area
|Sonnklar observation tower
|Großglockner-Heiligenblut ski area
|Dachstein West ski area
|approx. 2.100 m
|Garmisch-Classic ski area
|Geo viewing deck
|approx. 1.970 m
|Ski Oberstdorf Kleinwalsertal ski area
|Panorama restaurant Bergkaiser
|Super Ski Card Ski region
Café 3.440 on the Hinteren Brunnenkogel in the ski area on the Pitztal Glacier has several superlatives to offer. On the one hand, the café is one of the highest vantage points in Europe and can still be reached comfortably and quickly with the Wildspitzbahn. It also represents the highest point of the ski area on the Pitztal Glacier and is also the highest coffee house in Austria. As the name suggests, coffee specialities and homemade cakes are served here at 3,440 m, baked on site in Austria’s highest pastry shop. As if that were not enough, the futuristic building with its panoramic windows and a free-floating terrace opens up views of Tyrol’s highest peak, the 3,774 m Wildspitze.
So that the beautiful moments in Café 3.440 can be captured and immediately taken out into the world, the house even has a free Wi-Fi hotspot, which is considered the highest hotspot in Europe.
In the Sölden ski area, winter lovers can expect no less than three viewing platforms on three ski mountains above the 3,000-metre mark. Together, they bear the name “BIG 3” and offer views of the unique mountain panorama that surrounds Sölden.
The first of the three viewing decks is the Geislachkogl at 3,058 metres. It is the quickest platform to reach, has a UFO-like design and is enthroned on the roof of a panorama restaurant. Thanks to the good location of the deck, it shines with a dreamlike all-round view of the Ötztal Alps.
The Panorama-Felssteg Tieferbachkogl viewing deck scores points at 3,250 m with a panoramic glass footbridge that rises a full 20 m above the glacier. Snow lovers reach the platform with the Tiefenbach cable car and can look down on a winter world covered in white from above.
The highest point for winter sports enthusiasts is the nature deck at Schwarzer Schneid. At an altitude of 3,340 metres, this deck takes the title for the highest of the three platforms. The circular plateau made of larch wood can be reached on foot from the mountain station of the Tiefenbach cable car and offers a 360-degree view that stretches from the Dolomites to the Zugspitze.
Aiguille du Midi
Another spectacular viewing deck is enthroned on the French Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc massif. The platform of the same name is one of the newest and highest viewpoints in Europe. It is located at an altitude of 3,842 metres and can be easily reached by gondola. The end of the viewing deck is formed by a glass box that hovers about 1,000 metres above the depths. Winter lovers are surrounded on the deck by several four-thousand-metre peaks, including Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc (4,809 m).
Below the viewing deck is the Chamonix-Mont Blanc ski region. It impresses with slopes at altitudes between 1,030 m and 3,842 m and a total length of 870 km. Even from the Aiguille du Midi, well-experienced ski and snowboard fans can carve down into the ski area on a legendary ski route. The ski route is reserved for professionals only, accompanied by mountain guides, and offers brave skiers 24 kilometres of piste and 2,800 metres of altitude to conquer.
Glass everywhere! In the viewing platform on the Aiguille du Midi, winter sports enthusiasts have an almost unobstructed view of the surrounding Mont Blanc massif:
Top of Tyrol
“Top of Tyrol” is the name of the summit platform on the Schaufelspitze on the Stubai Glacier in the ski area of the same name. It offers a panoramic view of more than 100 three-thousand-metre peaks surrounding the Stubai Alps. The deck itself lies at a full 3,210 m above sea level and rises 9 m vertically above the mountain. It appears dynamic, blends harmoniously into the rocky landscape and is a true architectural masterpiece with 20 tonnes of weatherproof Corten steel installed at this height. GEO magazine even named the platform the most beautiful in the world. The summit platform can be reached via the Schaufeljoch gondola lift or the Gaisskarferner T-bar lift.
The view from the deck stretches from the Dolomites to the Ortler massif. To enable visitors to admire the panorama in the best possible way, a modern Viscope telescope is available, which displays the names of the peaks to be seen.
Also on the Stubai Glacier is the sun terrace of the Jochdohle at 3,150 metres. The futuristic building houses the highest mountain restaurant in Tyrol. It impresses with a large sun terrace with 400 seats and a view that overwhelms, as a total of more than 100 three-thousand-metre peaks can be seen all around. On a clear day, the view even reaches as far as the Italian Pala Group in the Dolomites.
The sun terrace of the Jochdohle is located in the Stubai Glacier ski area, which offers ski slopes up to 3,212 m above sea level. Skiers and snowboarders can take a special break during a day of skiing on the 42 kilometres of slopes and enjoy the view from the sun terrace.
Diable au Coeur hut
Snow lovers will find a sun terrace on French soil at the top station of the Diable, Thuit and Grande Crêtes lifts in the Les 2 Alpes glacier ski area. At 2,400 m, the cosy sun terrace of the Diable au Coeur hut is located here. Once settled, snow lovers won’t want to leave. Luckily, the friendly waitress comes to the table and treats guests to delicious food and drinks while they enjoy the view over the glacier slopes.If the panorama fans, then manage to tear themselves away from the breathtaking view, a true skiing and snowboarding paradise awaits them. After all, the Les 2 Alpes ski area offers them a whole 200 kilometres of pistes at up to 3,560 m, several snow parks, the possibility of night skiing and, of course, a lot of fun on the slopes.
It doesn’t get more spectacular than this: the Dreiländerblick viewing deck not only offers a breathtaking view of three Alpine countries, but is also located in two of them itself. The unique panorama attraction is located on the Karlesspitze on the Kaunertal Glacier at 3,108 m and in the middle of the national border between Austria and Italy. As a result, snow lovers can stand with one foot in Austria and one in Italy and at the same time enjoy the view of the Austrian, Italian, and Swiss mountain world. Furthermore, the viewing deck convinces with its accessibility and the immediate proximity to the Karlesjochbahn.
This video shows why the three-country view more than deserves its name:
Top Mountain Star
On a narrow ridge on the Wurmkogel in the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area, an all-round glazed architectural masterpiece floats at an altitude of 3,080 metres. The so-called Top Mountain Star houses a designer panorama bar with a surrounding outdoor terrace that offers an incomparable view. Here you can be pampered with food and drinks by the friendly bar team while the view wanders over the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area and the surrounding landscape. If you are lucky enough to be there on the right day, you can even enjoy live music during your relaxing time-out.
In addition to the unique panorama with which the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area impresses from the Top Mountain Star, the snow paradise convinces with 107 kilometres of pistes and a high degree of snow reliability.
Viewing deck in the Matterhorn glacier paradise
The highest viewing deck in the Alps and even in Europe can be found in the Matterhorn ski paradise ski region. On the Kleine Matterhorn, the platform triumphs at a lofty height of 3,883 m and offers panorama fans a 360-degree view. The Alpine highlight can be reached by Europe’s highest cable car, the Matterhorn glacier ride. The unique location of the viewing deck grants winter sports enthusiasts a panorama that includes an incredible 38 four-thousand-metre peaks and 14 glaciers.
With this view, snow lovers can quickly fall in love again with the breathtaking beauty of the Alps. But to ensure that love for their partner is not neglected, romantics can attach a love lock to the railing of the viewing deck and thus prove their love to each other in both beautiful and stormy times. For the key, there is a letterbox at the lift entrance of the Matterhorn glacier rides, where the keys are collected and then frozen in a glacier palace in the sign of eternal love.
Top of Salzburg
“Top of Salzburg” is the name of the panorama platform on the roof of the summit station of the Kitzsteinhorn cable car in the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area. It is enthroned at an altitude of 3,029 metres and is thus the highest point in the province of Salzburg, which winter fans can reach without any particular effort and in a relaxed manner by cable car. The panoramic view from the deck offers views of the glaciated peaks of the Hohe Tauern National Park, the white slopes of the Kitzbühel Alps, the Watzmann, the Wilder Kaiser, the Dachstein and many other impressive mountains and rock formations.
While snow fans enjoy the view from the Top of Salzburg, below them is the snow-white glacier of the Kitzsteinhorn, the Zeller Becken with its deep blue lakes and, of course, the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area. This is part of the huge Super Ski Card ski region, which guarantees fun on the slopes for every ski and snowboard fan with 2,750 kilometres of pistes at an altitude of up to 3,122 metres.
The view from the Kitzsteinhorn is one of the best in Austria, almost in any weather:
The Ötzi Biwak ski hut is located at 3,013 m in the Schnals Valley Glacier ski area. It belongs to the Glacier Hotel of the Schnals Valley Glacier and delights with its newly designed sun terrace, which invites you to take an extended break. While snow fans enjoy some downtime, they can let themselves be pampered here by the friendly service team with delicious South Tyrolean home cooking and a variety of savoury and sweet dishes. The sun terrace also offers a breathtaking view of the Schnals Valley and the surrounding mountains of the Ötztal Alps.
The hut is best reached by ski or snowboard during the cold season, and is thus well suited for taking a short breather after a long day of skiing. After and before the break, skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts can then carve around on the 30 kilometres of slopes at an altitude of up to 3,212 m and burn off the calories from the good meal.
The Skywalk in the Dachstein West ski area is one of the most spectacular viewing platforms in the Alps. With a 15-metre-long footbridge, some metres of which even jut out over the rock, the viewing deck wins over its visitors and gives them the feeling of being part of the surrounding landscape. It is the Dachstein glacier cable car that takes winter fans to the 2,700 m high platform on Hunerkogl and allows them to enjoy this unique experience. On a clear day, you can even see the Triglav in Slovenia and the granite and gneiss highlands of the Czech Republic to the north from the skywalk, in addition to the Großglockner and Großvenediger.
If you want to stay longer on Hunerkogl, there is also a circular trail around the mountain station of the Dachstein Gletscherbahn. This provides yet another impressive panoramic view of the Dachstein south face and also offers the opportunity to relax in cosy beach chairs.
The noble Adler Lounge on Cimaross in the Großglockner-Heiligenblut ski area stands for enjoyment, tradition, and elation. At an altitude of 2,621 m, the lounge spoils winter lovers with top-class culinary specialities and a breathtaking view. A total of 60,000 peaks are visible from the lounge and surround the architecturally impressive Adler Lounge.
With the skiing area Großglockner-Heiligenblut, the lounge has also chosen an optimal and slope-rich location. With 55 kilometres of slopes and a maximum altitude of 2,989 m, the ski area delights countless skiers and snowboarders.
The Sphinx viewing deck is one of the many highlights of the Jungfrau Region. The deck is located on the 3,450 m high Jungfraujoch and offers a view of breathtaking mountains. Among others, the Eiger (3,970 m), the Mönch (4,107 m) and the Jungfrau (4,158 m) can be admired. Winter enthusiasts can reach the viewing platform by cogwheel railway.
In addition, the view floats over the wonderful Jungfrau region. This impresses not only with its appearance from above, but also with no less than 206 kilometres of downhill skiing, ranging from 796 m to 2,970 m.
On the Sphinx, visitors literally stand on the “Top of Europe”:
Another Austrian viewing deck is located in the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski area. Right at the mountain station of the Almbahn at Zwölferkopf is the round panorama platform Z1. At 2,600 m, it opens up a view of the highest mountains in Tyrol, Germany, and Italy. In addition to the Z1, there are also some action-packed black runs at Zwölferkopf. On these and the other 198 diverse kilometres of pistes at an altitude of up to 2,828 m, winter sports enthusiasts can forget the stresses of everyday life and experience wonderful hours of skiing. Freestylers in particular are guaranteed to get their money’s worth in this snow paradise and its snow parks.
The former “Spannagelhaus” refuge is located at 2,530 m in the Hintertux Glacier ski area. It was extensively renovated in 2013 and now shines as a restaurant with a sun terrace. With around 60 seats and friendly service, it is an inviting place to stop for a bite to eat. So while winter sports enthusiasts are being pampered and relaxing, they are offered an outstanding view of the Zillertal and Tux mountains.After the short break, snow fans can either continue to explore the up to 3,250 m high skiing area and its 50 kilometres of slopes or take a look a few metres behind the Spanngelhaus. Another highlight awaits them here: the entrance to the Spannagel Cave. This is one of the largest and best-known caves in the Central Alps, with a cave system of about 10 km.
In addition to a wonderful panoramic view, the Spannagelhaus also offers excellent food.
Sonnklar lookout tower
On the Speikboden in the Tauferer Ahrntal, snow lovers have the opportunity to enjoy a stunning 360-degree view. The 2,400 m high lookout tower can be found at the mountain station of the Sonnenklar chairlift. The lookout offers a view of 150 peaks, including over 80 three-thousand-metre peaks. There is also a photo point on the lookout tower where you can capture the unique experience.
The Stubnerkogel lookout mountain in the Gastein ski area is a real attraction in this winter paradise. Opposite the Dachstein suspension bridge, which is the highest suspension bridge in Austria with a length of over 140 metres, is the unique viewing deck Glocknerblick. It impresses on the 2,300 m high summit of the Stubnerkogel with its construction of steel and wood, a lattice opening in the floor that allows a view into the depths. And of course, as its name suggests, with the direct view of the Großglockner.
In addition, the Gastein ski area with its 177 kilometres of downhill skiing at an altitude of up to 2,686 m is a true paradise of pistes that no skiing enthusiast should miss. The diverse and varied pistes of the Dorfgastein-Großarltal and Schlossalm-Angertal-Stubnerkogel ski areas, as well as the Sportgastein and Graukogel-Bad Gastein ski areas are optimally connected, snow-sure and thus form a fun playground for every ski fan.
One of the most futuristic viewing deck in the Alps is the 5fingers on the Krippenstein in the Salzkammergut. At a full 2,108 m, the five limbs of the platform stretch out like a hand over the 400 m precipice and offer a view of the blue waters of Lake Hallstatt near Obertraun. In addition, the viewing deck is illuminated until midnight and is reminiscent of an impressive signal fire or a large star in the surrounding villages.
The 5fingers viewing deck can be reached by lift, and winter enthusiasts can choose whether to take the lift again for the way back or prefer the 11 km long downhill run. This is part of the Dachstein West ski area, where skiers and snowboarders have 131 kilometres of pistes at up to 2,100 metres of altitude at their disposal.
On the slopes of the Alpspitze (2,628 m), the AlpspiX viewing deck rises into the air at around 2,100 m above sea level. Two 25-metre-long steel walkways, each laid out in an X-shape, form the futuristically designed platform above a 1,000-metre-deep abyss. The platform thus offers winter sports enthusiasts a unique view above the Alpspitzbahn mountain station. In addition to the Waxensteinen, the massive Alpspitz north face and the Höllental, guests can also enjoy the view of the Zugspitze.
The viewing deck is located in the middle of the Garmisch-Classic, Zugspitze ski area. So winter sports enthusiasts, after enjoying the view from the AlpspiX, can experience pure skiing and snowboarding fun on a varied 60 kilometres of pistes and 2,720 m altitude.
Geo viewing deck
The geo viewing deck on the Walmendingerhorn is a special highlight of the Ski Oberstdorf Kleinwalsertal ski area. It can be reached from the top station of the Walmendingerhorn cable car via a boardwalk along the edge of the slope and offers winter lovers a unique view. In good weather, you can see as far as the 3-country corner of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The viewing deck is wheelchair accessible and, thanks to its glass panorama lift, can be reached by really any snow fan.
In addition, there is a sun terrace in the immediate vicinity of the approx. 1,970 m high geo-viewing deck, where you can relax wonderfully. It is sheltered from the wind and invites you to enjoy food and drinks with a breathtaking view.
Panorama Restaurant Bergkaiser
The Bergkaiser panorama restaurant takes advantage of the beauty of the surrounding mountains and offers winter lovers a unique view in addition to culinary highlights. The sun terrace of the restaurant is the perfect place to marvel at the 2,344 m high Wilder Kaiser directly opposite or the 1,996 m high Kitzbüheler Horn to the east.
After a visit to the panoramic restaurant, the slopes of the SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental ski area invite winter sports enthusiasts to have fun on the slopes. A total of 2,750 kilometres of pistes at up to 3,122 m are available to winter sports enthusiasts here.
Fancy visiting one of the many viewing decks and experiencing beautiful days of skiing? SnowTrex offers a wide range of accommodation in many ski resorts.
The highest viewing platform in the Alps is the deck at Matterhorn glacier paradise. It is located in the ski resort of Zermatt at an altitude of 3,883 metres. The viewing deck can be easily reached by Europe’s highest cable car and offers a breathtaking view of 38 four-thousand-metre peaks and 14 glaciers.
Austria leads the race for the most spectacular and popular viewing decks. Almost every major ski resort has an impressive platform, which often resembles an architectural masterpiece. Just a few examples of Austrian viewpoints where panorama fans get their money’s worth. For once, you have the Top Mountain Star in the Obergurgl – Hochgurgl ski area, the Top of Tyrol on the Stubai Glacier as well as the BIG 3 in the Sölden ski area.
The Aiguille du Midi platform is the highest viewing deck in France. It is located on the mountain of the same name in the Mont Blanc massif at a lofty 3,842 m above sea level. The viewing deck can be easily reached by gondola and offers a beautiful panoramic view of several four-thousand-metre peaks as well as the Chamonix – Mont Blanc ski region.
At the Dreiländerblick viewing deck in Austria, winter lovers have the opportunity to stand with one foot in Austria and the other in Italy. Meanwhile, they can enjoy the view of Austrian, Italian, and even Swiss mountains. The platform is enthroned at 3,108 m on the Karlesspitze on the Kaunertal Glacier and can be reached by the Karlesjochbahn cable car.
The BIG 3 in the Sölden ski area are 3 viewing decks on 3 ski mountains above the 3,000-metre mark. They offer winter fans a view of the beautiful mountain panorama around Sölden. The platforms are called Geislachkogl, Panorama-Felssteg Tieferbachkogl and Naturplattform Schwarze Schneiden and impress with heights between 3,058 m and 3,340 m.