When it comes to skiing holidays, Austria is probably one of the most popular, if not the most popular travel destinations in the world. In addition to the varied ski areas and unique mountain panoramas that snow lovers expect while skiing in Austria, the country impresses with its legendary après ski, unique Austrian cuisine and rustic ski huts. In Austria, you can find everything on and off the slopes that makes a skiing holiday a unique experience. SnowTrex has compiled ten reasons for a skiing holiday in Austria.
1. Modern ski areas
Austria is one of the most popular holiday destinations for winter sports fans, particularly because of its modern ski resorts. Rickety chairlifts travelling up the mountain at walking speed are a thing of the past. The majority of the lifts here are state of the art. In numerous ski areas, the ski lifts are replaced bit by bit by chair lifts and gondolas, which transport winter sports fans up the mountain both faster and much more comfortably. While chilly snow-lovers enjoy heated benches and snow domes that keep them warm in icy temperatures and snowfall, nature-lovers enjoy fantastic views of the Austrian mountains in the panoramic gondolas. A large number of snow cats and snow-making machines round off the winter sports fun and guarantee optimal conditions on the slopes.
2. High snow security
Skiers and snowboarders always look forward to a snow-covered landscape, snow-covered peaks and untouched powder snow. For this, you need one thing above all else: enough snow. Fortunately, there are countless ski areas in Austria that enjoy great popularity with locals and tourists thanks to the high snow security. Numerous ski areas are located at altitudes above 2,500 m and therefore offer optimal conditions for winter sports in terms of temperature. In addition, modern ski areas usually offer the possibility of artificially snowing some or even all slopes. Austria is also known for its glaciers, especially the Hintertux Glacier. The ski area around the famous glacier lies in the upper Zillertal valley and is open 365 days a year. As a result, winter holidaymakers in Austria do not need to worry about enough snow.
3. Traditional accommodations
After your arrival, a welcoming drink or a traditional schnapps is not uncommon in Austria. The locals care a lot that their guests feel at home right from the start and show this in their warm hospitality. The accommodations and hotels, which have often been run as family businesses for years, have a very special charm. The rustic rooms are lovingly furnished and provide a homely ambience. Numerous accommodations also have a sauna or wellness area. Guests are invited to relax here after a strenuous day on the piste in every sense of the word. What more could you ask for?
4. Rustic ski huts
A day on the slopes can be quite exhausting and as such, a day on the slopes also includes a relaxing break. In Austrian ski resorts, snow lovers can expect wonderful ski huts with unique charm. On the terrace, you have a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains – perfect conditions to enjoy schnitzel and yeast dumplings to the fullest. When it gets icy in the fresh air, winter sports fans sit down in the cosy, lovingly furnished parlours and warm themselves with “Jagertee” or a hot chocolate. The hut is sociable, cosy and authentic, and conversations often extend to the next table.
5. Excellent family-friendliness
For families with children in particular, skiing in Austria is an ideal option for the upcoming skiing holiday. On the one hand, the price-performance ratio in Austria is very good, so that even families with a modest travel budget can afford a break in the snow. On the other hand, the versatile ski areas offer varied pistes for different interests and skill levels, so that the whole family gets their money’s worth. While the little ones learn their first moves on the practice slopes or blue slopes, advanced winter sports fans can switch to the red or black slopes. In addition to the multifaceted downhill runs, there is usually also an extensive selection for children in particular. In many ski areas, there are lovingly designed children’s areas where the little ones can learn the basics of winter sports in a playful way from well-trained ski instructors.
6. Legendary après ski
It is no longer possible to imagine ski areas without it and many snow lovers no longer want to do without it on their ski holidays: après ski. And where better to dance to hip après ski and pop hits than in Austria – THE après ski nation par excellence. In the huts and bars, whether in the valley or directly in the ski area, the wild party often begins at noon and people sing and dance in their ski clothes until late in the evening. The après ski huts are often rustically furnished and provide a unique ambience. After a strenuous day of skiing, you can drink a schnapps or two here, dance on the tables and sway as much as you can. In party strongholds like Ischgl, Sölden or Mayrhofen, stars of the après ski scene regularly appear, attracting fans from all over the world.
7. Cross-country skiing paradise Austria
Many winter sports fans initially associate Austria with classic alpine skiing on the snow-covered slopes of the Austrian Alps. However, friends of cross-country skiing are also guaranteed to get their money’s worth in Austria’s cross-country skiing paradise. No matter where you are in the country, the next cross-country trail is certainly not far away. The varied routes are usually very well prepared and often artificially snowed, so that snow lovers do not have to do without the pleasure of cross-country skiing even when there is little natural snow. Many cross-country ski trails are also prepared for classic and skating styles. Austria attracts many hobby athletes from all over the world with its multi-facetted selection of trails, in addition to professional athletes who take advantage of the good conditions for their training. The most popular cross-country skiing regions in Austria include the Achensee region, the Olympiaregion Seefeld, Saalfelden Leogang and Schladming-Dachstein. Whether through snow-covered forests, wide valleys or on the mountain: cross-country skiing in the picturesque nature of Austria is definitely a unique experience!
8. Exciting winter openings and events
When the first snow falls in Austria, the ski areas open their doors and the fun on the slopes begins. In addition, exciting winter openings take place in numerous places during the season opening, like in Ischgl, for example. This is where the season starts every year with the legendary Top Of The Mountain Concert. Superstars such as Jason Derulo, Robbie Williams and Deep Purple have already thrilled the fans on stage at 2,300 metres. Also, in the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area, the season start is celebrated. For one week, there will be dancing and swaying in the huts of the ski area from noon on. Snow-lovers can look forward to hip DJs and live music. Of course, festivals and events that give the skiing holiday in Austria a very special touch will also take place in the ski areas during the season. The Electric Mountain Festival in Sölden attracts fans in droves every year. Here, driving beats are played that make winter sports fans dance. Also, in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, the festival “Rave on Snow” has been going up for 25 years. The biggest house and techno DJs play here every year and make the huts tremble with deep bass.
9. Delicacies of the Austrian cuisine
During your skiing holiday in Austria, snow lovers can look forward to traditional Austrian cuisine. Whether during a short break at the hut or in the evening in a rustic restaurant in the valley, winter holidaymakers with different culinary preferences and tastes will get their money’s worth in Austria. The thought of a golden-brown “Wiener Schnitzel” with cranberries or spicy “Käsknöpfle” (cheesy egg noodle dish) with roasted onions is enough to make quite a few connoisseurs’ mouths water. Tyrolean dumplings and various roasts are also very popular in Austria and are an excellent way to round off a successful ski day. In addition to the hearty dishes, Austria is of course also known for its sweet treats, which can be enjoyed particularly well at a hut in the ski area. The yeast dumplings filled with plum puree are usually served with vanilla sauce and sprinkled with a sugar poppy seed mixture – a feast for the palate that everyone should have tasted at least once. Other sweet treats of Austrian cuisine are “Kaiserschmarrn” (pancake-like dish) with raisins and apple puree, “Wiener Sachertorte” (Viennese chocolate cake) and apple or curd strudel with vanilla sauce. Austria is a true paradise for food lovers!
10. Special winter offers
Even off-piste, Austria has a lot to offer as a winter holiday destination. For example, nature-lovers can explore the beautiful snow-covered landscapes by snowshoe hiking and enjoy the fresh mountain air away from lifts and pistes. Families should plan one or two sleigh rides during their holidays. Tobogganing is by no means a fun affair just for children and in many ski areas, there are well-developed toboggan runs, some of which are even floodlit in the evening. For families, activities such as ice skating or ice climbing are also suitable. A horse-drawn sleigh ride through the picturesque villages or the snow-covered landscape is also an experience that you won’t soon forget. In addition, the culture-lovers among the winter sports fans in cities such as Salzburg, Innsbruck or Vienna get their money’s worth. Ski holidays and city breaks can be perfectly combined, especially when the roofs are covered with snow, which makes the atmosphere very special. We also recommend a visit to the oldest Passion Plays in the German-speaking world, which take place every six years in Erl. 600 amateur actors of the 1,450 inhabitants of the municipality of Erl take part in the games and they are also well-known and popular far beyond the borders of Austria.
Our conclusion: Ski holidays in Austria really offer everything that makes the hearts of winter sports fans beat faster!