Austria is one of the best winter destinations. It is the second most popular country in Europe for British skiers after France. Offering a wide range of ski resorts that cater for all levels of skiers and boarders and many groomed and off-piste skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and shoe-showing, Austria has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a good slope or a bit of après ski, you are guaranteed to find a ski holiday to suit you. There are plenty of booking options still available this season, and if you haven’t yet decided which village is for you, here are our top 10 Austrian village resorts.
1Bad Kleinkirchheim, Carinthia
Bad Kleinkirchheim is a holiday paradise in a sunny little valley in the midst of the Carinthian Nockberge mountains of southern Austria. It is home to the Austrian ski legend and Olympic champion Franz Klammer. This ski resort sits at a height of 1100 m to 2055 m above sea level and has the longest ski run in the whole of Carinthia Nockberge Mountains. Bad Kleinkirchheim has 103 km of slopes suitable for all levels of difficulty and 26 lifts. Winter guests are almost garneted snow, and if it doesn’t snow then 700 snow machines will guarantee perfect snow conditions on 97% of the slopes. For those looking for a memorable vacation must hurry to book the Ronacher Hotel with great service, excellent location and rooms with astonishing views of the mountains.
Galtür is a village and ski resort located in the region Paznaun-Ischgl, Tirol, at the very end of the 40 km long Paznau Valley, at the foot of the 2671 m high Ballunspitze. It is one of the best skiing and snowboarding resorts in Austria. Galtür sits at a height of 1377 m to over 2000 m altitude above sea level and boasts very well prepared slopes, of all difficulty levels and in unspoilt, natural surroundings, which means unadulterated cross-country skiing pleasure is in store. The Alp Trida is a splendid valley route to the duty-free enclave of Sauman in Switzerland, and there is a good number of challenging blacks and long touring routes. Tourist can enjoy winter sports on Galtür’s slopes from the beginning of December right through to spring. Located directly at the ski pist, in a really beautiful and natural setting is the Hotel Almhof Galtur, which offers a range of facilities and services.
Ellmau is a wonderful idilic village and ski resort located right in the centre of Tyrol Land, between the dramatic and rugged Wild Emperor mountains and the gentler Kitzbüheler Alps. The resort is part of SkiWelt, Austria's largest interconnected ski area with almost 280 km of ski runs, 20 Ski Lifts and 1000 Snow Cannons able to augment natural snow on 210 km of ski runs. With the highest lifts and ski slopes at 1550 m, Ellmau lies at 820 m altitude above sea level and has gained a reputation of being a favourite ski destination for families. There are wide, easy, gentle nursery slopes close to the centre, a lot of ski schools, even a kindergarten and a crèche in the village. If you are looking for budget hotel rooms in Ellmau, then you must check the Hotel Alpin Scheffau am Wilden Kaiser or Gasthof Weberbauer, both offering with superb staff, greatt service and location.
4Zell am See, Salzburg
Zell am See is a medieval lakeside town and ski resort located in the state of Salzburg, next to Lake Zell in Austria and is part of the Europa Sport ski area which includes the neighbouring glacier resort of Kaprun. The vast Zell am See skiing area is perfectly suited for professional skiers/snowboarders and beginners alike and offers acces to 130 km of downhill skiing, 28 Ski Lifts and 60 Snow Cannons able to augment natural snow on 68 km of ski runs. The skiing season in Zell am See starts early autumn and extends into early summer. On the Kitzsteinhorn glacier in Kaprun you can ski and snowboard on snow-covered slopes for ten months of the year. Whether skiing or hiking, AlpenParks Parkhotel is ready to treat you like a king after an active day on the slopes.
Kitzbuhel is considered the Pearl of the Alps and is the most famous holiday resort in the Austrian Tyrol. It is steeped in history, wonderfully charming, always lively, and delightfully magical. Situated along the river Kitzbühler Ache, the fashionable resort of Kitzbühel presents a modern state of the art ski circuit covering 165 km of pistes for experts and beginners alike, 30 Ski Lifts and 780 Snow Cannons able to augment natural snow on 84km of ski runs. Non-skiers can enjoy well-prepared walking paths or join an excursion to the historic cities of Salzburg or Innsbruck. Indulge yourself without spending a fortune by making a reservation at Kitz Garni Boutique Hotel.
Obergurgl is an unspoilt village and a ski resort set high at the end of the picturesque Ötz Valley, in Tyrol Land. Resulting in an excellent snow record and a very long ski season, Obergurgl is Austria's highest parish (at 1930 m) and one of the most sought-after ski resorts especially for Esprit family ski holidays. There are over 110 km of downhill skiing up to 3,000 meters and above, with 39 individual pistes, 24 ski lifts and 68 Snow Cannons able to augment natural snow on 110 km of ski runs. Nevertheless, the winter guests can be 100% sure, that their "playgrounds" will be covered with natural snow, not in vain Obergurgl was called the most snow-sure winter sports resort of the Alps. Also there is a kindergarten ski area and a ski-school meeting point. There aren't many beds at Obergurgl, so you must hurry to book the Alpenhotel Laurin Hotel to get reasonable prices and great services.
7Saalbach-Hinterglemm , Salzburg
Saalbach is the larger village in the duo with Hinterglemm which together make one of Austria's biggest ski areas on its doorstep with some of the finest intermediate pistes anywhere in the Alps. It is located in the Glemm Valley, which is within the Zell am See region in the Austrian Kitzbühel Alps. This magnificent ski area is renowned for its excellent range of pistes and efficient lift system, connecting Saalbach to Hinterglemm and Leogang. Saalbach Hinterglemm ski resort has direct access to 200 km of downhill skiing, 52 ski lifts and 452 Snow Cannons able to augment natural snow on 180km of ski runs. There are plenty of good hotels in Saalbach-Hinterglemm but Panther Hotel offering a wide range of leisure facilities will make your vacation memorable.
8Silvretta Montafon, Vorarlberg
Silvretta Montafon is the largest ski resort in Montafon and in the entire Vorarlberg region. It is located in the westernmost Land of Vorarlberg; it extends from the city of Bludenz to the Silvretta mountain range. Thanks to its altitude of up to 2,300 m, it is one of the most snow-assured winter sports centres in the Alps. At Silvretta Montafon, 40 up-to-date ski lifts and gondolas provide access to 155 km of pure slope enjoyment for all abilities and fantastic facilities for children in one of the most fascinating winter sport regions in Austria; it is also home to Austria's biggest snowboard park. Enjoy scenic views from the spacious rooms of Sporthotel Silvretta Nova while being pampered by its wonderful staff.
Söll is a wonderful village and one of the best-known ski resorts in the massive SkiWelt - Wilder Kaiser area. Its pretty scenery, gentle slopes, small attractive traditional village, good-value accommodation and lively nightlife attract a mixture of young singles looking for a fun time and families looking for a quiet time. It provides access to 279 km of mostly easy and intermediate pistes, 91 ski lifts and more than 70 mountain restaurants. Holding the title of having the most artificial snow covering in the country, when needed, Söll has 1000 Snow Cannons able to augment natural snow on 210km of ski runs. If you are looking for a budget hotel room with great staf, services and location than check the Tenne Hotel.
10St. Anton, Tyrol
St. Anton is one of the top 10 resorts in the world and one of the world's Meccas for ski bums. It is located in the Arlberg region of Tirol, at the foot of the road up to the Arlberg pass. The skiing is excellent, with 260 km of pistes and 83 lifts; a lift pass in St Anton gives access to the whole Arlberg area, including Lech, Zurs and Stuben. Ski holidays in St Anton are fantastic for non-skiers. This bustling village with its attractive pedestrian area, is lined with sports shops, boutiques & cafés. The town of St Anton and the surrounding villages have a range of accommodation to choose from, but one of the most convenient concerning prices and services is Arlberg Hospiz Hotel.