Austria is not short of mountains, so to no one’s surprise has fantastic skiing and despite the french name is the spiritual home of après ski, no matter where you choose to go skiing in Austria you will never be short of bars pumping out oompah music. The shorter transfers are the cherry on top of it all. There is a fantastic wide range of ski resorts in Austria and here are our top 10 of the best ski resorts in Austria:
1. St Anton
305km of pistes (Ski Arlberg Area)
Best for: Intermediate to Expert Skiers and Party Animals
St Anton is not just Austria’s most famous ski resort, but one of the best ski resorts in the world.
The Nasserein area is particularly popular with families and has some good beginner slopes, however, the resort is more suitable for intermediates and above. The Flexenbahn lift made it the largest linked ski area in Austria with wide open slopes and the resorts of Stuben and Lech are perfect for intermediates. For experts, there are over 200km of marketed ski routes, so if you love powder then the first ski lift is a must. Make sure you book a guide as they will give you wonderful powder descents off Valluga and down towards Zurs.
Après ski as we know it started in the Krazy Kangaruh and the wild Mooserwirt are just two of many bars to visit while on holiday in St Anton. The charming car-free centre has all the facilities you could want, it boasts multiple restaurants, lovely shops, as well as WellCom which is a fantastic leisure centre to recover after a day on the mountain.
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230km of pistes (Silvretta Ski Area)
Best for: Non-Skiers, Intermediate to Expert Skiers, Groups and Party Animals
High altitude, snow-sure, great skiing, speedy ski lifts and upmarket après scene make Ischgl the premier ski resort in Austria.
Connected to the Swiss resort of Samnaun, the area is amongst the first to open and close each season in Austria. Since 2000 there has been heavy investment in the lift system, with a new lift opening most years, so in Ischgl, you'll find some of the fastest and most comfortable ski lifts across Europe.
The vibrant town has many family-run hotels often with fantastic spa facilities. In terms of après ski, it doesn’t get much better than Ischgl with the Trofana Alm voted the number one après ski bar in the world several times. If you are a foodie then Ischgl has a wide range of dining options from Mexican to fine dining for your skiing holiday. Ischgl is great for non-skiers as well, with a variety of activities to keep you entertained and for the more adventurous the longest toboggan run in the alps.
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305km of pistes (Ski Arlberg Area)
Best for: Beginner, Intermediate Skiers and Romantic Getaways
If you're looking for that dream ski holiday, then Lech brings it into one neat package. It is one of Austria’s most beautiful ski resorts and it literally takes your breath away; from the horse-drawn sleighs to the beautiful shops, luxury hotels, fantastic restaurants like Rud-Alpe Gastronomie and the sophisticated Ice bar serving champagne.
Lech has one of the best snow records in the alps! The skiing in Lech is more suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers with its wide-open pistes. Although Lech itself only has one black run, like St Anton you also have easy access to the wider Ski Arlberg Area making it a fantastic base for advanced skiers too.
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110km of pistes (Obergurgl Hochgurgl Ski Resorts)
Best for: Beginner, Intermediate Skiers, Non-Skiers and Families
Obergurgl is one of the world's most snow-sure ski resorts and is one of Austria’s highest. It is a fantastic base for your ski holiday with quality guaranteed and we believe you cannot choose a bad hotel here. Hotels have high return rates due to the fantastic facilities and customer service.
Most of the skiing is above 2000m and perfect for beginners and intermediates, however, there is also some good off-piste here. The lift system is fast and the season runs early from November through to May.
It’s also a great base for non-skiers with heaps of activities like hiking, indoor golf and everything in between. The après ski is good here, with over 20 bars offering a variety of après but our favourite is the Fassl bar for its outstanding atmosphere.
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540km of pistes (Zillertaler Superski Ski Area)
Best for: Beginners, Intermediates, Freestyle Skiers and Groups
Mayrhofen is a great base for a ski holiday to Austria, here you have a massive ski area in the Ziller Valley with access to the famous Hintertux glacier, where people ski during the summer months as well.
This is one of Austria’s most popular ski resorts for Brits. The ski lifts are fast with over 26 new lifts added since 2000, the après is lively and well priced, and the range of skiing caters to all abilities from challenging blacks to fantastic beginner and intermediate runs. Mayrhofen is also home to the steepest groomed piste in Austria - the Harakiri (it has an average gradient of 36 degrees). Mayrhofen's Penken park is considered one of the best snow parks in the alps, so if you’re into freestyle skiing this is the resort for you. Mayrhofen also recently added a nice little touch with the early opening of the Gondola at 7.30 am, so you can take advantage of the 5.5km corduroy Ahorn valley run.
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6. Zell am See
136km of pistes (Zell am See-Kaprun Ski Area)
Best for: Beginners, Intermediates, Non-Skiers and Romantic Getaways
Zell am See is the perfect romantic Austrian ski holiday that won't break the bank. The towering glacier peaks and stunning views of the lake make it one of Austria’s most beautiful ski resorts. There are some great-priced hotels here and it connects with the glacier resort of Kaprun.
The runs are great for all abilities, from gentle beginner slopes to lovely varied tree line slopes and the Black Mamba run that even experts will find a tough challenge. Although the off-piste is limited, on fresh powder days there are some good options.
Zell am See has good nightlife, with over 22 bars including some lovely wine bars and discos with our favourite being the off-piste bar. It is also fantastic for non-skiers, boasting activities like horse-drawn sleighs, guided hikes and even hot air balloon rides.
View ski holidays to Zell am See here
270km of pistes (Skicircus Ski Area)
Best for: Beginners, Intermediates and Groups
If you love cruising terrain with great après, then Saalbach is the ski resort for you. A large proportion of the 270 km of pistes are blues making it popular amongst families and intermediates alike and the surrounding area, including several new ski lifts and 5 new red runs, so if you’ve visited before 2019 it’s definitely worth returning.
Beginners love skiing the sunny slopes around Hinterglemm. For intermediates, the area's sense of travel like the long runs down from Schattberg offers a 1000m vertical drop. For advanced skiing, there are the legendary freeride slopes of Fieberbrunn - a stop on the Freeride World Tour.
Saalbach itself is a pretty village with a lively traditional atmosphere. It boasts over 30 pubs and 9 discos with great live music and DJs and our favourite for après is Goaßstall. The area has loads of activities for non-skiers as well; including skating, go-karting on ice, bowling, hiking and fantastic tobogganing routes like the floodlit trail down Reiterkogel.
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146km of pistes
Best for: Intermediates, Advanced Skiers/Snowboarders and for Families with Older Children
Sölden has a large range of challenging blue, red and black pistes. The area boasts one of the best lift systems in Europe and has some fantastic scenery. Here skiing is guaranteed with access to the two glaciers extending up to 3340m and most of its slopes are well over 2000m. You can also access Obergurgl for a day during your skiing holiday.
The best beginner area is up at Giggijoch. For intermediates, there are some huge vertical drops, especially on the Gaislachkogel where you drop a massive 1695m and for more advanced there are some nice blacks at Hainbachjoch.
The ski resort is beautiful and there is plenty to do here with nice sophisticated bars and restaurants to explore and many of them are good value for money. A must-do here is to visit the legendary Aquadome Spa in Längefeld which is 20 minutes by free bus, there you will find saltwater pools, lazy rivers, saunas and more. It’s the perfect place to recover from a hard day's skiing.
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280km of pistes (Skiwelt Wilder Kaiser Ski Area)
Best for: Beginners and Intermediates and Families
Söll is the liveliest ski resort in the SkiWelt and has some legendary après ski venues. It is great value for money, has varied terrain and is perfect for families with kids on their skiing holidays.
Although there are good runs around Söll for beginners, there are more runs nearby Ellmau or Scheffau that would be more suitable. For intermediates, the feeling of travel is awesome with wide well-groomed, tree-lined slopes. Apart from when there is fresh powder, the area is more limited for experts.
Söll is exceptionally pretty and the town is easy to get around by bus. There are some lovely restaurants like the Bella Vita which serves a range of Italian, Asian and Austrian dishes. The bars tend to be cheaper than other Austrian resorts, so there is more beer to be had for your pound and our favourite is the Moonlight bar.
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136km of pistes (Zell am See-Kaprun Ski Area)
Best for: Families
Connected to Zell am See, Kaprun is a peaceful, reasonably priced base for a skiing holiday with well-connected runs, guaranteed glacier skiing, magnificent views and wonderful Austrian cuisine.
The introduction of the K-onnection gondola in 2020, has transformed the area and has now linked the local Maiskogel pistes to the snowsure runs above, cutting out the need to drive to and from the glacier. There is a lovely range of blues and reds and once again experts can enjoy the challenge of the Black Mamba run.
Although quieter than other ski resorts in Austria, there is still a good range of bars offering live music and good drinks, our favourite is Pavillon après-Ski Bar.
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We have a fantastic range of ski holidays across Austria's best ski resorts
From traditional family run Austrian ski hotels to beautiful chalets and great value self-catering ski apartments, we have the largest collection of Austria ski holidays bookable online. Our ski specialists are also on hand to assist you with finding and booking your perfect Austrian ski holiday, so why not get in touch with them for a chat today?