Never skied in Austria? You don’t know what you’re missing. But with over 400 ski resorts, the question is where to go on Austria skiing holidays? Well the 10 best Austrian ski resorts below are a good place to start.
Why go on Austria skiing holidays?
In Austria you can expect sweeping pistes and technical terrain, full-throttle après and mountain charm. Austria’s diverse ski areas promise some of the most exciting and varied skiing in the world suitable for everyone from beginner to expert.
Although lower elevation than many French resorts, Austria is further north so is just as snow sure. There is more skiing on glaciers in Austria so seasons are as long, if not longer than, the highest French resorts. So if anything Austria is more snow sure than its southern counterparts.
Plus Austria is big on it’s itinerary runs. These are managed and marked off piste areas. A little like unpisted runs in France, however Austrian resorts have a lot more of them. This makes off-piste safer and more accessible.
Finally another reason to go on Austria skiing holidays is the price. Beer, food, gear hire and lift passes cost less in Austria than France. So you’ll spend less in resort. Of course it’s still not cheap – if on a tight budget check out the best low cost ski resorts in Europe.
10 best Austrian ski resorts
So you have decided you want to go on an Austria skiing holiday, but where to book? The top 10 resorts below won’t disappoint and are up there with the best in the world.
Just an hour and a half from Salzburg airport, Saalbach is home to one of the best Austrian ski resorts. With one of the country’s most sophisticated lift system, there are 200 km of pistes served by more than 55 lifts.
It is a lively resort with a legendary après-ski scene. Some of Saalbach’s pistes stay open until 9:30 every evening, allowing you to shuush under the stars.
Après and off-piste define the infamous Arlberg ski area. St Anton is at the heart of this pretty valley, which attracts powder-hounds and ski bums season after season.
There are challenging runs, technical backcountry and bars galore. Adrenaline runs high in St Anton. And since the opening of the Flexenbahn Gondola in 2016, it is fully lift linked with Lech Zurs.
This sprawling village of Mayrhofen is set in the steep-sided Zillertal Valley and offers skiing on two separate plateaux. There is a huge variety of terrain, internationally acclaimed snow-parks, stacks of non-skiing activities and wild but reasonably priced apres.
Mayrhofen is popular with skiers of all abilities and everyone from freestylers to freeriders will love it. It is also host to the annual Snowbombing festival, probably the best ski festival in the Alps. Not interested in the nightlife? Stay in Gerlos which accesses the same ski area.
This glam yet traditional resort is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Alps”. It’s renowned for its lively après-ski, spectacular skiing and authentic charm. Best visited in high season, when its lower altitude slopes have better snow cover.
Tucked between 3000-metre peaks in the Otztal Valley, this energetic resort offers skiing on two high-altitude glaciers. You can guarantee good snow conditions throughout the season with plenty of off-piste.
Sölden attracts both a young crowd looking to party and older groups and families looking to ski. So while it’s known for its ski-hard, party-hard attitude this is easily avoided if you are a more serious skier.
Austria’s most glamorous resort retains its traditional village appeal. Its charming wooden chalets and winding streets are home to some of the smartest – and most expensive – hotels in Austria.
Linked with Zurs and the wider Arlberg all the way to St Anton, Lech has plenty of terrain suitable for all levels of skiers. One of the best Austrian ski resorts for celeb-spotting and champagne swigging – plus superb skiing. Check out our review of Lech ski holiday for more info.
Forming part of Austria’s immense Ski Welt area, the un-crowded pistes of this peaceful Tyrolean village are ideal for beginners. Linking to more than 600 slopes, and popular with cross-country skiers, there’s also plenty for the more adventurous.
Breathtakingly beautiful, this atmospheric village-resort is a long-standing favourite of British skiers. With excellent conditions for beginners, as well as enticing off-piste and great snow conditions, it’s ideal for all levels and is particularly popular with families.
Ischgl and Galtur
Linked by a ski-bus, Ischgl and Galtur provide access to some of the highest non glacier skiing in Austria. Ischgl alone has 239 km of piste suitable for all levels, with a great snowparks and epic off-piste. There is wild apres in Ischgl so be careful if you want to hit the slopes the next day.
Galtur is smaller, quieter and more family friendly. Together they are an ideal ski-area for beginners, intermediates and experts. Stay in cosy Galtur for authentic village appeal, or opt for Ischgl for its lively nightlife.
This unspoilt village oozes charm and is ideal for peaceful skiing in Austria. Its gentle slopes are more suited to families and beginners, but its authentic ambience and scenic trails will appeal to all.
We hope you found this article useful. before booking, check out our Austria ski holidays discounts as you could save a fortune.