Here are the only 5 reasons you will need to be convinced to book a skiing or snowboarding holiday in Austria as your next adventure.
There are, of course, so many reasons why Austria is a fantastic destination for winter breaks, be it quality accommodation or stunning mountain scenery. Therefore, here are 5 reasons that should tick your ski and snowboard holiday desires:
1. Large Ski Resorts
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When you book your snowboarding or skiing winter escape, you want to know that there will be plenty of runs to keep you busy for a week, and quite often depending on your travel group, runs of different abilities. Luckily, Austria boasts some large ski resorts that cover both of those points.
Here are some of our favourites:
Saalbach Hinterglemm is part of the Skicircus area and offers 270km of slopes, with 70 ski lifts and 60 ski huts, meaning this resort covers a vast terrain with options for everyone, including ski schools if needed, and let’s not forget that you can enjoy many other activities when visiting such a big resort, from horse-drawn sleigh rides to high-end restaurants.
Lech and Zürs am Arlberg are part of the enormous Arlberg ski region. This area provides more than 300km of slopes and 87 ski lifts making it an unbeatable option when it comes to variety. You can also test your skills on ice in other ways by trying a bit of ice-skating, sledging with huskies, or perhaps just holding an ice cold drink in an ice bar.
Kitzbühel in the Kitzbühel Alps is impressive for its views but also its 230km of slopes, accompanied by 57 lifts. This huge resort guarantees a snow-sure holiday. This area covers your beginners to advanced but also showcases some great off-piste options for those daredevils out there. Try your hand (or feet) at snowshoeing here, as it is such a wonderful place to really take in your surroundings. Once you’re done skiing for the day, there are so many good bars to pick from to soak up the local culture (and Bier).
2. Short transfers
There is nothing better than knowing you've landed at your destination, you can see the snow in the air and your mind is already on the slopes. Add to that the knowledge of a short transfer to your resort, and the holiday is already perfect - That is what makes Austrian ski holidays.
With most transfers no more than 1 hour 30 minutes, if you are travelling with a young family, this is a huge benefit. Take away the stress for yourself and the boredom of your children, knowing you do not need to sit on a coach for the next 4 hours. On an Austrian ski holiday, you could have arrived, unpacked and popped down to the snowpark within that time. Inghams offer transfers between airport and resort on all of our winter holidays, ensuring you aren’t wasting any time and can be gliding down the mountains in no time. Perhaps even, if you are an early riser, you could get in a quick ski before its time to leave.
By opting for a skiing destination slightly closer to home; or in this case, with shorter transfer windows, you can also be proud to know you've cut your carbon emissions for that holiday - every decision makes an impact, something we at Inghams are very aware of and are proud ourselves to have started our sustainability journey.
3. Charming villages
One of the greatest features of nearly all Austrian resorts is their pure charm. Most resorts were originally local towns up in the mountains that have slowly developed into ski and snowboarding resorts overtime, luckily without losing their charming nature.
You won’t find any concrete hotels and restaurants here, so it’s the ideal place to immerse yourself in the culture of everyday Austrian life. People have long loved skiing here because of this, with charming traditional buildings, local wildlife still roaming and culture-rich cafes and restaurants all available to you.
4. Past the Piste - City Sights
You may want to venture past the pistes and where better to do so than Austria. This diverse place offers the best of on and off ski tourism, even throughout the winter months - in-fact you may say they are the better months, as they celebrate the festive season like no other country. Whether you are looking for a day of exploring with the family or you fancy an overnight city break with your partner or friends, then there are some great places just off the mountains that are worth a visit and within a good travel distance.
If you are skiing near Innsbruck:
Triumphal Arch is worth a sight-seeing visit, situated on Maria-Theresien Street in the south of the city, offering fantastic photo opportunities. There are also plenty of interesting museums, but to get a real feel for the area then The Museum of Tyrolean Regional Heritage is an ideal afternoon spent. If you want to have a fun, interactive mess around with the children, it’s worth popping into the Olympic Village for some swimming and slides.
If you are skiing near Salzburg:
You can have some family fun exploring the cool, underground ice cave in Werfen or the Salt-mines in Hallstatt. If you are a motor fan, there are plenty of car and bike museums to choose from such as Manro, based on classic cars (but there are plenty of other museums too - from a family toy museum to a classic option of Mozart’s Residence). A must do though during the winter (festive season) is to go ice skating on Mozart Square and wander around the Christmas markets - they are full of joy, with lots of local food and drink to sample.
5. Après Ski
Après ski is a big part of European culture and nowhere does it quite like Austria. Though you can enjoy a quiet tipple after the slopes, Austrians like to be the best hosts so you may even find yourself dancing on tables with a large Bier stein in hand (essentially a very big glass of beer).
St Anton, Ischgl and Mayrhofen are but a few of the big names when it comes to après ski, and are worth a visit if you are seeking a party. In St Anton you have to head to Mooserwirt Bar where you can dance to Europop until the early hours. Over in Ischgl, you must spend an evening at Fire & Ice, an awesome ice bar with music and drinks that don’t disappoint. Finally, Mayrhofen also holds an Ice Bar, but be prepared because when dusk arrives it turns into an awesome nightclub where you can party the night away.
Of course there are lots of cosy, traditional bars in every resort, where you can chat through your day of skiing or snowboarding whilst drinking something local that will warm your stomach, and these places aren’t to be missed as they are homely and inviting.