Luxury Ski resorts in Austria
Ski Resorts and Luxury Chalets in Austria
An ultimate guide to ski resorts and chalets in Austria
Photo: Gerald Lobenwein
Some of Austria’s ski resorts are exclusive and come with top-notch services. Resorts such as St. Anton, Kitzbuhel, and Lech offer luxury ski holiday experiences in Austria. St Anton’s après ski is famed for being some of the best après ski in the Alps, with friendly locals, Michelin star restaurants, delicious Austrian cuisine, and local beers, Hammam Spas, swimming pools, saunas, private chefs, Luxury Ski Chalets with top-class facilities. All these services make Austria a great ski destination. Moreover, the country offers the best group and corporate ski event destinations in the world. In the Alps, its snow record is unmatched, whilst it boasts the largest and best glacier skiing in Europe.
Austria has plenty to offer, some of the highest and most snow-sure skiing you can find in the Alps; it offers the second highest ski resort in Europe and six glaciers that offer wonderful facilities and 3000m+ skiing from October through to June.
Did you know that the Hintertux Glacier in the southern reaches of the Zillertal valley opens for skiing 365 days per year? Some glaciers like the Rettenbach & Tiefenbach glaciers above Sölden are lift-linked to big resorts. All are just amazing to experience.
The Arlberg Ski Circus is the most well-known and largest ski area in Austria. It links St. Anton and St. Christoph, Lech, and Zurs, whilst providing excellent skiing and legendary après-ski. In the list of finest ski resorts in the Austrian Tyrol and Arlberg region, Ischgl and Kappl & See to getting to be noticed.
The Zell am See – Kaprun, incorporating Kaprun and Zell am See has excellent snow-sure skiing. These resorts are particularly good for families and beginners. In Salzburg – Zell am See; Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Kaprun, and Bad Gastein (Gastein Valley) are dreamy ski areas for ski holidays in Austria.
Other areas are Galtür, Ötztal Valley (Sölden), Obergurgl, Innsbruck, Zell am Ziller, Mayrhofen, Hintertux Glacier, Kitzbühel, Zahmer Kaiser, Wilder Kaiser and Igls are well known destinations among the Skiers and Snowboarders.
TOP 5 Luxury ski resorts for skiing & Snowboarding in Austria
Skiing & Snowboarding in St. Anton am Arlberg
Photo: Gerard De Mooij
St Anton is a well-known ski destination among the expert skiers and snowboarders, mainly because of its solid snow record. The Arlberg ski area consists of over 300km of pistes and 200km of off-piste itineraries, which makes St Anton a great place in Austria’s Arlberg region: it is the biggest connected ski area in Austria with fast lift links to neighbouring Lech & Zürs.
Not for beginners, but for confident intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders
If you are a beginner, St Anton is not the place to be, unless someone else is paying for your holiday! Lech, on the other side of the Valluga and with its ski area now linked into the village of Warth-Schröcken, would be a better option. While you could find some peaceful nursery slopes, you will be much pleased elsewhere. If you are coming to St Anton, you should know it is a place for the confident intermediates and experts: pistes that are classified as blues here would usually be reds in other ski resorts. Remember: most off-piste runs here are treated like casual runs elsewhere by expert skiers and, as always for off-piste itineraries, hire a guide. So if you are an advanced skier or snowboarder, you will love this place.
Skiing & Snowboarding in Lech-Zürs am Arlberg
Photo: Max Kukurudziak
Lech is a little like Switzerland’s St.Moritz or France’s Megève, where the rich and famous tend to hang out. Some of the past visitors to lech include Princess Diana, Monaco’s Princess Caroline, the Jordanian royal family, and the Dutch royal family. With such a prestigious guest list like this, Lech is famous for its high-end living accommodation options. All top-notch luxury chalets to rent in Lech come with five-star services, with its alpine village settings staying true to its farming cultures. Lech is at an altitude of 1,450m and the slopes are well suited for intermediates skiers. The terrain is a lot friendlier than in the linked resort of St Anton, which is covered also by the same Arlberg lift pass as Lech/Zürs. Lech is the middle village in its local ski area, with its satellite Oberlech above, then there is the village of Zürs to the south. Zürs network has intermediate runs on both sides of the Lech access road. For moving around try the 10-seater Flexenbahn gondola Zürs to Alpe Rauz in Stuben – the mid-point between Lech and St Anton – in six minutes.
Skiing & Snowboarding in Zurs am Arlberg
Zurs with well-equipped slopes is well known as the Mecca of Alpine powder snow skiing. Zurs is also well known for its best ski schools in the world. They offer personal attention, with private instructors or groups, and children are looked after well during skiing lessons. Zurs am Arlberg Resort altitude is at 1700m – and has reliable snow. Skiing, however, is best for intermediates and advanced skiers.
Skiing & Snowboarding in St Christoph
St Christoph is a small, glitzy outpost in the Arlberg close to its far more famous cousin, St Anton. Well located with St Anton is a short trip via the St. Christoph chair lift, and red piste and shuttle buses give access to ski resorts like Lech and Zurs which are closeby, makes this a good ski resort to explore. Chalets are mostly ski-in ski-out – or at most a short walk to the main lift. All resorts in the Arlberg ski area – St Anton, Stuben, Lech, Zürs, Oberlech, as well as Ströcken and Warth are easily accessible on skis without the need for a bus and it makes this the largest interconnected ski area in Austria.
St Christoph is the more suitable option for beginners with its nursery area next to the Sporthotel. No lift pass is required for the drag lift here. Recommended runs in nearby. The ski area offers a good range of blue and red runs for intermediate skiers and boarders.
- Resort Altitude: 1800m
- Runs – Blue- 130, Red-122 and Black 51
- 304 km of pistes, 200 km of powder runs
For the advanced, the world-famous Valluga off-piste terrain grabs the attention of expert skiers from around the world. Closeby, St. Anton has good blacks by the Kapall, like black 42, world cup downhill run. Stuben has a lot of red runs. Advanced riders have enough runs to keep them occupied for a week, while carvers have more than enough to last them a month.
Skiing & Snowboarding in Ischgl
Ischgl has a large ski area, with 238 kilometres (148 mi) of groomed pistes are served by over 45 mechanical lifts including cable cars, gondolas, detachable chair lifts and some T-bars. This Snow-sure skiing destination, with a state-of-the-art lift system and some awesome lively après-ski! Ischgl is for the hardcore party animals and skiers. This Snow-Sure Ski resort in Austria
The resort is located just 1 and a half hours from Innsbruck. The après-ski scene is lively and varied with lots of different bars, night clubs, restaurants and cafes. Ischgl is known for lively après-ski parties and nightlife. The resort hosts pop concerts celebrating the end of the annual ski season artists: Bob Dylan, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Tina Turner, Enrique Iglesias, Pink, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, and Alicia Keys have all performed at these concerts. Three ropeways open to the ski area from the village: the Pardatschgratbahn, the Fimbabahn & the Silvrettabahn. Only the Fimbabahn and the Silvrettabahn have middle stations. Most of the lifts converge at Idalp, where there is a restaurant. The area above Idalp offers wide, easy pistes and a snow park.
Skiing in Ischgl is best suited for intermediates (Silvretta Ski Arena), advanced skiers (although beginners will also feel comfortable here: nursery slopes are situated at the Idalp) and off-piste lovers. The steepest run in the resort is a black run with a gradient of 70%, located in the Höllboden bowl, and accessed by the “Lange Wand” chair lift.
Photo: Hans Braxmeier
Skiing & Snowboarding in Zell Am See/Saalbach-Hinterglemm
Photo: Gerald Lobenwein
The Zell am See-Kaprun ski area is widely known for the Schmittenhöhe mountain in Zell am See and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier close to Kaprun. The Alpin Card covers three regions on one pass, giving you access to 408km of premium slopes and 121 lifts. Alongside the Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See.
Beginners should try the Rettenwand or Alpincenter piste, while the Kristall, Langwied, and Gletschersee piste routes are great for intermediates. The advanced skiers will like Maurer piste 1 and 2 runs and Black Mamba. There are plenty of other options for skiers and snowboarders. itineraries for free-riders and snow parks are just some of the main alternatives for those searching for something out of the ordinary.
The pretty villages of Saalbach and Hinterglemm are located in the Glemm Valley and are 4km apart. Saalbach is the larger resort of the two known for its charm, bakeries, cafes and several options for lively après ski. Beginners – Saalbach and Hinterglemm’s nursery slope is right in the middle of the village. The local ski school has friendly, English-speaking instructors. Intermediates – At the Saalbach/Hinterglemm Ski Circus you can find a great number of long runs including reds and blues that are for relaxed cruising or skiing as far as possible across the mountain. Experts – The Schattberg( Saalbach) has a nice group of mogul runs and off-piste skiing. Alternatively, expert skiers will enjoy the challenging ‘Nordabfahrt’. If you want to challenge yourself then try Hinterglemm the Zwölferkogel.
Best Luxury Ski Resorts for Families with Children in Austria
Families with children in Obergurgl
Obergurgl is well-known as a family-friendly ski resort in Austria. Set high at the end of the picturesque Ötz Valley, the village center benefits from having no through traffic – which is ideal for families with kids who are planning a safe ski chalet holiday in Obergurgl. The Luxury chalets in Obergurgl are new chalet apartments, where you are sure to enjoy all modern comforts you could find in a chalet rental, and we will make sure to fulfill these little facilities and amenities when you request to book a chalet in Obergurgl. Obergurgl is one of the best ski resorts in Austria. The ski area boasts an enviable snow record often stretching from November right through until May. A number of well-recommended ski schools are on hand for beginners. As a leading ski resort in Austria, Obergurgl continues to appeal to skiers of levels – from beginners, intermediates, and experts alike. Families with Non-skiers can take part in activities like; Hiking, Tobogganing, Ice skating, Ice curling, Freizeit Areana swimming centre, Indoor golf, and Cross country skiing
- Resort height: 1,930m, Ski area: 110km, Ski range: 3082m,
- Ski runs – Green 1, Blue 23, Red 11 and Black 10.
Families with children in St. Anton – Best for Teenagers
St. Anton is not obviously a place for beginners, so we wouldn’t recommend any family with kids who are in the learning stage to come here. However, St.Anton is ideal for families with teenagers who are interested in the Total ski-resort experience, while still enjoying the benefit of being on holiday with your parents. The village has a wonderful variety of entertainment centres and snow-based activities that don’t require skiing down a black ski run. For families with Non-Skiers, there’s the tobogganing slopes, Horse sleigh rides, Snowshoeing, Cross country skiing, Winter climbing, Tennis and squash, Bowling, Paragliding, Swimming and Ice skating, which should be fun for families with teenagers to try if they want something different from skiing.
Families with children in Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel is one of the world’s most elegant ski resorts, with unique alpine charm, this medieval mining village is filled with swanky boutiques and Luxury hotels but hardly any luxury chalets. Kitzbühel ski terrain is best for intermediates and experts. The weird thing is, the so-called ‘’frightening Hahnenkamm’’ doesn’t represent Kitzbühel at all. The pretty town is set against the backdrop of the Wilder Kaiser mountains, with the most part flattering rather than frightening. Families with kids, the Children’s ski school courses are not only designed to teach kids the right technique, but they also have another very special focus, Fun & action in the Kitzbüheler Horn Snow Park- Anyone who doesn’t want to put their skiing skills to the test solely on the pistes is sure to love the Kitzbüheler Horn Snow Park, which offers a number of highlights for both beginners and experts.
Swimming at the Aquarena in Kitzbühel (+43 (0)5356 6951 1711, email@example.com) is a great choice for families with children coming to Kitzbuhel. The family can enjoy this huge spa and leisure facility and have lots of fun relaxing, swimming, and splashing around. The Aquarena in Kitzbühel is home to a 25-meter-long lap pool, a swimming area with a waterfall, two big adventure slides, and a toddler pool.
Families with children in Lech-Zürs am Arlberg
Here’s Perfect Chalet for Family holidays in Lech – Ski-in Ski-out Arula
Lech & Zürs are a favorite family skiing destination in Austria, Lech is the prettiest and most upmarket (Zürs is even more exclusive than the resort of Lech) of the villages that make up the vast Arlberg ski area. Lech isn’t recommended for families on a budget. Lech is an affluent town with mostly high-end chalets, apartments, and hotels with it’s a resort that offers the best of everything. Lech & Zurs is well known for its child-friendly ambiance. Many children’s clubs and childcare in the ski schools can be found, as well as in the family-friendly chalets are not rare. Kids will love the horse-drawn sleigh rides in the snow-covered winter landscape or ice skate on the natural ice skating rink in Zürs, or at the ice skating rink in Lech. Bockiland is located in Zürs next to the Baby lift and the double chairlift for the practice slope. Kids will love the different magic carpets and a castle made out of snow and ice. Kinderclub-Lech also has a children’s area which offers many strange personalities and obstacles along with magic carpets. Kids can learn to ski in a playful setting, making it more fun. Family-friendly Ski chalets are the best you can enjoy the quality time together with your family in an authentic alpine setting. Catered ski chalets in Lech provide the meals so you won’t have to lift a finger in the kitchen during your week away and can enjoy family ski holiday at ease. For other activities at Lech, try Tobogganing, Winter walks, Snowshoe walking, Sleigh rides, Curling, Ice skating, Indoor golf, Sports center, Shopping or visit the Snow Park in Lech.
Best Snow-sure Ski resorts in Austria
Take a look at our top snow-sure resorts in Austria.
Snow conditions in Sölden
The ski season kicks off in December to April with excellent coverage available for skiers and snowboarders, with slopes up to 3340 metres. Making sure the snow conditions and snowmaking systems cover 75% of the ski area, with 3 mountains over 3,000 metres and 2 glaciers – Retttenbach and Tiefenbach, ensuring superb snow conditions and reliability.
Sölden is great for intermediate – the 145km of snow-sure slopes are great for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders too will find this exciting. For beginners, the wide blue runs at Giggijoch are good to try.
Snow conditions in Lech-Zürs am Arlberg
Lech and Zürs are among the snowiest ski resorts in the Alps, with a seasonal snowfall average of around 7m in Lech, and closer to 10m in Zürs. There are plenty of snowmaking facilities across Lech’s pistes along with natural snowfall guarantees skiing throughout most of the season.That said, much of Lech’s local terrain is south-facing, so snow conditions will generally be best in early to mid-winter. Zürs is well-known for its great snow record and dramatic scenery.
- Snow Canon coverage: 60%
- Runs: Blue 145/Red 140/Black 55
- Piste Altitude: From 1450 m to 2811 m
Snow conditions in Ischgl
The Winter party capital, Ischgl with its liveliest après-ski scene in Europe is a paradise for powder hounds. As one of Austria’s most snow-sure ski areas, it has excellent access to the unpisted freeride terrain. The north-facing high altitude slopes are great for snow throughout the season. Season kick starts in early November and continues toward the first or second week of May, at a time with slight help from artificial snowmaking (canons) at the start of the season.
- Snow Canon coverage: 50%
- Runs: Blue 47 km/Red 155km/Black 27 km
- Piste Altitude: 1400 m-2872 m
Snow conditions in Obergurgl
Obergurgl is in the same valley as Solden in Austria, and strangely as many may wonder this is a snow-sure ski resort in Austria despite the absence of any glacial terrain! The resort receives snowfall from October and often lasts until mid-May and has excellent snow cannon coverage, 99%, offering one of the longest ski seasons in the Alps. Obergurgl is the highest ski resort in Austria at 1,950 m, and the top lift spins you out at 3,080m. Obergurgl attracts beginners, intermediates and experts alike.
This first non-glacier ski region in Tyrol with good ski accommodation, a vibrant apres-ski scene and an easy-going atmosphere captures the attention of skiers & snowboarders (runs and routes designed for free-riding, powder-riding and free-style skiing) to a greater level and wouldn’t disappoint the non-skiers who come along with them as activities such as Cross country skiing, Hiking, Tobogganing, Indoor Golf, Ice skating, Ice curling and Freizeit Arena swimming centre are great options for those who want to try something different in Obergurgl.
- Snow Canon coverage: 99%
- Runs: Blue 30%/Red 50%/Black 20%
- Piste Altitude: 1930 m-3080 m
Best Après-Ski resorts in Austria
Without a doubt, Austria has the best après-ski in the world. Mooserwirt and Krazy Kanguruh in St Anton is notoriously known as the party central of the universe. If you have never experienced après in Austria, expect to see dancing on tables in your ski boots, shots served by the metre and beers sold in steins. Be prepared for a challenging ski back to your hotel or chalet afterward!
Even in the small Austrian villages, you will find good après-ski bars with a friendly, unique atmosphere. To discover the best après, visit St Anton, Ischgl and Mayrhofen. If anyone knows how to party it’s the Austrians.
Next in the après ski league table and growing considerably in popularity is Ischgl – a resort where you can ski hard and party even harder. A host of Snowbombing festival and home to the unforgettable Igloo Bar, Mayrhofen is another top town that brings hordes of party-lovers throughout the season.
Photo: Rudy and Peter Skitterians