10 Reasons to Ski in Austria

    A huge variety of skiing options for all levels on snow-sure pistes, unrivalled après-ski, hospitality, and off-the-slope activities. These are just some of the reasons to choose Austria for your skiing holiday. Browse our list of the top 10.

    1. Snow is Guaranteed

    Austria's Alps are blessed with a long and lavish snow season and the country is widely recognized as one of the world's best snow-sure skiing destinations. The snow on the ground is generally powdery and fluffy well into spring, packed powder prevails on the groomed runs, and deep powder off-piste. All of Austria's resorts have top-of-the-range snow-making facilities, ensuring complete and utter satisfaction on perfectly groomed pistes all throughout the winter season. The high altitude of many of its mountains brings about ideal snowy conditions. In the Tirol alone there are 5 glaciers - such as the Hintertux glacier, which offers a whopping 365 days of skiing a year.

    Serfaus ski area

    2. Austrian Gemütlichkeit & Hospitality

    The Austrian notion of Gemütlichkeit is hard to explain. So special and unique to this country, it embodies cosiness, comfort and homeliness and is a word that just can't be translated. You'll find lashings of this during your winter skiing adventure. Cosy rustic huts invite you to while away the hours, nursing a hot spicy Glühwein or schnaps in front of a crackling log fire, surrounded by friendly locals. The service and hospitality that you encounter all over the country is guaranteed to leave you with a warm glow even in cold winter weather. Most of Austria's hotels and guest houses are family-run, guaranteeing a friendly and unique atmosphere.

    Hut in the Wilder Kaiser region

    3. Unrivalled Infrastructure

    Austria, which looks back on a long tradition in skiing, has some of the very best winter sports infrastructure in Europe, and seamlessly combines modernity with tradition. Come to Austria for a wealth of perfectly groomed pistes, top-of-the-range snow-making facilities and ski-hire equipment, impressive viewing galleries, and the state-of-the-art lift installations. Millions of Euros per year are invested into continuously improving and upgrading the country's already impressive lift and gondola network.

    Freerider enjoys a ride on an untouched slope

    4. Great Value for Money

    Austria is well known for winning on the value-for-money stakes, with everything from lift passes, ski schools, eating out, and partying costs less compared to other popular ski destinations. Not only will your stay cost you less, but there will be so much more thrown in to boot - savvy travellers can find great deals in Austria's ski regions.

    Let's go again after taking a break on the hut

    5. Unrivaled Après-ski

    From rocking beats into the night in the valley to friendly gatherings outside a mountain hut, Austria really does have an enviable and unrivaled après-ski culture. Unlike in other countries, the party kicks off in the early afternoon. You can expect friendly crowds, delicious food, catchy tunes, Jägertee, fantastic local beer or schnaps, and the indescribable uplifting feeling when all the people in the room seem to know the words to the après-ski songs and erupt in a chorus, dancing on the tables. Check out Ischgl for one of the best-known après-ski vibes, but you can expect to experience this all over Austria's ski resorts.

    enjoying the sun in Kühtai - region Innsbruck

    6. Variety galore

    Austria’s skiing regions offer no end of variety of ski runs, activities and stunning scenery. Whether you're looking to mix it up and prefer not to ski the same slope more than once during your stay (for example at Skicircus, one of the top 10 biggest ski resorts in the world, or Arlberg, now Austria's largest contiguous skiing area) or small and intimate is more your thing (such as hidden gems like Sankt Johann in Salzburg or Hochkönig), you're certain to find the right thing for you amongst Austria's 426 ski areas. For a literal change of scenery, you could ski on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier on a cold morning in Zell am See-Kaprun before making your way down to skate the frozen Lake Zell in the afternoon. You'll find a wealth of varied opportunities waiting all over the country.

    Skiing in the Oetztal Valley in Tirol

    7. Charming Resorts with an Authentic Village Life

    Austrian mountain resorts not only meet the best standards, but often exceed them in value and service. Most of the four- or five-star hotels in Austria have their own spa facilities. As is the Austrian way, service and gratuities are always included. You can ski right into the village, and the lifts are usually within easy walking distance to your hotel. Beautiful, picturesque hotels, with fluffy down comforters and cozy rooms, await you. All this happens in villages that grew organically, expanding over the centuries. The result is an Old-World atmosphere for your perfect winter fairy-tale.

    Alpbach Village Winter

    8. Premier World-Class Ski Schools

    In Austria, there are world-class ski schools for all levels with ski instructors from all over the world. Most ski schools have at least one English-speaking instructor, so you don't even need to be able to speak German to attend. The ski schools of St. Anton am Arlberg look back on a long tradition, with the first school there being established in 1921, and Kitzbühel was the first place in Austria to introduce ski instruction, with prestigious schools such as the Rote Teufel ('Red Devils'). Runs for every level skier are available on Austria's slopes, giving you ample opportunity to practice your newly learned moves and techniques.


    Two skiiers with a ski instructor in the Schladming ski area

    9. Safety Is a Priority

    Not only does Austria rank high up on the safest countries to travel and live in worldwide, but all the investment in the sport and its infrastructure means that slopes are incredibly safe for winter sports enthusiasts. The high quality of its ski lifts, meticulously groomed pistes together with the well-trained ski patrol and emergency services means that skiing in Austria is safer than in many other European countries. Unlike other places, it is obligatory for children under the age of 15 to wear helmets when skiing. And, in spite of the fact that the last few years have seen an increase of skiers in Austria, the number of skiing accidents has actually fallen by around 50% in the last ten years. Before you don your skis, check out our tips on how to stay safe and get fit for the slopes.

    Skiing in Stubai, Tirol

    10. There's Lots to Do Beyond the Ski Slopes

    Thanks to the fantastic arena of mountains and lakes, snow and ice, Austria's winter wonderland offers up countless activities off the slopes. Owing to its extensive areas of natural thermal water and fresh Alpine air, the country looks back on a long tradition of health and well-being with a wealth of superior spas just a stone's throw from the winter slopes, such as Zell am See-Kaprun's Tauern Spa resort.

    Spectacular panoramic views, wild animals and winter flora can be experienced snowshoeing, and particularly impressive routes can be found in the Rauris Valley. Tobogganing slopes all over the country offer unbridled fun for the whole family, such as at Wildkogel, which prides itself as being the world's longest floodlit toboggan run. Take a Segway tour across snowy meadows, such as those offered in Serfaus in Tirol. Adrenaline junkies can get their fix scaling the dizzy heights of frozen waterfalls whilst ice climbing.

    Put some magic into your winter adventure by taking a romantic horse-drawn carriage or sleigh ride, sample local schnaps or taste hot doughnuts under the twinkling lights at one of Austria's internationally renowned Christmas markets or skate around a frozen lake.

    The possibilities really are endless, and you're guaranteed never to have a dull moment on your winter holiday in Austria.

    Christmas market