Austria is known for many things. But did you know that Austria has some of the best ski resorts in the world?
I love Austria, not just because it is close to Munich, which is admittedly one of the best parts. But also because I find that it has some of the best ski resorts in Europe.
Yes, the altitudes are fairly low compared to places like Switzerland, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that Austria doesn’t have world-class skiing. It’s no wonder that the winter Olympics have been held in Austria twice.
Before we get started, though, if you plan on backcountry skiing, ensure you have a thermal blanket with you – it could save your life. You’ll also want to ensure that you know how to stop your water from freezing. And take these steps to prevent frostbite.
Finally, sometimes it’s too cold to ski. Here’s how to know when it’s too cold.
The Best Ski Resorts in Austria
1. Wilder Kaiser
There are 284km of slopes in total. There are 121km of easy slopes, 127km of intermediate slopes and 36km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 90 ski lifts (some of them with heated seats) and over 70 ski huts. There is even an Igloo Village, which is always fun to visit.
Skiing at Wilder Kaiser
SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental is one of my favourite ski resorts, and not just because of the amazing skiing. It is just an hour from Munich, Innsbruck, and Salzburg and also offers great Tobogganing and snowshoeing.
The ski resort is at a height of between 620 and 1957 meters. You can easily access the slopes from any of the towns in the area which include Ellmau, Going, Scheffau, Söll, Westendorf, Brixen im Thale, Hopfgarten, Itter, and Kieschau.
The area is well-signed, which is always a plus in my book. Wilder Kaiser is a great ski resort for families and beginners as there are some great slopes to try on. There are also some great kids’ areas and events that happen throughout the season to keep everyone busy.
Events include the witch’s skiing, where skiers dress up as witches. This is always fun to watch. Then there are also some great night skiing events great for the whole family and of course the men and ladies ski days that offer discounts to men and ladies on specific days.
There are 4 ski parks that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike with something for beginners and advanced skiers. Each of the parks offers something unique and the most popular one for freestyle skiing is Hans im Glück Skiparcours. Make sure to also check out the AlPENIgloo Village which is a bar and hotel. It’s a great place to spend some time in between ski sessions. Wilder Kaiser also offers some great nightlife to keep you busy.
Although Wilder Kaiser offers phenomenal scenery and entertainment, it is not the place to go if you’re looking for challenging slopes. Peak season is between Mid December and Mid March while the offseason is considered to be between 7 December to 21 December and mid-March to mid-April.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Wilder Kaiser?
There are a few options for skiers at Wilder Kaiser. For a day pass you are looking at spending anything from €48.00 depending on age. For a 6 day pass you can look at spending around €222.50. You can also purchase a Snow Card Tirol for around €825.00. But this card is limited in some ways such as it does not include passes for night skiing. You can find out more about the tariffs here.
Where to Stay near Wilder Kaiser Ski Resort
Top Pick: Tirol Lodge
The Tirol Lodge is located in Ellmau and offers ski-to-door access. This wonderful hotel offers a panoramic sauna and a heated outdoor pool that can be used year-round. The rooms are comfortable and guests are welcome to enjoy the lobby lounge that has a fireplace.
There are 110km of slopes in total. There are 30km of easy slopes, 69km of intermediate slopes and 11km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 30 ski lifts. You can almost always find sunny slopes here.
Skiing at Nassfeld
Nassfeld can be enjoyed during summer and winter. Nassfeld has a height of between 600 and 2002 meters and is located between the town of Hermagor and the Pressenger See. The peak season at Nassfeld is between December and April. Nassfeld is located on the Italian border and offers a promise of reliable snow and many hours of sunlight to best enjoy your ski vacation.
At Nassfeld you will enjoy some of the most amazing mountain panoramas, snowparks and freeride areas. According to their website, Nassfeld is one of the top 10 ski resorts in Austria right now and also one of the most modern.
It also offers 25 ski huts and piste restaurants that serve delicious foods from Austria and Italy as well as a ski school and 5 toboggan runs. Nassfeld is also home to the longest floodlit run in the Alps.
The most unique thing about this ski resort is the “Surprises”. Visitors can look out for the surprise guys and girls around every corner who give out goodies to skiers on the pistes. Although Nassfeld is a wonderful ski resort and offers great beginner and intermediate ski runs, advanced skiers will find little to keep them occupied here.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Nassfeld?
There are several options for ski passes at Nassefeld. Depending on the time that you would like to enter you can purchase a day pass from around €49.00 for adults. You can also purchase a ski pass which will last you longer and gives you free access to the slopes and night skiing. You can find out more about the prices here.
Where to Stay near Nassfeld Ski Resort
Top Pick: Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Carinzia
This wonderful 4-Star hotel is located in Tröpolach, a few steps away from Millennium Express Cable Car. Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Carinzia boasts a large spa area that includes a hot tub, a sauna, and a steam bath. Guests can enjoy the use of the indoor and outdoor pools. The rooms are stylish and comfortable and ski passes can be bought directly from the hotel.
Top Pick: Hotel Nassfeld
This 4-star hotel is located in the Sonnenalpe Nassfeld Ski area and is just 100m from the slopes. The Nassfeld hotel offers a restaurant, spa area, and free wifi access. Guests at the hotel can enjoy wonderful mountain views from their rooms as well as a seating area and spacious bathroom.
Related Reading: Schruns, Austria: A Snowshoer and Winter Hiker’s Paradise
There are 143km of slopes in total. There are 43km of easy slopes, 89km of intermediate slopes and 11km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 52 ski lifts.
Skiing in Zillertal
Zillertal offers skiing from heights of between 580 and 2500 meters. It is the world’s largest skiing valley and is a four-mountain ski area. I love Zillertal because you can ski here 365 days a year. I went in September and got to ski the Hintertux Glacier. The best part is that it isn’t busy, there are no lines and you have the slopes all to yourself which is epic.
You have a choice between using Zell am Ziller, Gerlos, Königsleiten, and Hochkrimml. Zillertal is also very well-known as a family-friendly ski resort with many kids’ activities and a great ski school.
A fascinating new addition to the Actionpark Kreuzwiese is the Bagjump landing airbag. This 31x17m air cushion has been installed for skiers and snowboarders to try out and perfect new jumps in a safe way. It is free with access to the Actionpark. Zillertal is perfect for any level of skier and snowboarder. You can also enjoy an array of events and activities such as ski shows and night skiing as well as 6 great Toboggan runs for the whole family to enjoy. Zillertal really is one of the top ski resorts in Austria.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Zillertal?
Day tickets start at around €55.50 for adults, depending on the time of day you would like to enter. If you are staying for more than a day then you can purchase the Superskipass which will cost you around €109.50 for 2 days and €266.50 for 6 days.
You can also purchase a flexible (elective) ticket which will allow you to choose the days that you would like to ski. If you purchase a ticket that will allow you to ski 4 days within a 6 day period it will cost you around €212.00. You can find out more about their tariffs here.
Where to stay near Zillertal Ski Resort
Top Pick: Natürlich Hell. Aparthotel & Camping
The Hell’s Ferienresort Zillertal is located in the Ziller Valley, just 15 minutes away from Fügen. The hotel offers a spa area which includes saunas, a steam bath, a fitness room, and an indoor pool. The apartments all have a fully equipped kitchenette as well as a private bathroom and a terrace area.
This 5-star hotel was built to be energy-saving and is environmentally certified and is located in Zell am Ziller. The Posthotel offers guests a heated outdoor pool and an indoor pool and a restaurant that offers organic cuisine. The hotels’ pastel-colored interiors and spacious beautiful rooms with a balcony and stylish bathrooms. The hotel is on the ski bus stop.
Related Reading: How to Explore the Medieval Treasures of Carinthia, Austria
4. St. Anton
There is 303 km of slopes in total. There are 130km of easy slopes, 122km of intermediate slopes and 51km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 88 ski lifts and heli-ski is also available.
Skiing in St. Anton
St. Anton is one of the highest ski resorts in Austria at a height of between 1300 and 2811 meters. St. Anton is the largest connected ski resorts in Austria which include St. Anton, St. Christoph, Stuben, Lech, Zürs, Warth and Schröcken. St. Anton is a modern ski resort with a Ferris wheel style cable car and a multi-functional sports center. One of the best things about St. Anton is that you can count on reliable snow which is guaranteed till April.
St. Anton is perfect for every level of skier and advanced skiers won’t be lacking in great pistes to challenge them. There are some great off-piste and challenging steep slopes to keep the ski adventurer busy.
There is also some excellent deep snow ski runs ad snowboard fun parks that can be enjoyed. Snowboarding is accessible fro the slopes at Rendl and when the snow conditions are good you can find natural pipes, corners, spines, and kickers. At Stanton park, you can enjoy the Proline which has several choices for huge kickers and loads of rails and boxes.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at St. Anton?
For a 1-day ski pass, you can expect to pay around €56.50 and €300.00 for 6 days. You can also purchase an hourly ticket which you can expect to pay €61.00 for a 1-hour pass and €12.00 for 4 hours. You can find out more about ski pass prices here.
Where to stay near St. Anton Ski Resorts
Top Pick: Bergschlössl
This 4-star hotel sits right next to the valley station with easy access to the cable cars. The rooms are equipped with entertainment centers and computers and fresh fruit is also provided. The Bergschlössl features a sauna, solarium and a steam room as well as a sports shop. You can also explore St. Anton’s many shops and restaurants.
Top Pick: Hotel Grischuna
This wonderful hotel offers guests the use of an infinity pool with panoramic views of the Arlberg Mountain and is a 10-minute walk from the Galzigbahn Cable Car. Hotel Grischuna offers a spa area and free shuttle service to and from the cable cars. Guests can buy ski passes on site.
Related Reading: Krimml Falls: Why You Should Hike to Austria’s Highest Waterfall
There are 142km of slopes in total. There are 40km of easy slopes, 69km of intermediate slopes and 33km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 45 ski lifts.
Skiing in Mayrhofen
At Mayrhofen, you can expect heights between 630 and 2500 meters. Mayrhofen ski resort is located between the towns of Penken, Ahorn, Rastkogel, and Eggalm. For those of you that love challenging skiing, Mayrhofen ski resort in Austria is for you. Here you will find the famed Harakiri Run, which is not for the faint-hearted.
This is Austria’s steepest slope adventure with the gradient peaking at 78%. Be warned though, this is only for very advanced skiers and should not be attempted if you lack inexperience.
If you’re not up for the Harakiri Run try the less frightening, but still daunting, Devil’s Run. The Devil’s Run is not as difficult but does get quite steep towards the and is referred to as the “Harakiri Test” by the locals. Adventure mountain Penken is the perfect spot for the experienced skier.
There are multiple ski schools at Mayrhofen for skiers and snowboarders. If your visiting the resort during the week then make sure to drop in at the White Lounge on Mount Ahorn which hosts the Igloo party every Tuesday. This is the place to be if you’re looking for great music and the perfect vibe for a few after ski drinks.
If your looking for tamer and family-friendly skiing then make a stop at the Leasure Mountain Ahorn. Here you will find sunny wide ski piste which is perfect for the beginner and the whole family. Mayrhofen is the best ski resort in Austria if you’re looking for diversity in slopes and great Aprés ski and nightlife.
I especially love that Mayrhofen is easily reached from Innsbruck with the Zillertalbahn. But there are cons to skiing at Mayrhofen. Due to its altitude, you cannot always count on reliable snow and the snow conditions can vary in some places.
This means that you may need to go quite high up in order to get good snow. This also makes the season slightly shorter than other ski resorts in Austria. The ski resort is open for skiing between early December and April.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Mayrhofen?
A day passes for an adult at Mayrhofen will cost around €55.50 for an adult. You can also purchase a season ticket which will cost around €621.50. A 6-day super ski pass will cost an adult around €266.50. You can also purchase tickets to the Igloo Party and the White Lounge as well as special tickets for ascents and descents and other special activities. You can find more prices here.
Where to Stay Near Mayrhofen
This wonderful apartment offers free wifi and parking (recommended for those driving here). Sissi Suites luxury apartments offer guests a patio, seating area and a fully equipped kitchen which includes a dishwasher. Guests can enjoy spacious rooms and private bathrooms. There is also a shared lounge for guests to relax in after a day of skiing.
Top Pick: Hotel Neue Post
Located in the center of Mayrhofen this 4-star hotel offers traditionally furnished rooms that make guests feel at home. The Hotel Neue Post, guests are free to use the spa area which includes saunas, an infrared cabin, a steam bath, and a fitness room. The hotel restaurant offers special menus for children, diabetics, and vegetarians on request.
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There are 239km of slopes in total. There are 47km of easy slopes, 143km of intermediate slopes and 49km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 41 ski lifts.
Skiing in Ischgl
Ischgl Ski Resort is located in the towns of Paznaum and Ischgl at a height of between 1377 and 2872 meters. The ski resort is open between November and May every year. Ischgl offers some of the best intermediate pistes in Austria.
It is one of the best and most frequented ski resorts in Austria and is favoured by Germans and Britons. Ischgl is most famous for its beginning and end-of-season concerts which frequently feature big names in international music. Ischgl also has great nightlife and apré ski.
It is one of the more expensive resorts in Austria though. The fact that there is reliable snow, is almost always sunny and offers great scenery, makes the price worth it.
The Silvretta Arena stretches all the way of the Swiss border into the Engadin mountains. Silvretta is well-known for its great intermediate slopes and great snowboarding opportunities. There is also a 7km toboggan run which is you have to try.
The highest point of Ischgl is the Palinkopf where some of the best black runs can be experienced. The highest vertical drop is 1000m.
Ischgl will leave the advanced skier something to be desired though, so if your looking for more difficult runs Ischgl is probably not the best place to find them. The Jeep Snowpark is considered one of the best terrain parks in Europe and many snowboarders and twin-tip skiers frequent it.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass at Ischgl?
You can expect to pay around €56.00 for an adult day pass. You can also purchase quarter and half-day passes if you will be spending less than a day here. A 6-day pass will cost you about €307.50 and a 5 in 7-day flexible pass will cost around €276.00. Season tickets will cost you around €811.50 for an adult. You can find out more about the tariffs here.
Where to Stay Near Ischgl Ski Resort
Top Pick: Schlosshotel Ischgl
This wonderful 5-Star offers direct access to the ski slopes as well as spacious and elegant rooms. The Schlosshotel Ischgl offers a private si shop, an excellent spa, and great restaurants. Enjoy state-of-the-art facilities and treatments in the spa which is free to guests. You can spend your free time in the Schloss Lounge or champagne club which offers great music and drinks.
Top Pick: Hotel Modern Mountain
Guests can expect spacious and well-equipped rooms at the Hotel Modern Mountain. The property offers spa facilities as well as a sauna. Guests can enjoy a great breakfast every morning and the hotel is located perfectly to reach the Ischgl ski slopes.
There are 188km of slopes in total. There are 102km of easy slopes, 66km of intermediate slopes and 20km of difficult slopes. Here you will find 49 ski lifts.
Skiing in Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel is located at a height of between 800 and 2000m. Legend has it that skiing was invented at Kitzbühel since skiing races have been held here since the 1800s. It is one of the more luxurious ski resorts and you may even find a celebrity or two roaming around. You may even bump into Arnold Schwarzenegger who is a regular here.
Kitzbühl is a picturesque and charming town and is known as one of the most beautiful villages in Europe. It is located between Innsbruck and Salzburg. It is one of the largest ski resorts in Austria, and the highest point is located on the Hahnenkamm mountain.
The resort offers great intermediate runs and advanced runs. But it is also a great family resort as it offers something for everyone. Kitzbühel hosts one of the toughest downhill ski races in the world each year. The Hahnenkamm has places where the vertical drop reaches up to 85%. It is one of the reasons why the resort is frequented by many adrenaline junkies.
Visitors can also enjoy the snowpark at Pass Thurn as well as the Kitzbuhler Horn where skiers will find halfpipes as well as great freestyle and snowboarding opportunities.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Day Pass Kitzbühel?
A day ticket will cost around €48.00 for an adult. A 6-day ski pass will cost you around €237.50 for an adult. You can find out more about ski passes and discounts here.
Where to Stay Near Kitzbühl
Top Pick: A-ROSA Kitzbühel
This hotel has been built in the style of a Tyrolean castle and offers a massive spa area that includes a variety of wellness and beauty treatments. The A-ROSA Kitzbühl offers elegant rooms and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. The Rosini club offers fun activities for kids between the ages of 3 and 12 years, perfect for parents that want to take time out.
Offering beautiful mountain views, the Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort is the perfect 4-star hotel for skiing and enjoying the countryside. The hotel offers an indoor pool, a Finnish sauna, and a solarium. It combines modern and traditional making this the perfect home away from home.
These are just a few of the best ski resorts in Austria, but there are so many more to explore. One thing is for sure, you’ll have fun and adventure wherever you go skiing in Austria.
Also be sure to check out skiing in:
- Courmayeur Ski Resort: Your Guide to an Amazing Ski Holiday
- The 12 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado
- Skiing in Switzerland: The 7 Best Ski Resorts
- Skiing in France: The 7 Best Ski Resorts
Note: The stated prices are approximations and are to be used as guidelines as they are subject to change.