Ski resorts Austria
There are over 400 separate ski resorts in Austria so the choice is somewhat overwhelming. Most of the Austrian ski resorts are very small and rather low in altitude (some as low as 150m above sea level) and these are little more than local hills with one or two lifts. However, there are some much larger extremely well established resort towns and also some interlinked ski areas that offer world class skiing. We feature 23 of the best Austrian ski resorts on our website.
Austria is divided into 9 main administrative regions. From west to east these regions are the: Voralberg, Tyrol, Salzburg, Carinthia, Upper Austria, Styria, Lower Austria (which contains the region of Vienna) and finally, Burgenland, which borders Hungary and Slovakia. The regions with internationally recognised ski resorts or ski areas:
Voralberg: Lech and Warth of the western Arlberg ski area.
Tyrol: St Anton and the eastern Arlberg, the Skiwelt area, Ischgl, Kitzbuhel, Solden, Mayrhofen and Obergurgl.
Salzburg: Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Zell am See, Maria Alm and Obertaurern.
Carinthia Bad Kleinkirchheim.
Styria: Schladming and the Ski Amade ski area.
Gemutlich is a German word used to express the pleasant and welcoming nature of good old fashioned Austrian hospitality, and this upscaled Austrian customer 'service' is what sets many of their hotels apart from those of France, Italy and Switzerland. The Danish have their 'hygge' which denotes a feeling of well-being and a warm, cosy atmosphere but the Austrians have their 'gemutlich'.
The most popular ski resorts and ski areas in Austria
The resorts of Lech, Zurs and St Anton which are the principal ski resorts making up the Arlberg region are justifiably world famous and this is the region that we send most clients to each winter. These three resorts stradle the high-altitude flexen pass (1,773m) which makes this corner of the Alps particulalry snowy making for a long winter season that starts early and finishes late. Each of these resorts has its own very distinct character so although they share the same interlinked ski area of nearly 250km of piste and vast tracks of off-piste terrain they attract very different clientele. Lech is charming, attractive and smart, in fact very smart, and has a fantastic collection of luxury hotels and chalets. Zurs is a small, quiet and discreet village with arguably even more luxurious hotels than Lech. However, St Anton is a brash, party town with some genuinely tough skiing both on and off piste. It attracts a younger crowd looking to indulge in some serious après-ski, as well as some serious skiing.
St Anton has the highest concentration of chalets in Austria and with nearly 80 chalets in St Anton to choose from this is the resort to choose if you are looking to experience a fabulous Austrian ski resort on a budget. Other villages in the Arlberg region worth mentioning are Stuben and St Christoph. Both have some good hotel and chalet options.
Transfer times to ski resorts in Austria
Innsbruck and Salzburg are the main airport gateways to the Austrian Alps and as these two airports are literally in the mountains the transfer times to your chosen ski resort is likely to be significantly shorter than the journey time from say, Geneva to Val d'Isere, in the French Alps. The journey from Innsbruck (in the Tyrol region) to the Arlberg ski resorts of St Anton, St Christoph, Stuben, Zurs and Lech can take less than one hour. However, if you are a nervous flyer you might prefer to fly to Zurich to access the same resorts. The transfer time is double but you are unlikely to endure final approaches like this one into Innsbruck.
Salzburg Airport is approximately 200km to the east of Innsbruck and from here it is a very short transfer (less than one and a half hours) to the ski resorts of Saalbach-Hinterglemm and also Maria Alm of the Hochkonig ski area.