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Why I ❤︎ skiing in Austria!

I learnt to ski in France and spent many happy holidays skiing there with family and friends.  I don’t know if I should admit to it, but it wasn’t until my first working winter season that I actually realised you could ski in Austria! With no expectations I therefore arrived in December 2002 in the Tyrol and fell totally in love with the region. And here I am over 10 years later, still working and playing around the region and discovering all the time more and more about this fabulous part of the world. I’ve not skied in France since…

 

So here are my top reasons why I believe skiing in Austria is so special:

 

1. Variety 

Whether you are learning to ski, looking for a family holiday, group ski trip or weekend event- there are so many options available- from the well-known names of Obergurgl, Ischgl and St Anton am Arlberg to the smaller, hidden treasures of the Tannheimer Tal or Alpbachtal. Each village and resort offering its own individual character and within it options for fun and winter adventures on and off the slopes. With so many options, you will find the best snow, resort and holiday to fit your needs. 

 

2. Hospitality

From 5 star hotels to guest houses, you are sure to experience the warmth of the Austrian hospitality. As long-standing family-run businesses, they provide a sincere welcome- maintaining traditional values and catering to the needs of international guests. Many speaking excellent English as well as many other languages.

 

3. Scenery 

Just spectacular! Picturesque mountain villages nestling in mountain valleys- providing unspoilt mountain panoramas. Just look at our pictures if you need further confirmation of this…

 

4. Ease of travel

Munich, Innsbruck, Friedrichshafen, Memmingen, Salzburg, Zurich- all airports which can bring you to a ski slope within 1-2 hours! These are well-served throughout the winter by a range of airlines- Easyjet, Ryanair, British Airways, Lufthansa and more… The rail networks (Deutsche Bahn and OEBB) also provide reliable, hassle-free and cost-effective connections to resorts at the other end.  

5. Après-ski

I clearly can’t talk about the highlights of the Austrian ski scene and not mention the après-ski… What better way to end an awesome ski day, than dancing in your ski boots in a mountain hut to a live band- most likely attired in Lederhosen and Dirndl (traditional Austrian clothing)- blasting out a mix hits from all ages and Austrian oom pah pah classics?! 

 

6. Wellness

On the flipside of the coin, relaxation and wellbeing is an art form in this part of the world. Most top hotels offer extensive wellness areas including various saunas, steam rooms, infrared cabins, massage facilities and more to regenerate the ski legs. Even the local pools offer far more than just a nice swimming pool, they often have a great range of wellness facilities and often welcome guests for a full day of wellbeing and relaxation. As a Brit the Germanic way of using these areas “textile-free” has taken a bit of getting used to, but when in Rome…

 

7. Authenticity

Since most ski villages existed before the skiing - they have grown with the industry and kept their traditions at the heart of their daily existence. You will experience the welcoming interiors, friendly nature of the locals, and “Gemütlichkeit” (my favourite German word, the closest translation-wise is cosiness) of mountain huts and restaurants.

 

8. Modern technology/ lifts 

The Austrian ski industry is an important part of the Austrian economy and as such sees continuous growth in its infrastructure. It boasts the most modern of lifts- fast lifts with heated seats and covered cabins make a big difference on those -20c windy days. Also resorts continue to invest heavily in the snow-making facilities- finding sustainable ways of producing snow to ensure top conditions throughout the season.  

 

9. Off the beaten track

Overall resorts are smaller than other European counterparts and not so well-known (in particular with the Brits) and therefore have managed to remain untouched by the effects of mass tourism. This means less lift queues, more opportunities to encounter the culture and environment for yourself and more affordable prices making your ski money go further.  

 

10. Kaiserschmarrn & Kässpätzle

Aside from the obligatory Apple Strudel a visit to this region isn’t complete without sampling the local specialities. Kaiserschmarrn is a sweet dish- chopped up pancakes with raisins, accompanied by stewed apples or plums and is served generally itself as a main course! The other must-eat is perfect for vegetarians- Kässpätzle- a cheesy noodle dish, with fried onions on the top. Since these dishes definitely require a good appetite, they fit perfectly into the ski holiday agenda Its probably also reason why the Austrians are also such active people!