For a winter break that has it all, you can’t beat booking a ski holiday in Austria. From the epic range of runs and mostly snow-sure slopes to the family-friendly atmosphere and excellent après, it’s the ideal location for a group getaway.
Skiing in Austria has been big for decades and it’s really no surprise with its picture-perfect scenery and amazing infrastructure. In fact, the snow-capped Austrian Alps are currently the second most popular place for Brits to ski in Europe! Whether you want to admire traditional resorts filled with pretty wooden chalets or take advantage of incredible after-dark activities, you’ll find Austria has something for every kind of skier.
Not sure which ski resort is right for you? Keep scrolling for our complete guide and then get in touch with our experts over WhatsApp or Messenger to sort out your ideal ski holiday package in Austria.
If you’re about partying AND whizzing down world-class runs, you’ll definitely get the best of both worlds if you stay at one of the bigger resorts during your ski trip to Austria. St Anton’s après offering is the stuff of legend thanks to on-piste venues like the Mooserwitz and Krazy Kangeruh. Lively Mayrhofen additionally has an admirable selection of bars, including massive igloo bar The White Lounge and the authentically Austrian Bruck’n Stadl.
Whether you need childcare facilities or plenty of ski schools for older children to embark on their first snow sports adventure, you can’t go wrong with huge Mayrhofen. Obergurgl is also a great family-friendly resort if you’d rather have a more relaxed atmosphere and quieter slopes (of which around a third are easy blue runs).
The big resorts like Mayrhofen, St Anton and Ischgl all undoubtedly have plenty of accommodation options, extensive après and slopes to suit all abilities, and you should also consider Saalbach for your big group skiing holiday to Austria. A big ski area with a slick lift system, and a range of slopes for all abilities. Not to mention a wild après scene.
The perfect snow conditions and gentle nursery slopes at Lech in the Arlberg region make it a great pick for novice skiers. Saalbach & Hinterglemm – two twinned Austrian villages which form the popular Ski Circus area - are also ace for beginners thanks to over 100km of blue runs and a handful of ski schools. Plus, if you want a break from skiing, you’ll find an array of off-piste activities to indulge in, from ice skating to tobogganing.
Typically, altitude is less important in Austria than France. Even the lower resorts have relatively reliable snow cover. For the most snow-sure slopes, though, you’ll still want high altitude resorts like Obergurgl and Ischgl. The highest point of both is over 2500m, meaning you can expect piles of perfect powder each and every morning of your stay.
What about ski weekends in Austria?
Thinking of booking a last-minute ski holiday to Austria? Luckily, you’ll find a few resorts that can be visited for just a few days at a time. Head to Innsbruck for the perfect balance of city break and ski weekend only a few miles from the nearest international airport. St Anton and Saalbach also have accommodation that can be hired out for shorter stints, while Stuben is a good option if you’re hoping to nab a good deal on a cheap ski holiday in Austria.
One of Austria’s most popular skiing destinations, Arlberg is also widely thought of as the home of Alpine skiing. It’s the largest interlinked ski area in the country and boasts more than 300km of runs stretching from St Anton to Stuben. A new gondola system makes hopping between resorts simple, plus you’ll find some of the most epic après ski in the region right on your doorstep.
This epic ski region is sandwiched between Lake Geneva and the iconic peaks of Mont Blanc. Being within easy reach of Geneva airport makes it a prime location for ski weekends, plus there’s myriad ski runs for all abilities. While five Portes du Soleil resorts are situated across the border in Switzerland, you’ll discover seven in France, including Morzine and Avoriaz.
The second biggest ski region in Austria is made up of two chocolate-box Austrian villages linked by a vast network of slopes and ski lifts. Saalbach-Hinterglemm not only boasts high speed gondolas to minimise journey times, but also has a great mix of runs for all abilities and some truly jaw-dropping scenery.
This city resort area is ideal for shorter ski breaks thanks to its proximity to the airport (less than 30 minutes). Despite its relatively urban location, Innsbruck is home to some of the country’s best runs and has even hosted the Winter Olympics twice. There’s a piste for everyone, from tough black runs on Patscherkofel to the Stubai Glacier that’s open all year round.
Ischgl may be pretty to look at it, but it’s also one of the most buzzing Austrian resorts when it comes to off-piste activities. It’s 90 minutes from Innsbruck, making it ideal if you’re keen for a short transfer. Runs here are handily close together and linked by underground tunnels and state-of-the-art ski lifts, while a wide selection of bars, clubs and cafés line the streets of the resort itself.
Kitzbühel is probably one of Austria’s most sophisticated skiing destinations thanks to its heritage – the town dates back to the 14th century – and choice of high-end shops and dining. Nevertheless, it’s also an amazing spot for those after excellent skiing conditions as its 67 runs are spread out across two mountains, with quieter Kitzbüheler Horn being an ideal area for beginners.
This area is great at catering to all kinds of ski holidays in Austria, whether you want to book yourself into an easy ski-in, ski-out resort or party into the small hours. You’ll find Lech within the amazing Arlberg ski region, with Zurs being just one of the scenic districts that completes it.
Thanks to ski kindergartens, snow cannons and some insane après, Mayrhofen is a good all-rounder resort for any type of group, whether you’re visiting with family or on a stag/hen do. There’s plenty of space out on the mountains and a choice of over 30 different bars and restaurants to whet your appetite in the town.
Obergurgl rates as one of Austria’s top ski resorts due to its vast selection of high altitude runs for all types of skiing. There are also myriad off-piste activities up for grabs, from fun après options to spas and sensational cuisine. The resort’s November to May season also lasts longer than most, meaning you’re likely to find a cheap ski holiday package.
These two attractive Austrian resorts sit just 4km from each other and form part of the Ski Circus. A mix of outstanding runs give it universal appeal and the villages themselves are awash with venues for afternoon escapades, from cosy taverns for a glass of glühwein to hotels with soothing spa facilities.
Traditional architecture, restaurants serving up tasty Austrian fare and friendly locals make the village of Söll in Ski Welt an ideal spot for a winter break. That’s all before you get to the excellent 280km of snow-sure slopes which are suitable for both experts and beginners.
St Anton is perhaps one of Austria’s best-known ski resorts as well as being the gateway to the Arlberg region. It’s a haven for skiers and snowboarders after a challenge thanks to numerous high altitude pistes, although less confident skiers will find easier runs that wind their way through scenic valleys, too. St Anton’s après is unrivalled and the resort hosts some of the biggest events in the skiing calendar, including the annual RTL-Après Ski Party at the Mooserwirt.
Another resort in the Arlberg is Stuben, a paradise for intermediate skiers due to its 100+ well-maintained pistes that stretch up to over 2600m. Stunning scenery comes as standard, while decently priced accommodation and après makes it a perfect pick for groups travelling on a tighter budget.
It doesn’t get more picturesque than Zell am See which overlooks the shores of the alpine Lake Zell. The resort is more laid-back than most and features a great kid’s slope on the Schmittenhöhe mountain. When you’re not exploring its 77km of runs, head into the town by the shore for a taste of authentic Austrian culture.