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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Zell am See
Country: Austria
Domain: Europasportregion http://www.europasportregion.info/ Kitzteinhorn, Zell am See and Kaprun . Also here http://www.schmitten.at/
Author: fatirishman
Date: March 2008
Our holiday: Advanced intermediate skiers. 2 of us. Half board 3 star do it yourself holiday. Cost approx £550 including flights and ski pass.
Website : Got the accomodation form here http://www.zellamsee.at/ just scanned what was free and called up. Not too difficult at all!
Basics : Ryanair. Who are now taking the biscuit charging £50 to transport a pair of skis! Tansfer to hotel with a shuttle service here http://www.holiday-shuttle.at/europasportregion/ 35 Euros a head. We extended the lift pass for a day for a reasonable 26 Euros, so got a full seven days skiing in.
Lift system : http://www.bergfex.com/schmittenhoehe-zellamsee/panorama/ Lift system at Zell is good, it's got better this year as the TrassExpress is now operational and you aren't dependent on cable cars at the far side of the resort. There are a couple of drag lifts but they are not arterial. There was no queuing at all.
The terrain : If you're looking for desperately challenging skiing forget Zell. If you're looking for something up to advanced intermediate it's not bad at all. Black 14 was maybe the only true black on the map, and even then it was light red in places. Off piste is possible but limited. We skiied a day on the Kitsteinhorn which offered more off piste possibilities (and better snow actually)
The snow : We were kucky. There ws good snow coverage, and it snowed whilst we were there. Only one run to the village was closed later in the week (black 15) as it was too brown in places. Zell is a low resort, yes the Kitzteinhorn is there as a reserve, but if you want to ski the Schmittenhoehe, do it by mid March!
Off-piste : Limited at Zell.
ResortLovely wee resort, full of charm and character. There isn't a great deal of Apres Ski on the slopes (which is a bit of a dissapointment for me as I like cheesey German music). Plenty to do for the yoof, in the way of bars and clubs, but we were there for the skiing so although I'd like to regail with stories of drunken nights out, I was in bed by midnight every night to ski early. Plenty of decent restaurants, and lots of take away places too. Zell is very resonably priced and I never felt ripped off at all. You'll pay about 3.5 Euros for a beer, and on the slopes luch with a beer and coffee cost me about 12 Euros a day.
Food : Blaickner's Sonnalm was the best place for food on the slopes. Cosey inside, nice sun terasse outside, and great value. We tried a few others. but they didn't hold a candle. In town Kupferkessel is where the locals were eating for a nice meal out.
Accommodation : Hotel Martha. In out skiing, half board. http://www.holidayinzellamsee.at/index.asp?lang=en Accomodation is basic but decent, great sauna area, food was adequate but reheated pre preprepared stuff. The cook needs a does of Gordon Ramsey... The staff were brilliant.
Costs: Done on the cheap everything including accommodation, passes, flights and spending money... cost about £750 for a week's skiing.
Conclusion: Good resort, I enjoyed it, and will go back in a few years. I'd recommend earlier in the season

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