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Schladming and Ski Amade

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dear All

Please can those Ski Amade regular visitors give me some advice. I haven’t been to the region and it looks large with many towns to consider. But generally Schladming and Flachau keep coming up as decent bases. From a best place to base yourself perspective where would you recommend?

- best skiing for Intermediate and advanced skiing
- most choice of restaurants and bars (post Covid life!)
- nicest town etc
- best place for visiting other areas nearby
- most snow sure (whole area looks low and I know East means lower snow line but any views for best for early and late skiing would great).
- also how does the region compare to Zillertal and Arlberg regions (if that’s possible to comment on broadly).

Any views much appreciated!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Bennyboy1,

If you have a car, then the best place to be is slap bang in the middle, so Radstadt, Altenmarkt, Eben, Flachau, then you can maximise use of the lift pass and get around the areas easily. For intermediate skiing, pretty much anywhere. For advanced, I am told Zauchensee is the best for off-piste (not my thing) and the race teams train at Reiteralm, so that's probably the best for steep pistes. The larger towns are best for restaurants and bars, such as Schladming and Radstadt, but Flachau has more than its fair share.

Schladming is the largest town, followed by Radstadt. Theses are proper working towns with year round economies, not entirely dependent on tourism. Radstadt is a historic walled town. Altenmarkt has the traditional onion-domed church. Flachau is a little more tourism-focussed. Bad Gastein and Bad Hofgastein are towns also rather than villages, but they are quite a journey from the other parts of Ski Amadé.

Schladming and Zauchensee tend to open a few runs in November as soon as conditions allow, all other areas open during December. All have excellent snowmaking so it's all fully open by Christmas and stays open until at least the end of March.

I can't comment much on Zillertal or the Arlberg because I haven't been. It strikes me that Ski Amadé is more family-orientated and certainly more budget-conscious than the Arlberg.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Personally I’d go for Schladming. It has a huge skiing area, catering for all abilities, and is a decent size in terms of bars and restaurants. It also has a nearby glacier, which doesn’t offer many pistes, but will assure you of snow.

From Schladming it’s easy to drive to a number of resorts, including Zauchensee, Obertauern, Flachau, Flachauwinkl, Tauplitz, Eben, etc.

Flachau is much smaller than Schladming but is also ideally located for visiting other ski areas, apart from Tauplitz. The Flachau ski area connects with Wagrain and Alpendorf. I just think that Schladming might offer a bit more by way of entertainment.
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@Bennyboy1, Though I haven't been back for a few years I did ski a fair amount in the Ski Amade area (it was the first place I went). I am sure it has changed a bit, new lifts etc (I believe the connection between Flachau and Kleinarl is due this year). These days I pretty much only go to the Arlberg. I have been to the Zillertal a number of times too, again not for a few years.

Difficult to compare to the Arlberg as that really is on a different level to most other places (not to say it is better but different). I thought that the Zillertal Arena area was not dissimilar. Saalbach Hinterglemm is also similar. Alpendorf / Wagrain / Flachau is stereotypically Austrian, runs through the trees with the top lifts just above the tree line, lots of jolly huts (there was a well known "Krapfenhutte" above Wagrain). Zauchensee goes a bit higher, in a way a bit like France with a purpose built resort clustered around the lift station, some steeper areas with some off piste (sure the locals can give more detail) and longer runs. There are also some attractive smaller areas like Filzmoos. My experience is that it is pretty snow sure (Schaldming holds a ski race at the end of November) but mid March onwards can get pretty sugary & wet even if the snow cover is good
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Austrian Seagull wrote:
Personally I’d go for Schladming. It has a huge skiing area, catering for all abilities, and is a decent size in terms of bars and restaurants. It also has a nearby glacier, which doesn’t offer many pistes, but will assure you of snow.

From Schladming it’s easy to drive to a number of resorts, including Zauchensee, Obertauern, Flachau, Flachauwinkl, Tauplitz, Eben, etc.

Flachau is much smaller than Schladming but is also ideally located for visiting other ski areas, apart from Tauplitz. The Flachau ski area connects with Wagrain and Alpendorf. I just think that Schladming might offer a bit more by way of entertainment.


The new panorama gondola links Flachau with Flachauwinkl/zauch
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Honourable mention for Hochkonig again - I'd happily be on their tourist board! Excellent day out. Mulbach to Maria Alm and back with lunch at the Gabuhelhutte. Very scenic, excellent lifts, long wide red and blue runs and you never do the same one twice unless you want to. And there is never a queue.
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Klamm Franzer wrote:
Honourable mention for Hochkonig again - I'd happily be on their tourist board! Excellent day out. Mulbach to Maria Alm and back with lunch at the Gabuhelhutte. Very scenic, excellent lifts, long wide red and blue runs and you never do the same one twice unless you want to. And there is never a queue.


Absolutely! And only about a 45 minute drive from Flachau.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Good call
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Agree with basing in Radstadt/Altenmarkt for easy access to the broader Ski Amade area and slightly cheaper than Flachau, but if you want to be close to the piste (walking distance) then Flachau or Wagrain are better bets. I do like the pistes across the Schladming Area but it is the most Easterly of the Ski Amade layout and it is a good hour from there to the Hochkonig or Gastein valley if you want to explore more widely. Comparing it to the Zillertal, I'd say that access is generally easier, not so many long cable cars to start skiing and generally an easy run back down to the Car Parks at the end of the day. For the Arlberg, really just a matter of price. Probably about 15% cheaper eating and drinking on the mountains, fewer Brits and the beauty of only a 45 min transfer from Salzburg Airport. What's not to like?
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As always Snowheads delivers, and so quickly thank you. Super helpful.

Ok I need to widen my research away from Schladming alone.

Do people find regular flights throughout the year into Salzburg or do you need to use other airports?

I am thinking about spending 30+ days over a season (possibly some of the summer season too if I decide to rent a place for a year) so looking for easy access.
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@Bennyboy1, Ryan Air used to do 4 flights a week. Cut back to sat only this season. The alternative is Munich or Salzburg via e.g. frankfurt. I've done both a few times and would prefer via salzburg because the drive from Munich can be a bitch
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Bennyboy1, Salzburg is by far the most convenient airport and even in these Coronavirus times you should be able to find plenty of flights from UK into Salzburg throughout the year I would have thought.

If you are flying into Salzburg will you be renting a car, if not then for transfers from the airport try Taxi Huber (they used to be called Huber Reisen), for a collective transfer (i.e travelling with other people in the taxi) it's 50 Euros return to the Ski Amade resorts.
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@Alastair Pink, they don't always offer the shared taxi in the summer...depends on demand
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Bennyboy1, BA fly direct to Salzburg from Heathrow almost daily through the winter. Less frequent in the Summer but still 3-4 a week. If you do decide to go for an annual rental (with the aim of letting "Friends" use it if your not there) be careful with your lease conditions and break clauses if it goes wrong.

In Flachau i'd suggest that a months rental in the Summer would set you back about 1200 Euros, with 5-6 weeks in the Winter out of peak season coming in at around 6000 Euros for a total of 7200. A 2 bed apartment in Flachau on annual rental (12 month minimum contract) will cost you between 650-700 a month plus insurance and building costs and all the headaches of being a tenant. It may not be worth it. I can recommend the services of Ria at http://www.riareal.at/ if you go down the annual rental route.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Tue 20-10-20 7:45; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Bennyboy1, flights to Salzburg have been cut down a lot this season, but in a normal season there are almost daily flights from Heathrow and Stansted, plus weekend flights from plenty of other UK airports.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We spent a great week in Schladming a few years ago, the town has a much quieter vibe than The Hof, St Anton, Ischgl etc, the conditions were great when we were there (mid Jan), but can see it being wet at the bottom later in the season. Lots of good eateries on the hill, can't comment too much on the town restaurants as we were half board.

Seems like they start the "apri" off at a young age there.



Quieter "apri" was available across the road if that's not you bag.



Night skiing was fun.



The classic car ralley half way up the mountain was a surprise.



This tree scape had a surreal feel to it.



Downside of the Schladers ski area was the strung out along one side of the valley feel, but not a deal breaker.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 20-10-20 19:43; edited 2 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PS if you end up in Schladming, make sure the accommodation is well away from the two Churches in the town centre, they have a ridiculous ring off competition (circa 10 minutes) every morning at 6am!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I don't know all of Ski Amade, in fact really only the eastern sections.

Schladming is super convenient for piste access. No car needed. Train from Salzburg (or Graz) possible. A bit limiting though if you want to ski elsewhere.

If you were staying for a longer time, and have a car, perhaps looks for somewhere out of the main Schladming town. Up on the Ramsau plateau is very pretty. There's a few easier slopes up here, but lots of cross country routes if you're into that. Grobming is a bit further east, but a nice small town and cheaper accommodation than Schladming proper.

As Tauplitz was mentioned up thread, and is even further east, I should note that this isn't part of Ski Amade, rather part of the Schneebaeren group of resorts. If you want something quiet and laid back, then these resorts strike a really good balance. Riesneralm has an OK size and some good slopes. I'm booked in the Jufa hotel there for five days over New Year. I'm looking forward to the proper holiday, without anything being too hectic. The thing I particularly like about Rieseneralm is the lack of loud, crap music pumped out from every hut on the slope (yes, I'm getting old).

As of the current distancing rules, there will be no Apres-ski in Austria this season.
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You won't regret it @Bennyboy1, it's a wonderful area, with such diversity, from really quite large, interlinked areas, to discrete little "2/3 lift" hills that feel like you've stepped back in time. From huge snowparks, to gentle blue run groomers, generally served by massively modern and efficient lifts, and sprinkled with fantastic mountain huts. For me, it has the lot.

As has been said, to really experience the whole thing, you need a car, but on the other hand, you could stay in Schladming, or Flachau, or Wagrain, or the Gasteins, or the Hochkonig resorts, and not need to leave for the week.

Once in your lifetime, get to the Nightrace in Schladming.......pure party

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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I really like the Gasteins but they are a bit far out to use as a base for the rest.
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@phillc,

Good point about the Schneebaeren group of resorts. They are included in the Salzburg Super Ski Card, but are not on the Ski Amade pass.
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If you want a seat on the top of the Hohenhaus to watch the race then start playing the lottery and hope to win the big one.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
JimboS wrote:
PS if you end up in Schladming, make sure the accommodation is well away from the two Churches in the town centre, they have a ridiculous ring off competition (circa 10 minutes) every morning at 6am!


Unlike most towns in strongly Catholic Austria, I believe Schladming has quite a significant Protestant history which may go some way to explaining the competitive 6am bell ringing between the two churches in town...... Laughing
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