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First Time In The Snow. Ski-Amade?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi Guys.
We are a family of 6 Adults and two kids (ages 6 and 2). It's been my Mom's dream since I can remember to have a white Christmas and play in the snow. If Covid allows it (which I firmly believe it would) December 2022 we will make this dream come true. The trip will start in Vienna (Christmas), then Salzburg and then 4 nights in a Ski town (New Years) and then off to Munich before flying back to South Africa. We will be travleling by train the entire trip. A family friend from Germany sugested Ski Amade are for the ski time, I was actually planning on Innsbruck before that. We have NEVER been skiing. So thought of maybe taking a lesson and then do loads of Toboggaing (looks like so much fun). We are looking for family fun.
Question..... Which town is best in Ski Amade? Radstadt, Altenmark? A town where we can atleast go have a drink at night, maybe take a walk, grab a bite to eat, with a supermarket, a plave to rent ski gear (helmets, goggles ski boots etc.). We will need lifts near by maybe walking distance or a bus that can take us to lifts.
Where to stay? Our budget is max 350 EUR per night for the group. Was hoping on renting a self catering cottage or something. How amazing would it be to wake up and step outside into the snow.
ANY advice and recomendations welcome.
This will be a once in a lifetime for us. Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@JasmijnMaritz, either Radstadt or Altenmarkt would be perfect for your requirements, both have good bus links to a range of ski areas and Radstadt has a well served train station. The difficulty with accommodation would be booking a part week for one of the busiest weeks of the season. You may have to pay for a whole week's use.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Welcome to snowheads. Sounds like a great trip.
I don't know Austria so can't help with ski locations. New-year is one of the busiest times and you might find 4 nights accommodation is hard to get. Providers prefer to sell full weeks.


If you're only going to ski one day then a private group lesson for the family would probably work.
If you're not skiing all week look for somewhere you can access the top of the mountain on foot/without skis. You probably won't get competent enough on skis to get up there (and down). Being able to see the views is definitely worthwhile and for that you'll need a cable car rather than chairlift access.
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Thanks! When is the best time to book accommodation?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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JasmijnMaritz wrote:
Thanks! When is the best time to book accommodation?


now maybe? you are looking for accommodation for 4 nights? or i am wrong? it will be a little bit difficult...in high season usuall they book sat - sat or according to the holidays Sun - Sun etc. However if there is a place where you could find something for more or less days , then definitely Austia

start searching....

However Ski Amade is not soooo high, (Base of the lifts etc)....except Zauchensee (1.300 m) all the others are from 800m till 1.000m.
Meaning the White Christmas is not 100% quaranteed...
You will be without a car. Maybe Radstadt is the best option. Or Schladming
Pay attention how far is the ski bus station from each accom/on
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Altenmarkt gives you access to the local hill, which is lovely, or 10 mins on the free bus to Zauchensee, which is higher and has some better blue slopes for those early days.

Not a party town but some nice family places. There is a Lidl which is terrific and lots of very nice and great value apartments. Stand alone cottages are less common. There is also the https://www.thermeamade.at/en/ which you all may enjoy.

We love that area and it gives exceptional value.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@JasmijnMaritz, welcome to snowHeads! snowHead
Vienna and Salzburg over the Christmas period will be a very nice experience, with Christmas markets selling all sorts of things including gingerbread and gluhwein (hot mulled wine). Very Happy You've not said how many days you intend staying in Vienna and Salzburg, but finding self catering accommodation for just a few days might be difficult, perhaps you might find something suitable on AirBnB or alternatively if you go to the city tourist information websites they'll have listings of accommodation of various types including self catering.
Your friends suggestion of Ski Amade for the skiing portion of your trip is an excellent one, presumably you've seen the Ski Amade website?

You mentioned Radstadt, fellow snowHead flangesax runs an excellent guesthouse in Radstadt, Haus Susanne https://www.austrian-adventures.com/

I and many other snowHeads have stayed there and you are sure of a warm welcome. Radstadt has a train station so is easy to get to from Salzburg. The bus stop to the local Radstadt ski area is only 200 metres walk from the guesthouse, and the Radstadt ski area has some slopes that are well suited to beginners. Incidentally the (British) owner who is called Ben is a qualified ski instuctor in the Radstadt ski school. You said "thought of taking a lesson" - you definitely need to be taking lessons, not only will it be safer for you (and others on the slope!) but you will learn so much faster and not develop bad habits rather than trying to teach yourself. There are several places to rent ski gear. I note you say you only intend staying 4 nights in the Ski Amade area, I think over Christmas time Ben normally likes a full week's booking, but I'd suggest contacting him to explore options. As I said it's easy to travel between Radstadt and Salzburg on the train (journey time about an hour and a quarter), so one option might be to base yourself longer in Radstadt and visit Salzburg on a couple of day trips.

PS: the Radstadt ski area has a gondola that goes up from the base station to the top (as well as several other chairlifts once you are on the ski slopes). So for your first day or two if the instructor doesn't think you are able to ski all the way back down you can always download on the gondola too. Madeye-Smiley

PPS: From the top of the Radstadt gondola there is the 6km long Königslehen toboggan run Cool

Hope your trip works out well and you take to skiing. I always tell beginners that the first 3 days are usually the hardest, by then you usually find that you are getting the hang of things and linking turns, so by your fourth day you should really be having fun exploring the slopes. Very Happy


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 23-07-21 8:33; edited 1 time in total
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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!
Toboganning is fun for a couple of hours; skiing is fun for a lifetime. The main problem with your plan is that in the very limited time you are throwing at it you are just as likely to hate the skiing as love it and if it's truly a one and done holiday for you then why not look for somewhere much more snowsure at town level, even if it doesn't directly have skiing.

Seems you're more about the winter wonderland bit than skiing so some recs here may be more than you need.

Not trying to put a downer on things but as most of us here are more about the skiing just bear it in mind.
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@JasmijnMaritz, The first place I went skiing was in St Johann im Pongau which is now part of Ski Amade. It is a pretty big area now and there are good places for beginners. It is near to Salzburg and most of the villages that dont have a train station are only a short taxi ride from a station. One place that might be ideal is Filzmoos, it is small but almost stereotypical Austrian, not a lot of skiing but perfect for beginners.

There are a couple of potential issues, New Year is not particularly reliable for snow, some years there is a lot other years none (though pretty much everywhere has good snow making these days so actually going skiing should be OK). Also, as others have pointed out, New Year is just about the busiest week of the year so book early, might be worth enquiring in the not too distant future.

Another nearby area (might even be part of Ski Amade now) is the Hochkönig, a number of small pretty villages a shortish taxi ride from Bischofshofen. Bischofshofen hosts part of the annual New Year ski jumping competition which might also be of interest.

Innsbruck would also be good as there are a number of small ski areas nearby which would be suitable for beginners.
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As someone who learned to ski as an adult I would say you won't get much out of a day's lesson. Also the 2 yo is too young to ski so someone will need to stay back for the childcare. It sounds like a great trip but I think I would either commit to a week's ski trip and add your markets etc either side or just do the other snow fun and ski another time. Seems a lot to pay top price for a ski town over one of the most expensive weeks of the year (and go to the bother of all the kit etc) just for a day of beginner skiing. Good luck whatever you decide to you (PS my vote is for the skiing snowHead )
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@Skimum1 talks sense. I'd book a week of skiing somewhere suitable, and fit your Salzburg/Vienna visits maybe one before and one after. If you want to visit Christmas markets, then check the dates as they tend to run before Christmas rather than after.

I'm not familiar with Ski Amade, but I am familiar with Innsbruck, and I would say (from the comments above) you are making the right decision – Innsbruck is not really a winter wonderland designed for beginners, and if you are already visiting other Austrian cities, you don't also need to add Innsbruck to the same trip. I'm sure you can find somewhere nice in Ski Amade.

On tobogganing – you don't need to be in a ski resort for this, there are Rodelbahn tracks all over the mountains. They are often used as a way to get down from the huts in winter – hike/snowshoe up and then borrow a toboggan from the hut and leave it at the end of the track. You need decent snow cover to the valley for the track to be open, and a helmet. You probably don't want to hear this, but the Rodelbahn is known to be a fast way to the hospital. Take care.
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Also, city hotel bookings are waaaay down due to the lack of long distance tourists/coach trips etc. so you should be able to get the dates you want, even if they are not full weeks. City hotels don't hold themselves to these in the same way that resorts do anyway.
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Decide how much time you are willing to commit to skiing. If the answer is less than 4 days I'd suggest it's not worth it as you'll unlikely make enough progress to feel any accomplishment*. Even then think about what you would do if you do love it - doesn't sound like annual visits anywhere snowy are particular on the cards for you. If you do decide to take a single day lesson maybe just regard that as a (quite expensive) experience rather than an investment in the future.


* and be aware that some adult beginners just sack it off completely on the first morning - a combination of wounded pride, unexpected physicality and the feeling of being out of control.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Than you all for the information.
The current trip plan.
-3 nights in Vienna (23-26 December)
-2 Nights in Salzburg (26-28 December)
- 4 Nights in Radstadt (28-1 December)
-1 Night Munich (1 December) Only because we will fly out of Munich back to SA.

We might be able to extend the Radstadt stay to 5 nights (4full days) if we fly out a day later. Thats about as much as time allows us.
With a groups it is difficult as not everyone can take leave for long. Its season time for my sister, so they we re already actually pushing with the plans. My mom wants to do Christmas markets and play in the snow etc (She gets excited like a kid Laughing )
My self and my other sister want ski lessons to give ski a go. If I find I like it, comming back again would not be a problem. But the BIG family holiday (Mom, 4 sisters, 1 husband and 2 kids) in europe over Christmas would probably never happen again. The rest want toboggaing and just experience the atmosphere.
Would it be possible to take lessons for the first 3 days and have some time to go down to toboggan with the family?

@Skimum1, what do you think?

@Alastair Pink, Sorry for asking all my questions here on your forum. Seemed like the people are much nicer here (they really are) than people on tripadvisor giving less usefull advice.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@JasmijnMaritz, OK that gives a bit more to work with. Worth being aware that tobogganing can mean 2 things -

organised groomed paths down the mountain called Rodelbahns usually tackled on a traditional wooden sledge with uplift on lift

OR what we'd generally call sledging , using a plastic sledge of some kind bought from a supermarket or shop and walking up an available slope often not too far and generally away from lifts and skiers

Even Rodelbahns are usually viewed as a tack on rather than all day activity and casual sledging can be done at any time.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I would have a look at Kitzbuhel. It's beautiful, served by train, easy to get to Munich from, will have snow at New Year and there will be hotels that will take a 4 day booking for a price.

I'm not discounting the other areas - just throwing in another option.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
JasmijnMaritz wrote:
Than you all for the information.
The current trip plan.
-3 nights in Vienna (23-26 December)
-2 Nights in Salzburg (26-28 December)
- 4 Nights in Radstadt (28-1 December)
-1 Night Munich (1 December) Only because we will fly out of Munich back to SA.

We might be able to extend the Radstadt stay to 5 nights (4full days) if we fly out a day later. Thats about as much as time allows us.
With a groups it is difficult as not everyone can take leave for long. Its season time for my sister, so they we re already actually pushing with the plans. My mom wants to do Christmas markets and play in the snow etc (She gets excited like a kid Laughing )
My self and my other sister want ski lessons to give ski a go. If I find I like it, comming back again would not be a problem. But the BIG family holiday (Mom, 4 sisters, 1 husband and 2 kids) in europe over Christmas would probably never happen again. The rest want toboggaing and just experience the atmosphere.
Would it be possible to take lessons for the first 3 days and have some time to go down to toboggan with the family?

@Skimum1, what do you think?

@Alastair Pink, Sorry for asking all my questions here on your forum. Seemed like the people are much nicer here (they really are) than people on tripadvisor giving less usefull advice.


if the main purpose is the winter feeling, considering staying one day more at Salzburg and two days more in Radstadt and leave Vienna for a City Trip
Althouth Vienna is super, i would stay one day more at Salzburg. In winter is fantastic.
Except that you could organize some short trips from Radstadt. Almost all the ski resorts / villages in Austria has Christmas market. And the Market of Salzburg ist fantastic as it deployes in the old town.
However you have to considet tha most of the Christmas Market are from Start of December untli 26 Dece or 24 Dec.
Check oou the dates.
e.g.
Salzburger Christkindlmarkt Wir freuen uns auf 2021 mit euch von 18.11. – 26.12.2021.
https://de.allexciting.com/christmas-markets-vienna/
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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?
JasmijnMaritz wrote:
Than you all for the information.
The current trip plan.
-3 nights in Vienna (23-26 December)
-2 Nights in Salzburg (26-28 December)
- 4 Nights in Radstadt (28-1 December)
-1 Night Munich (1 December) Only because we will fly out of Munich back to SA.


I think you meant 4 nights in Radstadt (28 Dec - 1Jan) and 1 night Munich (1 January).... Wink



JasmijnMaritz wrote:

My self and my other sister want ski lessons to give ski a go. If I find I like it, comming back again would not be a problem. But the BIG family holiday (Mom, 4 sisters, 1 husband and 2 kids) in europe over Christmas would probably never happen again. The rest want toboggaing and just experience the atmosphere.
Would it be possible to take lessons for the first 3 days and have some time to go down to toboggan with the family?


Certainly, you can book lessons for however many days you want.

JasmijnMaritz wrote:

@Alastair Pink, Sorry for asking all my questions here on your forum. Seemed like the people are much nicer here (they really are) than people on tripadvisor giving less usefull advice.


Well it's not my forum Laughing , it belongs to admin, but all are welcome and asking questions and people giving answers is a major part of what the forum is for. snowHead

Have you had a chance to click on some of the links I gave in my previous post? Madeye-Smiley
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@Alastair Pink, call me blond Embarassed !! Yes I meant 1 January.
Apparently I got luck beacuase you replied to my question. Just thought maybe you started the forum or something.

Yes, the Königslehen toboggan looks amazing. Actually saw that last night one one af my many googling sessions. I've also checked out the Ski Amade website and Radstadt website. Think Radstadtthis might be our 'ski town'. Will check with the rest of the gang if they can extend their leave (what harm can one extra day do) we will stay 5 nights instead of 4.

Funny thing is I also read about Haus Susanne on this forum last night but could not open the link. But found them on Facebook. Will send them a message and see if they are still available.

One more question. We will onbivously not buy expensive ski gear for the first time...do you think the cheapish Hofer or Lidl ones will do for a first run?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@JasmijnMaritz, we have also stayed at Haus Susanne and Ben and Ange couldn’t be more helpful.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, thanks. Rodelbahn it is then. My mom will probably want to try a few of the tracks or paths.
With the kids my sister might get a plastic sledge and find a place where she can play with the kids.
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@andybomb1, Thanks. looks like a nice town. Will investigate tonight.
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Another “vote” for Haus Susanne. However, and without wishing to speak for them, the Winter season is their key business time and they may well only be looking to secure week long bookings (assuming a more normal season than with Covid complications) at this peak time.

I’d also echo the comment about possibly staying longer in Salzburg and less in Vienna, for the same reasons.

Hofer or Lidl’s ski wear would be fine, IMO.
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JasmijnMaritz wrote:
My mom wants to do Christmas markets


are you flying into Munich?
There is a xmas market in the Airport (well outside between the terminals)
However, 23rd would probably be the last day of a market in 2022 at most towns & cities.
*IF* you can go a few days earlier, then I would spend the time in Munich & forget Vienna, before heading to Sazlburgerland.
Quite a few markets in Munich all walkable in the centre + the showground (where Oktoberfest is held) have advent events.
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Decathlon is also handy for cheap ski wear, however don't buy the cheapest of the cheap, go for the better quality stuff (which is still significantly cheaper than the entry level elsewhere). Especially the gloves. You can layer up wth cheap fleeces under a cheap jacket, but if your hands are cold you'll have a miserable time.
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Is there any travel agents like “Trailfinders” that you could use? I know it’s very different but when we went to Australia they booked the accommodation for our road trip and I checked out after if I could have done cheaper but couldn’t.
Just a thought.
Good luck.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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My brother is a glass blower in Munich. His wife has a stall on one of the christmas markets there and he does a market elsewhere (over the years he's done them in lots of places). They've all finished on the 24thDec
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Mr.Egg, Unfortunately we are not. My Mom and myself Will be flying into Prague before the rest of the family for a few nights before meeting up with the crew in Vienna.
I saw that their Christmas markets will be open in that time, so think that is the one part we actually have covered Eh oh! . If we could Munich would be on out list, unfortunately we had to narrow it down.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
You might find it difficult to book odd- period accommodation for Christmas 2022 this far in advance. But your 2 year old might be 4 by then and more up for an introduction to skiing! Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
If you've never skied and plan to spend 4 days in a ski town you'd be wise to have lessons every day - they are often a lot of fun and it's very hard to make progress on your own. Adults can muck around on their own but you won't be able to look after the kids. Getting beginner kids on and off lifts can be challenging!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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I forgot to mention that Radstadt has its own Christmas market in the central square. https://www.radstadt.com/en/radstadt/top-events/christmas-market/
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@Alastair Pink, the Radstadt Weihnachtsmarkt is a fairly small affair. I mean, a lovely way to join in the local celebrations if you happen to be in town, but, not what I would describe as a tourist attraction. Just adding for completeness Cool
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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?
@Timberwolf, agreed, Salzburg Christmas market would be the best experience in my opinion, nestled below the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress (which is also well worth a visit for its great views over the city- fortunately there's a funicular so no need to walk up to the castle!). Smile
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JasmijnMaritz wrote:
@Mr.Egg, Unfortunately we are not. My Mom and myself Will be flying into Prague before the rest of the family for a few nights before meeting up with the crew in Vienna.
I saw that their Christmas markets will be open in that time, so think that is the one part we actually have covered Eh oh! . If we could Munich would be on out list, unfortunately we had to narrow it down.


If you are looking for a cheap hotel in prague, then I can recommend salvator
http://www.salvator.cz/
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