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Austria Info

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've only Skied in St Anton in Austria. Skied all the French big names. Plenty in Italy. Austria its completely alien.
Where and why in Austria? for reference I ski in EK a lot. I like the huge area, I like the easy access to the lifts from accommodation. I know it well but would like a change
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
narrow it down to by which is easier to fly to
Innsbruck or Salzburg
Then drawn a line North / South from Kitzbuhel
Anything west is usually easier from Innsbruck, East is usually easier from Salzburg.
St Johann & Fiebebrunn is an example of an exception to that rule if you was getting a train, but maybe not by car!
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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'll be driving if it's for a 2 week stay, fly maybe drive for a week stay. my sist and bro in law live Ingolstadt also which could help with leaving kit for flying between driving trips. Some of the big name resorts seem low and not well connected or is that just a perception I don't really have to worry about?
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@Mother hucker, what sort of skiing/boarding are you after?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@clarky999, ski I have 2 daughters 6 and 8 it has to be good for those. They'll be in ski and lunch clubs in the mornings. I dont mind piste skiing and enjoy off piste also.
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If you want to go high, Serfaus, Obertauern or Arlberg. All great with kids. Try Lech if St Anton is too much of a party place.

If you’re after a big area then would consider Saalbach but I suspect you won’t want to ski too far if you’re picking up the children after lunch.
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For the why Austria… the pretty villages and nice accommodation. The great ski schools (you can get almost a full days’ skiing in if you let the kids have lunch with the instructor). The lovely mountain huts. The food.
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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!
Oh another large area is Flachau / Zauchensee (Ski Amade) but it’s quite low… when are you planning to go?
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@Tiefschneetaucher, we'll ski xmas and New year's weeks, Feb half term week and Easter 2 weeks.
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@Tiefschneetaucher, low in the valley...but snow generally reliable. add in Wagrain to that - gondola link from Flachau
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Snow should be pretty reliable anywhere in Austria in February. Don’t know about Easter but someone else will come along and advise!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Tiefschneetaucher, I'll be going Tignes in the Easter more than likely never disappoints in April
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For Xmas, NY and HT Serfaus (Tyrol) should be great, very focused on families.

Worth taking a look at https://www.kinderhotels.com/en/kinderhotels-family-holidays.html
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Mother hucker, You want this place:

https://www.schlosshotel-fiss.com/en/

Gorgeous hotel, lovely food, nice pool and gym and it's ski-in-ski-out with a lift from the bootroom to the piste

'Ski Dimension' aka Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is a large and varied snow-sure area with lots of harder pistes and slips under the rader of most Brits and Dutch. The courtesy on piste and off will come as a refreshing change.

Ticks all the boxes
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@red 27, don't show my Mrs that. I've insulated her from such ideas.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mother hucker, Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Mother hucker, why change from the Arlberg? Best area in Austria. If you feel you really need to see somewhere else.......

A general point, the lower often more easterly areas are at their best in January & February they are not so good as it gets warmer in March.

Serfaus / Fiss is a really good area especially for kids but plenty of varied skiing for adults too.

Ischgl has a first rate skiing area but I find the "village" and the people who own it loathsome. As good as anywhere for early or late season skiing (usually until 1st May).

Eastern Tirol & Salzburgerland has a number of large areas linking up various villages. SkiWelt/Kitzbühel, Saalbach Hinterglemm, Ski Amade are the most well know but lots of slightly smaller areas too . Generally unthreatening skiing based around pretty villages with lots of Austrian jollity thrown in makes for ideal winter holiday locations for many.
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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?
@red 27,
I just sent that to Mrs M, think I might regret that.
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@munich_irish, Why do you hate Ischgl and its "owners so much? You mention it in every post you make about the place. So much hate. FWIW I love Ischgl and have never had a problem with its "owners", not that it is really owned by anyone.
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@munich_irish, I dont need to change from the Arlberg I want a change from Espace Killy but I want the skiing to be as good, I rated the skiing a lot in St Anton but the Apres side is lost on me for now, we went in March and the lower snow was suffering I wouldn't fancy it 2nd week of April if comparing it to EK.
I do like the thought of ischgl but it seems there's no self catering in the town. what's the Navette like there?
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I agree, if you like EK, then you will like St Anton, which is a little different to many other Austrian resorts, offering what French resorts offer, including high and challenging terrain, large extent, long descents, and plentiful accommodation convenient to slopes. Ischgl has great skiing but not convenient, long walk and long queues to get up mountain in morning. I also agree by the time you've been shamelessly fleeced for every glass of water you will feel bitter taste and will wish you had gone to St Anton. If EK/St Anton was your thing, I think other Austrian resorts may be slight disappointment
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@peanuthead, That's my initial thoughts. The year covid hit us we decided to go to PDS with the view Morzine and Les Gets being ideal family resorts. Off piste there was breakable crust over the xmas and new year and there's only so much cruisey blue and reds hold the attention till it's becomes Borzine. I'm scared of going low.
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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!
@musher, go on - treat yourselves, it's been a tough year, you're worth it wink snowHead
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Tee hee I know what you mean about the cruising. Arlberg all the way then as you get a huge choice of those fantastic unprepared ski routes. What @munich_irish would describe as threatening skiing I assume!
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If you like Arlberg but not the party side of St Anton then go to Lech. Lovely ski school there too.
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Mother hucker wrote:
@munich_irish, I dont need to change from the Arlberg I want a change from Espace Killy but I want the skiing to be as good, I rated the skiing a lot in St Anton but the Apres side is lost on me for now, we went in March and the lower snow was suffering I wouldn't fancy it 2nd week of April if comparing it to EK.
I do like the thought of ischgl but it seems there's no self catering in the town. what's the Navette like there?


There is no apres side this year, and probably also doubtful next year, so I wouldn't worry about that too much tbh.

Does seem the Arlberg would be a good option for you though, and at least when I worked there the ski school allowed half day group lessons for kids. Obviously how slushy or otherwise the slopes are is totally weather dependent - and I've had 50cms of powder to the base in April several times in different years - but as the the main runs back to St Anton are south-facing they do soften quicker than other areas of the Arlberg. Lech, Stuben etc are a bit 'safer' (if you don't like slush) in that regard, but that is still the end of the season.

Ischgl (and Serfaus) are a bit more inner Alpine. Because of that they get less snow than the Arlberg (which is more exposed on the outer flank of the Alps), but they are generally colder too. For April I would generally say Ischgl is a bit more reliable than the Arlberg (and I think open longer too). I'm also not a fan of the village, though I wouldn't go so far as to say I loathe it - it's certainly nicer than Sölden (which actually would be another good option for you with the glacier) anyway! Generally I also think Ischgl has better, if slightly less extensive, piste skiing than the Arlberg. Arlberg has better off-piste terrain, but that's also counter-balanced by less competition for it in Ischgl. Yep, probably not much self catering in the town, but up/down the valley there should be. That would most likely mean a bus to the lifts though...

In Austria your other options for April are the glaciers, which tbh other than Sölden and Hintertux-with-the-rest-of-Zillertal may be a little small for a week, and Obergurgl.

For mid-season skiing in February and so definitely check out Saalbach and Fieberbrunn (they're linked). Yes the villages are low, but the skiing is all higher up, those areas get a lot of snow, and the freezing level is lower than in France/PDS area.

Bear in mind that high/cold isn't always better too - when it's wind-scoured hardback or crust up high, the lower or sunnier slopes can be softening into perfect corn. And obviously having bad snow in one lower resort one time doesn't mean that it was actually better elsewhere in a higher resort at the same time!


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 14-01-22 9:48; edited 2 times in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
red 27 wrote:
@Mother hucker

'Ski Dimension' aka Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is a large and varied snow-sure area with lots of harder pistes and slips under the rader of most Brits and Dutch.


The Brits maybe, but Serfaus and Fiss are definitely on the radar in NL. Huge actually.
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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
@Mother hucker, if you are after self-catering, Austria will always be much more limited than France.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Oh I don’t know about that. We always go self catering and have never had trouble finding a lovely place to stay!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Langerzug wrote:
@Mother hucker, if you are after self-catering, Austria will always be much more limited than France.


It's true that Austria doesn't have the massive slope side self catering accommodation that you find in France, but there are still a lot of options. I've done a few self catering trips and found some superb places to stay, maybe a 10 minute drive to the skiing, typically in holiday lets that are part of a farm that no doubt get a lot more use in summer. The ones I've stayed in have been much, much bigger than typical French apartments and much more comfortable.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Corky, the "village" is owned by a number of families, descendants of the original inhabitants, they effectively prevent anyone else buying property there. They have created a brash, unpleasant version of an alpine village designed to generate as much cash as possible from visitors. I know that criticism could apply to many ski resorts but it is much more obvious in Ischgl with clear attempts to discourage visitors who dont fit in to their template (try looking for accommodation shorter than a week). Unlike most Austrian areas the options for ski buses etc to nearby villages are limited (generally the lift company subsidies the buses to help boost tourism income in the area), they have no interest in visitors who are not spending money in the hotels & bars in the village. The whole Schatzi bar thing is really unpleasant, not against apres at all but that is simply inappropriate and has been for many years. It is representative of the people who own the place.

I did think they got blamed somewhat unfairly for the chaos in March 2020 but the response from the various owners & village mayor was arrogant & uncaring and just added to the view that all they care about is making money not that 100s of people caught corona there and a number sadly died.

The skiing is good though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
munich_irish wrote:
@Corky I know that criticism could apply to many ski resorts but it is much more obvious in Ischgl with clear attempts to discourage visitors who dont fit in to their template (try looking for accommodation shorter than a week).

I don't like Ischgl either, but this is a bit of nonsense. The 'not shorter than a week template' has nothing to do with special Ischgl-characteristics, but is simply something they can and will do because it is the most profitable way to manage accommodation (minimizing empty days), and as long as they can manage it like this (because of being so popular), they will.
It is a feature you'll encounter in any popular resort, or hotel. I know about a hotel***** in Lech that does not publish it's rates for Christmas, simply because they are full anyway with regulars. And if you wanna book in any other week, you'll first have to make a downpayment of 50%.
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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?
Mother hucker wrote:
I'll be driving if it's for a 2 week stay, fly maybe drive for a week stay. my sist and bro in law live Ingolstadt also which could help with leaving kit for flying between driving trips. Some of the big name resorts seem low and not well connected or is that just a perception I don't really have to worry about?


The height in Austria can be lower than resorts further West. Saalbach for example at 1000m is perfectly OK. The lowest resorts are generally ~800m, Mayrhofen is a bit of an exception but all the skiing is much higher.

I don't know of any Austria resorts that are not well connected - their lift systems are the best anywhere with a very high proportion of fast chairs and gondolas. Saalbach or Ischgl have to have the best lift systems anywhere; Kitzbuhel, Mayrhofen, Solden etc not far behind.
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@buchanan101, There's a thread going regarding Mayrhofen and buses or train to access parts on the lift pass.
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Mother hucker wrote:
@buchanan101, There's a thread going regarding Mayrhofen and buses or train to access parts on the lift pass.


That's between resorts - the resort of Mayrhofen itself has a well connected lift system (discounting the small Ahorn area); that there are many resorts on one lift pass is a bonus. Saalbach though IS a better set of interconnected resorts if that is what you are after (5 at latest count).
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It is common to have lift tickets which cover many ski areas in Austria. Some may be connected by lifts, but some may not. Most visitors to Austria arrive by car, so to maximise this opportunity it is normal to drive to a different ski area each day. The valley stations mostly have good road access and ample parking. The need for accommodation close to the lift is reduced because mostly visitors want to experience many varied ski areas.
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@Mankei, ok. For us we need to kinda be close or with in easy access of the kids after dropping them at 9 and collecting at 2. Driving along the valley parking up etc would kill time.

@buchanan101, saalbach does look of interest from looking at piste maps but it's low I'm guessing struggles early and late in the season
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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!
@Mother hucker, Saalbach is a belter too. Soooo much scope in the pisted ski area. The new-ish link to Fieberbrunn (sp) has really added to the variety and sense of travel. Perhaps not that much on piste for expert skiers...?

Home runs get cut up and perhaps slushy in the PM but it's no biggie.

Here's a another hotel recommendation to not show Mrss M-H. Very nice but not too pricey wink

https://www.hotel-alpine-palace.com/en/holiday-saalbach.html
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red 27 wrote:
@Mother hucker, You want this place:

https://www.schlosshotel-fiss.com/en/

Gorgeous hotel, lovely food, nice pool and gym and it's ski-in-ski-out with a lift from the bootroom to the piste

'Ski Dimension' aka Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is a large and varied snow-sure area with lots of harder pistes and slips under the rader of most Brits and Dutch. The courtesy on piste and off will come as a refreshing change.

Ticks all the boxes


In my experience Serfaus doesn't slip under the radar of the Dutch - we went in Feb a couple of years ago and it was 90% Dutch (including Arjen Robben, the Dutch footballer!). Loads of people wearing those orange covers on their helmets. I loved it though, the skiing is fantastic and varied. Plenty to do for a mixed group for a week.
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Mother hucker wrote:
@Mankei, ok. For us we need to kinda be close or with in easy access of the kids after dropping them at 9 and collecting at 2. Driving along the valley parking up etc would kill time.

@buchanan101, saalbach does look of interest from looking at piste maps but it's low I'm guessing struggles early and late in the season


The man who will tell you all about it is @tatmantours on this thread https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=156241

It's not low for that part of Austria (in fact higher than most resorts in the area).

I've been twice in February but both times had freakishly warm weather; lower southfacing slopes soft in the afternoon. But there is so much skiing that you'd be fine; snowmaking is very extensive so copes with any late start. End of season is 18th April so quite late - can't vouch for conditions then but Richard (Tatman) has in the past said they are still pretty good.

What is amazing about Saalbach - apart from the amount of skiing - is the lift system. As I said, only Ischgl can probably rival it. They are continually investing.

If the kids are beginners then the resort level lift on the nursery slopes is a detachable 6 man chair - fairly unusual I think

The 5th resort not really showing on the map is slightly less convenient and needs a very short bus ride in at least one direction is to Zell am See - there's plenty without it, but possibly worth a day visit just for the views..
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