Lech is a quaint ski resort in the Arlberg region of Austria, with the car-free Oberlech sitting just above, accessible only by cable car.More info
The picturesque villages of Austria offer wide, quiet slopes, fantastic après ski and all with a contagiously friendly atmosphere. Austria's alpine villages were around long before the first ski lifts cropped up, which is why even the largest of 'villages' such as St Anton still have traditional centres. Austrian's are justifiably proud of their skiing heritage; St Anton not only held the first downhill races but also formed the first ski school in the early 1900’s!
Continuous investment over the last few decades has ensured this wonderful sense of history is now delivered via an incredibly modern infrastructure and hi-tech snowmaking systems. And with wellness practically a national pastime expect plenty of saunas, steam rooms and spas, a welcome indulgence after a day on the slopes - in the more traditional hotels they may expect you to shed your clothes, don't say we didn't warn you.
The quality of the ski areas, diverse range of accommodation options and a friendly welcome, deliver a fantastic experience together with the Austrian's inimitable sense of fun and frivolity.
Why we love Austria
- Traditional centres in every resort, they were villages well before the ski lifts arrived.
- The wellness culture means you'll most likely find a steam room or sauna lurking around the place.
- The locals; far friendlier than France and they love a good time.
- Great value for eating and drinking in resort.
- Short transfer times for all resorts.
- The saunas and steam rooms are often nude, you can still take a towel.
- The lower slopes can be susceptible to thawing during very early and late season.
- Some of the liveliest après is straight off the slopes.
Our favourite resorts
BEST FOR LIVELY APRÈS SKI - St Anton is the perennial après hot spot, with bars such at the Mooserwirt it really isn't surprising. However, Mayrhofen and Kitzbuhel aren't short of dancing either.
BEST FOR SHORT TRANSFERS - If you fly to the right airport, every resort in Austria can be reached in under 1 hour 30 minutes.
BEST FOR BEGINNERS - Both Kaprun and Zell am See offer a wonderful array of easy slopes and more still to progress onto.
BEST FOR INTERMEDIATES - Obergurgl's high altitude slopes offer the perfect conditions for ambling around but Kitzbuhel's are almost exclusively for the intermediate skier.
BEST FOR THE ADVENTUROUS - St Anton's back-to-resort runs can be challenging but Mayrhofen has the Harikiri run which will really test your nerve.
Mayrhofen is a cult favourite among regular skiers, with countless runs and amazing apres to keep you entertained after the slopes close down.More info
Nicknamed 'Diamond of the Alps', Obergurgl's snow-sure slopes never disappoint. It has a relaxed apres scene and traditional town full of character.More info
St Anton is a lively, popular resort with excellent apres and a vibrant atmosphere. It mainly caters for advanced and intermediate skiers.More info
Zell am See is a beautiful resort where the mountains meet the lake, with a lively town and including access to the snow-sure Kaprun glacier.More info
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