Although more and more skiers are recently trying the resort of Italian Dolomites that is accessible from Verona Airport, Austria remains the most popular ski destination for winter sports enthusiasts from Europe. The mountain resorts of Salzburg in the heart of the country attract active sports lovers not only with its well-developed ski infrastructure, but also with alternative entertainment.
Zell am See
One of the most famous and well-known mountain resorts in Austria is Zell am See. The town and the whole resort got their name because of the lake Zell in the valley. On the shores of this beautiful lake there are many hotels and residential houses decorated by traditional details of the local architecture. When the lake freezes, it turns into a natural skating rink, so in addition to skis or snowboards, you can also try your figure skating skills.
This resort has mostly moderate ski slopes, but, like almost all resorts, there are slopes for both beginners and advanced skiers. You can try the special night slopes, and there are 2 slopes specially prepared for snowboarders. The resort of Zell am See is also recommended for the holidays with the families and little kids. An alternative to downhill skiing is 14 km of cross-country ski runs and 4 km slope for sled runs. One of the lifts runs in the pedestrian zone, and the most powerful lift is 5 minutes away from the town center.
The town of Kaprun is located near Zell am See. From the Kaprun slopes you can see the highest peak of the Austrian Alps called the Grossglockner mountain. Skiing is possible on the nearby Kitzsteinhorn Glacier not only during the normal ski season in December-April, but also all year round. Of course, people who want to ski on the glacier should be aware that it is colder there, it can be windy, so they should dress warmer. The slopes typical of glaciers are quite wide. There is a free shuttle bus from Kaprun to the Glacier that takes just 15 minutes. Almost all ski area of Kaprun is for beginner skiers and families with kids as the slopes are wide and spacious. If 50 km of Kaprun slopes are not enough, the ski pass purchased at this resort is also valid at Zell am See, so there will be somewhere to ski for everyone.
After the exercising on the mountain and the winter cold weather, there is nothing more pleasant than relaxing in the warm and healing water. Salzburg is close to Kaprun and Zell am See, and its architectural beauty is protected by UNESCO. It could be a great way to spend a rest day without skiing. By the way, in Salzburg you can visit the house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived. The Gastein Valley is located about 50 km from Kaprun. Bad Gastein has a variety of ski slopes, and Bad Hofgastein, just 7 km away, is also popular destination among the experienced skiers. However, the Gastein Valley is most famous for its mineral springs, swimming pools, and the great variety of spa centers.