Austria Ski Holidays
Between chic historic cities and rolling countryside, Austria has many different faces, but none are as beautiful as the Alpine west. The summery green scenes turn gleaming white in winter, as the snow falls thickly on towering, misty peaks. Visitors flock to the resorts to experience the great outdoors, make the most of the snow or wander through the chocolate-box towns which make Austria holidays so special.
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Austria’s Alpine resorts are equipped for any kind of snow adventure you fancy. Get your racing skis on and head for the steepest pistes or take a gentler, meandering cross country ski to take in the crisp, glacial beauty of the Alps. Explore the trails by snowshoe or grab your mates and have a race in the toboggans. When you’re ready for a little rest, plan a smoother journey on a horse-drawn or even husky-drawn sleigh. In the evenings, curl up by the fire for a cosy drink or meal, or else take the cable car down the mountain to the pubs.
Austria is a skier’s paradise. The resorts provide lightly-sloping nursery runs right the way up to the hair-raising black runs for pros. There are ski schools for anyone wanting to brush up before hitting the slopes, plus hundreds of kilometres of cross country trails, winter hiking and snowshoeing treks. The best places in Austria have state of the art ski lifts and equipment, as well as ski buses to whiz you between pistes. For the real thrill-seekers, climb even higher into the crisp air among snowy peaks on an ice climbing excursion, or take a leap into the unknown on a hand glider.
There are lots of things for kids to do in Austria, whatever time of year you visit. Even the littlest snow bunnies can have fun on the ice skating rink, or take a magical horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow. For the more adventurous, go tobogganing down the snowiest slope you can find or go on a family snowshoe trek. Many of the resorts have leisure and fitness centres where you can have a swim and mum can get a massage. If you’re lucky enough to be in Austria over Christmas, the resort towns become winter wonderlands, lit up at night and buzzing with market stalls.
A day’s adventure on the snow isn’t complete without the après ski. Have dinner at a restaurant up in the mountains or in town and try some hearty Austrian specialties like schweinsbratn, a pork stew. Bigger resorts like Mayrhofen are the best places in Austria for nightlife, with a good choice of bars and clubs – some of which have to be reached by cable car. You’ll find English-style pubs and live music, international DJs and some swanky cocktail bars. The resorts hold a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including a comedy festival and Snowbombing, a music and skiing festival.