As prices continue to rise in the premium French and Swiss ski resorts, and the crowds continue to pour in, many are turning to lesser-known ski resorts in Austria to get their winter adventure fix. The sunny region of Carinthia, in the southern Austrian Alps, offers a wealth of charming ski resorts, with guaranteed snow and over 500 miles of pistes to explore.
You’ll also find intriguing Austrian cuisine and an exceptional number of sunny days, with skiing conditions to rival that of big-name resorts such as Val D’Isere. However, instead of long lift queues and crowded slopes, you’ll find peaceful, pristine scenery just waiting to be explored.
We spoke to the experts at Visit Carinthia, to find out all about the best undiscovered ski resorts in Austria, for picturesque scenery and tranquil slopes.
The highlights of this excellent, family-friendly resort include 64 miles of pistes to enjoy and cheap lift passes for kids, with rates as low as €1 a day for under 12s. Warm up after a day on the slopes in one of the resort’s incredible thermal baths, which are often included in the price of your lift pass.
Perhaps one of the most snow-sure ski resorts in Austria, you’ll find a range of excellent skiing nestled at the foot of Austria’s highest mountain, with panoramic views of the surrounding Hohe Tauern National Park. Discover a world of off-piste with guided skiing off the trail, or practise your parallels on the 34 miles of groomed runs.
With skiing available all-year round, it can be difficult to tear yourself away from the incredibly scenic Mölltaler glacier. Here you’ll find guaranteed snow (with the help of snow canons if necessary) and reams of perfectly prepared pistes, ideal for honing your skills. Like a little air time? Head to the snow park for some sensational freestyle in the form of jumps, kickers and a boardercross.
Adrenaline-junkies will love staying at Turracher Höhe, with unique access to the Nocky Flitzer Alpine Roller Coaster, a year-round one-mile toboggan run with sensational panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. In winter, it’s also possible to skate on the national rink on the frozen Lake Turracher or take on the ‘2,205m around Turrach’ circuit, to familiarise yourself with the area. Like the luxury of traditional ski resorts? Take advantage of the indulgent Slope Butler service offered when you stay in a partner accommodation.
Despite being home to over 62 miles of pistes, Nassfeld remains relatively unknown compared to the more famous ski resorts in Austria. Edging the border with Italy, you can be sure of excellent southern weather (100 more sunshine hours than in the Northern Alps) and delightful Alpine-Adriatic cuisine, which takes a heavy Italian influence. Cross-country skiiers will be in heaven here with long scenic trails to explore while the more daring can take on the jumps in the snow park, or check out the ‘Schlag das Ass’ which is the longest ski race in the world.
One of the best ski resorts in Austria for families, Katschberg offers a wealth of extra activities and an excellent choice of ski-schools. Fill your evenings with some thrilling night skiing, or take the kids night sledging from the Gamskogelhütte. Kinderwelt provides an adventure-themed practise area for the kids, while 44 miles of piste, plus additional freeriding areas provide the playground for adults, with a lively après-ski scene to discover once the lifts close.
Tempted by these undiscovered ski resorts in Austria?
They can all be found in Carinthia, a beautiful alpine region known for its stunning hiking and magnificent lakes in summer. Direct flights from London to Klagenfurt are now being operated by easyJet throughout the season, to bring you within reach of these sensational lesser-known Austrian ski resorts, where pristine scenery and tranquil slopes await…