Skiing in Austria
Think of Austria and images of picture postcard mountain villages with traditional, wooden chalets covered in snow pop into your mind but Austria has so much more to offer than just prettiness...
The majority of hotels are family run and have been passed down through the generations. Hospitality is in their blood meaning their welcome will always be warm and their standards of service high. Tradition is important to them but so is comfort and style so consequently hotels are continuously renovating and investing heavily in their hotels.
Austria may have been the birthplace of modern skiing all those years ago but Austria now has lift systems which are no less sophisticated than elsewhere in the Alps meaning ski areas are well connected, plus there is many a heated chairlift to keep you toasty on the way up. Ski schools have an amazing reputation and nursery slopes are handily located in the villages making access easy but any level of skier will benefit from their expert tuition.
Stopping at pretty, old, wooden mountain huts full of atmosphere rather than motorway service stations just adds to the charm of skiing in Austria. Try the delicious local specialities at your lunchtime stop; Tiroler Gröstl with bacon or pork fried with potatoes, onions, majoram and caraway seeds in a pan with a fried egg on top will definitely refuel you or if you have a sweet tooth try the Kaiserschmarren, a chopped up sweet pancake including raisins, chopped almonds and apple, often served with an apple or plum sauce and dusted with icing sugar. If it is just a drink stop, a schnapps or a Glühwein (hot, mulled wine) will warm you up or a Weizen (wheat beer) will cool you down. Another plus is you’ll be served efficiently, in a friendly manner and certainly at prices cheaper than a rather large country to its west!
And then there is the legendary après ski....this may indeed be a French phrase but the Austrians have certainly made this sport their own. Starting on the mountain and continuing in the bars at the bottom of the slopes, après here is fun, friendly and full of wonderful Euro-pop tunes which you will soon be singing along to, even if you thought you wouldn’t. You may have thought comfy ski boots were for the benefit of the skiing but here it is all about the comfort of the après ski dancing – often on the tables which whilst not compulsory is often encouraged!
Plus there is plenty to keep both young and old entertained off the slopes; horse drawn sleigh rides, ice skating rinks, snow shoe trails and some resorts offering more adrenalin sports like ice-karting.
All in all, Austria is the perfect spot for your winter wonderland holiday!