Top 10 Small Ski Areas in Austria

    Tranquility, friendly hospitality, and fantastic prices: Explore a number of hidden gems far away from the large ski resorts.

    If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds on your skiing holiday, you’ll be in for a treat with a wealth of small, intimate, and laid-back ski resorts located in Austria’s most beautiful scenery. Browse this list of insider tips to find your own hidden treasure this winter.


    Deep-snow skiing in St. Johann in Tirol / St. Johann in Tirol

    St. Johann in Tirol

    • 40 km (24.8 mi) of pistes
    • 10 lifts

    St. Johann in Tirol’s ski area can be found between the Kitzbüheler Horn and SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental ski areas. It benefits from extremely favourable weather conditions and a wealth of snowfall in the winter. Reach the Kitzbüheler Horn ski area in just a few minutes from the town centre by taking Harschbibl cable car, and take advantage of everything the Kitzbüheler Alps’ has to offer, including extensive family-friendly pistes. A short car ride takes you to Skiwelt Wilder Kaiser and the Kitzbühel ski area where you have access to over 400 km (250 mi) of slopes. Immerse yourself in Tirolean culture at the local museum, check out one of the baroque churches or treat yourself to a de-stressing break at the St. Johann spa world.

    Pilgrimage church Maria Schnee in Obermauern (Virgental)

    Virgental in East Tirol

    • 43 km (26.7 mi) of pistes
    • 16 lifts

    The Kals-Matrei ski area in Virgental is the largest in East Tirol, and together with Prägraten am Großvenediger and Virgen forms the Virgental ski area. With over 60 3,000-metre (9,843 ft) peaks overseeing the resort, it is located right inside the beautiful Hohe Tauern National Park and very close to Austria's highest mountain, the Großglockner. A free ski bus whisks you from resort to resort, you can master your moves at a number of ski schools and choose from a wealth of off-the-slope activities, including snowshoe walking, tobogganing and cross-country skiing. A fantastic après-ski scene awaits, as do delicious regional delights in rustic mountain huts and first-class restaurants.


    Freeriding in the Montafon / Montafon


    • 297 km (185 mi) of pistes
    • 74 lifts

    Fantastic mountains, spectacular panoramic views, unique cliff faces, heady descents, five separate ski areas, and first-class hospitality await in the Montafon ski area in Vorarlberg. Silvretta Montafon’s top snow parks and the huge network of hiking paths on the sunny Bartholomäberg belong to the area’s many highlights. 74 modern lifts and cable cars and 297 km (185 mi) of perfectly prepared slopes leave nothing to be desired, and the area is also a great spot for ski tours and freeriding adventures. Families with children will immediately feel at home in Schruns, Tschagguns, and Vandans, which grant direct access to the Golm ski area with its alpine coaster and top range of childcare facilities.

    Kleinwalsertal Skitour


    • 130 km (81 mi) of pistes
    • 11 lifts

    Come here for peace and quiet, a beautiful mountainous arena, a lively après-ski scene, and a variety of events. Fantastic skiing also awaits on easy runs with soft, wide slopes, and relatively flat stretches as well as steep slopes. Choose from a number of ski areas, including Kleinwalsertal with its dreamy views of the Alpine arena, the popular slopes of the Fellhorn/Kanzelwand area and the sunny pistes on the Ifen. Intermediate skiers are catered for at the Walmendingerhorn ski area while the slopes of the Heuberg-Arena and Söllereck are especially family-friendly. Wherever you go in this diverse ski paradise, you’ll find fantastic infrastructure with modern lifts and ski buses as well as perfect cross-country skiing areas.


    Langlaufen in Murau-Kreischberg


    • 42 km (26 mi) of pistes
    • 13 lifts

    The Murau-Kreischberg ski area (formed of Kreischberg, Frauenalpe, and Grebenzen-St. Lambrecht) boasts Alpine-fresh air, 67 km (42 mi) of snow-sure pistes and is an absolute dream for families and snowboarders. Winter sports enthusiasts are in for a treat thanks to the snowmaking machines at the Kreischberg and Styria’s first ever 10-seater gondola. 100% natural snow can be found in the Frauenalpe ski resort, with an altitude of over 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Children and adults alike will be delighted by the tubing area, Kreischberg snow park, and Yabba Dabba Doo Land. The Alm and Murau are well known for their lively après-ski scene.

    Skiing on the Turracher Hoehe / Turracher Höhe

    Turracher Höhe

    • 42 km (26 mi) of pistes
    • 15 Lifts

    Take your pick from a handful of hotels in this area, renowned for its fresh air and extraordinary unspoilt natural beauty around the idyllic Turracher lake. A few shops, the Tourist Information Office, cosy hotel bars and restaurants will welcome you with open arms. The surrounding Turracher Höhe ski area boasts easy to medium-difficulty runs, particularly suited to beginners. Fun and games galore can be found in the large snow park and fun slope, and the Nocky Flitzer – an Alpine Coaster. And don’t miss out on the Slope Butler, on hand to provide free prosecco, fruits, biscuits, and other treats to skiers. Enjoy countless off-the-slope activities such as snowshoe hiking, a mountain hut safari, or night tobogganing.


    Skiing near Heiligenblut / Carinthia


    • 55 km (34 mi) of pistes
    • 12 lifts

    A magical winter wonderland awaits in this village with its traditional houses and famous gothic church tower, all nestled beneath the splendid peak of Austria’s highest mountain, the Großglockner. Skiers of all abilities are in for a treat with a wide selection of trails and treeless land, whilst snowboarders and freeriders will find ideal terrain at 2,989 m (9,806 ft). Families can choose from a range of fantastic packages, and children ski for just €3 a day when accompanied by a parent. A local ski school, a free ski bus, tobogganing, winter walking and ice climbing opportunities as well as snowshoe tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, and ice skating rinks ensure a perfect winter break.

    Skiing at Nassfeld


    • 110 km (68 mi) of pistes
    • 30 lifts

    An active and diverse winter holiday awaits in the most beautiful scenery on the Italian border. Come here for stunning mountain panoramas, snow guarantee, sunshine, and culinary delights in 25 rustic ski huts and restaurants. The diverse range of slopes, freeride areas, and the snowpark ensure a joyful holiday for guests of all ages. There are also 3 fantastic practice areas especially for children where they can perfect their moves.


    Skiing with children, winter in the Hochkönig region / Hochkönig


    • 120 km (75 mi) of pistes
    • 34 lifts

    Ski like royalty in the majestic surroundings of Maria Alm, Mühlbach am Hochkönig, and Dienten am Hochkönig. Whilst on the Aberg-Langeck (1,900 m / 6,234 ft), you’ll have the magnificent view of Hochkönig mountain in constant sight. More than 120 km (75 mi) of pistes are draped in almost exclusively easy and intermediate slopes, making this area perfect for beginners and families, especially with its Schneewutzel kids club and Maria Alm Kindergarten. Snowboarders have 3 fantastic parks at their feet, cross-country skiers will have a blast in Maria Alm and Saalfelden, and freeriders have a top-notch information point at their disposal. A highlight from December to April is the Maria Alm Night Show.

    Skiing holiday at Katschberg

    Katschberg (Carinthia and SalzburgerLand)

    • 70 km (43 mi) of pistes
    • 16 lifts

    A free ski bus whisks you from one area to another in this fun-packed family paradise which boasts a number of prestigious ski schools and an attractive range of fantastically priced packages. Weekly night skiing is a treat for night owls, and kids are in for an enthralling learn-to-ski experience at Katschi's Kids World. Tobogganing, horse and cart rides, torch-lit walks, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and curling are just a few of the things waiting to be enjoyed off the slopes. Looking for an adrenalin rush? Check out the flying fox zip lines at Katschberg Adventure park.

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