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Austria, the country where snow and mountains meet tradition and charm. I’ll admit that I am an Austrophile through and through. I just love everything about the country and feel that the Austrians have a great similarity and synergy with us Brits. We have a similar sense of humour, a love for beer, a penchant for a potato, we’re a sucker for a sausage. Even the tone and inclinations of our accents are similar. Gott segne Österreich or God bless Austria!

To my mind the Austrians are the best hoteliers in the skiing world, they are attentive with great taste and forward thinking. Hotels are nearly always family owned and owner managed and nurtures a passion and way of life rather than just a job. Spa facilities in Austrian hotels are a key part of the experience. They have a love of saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, hammams, relaxation areas, pools, kneipp baths etc. As for apres ski, well Austria is the place to go to, there is nowhere in the world like it.

Many of the Austrian resorts can be perceived as being lower and less snow sure and whilst that is a case for some, you have to consider that the Austrian Alps are much further north than the French Alps and therefore receive snow at lower elevations. If you think of the Alps as being a banana shaped big hand on a clock with Serre Chevalier in France being in the centre of the clock then Schladming in Austria would be at 2 o’clock. Much of the Austrian Alps is also grassed pasture land on U shaped glaciated valleys as opposed to the harsher rocky terrain of the higher Alps. This means that lower snow coverage is required for skiing so a snow base of 30cm in the village of say Soll may have better coverage than 50cm in La Rosiere. Whilst some of the Austrian resorts are lower, many in the Arlberg and Western Austria tend to be higher and have some of the longest seasons in Europe. St Anton, Lech, Ischgl, and Obergurgl all terminate their season around the first bank Holiday in May.

Driving to Austria can be a little more time consuming than to Switzerland and France but it isn’t horrendous by any stretch of the imagination. I have driven to Ischgl, St Anton and Mayhofen before and never experienced any great hardship.

The main airports for access to the Austrian ski slopes are Innsbruck and Salzburg. In addition Zurich in Switzerland and Munich in Germany are good alternatives. Munich often gives access to much cheaper airfares. Klagenfurt in the Southern Austrian province of Carinthia has a small number of flights and this is great for skiing resorts in this area such as Katschberg, Bad KleinKirchheim, and Nassfeld. In fact Ljubljana in neighbouring Croatia could be used for some of those resorts.

All in all, for a mixture of skiing, apres ski, scenery, accommodation, food, value for money, and a warm willkommen Austria is the place to head for.

Lech, Austria. A snow sure resort for those with deep pockets.

Ski Holidays Austria - SKI Resorts

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Ski Holidays Austria
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