Ski areas in Lower Austria
To escape the winter blues in Vienna, just head out to the nearby mountains. The nearest destinations are the ski areas in Lower Austria. Highly recommended for families with children are: St. Corona am Wechsel, Annaberg, Lackenhof am Oetscher and Puchberg am Schneeberg.
You don’t have a car? No problem. Just book the Bus zum Schnee or take a train package including lift pass. With Flug zum Schnee you can even fly to Tyrol in the morning and be back in Vienna in the evening. Once you are there, you have the choice of skiing, sliding or walking on snow. Just make sure you get enough sun and fresh mountain air! 🙂
Cross Country Skiing
If you think you are not fit enough for down-hill skiing, why not try cross-country skiing. Just rent the equipment in the ski resort and have somebody show you the first moves. Then you can slowly glide on your own through a gentle winter landscape.
Recommended areas for cross-country skiing
There is a Split Park for snowboarders and free-skiers at the Zauberberg Semmering and a half-pipe and snowboard-jump at Moenichkirchen. Skischule Annaberg offers training for beginners and advanced. There are three snow parks in Lower Austria.
Recommended snow parks in Styria: Superpark Dachstein & Airypark Kreischberg
The best ski resorts in Austria and worldwide are located in Tyrol. If you are not such a good skier or if you want a family holiday, you do not require high mountains, but 1,500 m will be sufficient.You don’t need 20 different lifts or 300 km of slopes and there is no need to travel too far with kids. Why drive 5 – 7 hours from Vienna to Tyrol, when you can make it in 3 -4 hours to a family ski resort in Salzburg or Styria ?
The best family ski-resort in Austria according to skiresort.info is Loferer Alm in Salzburg. The children ski school of the year is Ski School Magic Snow Riesneralm in Styria. Our children loved this ski school and the ski area was manageable. We stayed at Jufa Donnersbachwald, which is located right next to the slope. If you like it more sophisticated, try Kinderhotel Stegerhof.
Another ski resort highly recommended by Rachel is Bad Gastein in Salzburg. While Rachel’s four older children got a quantity discount at skiing school, Rachel and her baby discovered the Gastein Card, which offers a lot of holiday activities for free or at reduced prices. They explored different spas and spa resorts and she took even a cross-country sampler course. They had a great family holiday in the Gastein valley.
SKI RESORT GERLITZEN ALPE
We just discovered a great skiing area in Carinthia: Gerlitzen Alpe Ski Centre with 1 cable car, 7 chair lifts, 3 T-bar lifts and 4 practice lifts – all difficulty levels on a slope length of 60 km at an altitude of almost 2000 m. It’s called “Stella Ronda” – a 360° star-shaped ski route loop with 13 different downhill runs. Even snowboarders and freestylers will like the fun park on top of Gerlitzen Alpe.
We stayed at Almresort Gerlitzen Kanzelhoehe, an appartement hotel with delicious half-board for a reasonable price, mostly recommended for families. There is a big playground for kids and one for dogs, a pool and sauna, and a play-room for children. The best thing though was the ski rental and the ski school inside the hotel and the ski slope directly in front of the hotel.
If you don’t feel like skiing just take the cable car down to Annenheim and walk around Lake Ossiach. A popular guide offers free guided snowshoe walks two times a week. There are also different cross-country trails and toboggan runs. If the weather is bad take a break at nearby Warmbad Villach spa resort. From there it takes you just 30 minutes to go to Italy or Slovenia.