Enjoy incredible experiences in Austria’s greatest skiing paradise
Austria’s greatest skiing paradise, Ski amadé is a unique destination. Where else can one ski pass hand you access to up to 760 km of unrivalled slopes, 270 modern lifts and 356 perfectly groomed runs, spread across five breath-taking resorts?
Whether you want to ski, dine on fine food and wine, or discover your Zen amid a mountainous panorama, this is the place to head to this winter. Its many joys are set over five regions: Salzburger Sportwelt, Schladming-Dachstein, Gastein, Hochkönig and Großarltal. Here we explore just some of the many must-dos.
Across the Ski amadé region there are an unparalleled variety of experiences: snow parks for beginners and pros alike, and fun slopes and funcross for the kids.
For a truly breathtaking ski experience, take a cable car into the amazing mountain world of Salzburger Sportwelt, which boasts 210km of slopes and five dramatic valleys. Here, whether you’re a classic carver, freestyler or half-pipe pro, every mountain enthusiast is catered to across the region’s perfectly groomed pistes and activity-packed funparks, while 200 rustic huts serving delicious Austrian cuisine will help fuel you between sessions or provide the perfect après-ski treat. It’s also a popular area for the hardcore skier, thanks to its 12-peak challenge, which ranges from Grafenberg at 1,702m to the Gamskogel at 2,188m. You’ll even get a trophy if you complete the whole tour – no matter whether you did in one day or throughout your holiday.
The Salzburger Sportwelt is also perfect for families. There is a variety of fun slopes, beginners slopes as well as kids parks, such as the Fichtelland at Radstadt-Atlenmarkt. For the little ones who want to become pros, there are numerous excellent ski schools available with English speaking ski instructors.
While off-piste, a wealth of charming adventures await, from romantic horse-drawn carriage rides through the snow, to breathtaking balloon rides above the snowy mountain ranges around Filzmoos – two must-experiences you’ll remember forever.
Meanwhile, the Hochkönig ski area, with its 120 kilometres of slopes and 34 lifts, is a paradise for skiers young and old, thanks to its perfectly groomed slopes for all levels of ability and its celebrated 40km of cross-country skiing routes. For a stunning ski-tour experience, try the Königstour (literally King’s Tour) where you will cover 6 peaks, 35 kilometers of slopes and 7500 meters of altitude, breathtaking mountain vistas. Foodies can opt for the culinary Königstour, stopping off at friendly, rustic ski huts to sample delicious Tirolean fayre.
Or head to family-friendly Gastein, with 200 kilometers of slopes across 4 different mountains where you can enjoy everything from skiing to snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking and cross-country ski trails. Between sessions, head to ski huts where you can enjoy roaring open fires and delicious home-made Austrian cuisine (those with a head for heights should also take a wander across the incredible suspension bridge). And be sure to check out the charming Christmas markets, where you can sip warm mulled wine, as well as the frozen Gastein waterfall, which forms a breathtaking natural sculpture.
Skiing is not the only winter sport in Ski amadé. In Schladming-Dachstein, the tobogganing is wild and wonderful, including fun sledding parties, which are held day and night.
While you’re there, be sure to take a ride on the fatbikes. The vehicles’ wide balloon tyres allow you to travel safely across all local terrains, whatever the weather. There are options for everyone, from pleasure riders to downhill dare devils.
Enjoy pleasure skiing
From high-altitude farmers markets, to rustic huts and modern mountain restaurants, Ski amadé is a culinary champion, allowing gourmets to enjoy a slope-based foodventure.
While the many ski huts offer fine food and drinks all year round, gourmets should time their trip to coincide with Ski and Wine Enjoyment Week (held between March 11 to 18 in 2023) when you can enjoy a wealth of culinary adventures, from wine tasting events, to a cable car dinner and a treasure hunt in the snow. Visit a farmers’ market with a view at the Kreuzkogel in Sportgastein, situated 2700 metres above sea level, where you can buy local delicacies including cheese, schnapps, jams or tea.
Or opt for the Full Moon Dinner, which is just as memorable as it sounds. As dusk sets in gently across the broad plateau flanked by the Hohe Tauern mountains, join a candlelit table, with warm blankets thoughtfully provided and a flanking of torches adding to the drama. This is a truly multi-sensory experience: the delicious, hot food steams in the cold, clear air, while delicious wine tantalises your tastebuds. As you enjoy this banquet beneath the stars, the moon will gleam approvingly from behind the peaks of the Gastein mountains.
Try snow yoga
Whether you want to wind down after a busy day on the slopes, or warm up before you head out, Ski Yoga can take your mind, body and soul where you want them to be.
These 30-minute ski yoga classes in Schladming-Dachstein are held directly on the ski slope, giving you a dramatic backdrop and plenty of alpine-fresh oxygen as you perform the postures that will improve your coordination skills, strengthen and your body and sharpen your mind.
Want to relax and recharge a bit more? Then slip into a comforting thermal bath, where the warm bubbles will soothe your calves and pamper your mind. With saunas available, too, the Alpentherme in Bad Hofgastein and Felsentherme in Bad Gastein are popular locations.
To find out more about Ski amadé, from resorts and accommodation to activities and experiences click here