Salzburg Airport is just a hop, a skip and a jump from Britain, with affordable flights from London and other major cities on airlines including British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair. This gateway to the Austrian Alps is within easy reach of some of the biggest ski areas in Austria, including Kitzbühel, Obertauern and the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. It's also surrounded by many smaller ski resorts that might be of interest to those looking for skiing off the beaten path. Here are eight of the most popular ski areas that are easy to reach from Salzburg Airport.
Family-friendly Almenwelt Lofer ski area offers 46km of mostly blue slopes and the latest in modern technology when it comes to lifts and magic carpets, making this the ideal place for children and other beginners to make their first turns. Add to this the picturesque setting and lack of crowds and you have the makings of an unforgettable ski holiday with the family.
Half-hour drive, 40km
Hochkönig boasts a sprawling ski area with over 100km of slopes. This is paradise for intermediates, with an abundance of red slopes. Snowboarders will also do well here - Hochkönig has no less than three snow parks with a variety of boxes, jumps and jibs. Hochkönig has put a focus on its family-friendly facilities and the ski area now boasts an 850m-long funslope and a dedicated Family Park with smaller jumps and rails.
One-hour drive, 60kmPhoto: © Hochkönig Tourismus GmbH
Skiers and snowboarders will find almost 200km of pistes at Schladming-Dachstein. Glacier skiing on the Dachstein Glacier ensures guaranteed snow all season long. Cross-country skiers will also fall in love with this ski area, which bids 350km of gorgeous trails to explore, with options for nighttime cross-country skiing on floodlit trails.
One-hour drive, 90kmPhoto: © Schladming-Dachstein Tourismusmarketing GmbH
The ski resorts of Zell am See and Kaprun are joined by a free shuttle bus. This is a picturesque ski area with tree-lined ski slopes surrounding the beautiful Lake Zell. In total there are 140km of ski slopes, which in general are best-suited to beginner and intermediate skiers. Freeriders and snowboarders will find no shortage of off-piste terrain and snow parks, and there are ski touring routes available in the backcountry.
One-hour-ten-minute drive, 75kmPhoto: © Miranda Muller
The Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn is one of Austria's premier ski resorts. With 270km of slopes, the Skicircus is also one of the country's largest linked ski areas, with something to offer for every level of skier and snowboarder. Saalbach-Hinterglemm is renowned for its lively après-ski scene, while quieter Leogang is a haven for families. Fieberbrunn is famous for its off-piste terrain through what seems like limitless powder and is a popular stop on the Freeride World Tour.
One-hour-fifteen-minute drive, 80kmPhoto: © Tourismusverband Saalbach Hinterglemm
The Salzburger Sportwelt is mammoth, with almost 230km of slopes. The linked ski area brings together around half-a-dozen ski resorts including Filzmoos, Zauchensee and Flachau. The latter is an award-winning ski resort known for its accessibility and family-friendly facilities. While not all the terrain is linked by pistes, there is a free ski shuttle to take you back and forth between the villages.
50-minute drive, 70kmPhoto: © Salzburger Sportwelt
Skiing at Obertauern is skiing on high-altitude slopes with striking views of the surrounding mountain peaks. The village is walkable and the ski area is very well-organised, with ski-in, ski-out accommodation and many slopes that lead right back into the heart of the resort. You might recognise Obertauern as the spot where the Beatles filmed part of their 1965 film Help!
One-hour drive, 90kmPhoto: © Miranda Muller
Kitzbühel is most famous for the Hahnenkamm Races, an annual event that brings together the fastest skiers in the world in what might be the planet's most intense ski race. For us regular skiers, 170km of slopes, multiple snow cannons and a vertical drop of 1000m ensure a ski holiday with slopes for every ability and reliable snow cover. The ski resort is one of Austria's best-known, but it hasn't lost its traditional appeal and genuine friendliness.
One-hour-ten-minute drive, 80kmPhoto: © Kitzbuehel Simon Oberleitner
Once you land in Salzburg you have several options for getting to your ski holiday destination. There are car hire companies right in Salzburg Airport, as well as numerous transfer options depending on your ski resort of choice. Happy skiing!
Check out other gateway airports to the Alps:
Ski resorts easily accessible from Grenoble Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Chambéry Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Lyon Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Innsbruck Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Turin Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Geneva Airport
Or check out our article on the best airlines for flying to the Alps >
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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