Warmer weather and more daylight hours make Easter a smashing time to ski Austria. And if you’re in one of the higher ski areas with glaciers, the snow conditions should really let you make the most of it. Not that you’d be at a loose end if you had to call it a day early – you’ll find all sorts of alternative activities, including some of the best Apres ski bars in the Alps.
Our Austrian ski chalets have the makings for a cosy Easter on the hill. You won’t have to lift a finger in the cooking department and you can have your own home in the mountains with sole occupancy, or get to know other skiers in a sociable shared chalet.
For families taking advantage of the week off school, our favourite family chalets go out of their way to make little children comfortable. We like Chalet Alpenblume in Obergurgl, which besides being one of the best resorts for sprogs, is also one of the most snow sure around (the slopes stream down from a giddying 3082m).
If you like to stay in a bigger property for the chance to meet new SNO mates, chalet hotels are brilliant. Chalet Hotel Hermann is a prime example – ski Solden’s stonkingly snow sure ski area (including 2 glaciers) by day, and socialise around the supper table by night.
Ski-out properties are always the most hassle free, but when snow on the lower slopes might be affected by spring sunshine, somewhere with good walking AND skiing access is best. Lech’s Chalet Alpenland has just this – a reviewer told us: “This chalet is in a ski in ski out location when there is snow but otherwise still only minutes away from first lift up”.
If your late season holiday is more about sunny après, nothing beats St Anton, where chalets like the Alpenheim are less than 5 minutes from the buzzing village centre.
Hotels tend to come with bigger, more varied facilities than other types of ski accommodation – which can be a good choice for spring skiing in case the slopes get slushy later on. Though if you pick one in a snow sure Austrian resort, that’s unlikely to be a problem.
If you’re bringing the clan, family favourite Obergurgl has some cracking hotels - the Bergwelt which has doorstep skiing when the lower cover is good enough. We’ve heard fabulous things about the meals there – one reviewer said “The food is unbelievably good, out of this world - they did all kinds of international cuisine and it really was to die for!”.
Ischgl’s hugely popular at this time of year for its Top Of The Mountain Easter concert, lively après ski and snow sure slopes. The hotels are a draw too - you’ll find a good range of lodgings here, from the luxurious Hotel Madelin (linked to the Pacha Club for those looking to party) to the basic and friendly Hotel Garni.
The other big resort in terms of events is Mayrhofen, where the Snowbombing and Altitude festivals come to town during springtime. And with the Hintertux glacier nearby, fabulous snow is just a bus ride away if the local slopes are lacking. There are oodles of hotels here – like the Strass which has tons of facilities to enjoy after skiing, and the Snow Houses: Basic bases for those who like to ski their socks off and crash at the end of the day.
Self-catering’s one of the cheapest ways to ski Austria, but isn’t all about saving money. It’s also about making skiing more flexible and letting your Easter week can pan out just as you’d like it to: Have your own space to relax in at the end of the day and eat what and when you like – cook your own Easter lunch or book a table nearby and have the catering done for you.
Choose an apartment in a resort that has a good history of springtime snow conditions and you’re in for a wonderful week on the mountain.
Solden’s a safe bet for this thanks to its 3000m peaks and two skiable glaciers. While it might be better known for hotels, it also has some Apart-Hotels where you’re self-catering but get to use the hotel’s facilities. We like the Garni Apart-Hotel Viktoria, which has a lovely and quiet position looking over the resort – in the clear spring weather the views can be incredible.
Speaking of views, the ones from Zell am See’s Mountain Lake Resort are incredible thanks to the complex’s fabulous floor to ceiling windows. The apartments come with kitchen facilities but they’re a little different from your standard apartment - they can also come with chalet catering, including breakfasts, afternoon tea and supper in the overall cost.