Beginner Austrian ski resorts

The best Austrian Resorts for learning to ski.

Niederau

Traditional Tyrolean village, Easy links to Ski Juwe...

Great for:

  • Families
  • First-timers
  • Alpine charm

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Mayrhofen

Freestyling heaven, Tyrolean charm, Altitude & Snowbo...

Great for:

  • Families
  • groups
  • après ski

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Lech

Some of the best snow in Austria , Traditional charm...

Great for:

  • Luxury
  • High Altitudes
  • Powder snow

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Obergurgl

Long ski season, Chic and cheerful, Ski in / ski out

Great for:

  • Families
  • Tyrolean charm
  • Snow Sure

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Hinterglemm

Large linked resort, Modern ski lift system, Austrian...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Aprés ski
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kaprun

Austria’s oldest skiable glacier, Austria’s bigges...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Late Season
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Ellmau

Varied terrain, Part of the Ski Welt, Austria’s fast...

Great for:

  • Beginners
  • Alpine village charm
  • Families

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Alpbach

Picturesque 1930’s village , Brilliant family resor...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Couples
  • Beginners and lower intermediate skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Solden

Lively après ski, Free Wifi in ski area, 1 of Austri...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Après Ski
  • Events

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Filzmoos

In the heart of the huge Ski Amadé, Amazing range o...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Glacier skiing
  • Cross-country

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

For a first ski week, Austria’s picture-perfect valleys are home to brilliant beginner slopes and a sea of kindly blue runs, with internationally recognised ski schools that’ll see you confidently cruising down them in no time.

Then there are the charming mountain towns, legendary après bars and fabulous provisions for families: make one of these resorts your base and we’ll eat our helmets if you don’t fall in love with the mountains.

Austria: Top 10 ski resorts for Beginners

Niederau has well-groomed practice slopes that can be seen from the village, and there’s some serious snow cannon power keeping them ship shape. With the help of fairy-tale figures and a magic carpet, Bobo's Club sees little’uns progress in leaps and bounds under the wings of Wildschonau ski school, while SkiSchule Aktiv have been known to give their lessons Harry Potter and Pokemon themes which kids will adore. Markbachjoch is the place to ski once you’ve mastered the basics, where the Kropfrader and Mittermoos ridges have broad, cruisy descents with a killer view of Große Beil on the horizon, and a gondola to chauffer you home at the end of the day.

Mayrhofen has the bee’s knees of beginner offerings, with the Ahorn Mountain being all about leisurely descents, and the Penken a hive of snowploughing action. The usual faces are present at both – ski kindergartens, schools, snow cannons and magic carpets, easing all generations of novices into the wonderful world of snow sports. Graduation’s often a rapid affair, so you’ll be onto the big blues in no time: #20 on the east side of Penken is a long, looping trail that’ll drop you off by the Horbergbahn gondola, where you can pop home, or take a chairlift further up the mountain to test out #8, a short, sweet descent. Over on the Ahorn it’s all about gently winding runs, a winner for building courage within your comfort zone – try out 1a for a ride that’s out of the limelight, giving some spectacular views of the valley as well as reams of space to perfect your turns.

Good snow conditions can make all the difference on your first week of skiing, and this neck of the woods gets the white stuff by the bucket load. A good number of blues also helps, and the piste map’s doused in them – many of the long, wide variety that’ll have you building up a rhythm in no time. It all begins on the other side of the river to the main ski area, where you can pick up the basics in peace on T-bars serving easy-going nursery runs (the land here is a golf course in the summer, so it’s really softly sloping). Then cross back over the river for access up to Oberlech’s longer blues – we love 34a from Schleglkopf for a spiralling journey down the mountain, back to base - if it’s good enough for Wills and Harry’s first ski holiday, those of us without princes for parents should have a royally good time…

The only thing trumping snow-sure, quiet pistes is snow-sure, quiet pistes that you don’t have to hike a mile to get to. Which is exactly what you’ll find in Obergurgl: the slopes are almost always in peak condition here, and while crowds are a rarity, doorstep skiing’s the norm. About a third of the ski area is classified blue, and you’re far from restricted to flat, base runs – steady slopes pour down from the Wurmkogl peak at a lofty 3028m. Blue #36 is one to make the most of: not many beginners get to cruise down such a wonderfully high piste on their first week. Mini clubs and ski nurseries are on call for youngsters, with ski schools for older starters setting off from above David’s Skihütte, a popular spot to grab a well-deserved Glühwein before the ski run home. Speaking of that return journey, blue #6 is the way to go – leaving from the Mittelstation, it swaps the cable car journey for sprawling white mountainside, easily conquered after a few lessons.

Everything’s on your doorstep here, making a first-time ski break a doddle. Head straight to the Unterschwarzach cable car base station, and by the fun park you’ll find some super nursery slopes served by T-bar lifts – terrain tailor made for novices. The Zwolferkogel has a marvellous series of ‘family descents’ trailing down towards Hinterglemm, but that’s far from your lot – the area has a whopping 120km of blue runs overall. The cable cars on the south facing side of the valley unlock a fabulous network of more challenging blues, trailing between the pines to Hinterglemm and over to Saalbach for a change of scenery.

Kaprun’s a real softie for beginners. On one side of the village, Lechnerberg’s home to a beginner slope and a kid’s park, which is decked out with conveyor belts and rope tows. On the other, the Maiskogel Mountain has a wonderfully long, wide cruiser that splits off from two starting points on the peak, trailing past some mountain huts - it’d be criminal not to stop off at Strangerbauer for a homemade pastry or two. Snow sure skiing isn’t far away on the mighty Kitzsteinhorn, where a confident blue run skier will have a blast on the panoramic trail down the glacier. The list goes on - Zell am See’s ski area, the Schmittenhöhe, is just a bus ride away; worth a visit whether or not you’re ready to beat the world’s longest Funslope... (Ski Dome Oberschneider do a fine range of lessons that'll have you ready in no time).

A diddy resort in the mammoth Ski Welt region, Ellmau’s an unintimidating place to learn the ropes. For starters, there are a number of beginner slopes in the village, where you can make your first turns on wide, open pastires. In the same area, little learners will have a whale of a time in Kinderland (next to the ski school office on Alte Strasse 3), where the Ski Schule are always finding new, fun ways to teach the basics. After these, a massive 49% of the local area is taken up by lengthy, spacious blues. Take the new heated gondola to the summit of the stunning Hartkaiser peak, where a winding blue zig-zags all the way down to the village, passing by pocket-sized farming settlements, through woodland and featuring spectacular sights of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains.

As one of the prettiest villages in Austria (an impressive feat), Alpbach’s the ideal spot to fall in love with the sport. Learners won’t have to scale the highest heights for some stunning views, as the nursery slopes are on a pitch of mountain just behind the village’s parish church (an easy-to-find landmark on day 1) and cluster of old alpine buildings. 32km of blues make up the beginner scene here, and there are some really lovely routes - blue 4 from Gmahkopf is packed with chances to spread your wings, conveniently ending up at the Almkopf gondola for a calm trail back to town. Confident first-weekers will also find lots of broad reds to progress onto – like the 4km ‘family Inneralpbach’, a welcoming descent which just happens to be the longest in the resort.

The list of brilliant beginner pistes here’s a long one – almost as long as the legendary blue #38: add it to your agenda for an end of week 9km cruise from the sky high 3370m peak of the Schwarze Schneid. To prep you in the best way possible, enlist a state certified instructor (a troop of 180 work here), who’ll probably start you off on the nursery runs at Innerwald. They also do a fine job of occupying little ones at BOBO Kid’s Club, with magic carpets and a skiing penguin… There are plenty of shorter runs to warm up on before the big descent – we could spend all day doing the rounds on the web of scenic blues at Giggijoch. If the #38 leaves you craving more, there’s a slightly longer all-blue route from Schwarze Schneid, linking #33 and #30 and conveniently stopping at the Hühnersteign for a well-deserved hot chocolate or a potent ‘Cabin Coffee’.

If you’re happy to spend your first week pottering about on a small selection of blues, Filz will leave you grinning. Wide nursery slopes can be found one each end of the village, an easy walk from most accommodation, which keeps stomping about in ski boots to a blissful minimum. The one opposite the Grossberg chairlift’s slightly longer, as well as being floodlit on certain nights for extra practice time. From the top of Grossberg, the blue run has lots of split off points, allowing newbies to explore the mountain without straying into expert territory. These soft slopes are connected to the neighbouring Moosalm area by a short blue and a drag lift, where from the top, a spider web of more easy trails shoot under lift 5 and lead down to Neuberg. While Filzmoos’ beginner provisions end there, an extended pass for the wider Ski Amadé area opens up oodles of blues if you fancy moving onto pastures new.

To learn to ski or snowboard in the very best Austrian resorts, choose from our list of Austria's top Beginner ski resorts.

All of these learner ski resorts have at some stage held titles like "best Beginner Austrian ski resort" or "best beginner snowboard resort in Austria", or been included in lists of top novice ski resorts such as "top places to learn to ski in Europe".

This is the definitive list of the top ten best beginner Austrian ski resorts.

If you want to widen your search to include different countries or learn in one of the greatest beginner resorts on the planet, have a look at our World Top 10 for Beginners. From the high-tech learning conditions of the nursery slopes in France, to the gentlest groomers in all of North America, it'll show you the very best places to learn worldwide.


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