Pretty Ski Resorts in Austria

Ski home to the prettiest Austrian villages and towns.

Alpbach

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

Great for:

  • Families
  • Couples
  • Beginners and lower intermediate skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Kitzbuhel

World's most difficult run, Romantic Austrian charm, ...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • après ski

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

Zell am See

Unparalleled panoramic skiing , Exceptional on piste...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Shopping
  • Non skiers

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

Soll

Super-efficient lift system, Austria’s longest nigh...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Night skiing
  • Non-skiers

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

St Anton

Huge Arlberg area, Awesome après ski, Extensive powd...

Great for:

  • Groups
  • Non skiers
  • Off-piste

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Igls

Near Innsbruck, Opportunity to upgrade to a glacier ...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Short transfer
  • Glacier skiing

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Westendorf

Part of the SkiWelt, Varied terrain, Efficient lift s...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Austrian village charm
  • Beginners

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Rauris

Traditional Austrian charm & hospitality, Stunning H...

Great for:

  • Families
  • Beginners
  • Self catering

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

Top 10 Most Popular

Austria has hundreds of ski resorts – and only ONE’s purpose built – the rest have past lives as Walser farming villages and medieval market towns, and when it comes to good old fashioned alpine charm, they’ve got it in swathes.

With ancient wooden chalets, colourful coaching inns and post-card ready chapels – not forgetting towering mountains and snowy meadows every way you turn - we could yodel from the rooftops about Austria’s prettiest resorts.

Austria: Top 10 Prettiest Ski Resorts

Alpbach was voted Austria’s most beautiful village back in the eighties, and visitors have been nodding in agreement ever since. Straight out of a snow globe, every building’s strictly furnished with wood from the 1st floor up – huddled happily ever after under the sharp spire of the parish church. Tradition extends to the local businesses, like old school butchers, bakers and cobblers (Ferdinand’s the latest of a LONG line of Gschösser’s to carry on the family shoe shop). Advent gives the North Pole a run for its money, when everything’s decked with lights and carol singers arrive en masse for merry rounds of hark the heralds.

Having first cropped up in the history books in 1165, and then seen the grand silver rush of the 16th century, Kitz has grown in size, reputation and charm. Colourfully painted in custard yellows and raspberry reds, the townhouses are a feast for the eyes - especially when the snow gives them a dusting and the lights that line the rooves flicker on. Cobblestone roads wind between them, where you can amble along the car-free Vorderstradt towards the gothic church of St. Andreas. You’ll pass posh shops and glitzy hotels housed in former coaching inns, bringing a spot of razzmatazz to the medieval streets.

In the foothills of the Wilder Kaiser massif, Ellmau’s often picked as the setting of Austrian films and TV shows. Walk around the village and you’ll soon see why – formed over hundreds of years, the whole set is built with the kind of sturdy wood and stone only found in the Alps: intricate designs on forest-green shutters, wooden ornaments clinging to chalets and iron signs swinging from shop doors. The 18th century Holy Mary Chapel takes a postcard-worthy centre-stage and rolling hills make for stunning panoramic panning shots.

Cameras at the ready - this lakeside town's a looker: posh hotels and boutiques join Victorian lampposts along the streets and promenade. Mid-winter sees the lake completely freeze over, and as springtime creeps in, a vibrant blue pokes through the snow white scene. The ever-elegant Grand Hotel is a 300 year old landmark that juts out from the peninsular, hogging some of the best views around. Looming above is the Schmittenhohe, a cracking vantage point for the lake and town, as well as thirty whacking great peaks in the distance. Best make the photo album a big one…

Lech’s story is a bit of a fairy-tale: once upon a time (some 700 years ago), the locals bred cattle to make ends meet, cut off from the rest of the world come winter. Along came the Flexen pass and Arlberg Ski Club, transforming the village into a high-end ski centre, frequented by royals and loved for the snow that once isolated it. The 14th century church still stands and you can see the Walser influence on the buildings, but these days the wood and stone chalets house 5* hotels and glitzy Michelin star restaurants.

Any village is going to be an eye catcher with the sky high Hohe Salve overhead, but Soll would have just as much charm next to a socking great power station. Especially so at Christmas, when a yearly market adds the scents of Glühwein and gingerbread into the mix. Bag a seat in one of the horse drawn sleighs that clip-clop along the streets: You’ll pass Tyrolean buildings (the oldest’s the Postwirt, circa 13th century) and a magnificent Rococo church, which was built by local artists in the 1700’s and has an eerily beautiful candlelit graveyard.

St Anton’s the capital of the Austrian Alps – if only all the world's capitals looked this good. The Pfarrkirche, complete with its onion-shaped dome, is the focal point, dwarfed only by the peaks hugging the horizon. Stroll down the pedestrianised Dorstrasse that ribbons through the hub: Timber-clad farmhouses have become the finest digs and eats, some with typically Austrian murals, others painted pastel yellow but every last one finished with a string of tiny lights. A classic Anton building is the Arlberg Kandahar (Bill Nighy’s luxury pad in ‘Chalet Girl’) - this opulent chalet was built in 1912 and features some fabulously ornate carvings on the balconies, windows and roof (pop inside for fabulous food and a museum of the town’s history).

Innsbruck’s ‘home’ mountain, the Patscherkofel, is the backdrop to sleepy little Igls – a toy town compared to its big city neighbour. Old white buildings are trimmed with Crayola-bright tones: From the brick-red spire of the church to the sky-blue farmhouse shutters, this place bubbles over with Tyrolean charm. An army of cosy taverns have steaming Glühwein at the ready, to sit and sip as you take in never-ending sights of the the Wipptal valley and Stubai glacier.

Far from crowded roads and guarded by the Wilder Kaiser range, Westendorf is a true patch of peace and quiet. It’s not half bad on the eyes either - a smattering of snow-topped slate roofs break through the landscape, snug in the glow of the lanterns that line them. Rich red walls, intense green domes and sharp amber lines are around every corner. A gift from the Grassmayr Foundry in Innsbruck, the bells of 12th century St. Nicholas have become part of the landscape. Outwards and upwards, the Windau Valley and its highest peak (the 2444m Kröndlhorn) look over the far reaching streams and long-established farms.

In the ‘Golden Valley of the Alps’, the teeny-weeny Rauris seizes a 24 carat spot slap bang in the middle. Gold-mining was the sole focus of life here until the 20th century, and while panning’s since been swapped for pisting, not much else has changed. Cobbled streets, gushing rivers, and a regal parish church meet classic chalets and gasthofs along the valley floor. There’s also the small matter of the Hohe Tauern National Park, with its thick forests and sound-of-music-esque meadows (this is Salzburg after all).

If you're looking for the prettiest ski resorts in Austria then you really need a list like this. Although Austria has mostly purpose built ski resorts, they are thoughtfully styled and Austria does not suffer from the 60's prefab carbuncles of some ski resorts this side of the pond - if you're looking for the traditional mountain architecture of a chocolate box ski resort, you can find it in pretty Austrian ski resorts and, unlike the old moutain towns in europe, everything works too!

This list of Austria's most attractive ski resorts is your passport to ye olde alpine charm and traditional ski resort prettiness - think "Disney does Davos". Here are the "must visit" 10 most attractive ski resorts in Austria.


← online or call ↴
020 3472 8899
more