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Gosau Ski Holidays

With Lake Gosau on one side and the striking Dachstein on the other, this UNESCO protected village guarantees jaw dropping scenery and a relaxing setting for your holiday. Top this with upper Austria’s biggest ski area and a laid back, family friendly village promising as much fun on the slopes as off, and you’ve got a terrific stay in the mountains.





At a glance: • Well-linked ski area with glacier skiing nearby • A snow hole so good snow cover • Family friendly resort

Great for: • Families • Glacier skiing • Intermediates

With Lake Gosau on one side and the striking Dachstein on the other, this UNESCO protected village guarantees jaw dropping scenery and a relaxing setting for your holiday. Top this with upper Austria’s biggest ski area and a laid back, family friendly village promising as much fun on the slopes as off, and you’ve got a terrific stay in the mountains.

Gosau Resort

Gosau is a peaceful village situated in a stunning UNESCO World heritage zone between the enormous Dachstein glacier and the calming Lake Gosau. The striking peaks, meadows, lakes and traditional Austrian farmhouses dominate the landscape in this charming and spacious valley.

While there is no obvious village centre, there are a number of shops, bars and cafes scattered throughout. The village population is small, so you may find that you’ll see more animals than people if you decide to take a stroll along the brook or to the Sebastian church.

The village is just an hour’s drive away from Mozart’s birthplace Salzburg, which is also where the nearest airport is and the closest railway station is located in Steeg, 15km away.

Gosau is part of the Dachstein West ski area, the biggest ski area of upper Austria with 142km of slopes to enjoy. Families are catered for excellently in the ski area, where there are some really fun areas and foodies won’t be disappointed either thanks to numerous mountain huts.

The free bus service runs regularly from the village hotels to the lifts at Gosau and to other resorts in the Dachstein West ski area. The Hornspitzlift is just a four minute ride away and the Panorama Jet Zwieselalmlift is about ten minutes away, while neighbouring resorts such as Bad Ischl and Steeg Bahnof are quite a bit further. The lift system here is extremely efficient with almost no queues, even during peak season.

Free WiFi is available at various spots in the area including the Hornspitz valley and mountain stations, Hornspitzlift intermediate station and the Panorama Jet Zwieselalm valley and mountain stations, so you can show off your ski selfies to everyone back home. The resort is lift-linked to Annaberg and Russbach and other ski resorts can be accessed by the free bus link.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Austrian Alps.

Established: 1952

Open: December – March

Downhill: 142km

View our detailed Gosau snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Gosau snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Salzburg68 km, 1 hour’s drive
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 34km 24%

  • 96km 68%

  • 12km 8%

Top Altitude:1800m
Bottom Altitude:766m
Resort Altitude:766m
Longest run:5km
Slope Orientation:N
Vertical Drop:
Skiable Vertical:1034m
Night Skiing:Yes

Snow Report

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Web Cam

Gosau web cams
Downhill Runs:142km
Beginner slopes:24%
Advanced slopes:8%
Lift Pass Price: €189 (adult 6 day)
Nearby resorts: Abtenau, Annaberg, Katrin - Bad Ischl, Krippenstein, Obertraun/Dachstein and Rußbach.

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Gosau

The slopes are wide and well spread out, so this is a good resort for beginners, especially youngsters. Gosau is the ultimate ski playground for young skiers as it’s host to child-orientated Brumsiland and Otscher Kidspark. The youngest kids will be taken to Brumsiland where Brumsi, the skiing bumblebee, and her friends will teach them how to ski in a fun environment that includes a magic carpet, Brumsi’s boardercross and a wild slalom flight amongst fairytale figures.

Older children are likely to spend a lot of their time in the Otscher Kidspark, a fun place to learn that also has a permanent race track. Gosau has mostly red slopes but there are some gentle blues on the Hornspitz and in other parts of Dachstein West ski area. The Strubegg and Hornbaby are very easy slopes at the base of the Hornspitz or access the Talabfahrt Russback piste from the top.

For intermediates there is plenty on offer. There are 100km of red runs in the Dachstein West area and while there are some fun long ones on the Hornspitz and the Edtalm, make your way to the Zwieselalm runs for more of a challenge.

The Donnergroll and Schwarzreiter black mogul slopes at Zwieselalm will certainly suit more advanced skiers, as will the Bucklepiste and Free fall runs at Riedlkoff. The Krippenstein Freeride Arena is located in the next valley and has some of the best off-piste skiing in the Alps. For those who enjoy cross-country skiing there are 65km of trails, some of which pass the scenic Gosaubach stream.

Boarders and freestylers will love it here - the exciting Playground Snowpark is next to the lower station of the ski lift and you also have access to the Dachstein West Snow Park, the Youngsters Freestyle Park in Annaberg and the Rookie Puss Park in Russbach.

Gosau Apres Ski

There are several bars located near to the valley lift stations which tend to be quite lively early on – keep your eyes peeled for the local hot apple punch for a lovely winter warmer. Hornspitz Schirmbar is an old favourite near the Ötscher lift, while many of the hotel bars such as Schmied bar are also popular.

There are plenty of alpine huts and restaurants in Gosau and the surrounding ski areas. Go-Gosau Alm is a popular mountain restaurant located in the middle of the Dachstein West serving local and international delicacies. The restaurant has a sunny terrace offering fantastic views and if you stay long enough, music and dancing will likely ensue.

If the daytime is not enough to satisfy your ski cravings then the Playground Snow Park is floodlit for night skiing on Wednesday and Friday or the 2km Rabenkogel child-friendly toboggan track is open at night. Other outdoor activities include sleigh rides, snowshoeing, ice climbing, curling and tennis or there is an indoor pool in the village. Hallstatt Salt World, the oldest salt mine in the world, is located nearby and open to visitors, or the city of Salzburg, an hour’s drive away, has great shopping and other cultural attractions.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Gosau

Best time to visit & ski Gosau

This is a peaceful village that rarely gets overcrowded and whatever time you visit, it’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself waiting at the lift stations in Dachstein West, which in total can transport 65,000 people an hour. The slopes at Gosau generally open in mid-November, which is earlier than most resorts. Gosau has been described as a snow hole as the mountains in the region trap the clouds, bringing heavy snowfall. This produces sufficient snow to cover the higher mountains, while snow canons ensure that the lower slopes are snow covered if they need a little bit more (122 km of the 142km area have artificial snow coverage).

The village really comes alive during Gosau Hot Air Balloon Week. This takes place in mid-January when people gather to watch as roughly 40 brightly coloured hot air balloons fly over the mountains as teams compete for the annual International Alpine Trophy. On the final day the balloons are flown by night, accompanied by a giant firework display – the whole week is a real sight for the eyes and well worth considering if you’re looking to ski at this time of year.

Peak Dates

On top of the skiing, Christmas in Gosau usually includes a traditional market and festive excursions to suit all ages.

See in the New Year in Gosau with the incredible surrounding scenery and sample some traditional Austrian celebrations.

We love February half term in Gosau for families – little skiers will have bucketloads of fun in the child orientated ski areas.

The weather will have warmed up come Easter in Gosau which makes it a good time to try the outdoor activities and enjoy the scenery - you’ll also find some amazing snow on the higher slopes and glacier.

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Families in Gosau

This quiet, pretty village makes a super base for a family ski holiday.

The level of instruction here is high, making this a super resort to introduce your little ones to their skis. Gosauer Skischule operate from the Hornspitzbahn valley station and provide a range of skiing and riding courses to suit families of all shapes and sizes.

Brumsiland is the area dedicated to the smallest skiers – Brumsi the Bee is the resort mascot, who helps littluns learn the basics in a fun, safe environment with a magic carpet, fun boadercross and slalom. The ski school looks after 3 to 5 year olds here in the Sumsi-Bambini-Club and the week usually ends with a race on Friday where little champions are awarded medals and certificates. Slightly older children can join group lessons or book a private instructor – the Ötscher Kidspark is fantastic with a snowcross and racetrack if you want to crown a family champion. For more experienced tweens and teens, there are some brilliant mogul slopes – hop on the Törleckbahn lift for the Donnergroll run or head over to the Schwarzreiter slope which takes you to Annaberg. Budding freestylers will love the Playground Snowpark by the Valley Station – you can book freestyle lessons from the ski school.

The increasing numbers of geocaches over the area are a huge selling point for families here – make sure you have the app on your phone before you set off to find a hidden geocache or two. For more family fun, spend an hour or two on the toboggan run, book a scenic sleigh-ride or spend the afternoon in the indoor pool.

GroupsGroup Holidays Gosau

Groups after a traditional Austrian mountain experience away from the crowds and noise of the bigger resorts should look no further than Gosau. The Dachstein West ski area has a good selection of runs, particularly for beginners and intermediates and the Gosauer Skischule provide quality instruction, whether you’re splitting into group lessons depending on each person’s ability or joining up to learn together with a private instructor. If you’re skiing for the first time, there are some lovely gentle blues like the Strubegg once you’ve mastered the basics on the learner slope. There are a huge number of reds in Gosau and throughout the Dachstein West ski area for those more experienced on the piste and while there are some challenging blacks in the local area, advanced skiers can always travel to the Krippenstein Freeride Arena in the next valley for some of the best off-piste skiing in the Alps.

Gosau doesn’t rival Ischgl and St Anton where it comes to après, so if you want to party hard, check out the larger Austrian resorts. We love the laid back pace of life here, perfect if you’re a group who like chilled out evenings with a fireside sherry or two, catching up on the day’s events. This isn’t to say you won’t find a few lively venues with good music and a range of tipples - Go-Gosau Alm is a good mountain restaurant with a wide sunny terrace and a party atmosphere later on in the evening. Near the Ötscher lift, Hornspitz Schirmbar usually has a nice lively atmosphere too.

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