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Zell Am See Ski Holidays

With a terrific blend of top class skiing, a lively après scene and a beautiful location, Zell am See offers a lot more than you might expect from a small Austrian resort. The 15th Century village hides a fantastic array of bars and restaurants and the lakeside location is sure to dazzle even the most seasoned ski bums.





At a glance: • Unparalleled panoramic skiing • Exceptional on piste dining • Culture rich town centre • Large ski area

Great for: • Families • Shopping • Non skiers

With a terrific blend of top class skiing, a lively après scene and a beautiful location, Zell am See offers a lot more than you might expect from a small Austrian resort. The 15th Century village hides a fantastic array of bars and restaurants and the lakeside location is sure to dazzle even the most seasoned ski bums.

Zell Am See Resort

With its gorgeous lakeside location and buildings harking back to the Middle Ages, Zell am See brilliantly balances traditional charm with modern efficiency.

The town is easily accessible from anywhere in Europe - it's only an hour from Salzburg by train which takes you to the station right in Zell's centre. The drive is only half an hour longer, making it perfect for last-minute breaks and long weekends. With chic hotels and boutique-lined promenades, the pedestrianised town centre is incredibly family-friendly. You can always judge a resort's authenticity by its clientele and frequented by well-heeled Salzburgers; you're in for a first-class treat in Zell am See.

The area is one of outstanding natural beauty, with local Lake Zell the piece de la resistance. Mid-winter sees it freeze over completely, allowing for ice skating and curling - nearer the end of the season its vivid blue provides a spectacular contrast with the surrounding mountains. The lake water is reportedly clean enough to drink, and the town has been awarded 'climatic spa' status, representing outstanding air purity and environmental cleanliness.

At 2000m, the peak of the Schmittenhohe - the imposing mountain overlooking the village - gives staggering views of over thirty local mountains higher than 3000m. It's accessible through various routes from the village centre, so peak season crowds can be easily avoided. Designed by the Porsche Design Studio, the Schmittenhöhebahn gondola itself is almost as much of an attraction as some of the fine runs it whisks you to, and ensures you at least start your day on the mountain in impeccable style.

The Alpin Card lift pass gives skiers and snowboarders access to 3 incrediable refions: Zell am See, Kitzsteinhorn Glacier in Kaprun and the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. This totals 408 km of piste with just one pass!

Stats & FAQ

Location: Austrian Alps

Established: 1927

Open: December- April

Downhill: 77km

View our detailed Zell Am See 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 Zell Am See snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Salzburg80km, 1.5 hours
Munich200km, 2.5 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 25km 38%

  • 27km 38%

  • 25km 24%

Top Altitude:1956m
Bottom Altitude:755m
Resort Altitude:755m
Longest run:7km
Slope Orientation:N, E, S
Vertical Drop:1201m
Skiable Vertical:1201m
Night Skiing:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 39cm
  • Base
  • N/Acm
  • Forecast
  • 147cm

Web Cam

Zell Am See web cams
Downhill Runs:77km
Beginner slopes:38%
Advanced slopes:24%
Lift Pass Price: Ski Alpin Card €292 (adult 6 days)
Nearby resorts: Kaprun, Salbaach, Dienten am Hochkönig, Hinterthal

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Zell Am See

Skiing the Schmitten mountain above the town puts you on some of the most scenic pistes in the world, with stonking sights of the lake and Salzburg peaks. Three-quarters of the slopes suit beginners and intermediates, and there’s more easy cruising on Kaprun’s Maiskogel mountain (a bus ride away). Schmitten doesn’t forget experts, with endurance testers and adrenaline spikers thrown in - the long, black Trassabfahrt is said to be one of the most challenging in the country.

Besides panoramas and peaks, the bulk of the Schmitten’s skiing is within the trees, giving a fairy-tale, forested setting (and lots of fun spots to dip in and out of). The Panorama’s one of the longest blue runs in this neck of the woods, winding through the evergreens all the way from the peak. New for 2020/21 is the “ZellemseeXpress” gondola, giving even wider access to skiing on the “Schmittenhohe”.

If you’re here with kids, there’s a children’s play area at the top of the Areitbahn, open throughout the season, where ‘piste dwarves’ (children to you and I) can master their first snow ploughs under the watchful eye of Schmidolin, ‘the world’s nicest dragon’.

A ‘SkiMovie’ feature records your action on a slalom course, with the footage available immediately online and at the Cabrio Bar Restaurant in the valley. The east-facing slopes on the Sonnkogel tend to be good for off-piste, and anyone hungry for powder-filled bowls will love the freeriding routes on the nearby Kitzsteinhorn glacier - included in the lift pass and made even more accessible for 2020/21 by the addition of the new “K-Onnection” Cable car which links Maiskogel with Langwied.

For freestylers, ‘Funpark Schmitten’ is a decent sized terrain park with features for each ability, and a half-pipe is maintained throughout the season. To up the ante, don’t miss a day on the Central Park and superpipe on the Kitzsteinhorn.

A new pass has been created to compliment the new additions to the Zell Am See – Kaprun ski area. The “Ski Alpin Card” gives skiers access to a massive 121 lifts across Schmittenhöhe, Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun and Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, a total of 408km of skiing!

Zell Am See Apres Ski

With plenty of opportunity for a quick bite or drink on the mountain, the après ski gets going long before the last skiers leave the slopes. The Pinzgauer Hut is a hidden gem on the mountain, serving delicious local fare and offers a complimentary snowmobile service to return you to town. At the top of the Schmittenhohe, you can dance the afternoon away at the Schnaps-Hans bar, before making your way down to the town to carry on the party.

The Cabrio is often the next port of call, where you can watch the footage of your earlier attempts at the SkiMovie slalom accompanied by a jagertee - a local speciality. They say variety is the spice of life and that has never been truer than amongst streets of Zell. Traditional fare can be enjoyed at the Hotel & Brasserie Traube and family-run Deins und Meins.

The Ginhouse, as its name suggests, stocks over 60 different varieties of gin alongside an extensive cocktail list. The wooden interior and leather furniture provide a quiet and cosy place to relax after a day on the slopes, and a measure of sloe gin is sure to keep the winter chills at bay for the rest of the evening.

OFF PISTE BAR on the main bar street has a buzzy atmosphere with live music for aprés ski and a nightclub later on (if you're not dancing on the tables in your ski boots before the night's out, you haven't properly partied here). This place later turns into a night club with DJ:s playing daily. Villa Crazy Daisy is another good choice for a raucous afternoon or evening of apres fun, as the name suggests. There's an outdoor terrace complete with heaters, blankets and the Austrian staple, the nail game or head inside DJ sets and live music until the early hours.

Those seeking a more homely feel will be heartened by a visit to Murray's Irish Bar - meet friendly locals, a lot of British tourists and catch up on the latest live sports.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Zell Am See

Best time to visit & ski Zell Am See

With all of the runs comprehensively covered by snowmaking equipment and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier just around the corner in case of emergency, Zell am See is a decent bet for a snowy week throughout the season.

The slopes can be accessed from a number of points in the village ensuring that even during busy weeks, long queues can be avoided- the consecutive Areitbahn gondolas can get busy first thing in the morning during peak weeks.

A popular destination year-round, the festive season is habitually busier here due to the variety of the off-slope diversions and the lasting appeal of the medieval town centre. Local artisan markets are also a regular occurrence throughout the year.

This ensures that there is more than enough to keep you entertained in the resort if the conditions aren’t quite up to scratch, or the pistes are getting a little too crowded.

Peak Dates

Christmas in Zell am See is likely to be the holiday of a lifetime as this famously picturesque 15th-century town comes alive with festive spirit. The advent market usually fills the air with festive aromas and decorations and lights create a magical yuletide atmosphere. Zell Am See Christmas ski holidays ‣

Spending New Year’s in Zell am See will give you long-lasting memories, regardless of how you choose to celebrate. There’s scope to dance the night away if you so desire, or if you’d rather a romantic starlight stroll by the lake then you’ve come to the right place. Who knows- maybe you’ll end up doing both! Zell Am See New Year ski holidays ‣

The whole family will love spending February Half Term in Zell am See. The variety of terrain and on-slope dining will suit every member of the family, and the diverse après scene will make certain nobody wants to get back to school! Zell Am See Half Term ski holidays ‣

A snowy Easter in Zell am See is pretty much assured by some world-class snowmaking and a neighbourhood glacier. With al fresco dining very much in vogue on and off the mountain, you’re more likely to return home with a sun tan than a cold! Zell Am See Easter ski holidays ‣

Zell Am See Ratings & Customer Feedback
Average Rating 4.5 out of 5
Loved the skiing here, the village is very pretty and typically Austrian and the après ski is great with plenty of bars and restaurants. There’s a place called the Gin House which was fantastic, I would go back almost for this alone! You go down the stairs and they have something like 250 varieties of gin. ... + more
Mrs Allibone, Towcester
4 out of 5
Zell am See is lovely! I’ve been to lots of places and this is my favourite, we came here a few years ago and I am so glad we came back. We stayed right on the lake at the Grand Hotel (brilliant hotel) and when I first visited, the lake was frozen solid – you could have a horse and carriage ride across it. Th... + more
The Boyce Family, Bristol
5 out of 5
This was the first time I had been to Zell am See, we’d gone to St Anton and Ischgl before and it doesn’t compete with these but then again it doesn’t claim to. It’s a nice town and has its own train station so you can get the train all over the place which adds another element – we went over to Kitzbüh... + more
Mike T,
4 out of 5
I love it. There are plenty of bars and restaurants. It wasn’t too expensive, probably no more expensive Austrian resorts, definitely cheaper than France and many other resorts. The skiing was good. My only complaint is that there are too many good shops! My missus always wanted to go shopping! + more
Paul McGinty, Castleberg
5 out of 5
Zell am See is a really beautiful resort, the transfer wasn’t too long and you go through some really beautiful scenery. The weather for the week was 21°C all week and sometimes if the snow isn’t so good, that’s your holiday done and you end up having to sit and read for the week... In Zell am See, ther... + more
John and Stephanie, Colchester
5 out of 5
We had a very nice week but if it wasn’t for Kaprun I don’t think the holiday would have been as good. There’s not too much après in Zell am See and it was quite hard to find where everyone was going out. Zell’s slopes are low and definitely towards the beginner – intermediate end of the scale. The runs... + more
Andy, Birmingham
4 out of 5
My first snow holiday and I loved it, Zell am See is really picturesque with the lake and everything, and the resort wasn’t too busy. My daughter had ski lessons and my wife was snowboarding, I was babysitting and there was enough for me to do in the town, with lots of places to eat etc. We did the Kitzsteinho... + more
Bruce Attenborrow, London
4 out of 5
I’ve already recommended this resort to people, we had a great week! It’s a nice little Austrian village and the transfer is quite short too. Zell am See’s ski area is nice as it’s in the trees if there’s snow, while Kaprun is on the glacier so on a clear day it’s amazing. The other good thing is that S... + more
Mr Somers,
4 out of 5
The resort was superb and beautiful. It was really good and I would go back. There were also plenty of bars on the slopes for the younger crowd which was great. + more
Hilary, Oldham
5 out of 5
Zell am See is a very nice resort, I liked everything about it and had a brilliant week away. It was the back end of the season so the snow wasn’t the best but I still managed to find some good slopes. I’d say it’s a good resort for everyone, I really couldn’t fault it. + more
Martyn, West Yorkshire
5 out of 5
This was my first time in Austria (I’ve always been to France before) and the whole experience was amazing. We were here as a group of nine and there was absolutely enough for everyone to ski, we were here with a couple of beginners who found it fine and the rest of us who are fairly well seasoned had a great ... + more
Chris Bush, Kent
5 out of 5
We really liked Zell. We went over Christmas for a family ski holiday and we needed somewhere that was snow-sure but also had plenty to do, so it needed to tick a lot of boxes. There was snow even though Austria had quite a bad snow season in the early months. Kaprun was meant to be the most snow-sure area, bu... + more
Tara O'Reilly, Wembley
4 out of 5
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Families in Zell Am See

With a resort mascot as loveable as Schmidolin the friendly dragon, what family could resist the charms of a winter holiday in Zell am See?

The majority of accommodation available in Zell is hotels, allowing you to tailor your holiday to your specific requirements. B&B can be great for families - explore the town independently before meeting at one of the great local restaurants for dinner (the Pfefferbauer serves a delicious range of local delicacies, including locally sourced venison). The convenience accorded by full or half-board accommodation will allow the parents to relax from day one, as everything will already have been taken care of before they arrive.

If any member of the family is in need of tuition, the Zell am See ski school is the answer to all your problems, offering private and group instruction for all ages. From their first steps on the magic carpet at the Areitbahn base station, young beginners will quickly progress through the children’s area at the Glocknerwiese into the big wide world of skiing solo on the mountains. Power Teens is a programme aimed at progressive teenage riders, focusing on freestyle and freeriding. Mum and Dad are well looked after as well, whether they’re complete beginners or just need a quick brush-up lesson at the start of the week to get back in the zone. There’s a kindergarten for youngsters not yet old enough for the slopes and some of our hotels also have their own childcare services too.

Many of our hotels here have their own swimming pool, but if you want to head further afield the Freizeitzentrum could be just what you’re after. Boasting a toddlers pool with a pirate ship game, 3 diving boards and a 75m waterslide and an ice rink (not forgetting hot tubs, and a selection of saunas and massage treatments) you could have a hard time persuading everyone to leave. If they enjoyed the ice skating indoors, why not have a go on Lake Zell? During the height of the winter the lake freezes over completely and ice skating and curling (for the more sedate) can be enjoyed at various locations.

GroupsGroup Holidays Zell Am See

A combination of the accommodation, the resort itself and the variety of the skiable terrain make Zell am See an ideal resort for a group ski trip.

Most of the accommodation available in Zell is in hotels; ideal for group trips. Large communal areas and regular meal times keep the group together over the week, while private rooms mean you won’t be tripping over each other whilst getting ready in the mornings. Half and full-board options stop any arguments over where to have dinner before they’ve even begun and staying in a B&B gives you the freedom to explore the town and split up for meals if you choose.

This is a great resort if you’re all of the varying abilities - runs of different difficulties often terminate at the same location and the variety of routes on offer mean that everyone can make their way down the mountain at their own pace. The agreeable quantity of mountain restaurants and their varied locations ensures that even if everyone doesn’t ski together they can still meet up regularly throughout the day.

The Sonnkogel area in the sunny east-facing side of the mountain is a particular favourite for mixed ability groups. Some of the best off-piste skiing on the mountain is right next door to some great intermediate terrain. The three restaurants in the area are ideal if some of you’re taking a little longer to get those ski legs back and fancy a glühwein to assist your development- Blaickner's Sonnalm has good wine to be enjoyed in its cosy fireside couches or popular terrace.

After a hard day’s skiing, the diversity of the bars and restaurants in the resort cater for every eventuality. Those looking to celebrate a special event should check out Mayer’s restaurant. A few minutes out of Zell, it’s home to award-winning Michelin starred Chef Andreas Mayer who has devised a delicious traditional menu with a French twist that’s sure to get your taste buds tingling. If a more low key evening is in order, the B-17 bar offers a selection of cocktails sure to please every palate in a relaxed lounge setting or a more lively outdoor area.

Most holidays come with flights and transfers, taking the hassle out of booking and making travel easy. The pan-European drive to Austria is a popular choice for groups, especially later in the season and allows those with their own equipment to avoid the excess charges incurred whilst flying. You can also stock up on the essentials for the trip on the way – check out our self-drive holidays if this sounds good to you!

Which are the best ski holidays in Zell Am See?

Accommodation Number of nights Price (per person) from
Hotel Fischerwirt 7 £ 749
Romantik Hotel 7 £ 829
Hotel Grüner Baum 7 £ 929
Hotel Berner 7 £ 1029
Hotel Grand 7 £ 1159
Salzburger Hof 7 £ 1629
Hotel Heitzmann 7 £ 749
Boutique Hotel TwoTimez 7 £ 794
Hotel Schmittenhof 7 £ 843
Gartenhotel Daxer 7 £ 844

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