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Suggestions for Trip to Austria?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I may be taking a trip to Germany this winter, in late January/early February. Naturally, if I'm in Europe in the winter, I will have no choice but to go skiing. The people I would be visiting would be able to join me if I ski in Austria, so that looks to be the most likely destination. Does anyone have any recommendations for their favorite Austrian resort?

My friend also suggests a package deal, an "all in" type of booking. He says that is the most cost effective way to ski. Any thoughts on that subject?
post #2 of 22
My home Mt when I lived there was Steinplatte, had some very interesting off piste.

I was a big fan of Obertauern.

Are you an instructor? If not it might be worth it to become one to get your hands on a CSIA or PSIA card. When I would flash it at the ticket window I would get a pass for the kinder price, about $10.
post #3 of 22
Tells us a little more about what kind of skiing and apres skiing stuff you like. The most renowned Austrian ski area is St Anton/Arlberg. Good access via train. Lots of terrain and top notch advanced stuff. One stop does it all type of place. Wild apres ski action.
Lech near St. Anton, sort of the Deer Valley of Austria. You get what you pay for, good snow, lifts, layout.
Kitzbuhel is a great old favorite, lower altitude, lots of terrain, should be ok in mid winter, classic town, famous downhill racing trail, one amazing new cross valley lift.
Other good ones: Saalbach, Bad Gastein, Zell am Zee

TS: tell me more about why you liked Obertauern...cause it's got tief schnee?? I thought about going there once in late season after visiting Vienna, but trip never came off. I know it's relatively high elevation, but with verticals only about 2000'. The Beatles shot scenes from one of their films there back in 1960s.
post #4 of 22
I Suggest Bad Gastein.

Was there 2 winters ago and would return in an instant. The skiing, accomodations, conveniance, and charm are all excellent.

The skiing is made up of 5 mountains, 2 are lift interconnected and the others are bus. Vertical ranges from 1000 to 1600 meters with powder conditions for the entire week I was there. Groomed runs are mostly intermediate but almost unlimited advanced off-piste if you are looking for advanced terrain.

The town is stunningly beautiful and mostly pedestrian, built on the mountainsides at the end of a valley with a waterfall running through the centre of it. Amenities include many upscale restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casino, and spas.

I arrived by train, the station was directly accross the street from my hotel which was also literally a 3 minute walk to the gondola. Absolutely no need for a car. I stayed at the Euro Youth Hotel, don't let the Youth part of the name discourage you, there were mostly non-youth staying when I was there. This place was amazing, the beds were extremely comfortable, with duvets! And the best part was that it only cost 20 to 30 euro per person depending on the type of room (with breakfast). The Hotel's restaurant was decent and probably the best bang for the buck in the town too. If you really want to cheap it out, there was also a full scale grocery store next door. Here is the link to the hotel:

http://www.euro-youth-hotel.at/
post #5 of 22

Zillertal

Don't forget to check aswell the Zillertal valley http://www.zillertalski.at/index_en.php
post #6 of 22
The best source for package deals in Austria is http://www.tiscover.at/home/index_at.html?_lan=en

Saludos
post #7 of 22
St Anton, Saalbach...

But yes, booking a package will probably be the best.
post #8 of 22
Whilst skiing in Lech last year I met some Americans from Aspen. They loved the Arlberg region, although at the time the pistes were packed hard. The transfers are easy from Zurich. Flights can be booked direct with expedia or similar. www.lech-zuers.at
post #9 of 22
Best is specify a bit what kind of skiing you or your party are looking for in order to recommend s.th. that fits.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
..........

TS: tell me more about why you liked Obertauern...cause it's got tief schnee?? I thought about going there once in late season after visiting Vienna, but trip never came off. I know it's relatively high elevation, but with verticals only about 2000'. The Beatles shot scenes from one of their films there back in 1960s.
While it is not as massive as some other areas, the snow was always good when I hit it.

Me and only 5 others skiing this all day after 2 feet of fresh..........



I met my wife there so I may be a bit biased
post #11 of 22
Recommend the Zillertal Valley where you have a lot of options and I absolutely loved the Hintertux Glacier. You really can't go wrong with St. Anton either. If you like the party scene head to Kitbuhel but bring your money as well.

Skied Obertauern a couple times and with powder its a blast although cat walks are numerous and Vert is very small in comparison to other Austrian mountains. I also found it very difficult getting from one place to another.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tief schnee View Post
My home Mt when I lived there was Steinplatte, had some very interesting off piste.

I was a big fan of Obertauern.

Are you an instructor? If not it might be worth it to become one to get your hands on a CSIA or PSIA card. When I would flash it at the ticket window I would get a pass for the kinder price, about $10.
I'm also a big fan of those 2 areas. I lived in Germany in the late 80's/early 90's and skied at Steinplatte (although we sometimes accessed it from Reit im Winkel) quite a bit and thought Obertauern was a real hoot - we would stay in Berchtesgaden and drive over for the day. As I recall, there wasn't much in the way of resort accomodations at Steinplatte and Reit im Winkel is verrry expensive. Memory is a bit foggy on Obertauern, but I seem to recall a few small hotels at the base....

Yesterday was a real eye-opener for me. I came across a German tourist that was having some language issues at the Syracuse airport and I thought, "You can speak the language, go help her." It's amazing how quickly that skill erodes. I couldn't put together more than 2 words in a phrase that made any sense...I got the message across, but there was more pointing and gesturing than I would have liked. And to think I was fluent when I lived there....
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips, folks. Sorry about posting and disappearing from my own thread.

For me, it's mostly about the snow and the terrain; night life is not a big consideration. I'm a strong intermediate who tries to go hard all day. I like to ski off-piste as much as I can, and as much as conditions allow. I like to challenge myself, and ski as difficult terrain as I am able. And, as is true for almost everybody, I prefer to ski away from the crowds.

If all goes according to plan, I will connect with my sister and her German boyfriend before heading to the hill. They will join me for the first few days. He is a master schmoozer, and will no doubt set me up with the locals, and find me any local deals and perqs that are available. I will be looking for a place that is not too expensive, has a good variety of tourist friendly dining available, will be easy to get around, and will be easy to catch a train/bus/ride to the airport, or to alternate ski areas (perhaps a quick trip to France or Switzerland). I will be flying in and out of Frankfurt.

My sister is a novice skier, so a resort with a decent variety of easy/intemediate groomed terrain is a must. After they leave me on my own, though, I plan to stay mainly off-piste. I am looking for a resort that has off-piste skiing that is accessable to a skier of my ability: challenging, but not so challenging that I need a guide. I would probably hire a guide for a day, to explore places I wouldn't know to go, but my budget isnt going to support hiring a guide for the entire time I'm there.

Once again, thanks for the advice.
post #14 of 22
From what you described that definitely rules out the Arlberg region.

OTOH to stay entertained for a week consider the Vorarlberg resorts like Warth, Damuels, Mellau - sort of hidden secrets, not crowded, manageable terrain, not too pricey. A car is benefical to change between resorts but they are on a common regional lift ticket and public transportation is available. About a 4hrs drive from the Frankfurt area.
Did I mention they often get fresh powder?

Nauders on the Reschenpass above Landeck is sort of hidden secret too, 5hrs drive. Easy swing over the pass across the border into Italy for skiing their resorts (St. Valentin). Also cheaper than most other options.

Else Klosters/Davos or Flims/Laax (both Switzerland), also easily accessible but large resorts with vast terrain. Probably a tad pricier than Vorarlberg depending on where you stay. It doesn't snow there that much either.
post #15 of 22
You might really enjoy Bad Gastein, based on your criteria. Decent variety of terrain, good eats, good nightlife at the Silver Bullet.
post #16 of 22
Take your pick in Austria, loads of good resorts. Go to www.skiclub.co.uk for resort guides. Perhaps consider Ischgl, home of the award winning best lift system, pretty lively apres ski though, might not be what you want, you can ski down to Samnaun in Switzerland and get the bus to Galtur. Saying that though, we'll be at Obergurgl at Xmas and Badgastein in Feb, both of these would be good choices as well.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
If anyone else is interested, here's a link my sister sent me:

www.snowtrex.com

It looks like a very good sight for planning and booking European ski vacations.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colossus178 View Post
....I will be looking for a place that is not too expensive, has a good variety of tourist friendly dining available, will be easy to get around, and will be easy to catch a train/bus/ride to the airport, or to alternate ski areas (perhaps a quick trip to France or Switzerland). I will be flying in and out of Frankfurt.

My sister is a novice skier, so a resort with a decent variety of easy/intemediate groomed terrain is a must. After they leave me on my own, though, I plan to stay mainly off-piste. I am looking for a resort that has off-piste skiing that is accessable to a skier of my ability: challenging, but not so challenging that I need a guide. I would probably hire a guide for a day, to explore places I wouldn't know to go, but my budget isnt going to support hiring a guide for the entire time I'm there.

Once again, thanks for the advice.
St Anton, and therefore the rest of the connected villages (Zurs, Lech, Stuben, and St Christoph would really suit your own needs, except perhaps on the price. They are fairly exxey, especially if staying in Lech or Zurs. The area does however have the proverbial mountain of off-piste, with plenty that can be skied without a guide (and much more with a guide).

On the flip-side, the area may not suit your sister - there is very limited easy/intermediate skiing. Lech does have some nice groomers, like off the Petersboden lift, but that's about it. St Anton seems to jump straight from low beginner runs, ie those around the village, to some fairly serious intermediate runs, like those off Zammermoos and Kapall. They are not that steep, but because they are probably the easiest of the blue runs, they tend to get fairly crowded and fairly bumpy by lunch-time.

There is my $0.02
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulmerhutte View Post
On the flip-side, the area may not suit your sister - there is very limited easy/intermediate skiing. Lech does have some nice groomers, like off the Petersboden lift, but that's about it.
The marked/groomed trails at Lech/Zurs are nothing but intermediate. The off-piste/slackcountry stuff is another story.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Zillertal is looking pretty good. It looks like a big area with lots of terrain, good lifts and transportation, and plenty of lodging options.

Any recommendations regarding places to stay (Mayrhofen and Fugen look good), best mountains, favorite lifts, etc.?
post #21 of 22
Zillertal is where I had my eye on for a late January trip. Had to kill it because of money concerns. Arrgh.

Looks nice and big:
http://www.alpineskimaps.com/htm/austria/tux/winmap.htm
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Mayrhofen at Zillertal it is: one week in the Austrian Alps in February.

I guess it's time to get in shape.
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