Anyone for a snowball fight or building a snowman with igloos! Austria’s alps offer all that as well as combining a wonderful family skiing holiday on a great variety of slopes with excellent resorts. We have sussed out 10 of the best Austrian ski resorts for kids and families.
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#1. Alpbachtal Wildschoenau – Great for Families
Families and children will feel right at home in this Austrian resort from Ski Jewel. It’s well equipped with children’s areas, childcare services like a ski kindergarden, children’s carousel and many practice lifts distributed throughout the ski resort – including children’s only entrances to lifts!
The resort offers regular deals on family ski passes and also offers a high rope course and a toboggan run!
More info: skiresort
#2. Obergurgl – Best for Accessibility
If you’re taking young children to the Alps, the ideal scenario is to have guaranteed snow cover at village level and a long season so that a holiday is possible either pre-Christmas or towards the end of April after Easter. Obergurgl happily obliges on all those scores.
Based at the eastern end of the Alps, this traditional village is within an easy one-hour drive from Innsbruck. The ambiance is essentially family-friendly and attracts a loyal band of regulars, who love its’ low-key atmosphere and well-run, traditional hotels and chalets. Obergurgl Ski School has a great reputation and has been teaching the basics to children and adults since 1922.
More info: obergurgl
#3: Hochficht – Best for Value
Thanks to a special Snowman Ticket rate and Magic Carpet training lift, you can enjoy value skiing with the whole family. Set amidst magnificent Bohemian Forest scenery, the region offers extremely good value for money. Kids up to 10 years of age can get a “Snowman Ticket” for only €1 and families with 3 or more kids – the youngest child skies for free!
The Bohemian Forest region in Upper Austria is located at the border to Germany and the Czech Republic. Here you will find a wide range of pistes with all levels of difficulty. The advanced can let off steam on steep ski-runs, whilst beginners can get used to the snow on charming family runs and gentle slopes.
Something for everyone with this one!
More info: hochficht
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#4. Alpbach – Best Compact Resort
Alpbach in the Tirol is one of the prettiest villages in Austria and has long been a favourite with British and Irish families. This resort is compact, full of charm and the nursery slopes sit right next to it. While the slopes for intermediates aren’t extensive, they’re good for building confidence and practicing technique on, and both the village’s ski schools are very child-friendly.
For those a bit more experienced there’s some good skiing off-piste. If a full day on the slopes is proving too much for the little ones there is an indoor swimming pool and outdoor ice rinks to entertain.
More info: Alpbach
#5. Westendorf – Best for Beginners
If you are a first-time skier and don’t relish the crowds that can dominate busy pistes, the charming resort of Westendorf is a good starting point.
The nursery slope has a chairlift and is right in the heart of the village, while the gondola goes up to lovely wide blue runs that are rarely busy. It’s a quiet resort, but there are a couple of lively après ski bars and there’s a real sense of a normal Austrian life going on alongside the ski season.
more info: Westerndorf
#6: Ellmau – Best for Younger Children
Ellmau is ideal for those with younger children who are keen to get some serious skiing in while the kids are in ski school or kindergarten. There’s an excellent crèche in the village and wide nursery slopes close to the centre.
However there is also direct access from the village to over 250km of piste, meaning parents can ski to their hearts’ content and still be back to meet the kids at lunchtime. There’s a good variety of bars and restaurants, but Ellmau is essentially a peaceful place.
More info: wilderkaiser
#7. Seefeld – Best for Family Accommodation and Activities
Seefeld is located close to Innsbruck airport, the main ski airport in western Austria, and hits more of the buttons for those looking for a family vacation than any other of the other resorts featured.
With under 30 minutes drive from Innsbruck, Seefeld boasts some of the top hotels which are well used to dealing with families and offer plenty to do with children outside the skiing hours. You will still find a ski kindergarten and a dedicated ski school, but the resort also offers winter walking and coach excursions to nearby places.
More info: Seefeld
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#8. Ladis – Best Large Resort for Families
Ladis is part of a trio of resorts known as Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis resorts and is among Tyrol’s largest ski resorts. Having over 212 kms (131 miles) of trails, it’s located high above the river Inn and is known for it family friendliness despite its size.
There is a special ski school for the kids, “Berta’s Kids Park” where they can learn all about skiing in a kid-friendly fashion. They have also recently received awards for service and facilities making this resort a sure bet for families and experienced skiers alike.
More info: skiingaustria
#9. St. Anton – Best for Teenagers
St. Anton is more famous for being an expert’s ski destination of choice rather than a family resort. But one of Austria’s best kept secrets is perfect for families with teenagers who are interested in the full ski-resort experience, while still enjoying the perks of being on holiday with mum and dad.
The town boasts a wide range of entertainment centres and snow-based activities that don’t involve flying down a black rated ski run. There are ice skating rinks, tabogganing slopes, tenpin bowling alleys and (most importantly) some of the finest slopes in Europe.
More info: stanton
#10. Silberregion Karwendel – Best for Free Ski Course
A fun family holiday is one where everyone gets to do what they like best. In Silberregion Karwendel, a family-friendly ski area invites you to go skiing, often right from your doorstep, on hundreds of kilometres of pistes.
However best of all there is now a free ski course for kids! This is on offer from mid Dec to mid March and the offer applies to kids aged 4 to 12 whose families are spending a week on holiday in the Silberregion.
More info: Austria.info
Over to you? Have you discovered any Austrian gems that are great for kids and families? Let us know in the comment’s box below.