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Ski Resorts in Austria - Zell Am See Skiing

Updated on September 11, 2014

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Skiing in Austria, a great place to take a winter sports holiday

Zell am See is a great little Austrian ski resort that resides due south of Saltzburg in the region of Saltzburgerland. It sits right next to the shores of the Zeller See lake and is a very pleasant Austrian town that oozes charm and character. Perfect if you like Austria for holidays.

The buildings are traditional Austrian chalet style, very quaint and play host to numerous bars, restaurants and shops. Great for the apres ski as the main ski lift goes right from the town centre and you can get right to the top of the mountain with just a few quick changes on the way up.

The resort is great for beginners (as long as you don't want to ski all the way down the mountain) and intermediates but would probably not keep an advanced skier happy for a full week, although there are some that would argue that point, I guess it depends on just how advanced we are talking about. There are other options though that still make Zell am See a great venue for advanced which I will tell you about later.

There are plenty of challenges for snowboarders as well at all levels, same comments apply however, I think this place is intermediate heaven but still really good for beginners and advanced levels.

If you are sharp at the beginning of the week, you can hire a locker in the main ski lift building to store your ski equipment overnight, this is great if you have to walk to your accommodation because you can change out of your ski boots when you get to the bottom of the slope, lock them away with your skis and sticks or snowboards, if that's your bag, and get straight after the apres ski.

Not that I condone drinking eating and generally enjoying your self, because you will clearly be there for some serious skiing and not all that merry making and stuff. Hell who am I trying to kid, just go for it, we had a great time when we were there.

Anyway, back to the serious stuff, some of the roads to hotels etc. are pretty steep so much nicer to be able to negotiate them in normal footware after a hard days skiing.

Top tip - if you are starting your first ski day on a Sunday make sure you get your ski pass on the night before if you possibly can, first thing in the morning after everyone has arrived on a Saturday it can be complete mayhem and with huge queues of people all trying to get their ski passes at the same time.

If you do get caught out like this because you couldn't get to the ticket office and you have a car, it is probably worth a drive straight up the hill past the main ski lift to where the big James Bond type gondala goes from, the queues are likely to be significantly shorter up there, but it is a bit too far to walk. the bus is another option.

You will get a good idea of the slopes with this piste map for Zell am See

Zell am See by the Zeller See

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The Lake at Zell Am SeeThe Lake at Zell Am SeeThe Lake at Zell Am SeeZell Am SeeLoferSchloss Grubhoff once home to the King of BavariaSaalbach-HinterglimSaalbach-HinterglimZell Am See
The Lake at Zell Am See
The Lake at Zell Am See
The Lake at Zell Am See
The Lake at Zell Am See
The Lake at Zell Am See
The Lake at Zell Am See
Zell Am See
Zell Am See
Lofer
Lofer
Schloss Grubhoff once home to the King of Bavaria
Schloss Grubhoff once home to the King of Bavaria
Saalbach-Hinterglim
Saalbach-Hinterglim
Saalbach-Hinterglim
Saalbach-Hinterglim
Zell Am See
Zell Am See
Skiing in Zell Am See
Skiing in Zell Am See

Where Else Can you Ski in Zell Am See

One of the reasons I like Zell am See so much is that it is smack bang in the middle of loads of other resorts which you can either get to on the ski bus or in a hire car (much better option).

Just up the road you can go to Saalbach-Hinterglemm or the other way to Kaprun where there is a glacier if snow is a bit limited, both these can be reached with the ski bus.

If you want to go a bit further afield and you have a hire car then ,Bad Gastein-Bad Hofgastein, Wagrain, Schladming and Obertauern become options and this is especially good for the more advanced skiiers who can now start to stretch themselves a bit (not all these resorts are good for advanced skiier's, click on the names to see a piste map), all these are great resorts in their own right and well worth visiting. If I have not been personally I have had these places recommended to me.

If you want to experience a truly Austrian ski resort come ski village, there is a little place called Lofer which is about an hour going back towards Saltzburg.

The ski lift in this place is something to behold, I think it may actually be steam driven but its just great (can't believe I didn't get a photo). Forget it if you are advanced level or even good intermediate you will be bored in an hour, but if you love scenary, mountain views and clear crisp air with a bit of skiing thrown in, this is the place to spend at least one day.

We stayed there once at a very elegant house called Schloss Grubhof which dates in part from 1325 and used to belong to the king of Bavaria (we do like to Lord it you know), it's about 20 minutes walk from Lofer and we did spend a couple of days skiing there but then decided to head to Salbaach for the rest of the week for the longer steeper runs that could be had.

Get your map for the area right here

Travelling to Zell am See - Saltzburg Airport is the Closest for Zell Am See

Saltzburg Austria
Saltzburg Austria

How To Get to Zell Am See

There are a few airports that you could use to get to Zell am See, the most convenient is Saltzburg which is just about an hour away by car, but there is also a great bus service that runs regularly just after the flights from the UK have landed and will drop you right in the center of Zell am See or a number of the resorts on route.

Not as convenient as a hire car but definitely an option if you are on a budget.

I have also landed at Munich and driven to Zell but that is definitely a hire car deal (you can get a bus but I wouldn't) and you will need to make sure that you leave plenty of time spare to get back in case of heavy snowfall. That happened to us and we took 4 times longer to get to the airport than we had allowed. But hey we had a great time in Munich when we found out the next available plane was not until a day later. Check out the Hof Beer House if you are ever stranded in Munich.

Salzburg and Munich, great places to visit on route

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Is that Julie AndrewsI'm sure I saw a Chinese restaurant around here somewhereThese are the faces for a missed flight in MunichThat's my girlAnyone got a spade?The Hofbrauhaus am Platzl in Munich, not a bad place to wait for a planeGet that snow cleared up and then get yourself over to the airport, I've got work on Monday.
Is that Julie Andrews
Is that Julie Andrews
I'm sure I saw a Chinese restaurant around here somewhere
I'm sure I saw a Chinese restaurant around here somewhere
These are the faces for a missed flight in Munich
These are the faces for a missed flight in Munich
That's my girl
That's my girl
Anyone got a spade?
Anyone got a spade?
The Hofbrauhaus am Platzl in Munich, not a bad place to wait for a plane
The Hofbrauhaus am Platzl in Munich, not a bad place to wait for a plane
Get that snow cleared up and then get yourself over to the airport, I've got work on Monday.
Get that snow cleared up and then get yourself over to the airport, I've got work on Monday.

Zell Am See Video Action

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    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      As a four season sport enthusiast.....I always enjoy reading of someone else who enjoys winter sports as well. thanks for a great lens

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Fun to review on a hot summer day! ;-)

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 5 years ago

      Skiing in Austria is a great place to take a winter sports holiday. This is one of the most cool thing to do when you are in Austria. Hopefully next year I'll be able to experience this together with my wife. Cool lense

    • blogvicar lm profile image

      blogvicar lm 5 years ago

      I am not a skier either but it does look a fabulous location. Wouldn't mind visiting just for the scenery.

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      I'm not a skiier but I love that area of Austria.

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 5 years ago from PA

      It looks beautiful!