Why a skiing holiday in Austria should be on your travel bucket list

Promotional feature with Austrian National Tourist Office

(Image credit: ©ANTO, Conrad Amber)

Promotional feature with Austrian National Tourist Office

If you're looking for an epic place to ski this winter, the Austrian Alps are hard to beat

Whether you're looking for a mountain chalet that'll sleep your entire family or want to hit up the ski resorts with a party of friends, here's why everyone is still flocking to the pistes in the Austrian Alps…

The stylish skiing resorts of Austria have certainly grown up since the days of 25-minute hikes up slopes and not even a hint of a boutique spa. Now we're talking heated chairlifts, panoramic gondolas and private pilates classes. More than that, these stunning resorts have managed to offer luxury hotels and Michelin Star restaurants without losing any of their authentic charm, chocolate-box good looks, traditional welcome and fantastic après ski. Not forgetting the country's legendary history of skiing.

Yes, it was in Austria, in 1885, that skiing became a thing when Mathias Zdarsky used his wooden planks to slide down steep mountain slopes, using only a pole to change direction. It wasn't long before ski races took off, with early pioneers dreaming up new and exciting techniques. Parallel or stem turn anyone? As countless ski schools opened, including the very first skiing academy in Arlberg, Austria's star was on the rise. Of course, nowadays it's all about carving, but whether you're a skiing afficionado or an après ski fan, Austria is just the ticket for that perfect winter break.

Where to go

Austria's Alps are blessed with a lavish, long snow season and the country is one of the world's best guaranteed-snow ski destinations. From picturesque mountain villages to lively winter sports resorts, there's something for everyone. Need inspiration?

©Lech Zuers Tourismus, Josef Mallaun
(Image credit: Lech Zuers Tourismus by Josef Mallaun)

Arlberg It may be a playground for the rich, famous and royal, but Lech Zürs has lost none of its mountain village charm. Including the car-free zone of Oberlech, this luxury resort with its elegant 5 star hotels is still picture-postcard perfection.


©Seedeld Maesern Church, Olympiaregion Seefeld

Fan of cross-country skiing? Head over to Seefeld in Tirol. Sitting on a relatively wide plateau, it's the perfect terrain with enough dips and turns to keep it interesting. And with an insta-ready nostalgic village, historic Gothic church and rustic guest taverns, this location is hard to beat.


©Schladming, Wolfgang Weinhäupl

Renowned for its lush forests, delicious wines, spas and historic castles - need we say more about Schladming-Dachstein? Oh yes, the skiing. Well, as the former host of two Alpine Ski World Championships, more than 30 World Cup races and the Special Olympics, we'd say it's got that covered too.

What to wear

©70s ski fashion, ÖNB Wenzel-Jelinek

If you're hitting the slopes, you'll want to do it in style. Look to the 50s when skiwear really came into its own. Think Marilyn Monroe in waterproof stretch trousers, Audrey Hepburn in that chocolate Givenchy cat suit and Liz Taylor in her ski-bunny esque coat. Whether you choose to channel your own retro chic (80s neon suit with bat-wings?) or bring your style up-to-date with a standout animal print or injection of yellow, it's time to make a statement.

All that's left to do – take on one of the legendary pistes or gentle runs, followed up with a warming hot chocolate or a cheeky hot toddy. We'll see you there!

For further information on Holidays in Austria, visit: www.austria.info

Zoe West

Zoe is a features writer and books editor for Woman&Home. Over the last fifteen years she has worked on magazine titles including Marie Claire, Now, LOOK, Woman’s Weekly and Junior.

She loves to travel and is a self-confessed luxury hotel junkie following a honeymoon stay in Ravello on the glamorous Amalfi Coast, which she claims spoilt her forever. Having also visited Lake Como, Puglia, Tuscany (where she got married), Venice and Rome on more than one occasion, it’s no surprise that she hopes to live in Italy one day.

Travelling with family is important to Zoe, appreciating the time she spends on holiday with her husband and two daughters. Although she loves Italy, it’s Greece that’s become their family holiday place. With an intoxicating mix of beautiful beaches, warm weather and chic hotels catered to families, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Her most memorable trips would have to be South Africa and Canada for their vast, wild and dramatic landscapes, New York for that ‘film set’ feeling and swimming with pigs in The Bahamas.

The Norway Fjordes and Vancouver are firmly on her travel wish list, but she is just as fascinated by Europe’s cities and could spend most of her life on short breaks - although her beach-loving husband may have something to say about that.

Always looking for that escape from the norm, a source of inspiration and relaxation away from a hectic home and work life, Zoe is most likely to be found googling ‘out-of-this-world hotels’ and then working out how to get there…