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Schladming bietet eine großartige Struktur für Skiliebhaber, Bild: Dietmar Rauscher / shutterstock

Skiing holidays in Austria: When is the best time to travel?

Summer, sun, sunshine – that’s the ultimate for some. For others, however, glittering snow, rapid descents and rustic huts are the highest of feelings. In other words, they wait a whole year for the ski season to finally start. In order to make the most of this period of time, it is important to plan your winter holiday well and to think in advance about when is the best time to ski in the mountains of Austria. Below are tips to help you decide on the right time of the year.


  • The right ski area
  • November – for those who can’t wait
  • December – Skiing with Christmas magic
  • January – Quieter slopes and ski resorts
  • February – Fun in the high season
  • March – Skiing pleasure in milder weather
  • April – Exclusive skiing only in a few places

The right ski area

In order to put together your itinerary perfectly, you should first consider which ski resort is suitable for you in the first place. Are you a skier or snowboarder or even both? Are you traveling with the whole family or have you planned a solo trip? Do you prefer small, family-run ski resorts or do you love to have the full selection of diverse slopes? The top ski resorts in Austria include, for example: KitzSki in Kitzbühel/Kirchberg, Silvretta Arena in Ischgl, SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental, Ski Arlberg, Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn or Schladming.

If you are unsure about this, it is best to choose an area that is easy to reach on the one hand and scores with a variety of possibilities on the other. For example, fun slopes, race slopes or night skiing offers make the hearts of adrenaline junkies beat faster, while families get their money’s worth in their own family areas with practice slopes, ski schools or funny mascots. Schladming, for example, is one of the most important ski resorts in Styria – a charming community with a postcard idyll. If you are planning a spontaneous holiday, it is best to check the weather on the Planai in advance. If, on the other hand, you are drawn to the Salzburger Land, you should make a note of the Skicircus in Pinzgau as a destination. There, 270 kilometres of slopes are open to winter sports enthusiasts. And if you prefer Tyrol, KitzSki and 188 kilometres of pistes are a good choice.

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In general, you should also have a rough idea of when it snows in Austria and which are the best months for skiing. Statistically, the snow comes later from year to year, which means that winter and the ski season usually last from December to April. But as early as November, when the temperatures drop, you can practice winter sports in the higher ski resorts. And here you can still conquer the slopes even when spring is already greeting all around. In the following, we will tell you the advantages and disadvantages of the individual months:

November – for those who can’t wait

There are excellent ski resorts in Austria that open their doors as early as November. Even without glacier terrain, the interconnected villages of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl are a good choice for this. In case nature doesn’t play along, the ski resort there also has modern snow-making facilities that cover 99% of the slopes. The two nearby Sölden glaciers offer further opportunities if the conditions on site are not too good.

December – Skiing with Christmas magic

December is a good time to visit the best ski resorts in the country. In addition to a variety of exciting winter sports in favourable snow conditions, you can also expect a magical Christmas atmosphere in the Alps at this time. The resorts and ski resorts often even offer special programs for Christmas and New Year’s Eve at the end of the year – with Christmas markets and other traditions.

However, for those who want to enjoy the ski slopes at their leisure, it is advisable to hit the slopes before Christmas. Because between December 24 and New Year’s Eve, ski resorts in Europe are usually very full.

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January – Quieter slopes and ski resorts

After Christmas and New Year’s Eve, many tourists leave the ski resorts again and drive or fly back home. Locals who have already used the holidays for skiing are already devoting themselves to other activities. Therefore, January is ideal for all those who prefer peace and quiet and empty slopes. It is also a good time for families and beginners.

February – Fun in the high season

St. Anton am Arlberg
St. Anton am Arlberg, Image: JackKPhoto / shutterstock

February is usually the time when ski resorts in Austria and throughout Europe are very busy. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In addition to skiing, the largest ski resorts also offer many entertainment options and special offers for guests from all over the world.

The weather is also ideal for sports at this time, as there is usually a lot of fresh snow and days with bright blue skies in between. Especially for families with children, a holiday during the semester break is a good idea.

March – Skiing pleasure in milder weather

Even though winter still reigns in Europe at this time, the temperatures in March are no longer as low as in the months before. Therefore, this is a good month for those who want to have fun on the slopes, but want to avoid the worst cold. This also means that in March you can make better use of other outdoor activities such as tobogganing, as well as the outdoor areas of restaurants and bars, and soak up enough sun.

April – Exclusive skiing only in a few places

At the end of the snow season in Europe, you can still head for those ski resorts that do not end their season until mid to late April, such as Planai, St. Anton or Lech-Zürs. The snow is then no longer of the same quality as in the other months, but the days are warmer and longer, which allows you to enjoy the slopes for longer. But beware: it is important to find out about the weather conditions before the trip so as not to be surprised by the lack of snow.