Austria Family Ski Trip guide

Austria is known for its alpine charm, impressive ski lifts, big mountain skiing and the best apres ski on the planet. This country, the size of Maine, has over 400 ski areas, all within a few hours’ drive. Whether you are skiing the Tirol, Arlberg, Otztal, Kitzbuhler or the Salzburg Alps, a family ski holiday in the Austrian Alps is a fantastic combination of old world charm – dining in mountain huts and staying in classic chalets in historic ski villages, while riding modern ski lifts to beautifully prepared (groomed) ski trails at huge ski resorts. Excellent ski schools for the kids – kindergarten on snow – is usually multilingual. For the expert skiers in the family, Austria has extensive off-piste terrain for the adventuresome, and ski guides for hire, whether you are skiing the Tyrol, Arlberg, Paznaun, Otztal, or Salzburg Alps. See our Top Austrian Ski Resorts for Family Vacation

Our editors have personally reviewed St Anton, Stuben, Lech/Zurs, the Paznaun valley of Ischgl, Galtür, See and Kappl, Serfaus Fiss Ladis, Sonnenkopf, Kitzbühel, InnsbruckZillertal Valley, SkiWelt, Stubaier and Hintertux Glaciers, Solden and Obergurgl Hochgurgl, plus East Tirol’s Obertilliach, Sillian and more.

St Anton is probably the best-known alpine village in Austria’s Arlberg ski region which includes charming Stuben, glitzy Lech, Zurs, Oberlech, St Christoph, Warth and Schröcken. In this vast Arlberg region, you can ski all these on one Ski Arlberg lift ticket that includes 97 lifts, 350 kilometers of groomed (“prepared”) ski runs, plus thousands of acres of natural off-piste terrain for advanced skier. Arlberg’s resorts provide excellent ski schools for all ages, and mountain guide services if you wish to venture off-piste – which can be incredibly rewarding but you need to know where to go (and where not to). We have traveled to find the Best Family Ski Resorts in Austria.

Kitzbühel is an historic but stylish Austrian ski town with great ski terrain, a variety of lodging, dining, and family activities like sledding, plus après ski and nightlife in the ancient alpine village. While Kitzbühel is famed for its Hahnenkamm ski race – the biggest alpine race event in the world. Kitzbühel ski resort has terrain for everyone, mostly low angle on over 209 kilometers (188 km) of groomed trails connected by 58 modern lifts. KitzSki is lower elevation however, only reaching 2000 M (6,500′) at the summit, which is an issue these days.

Ischgl is another extensive ski resort in Austria’s Tyrol with incredibly modern lifts and tons of terrain, you can even ski into Switzerland to Samnaun on Ischgl’s ski ticket. Ischgl is in the Paznaun valley along with nearby family-friendly ski areas of Galtür, See and Kappl. This entire valley has 78 lifts and over 367 kilometers of skiing within an hours’ drive of each other in the Silvretta Arena – a ski safari.

Serfaus Fiss Ladis near Ischgl and The Arlberg is ideal for family holiday with big open groomed slopes, fantastic bilingual ski schools and a very animated village and resort for young kids.

Solden in the Tyrol offers two high elevation glaciers, snow is assured early and late season at this impressive ski resort with 31 lifts and 3 mountain peaks over 10,000-feet. The village is a mix of modern and traditional.

Obergurgl Hochgurgl, near Solden, offers skiing on two mountains connected by a high mountain gondola, and very family friendly terrain, ski lessons, and ski in ski out lodging. While smaller than other Alps ski resorts, Obergurgl’s high elevation also attracts fewer skiers and assures quality snow.

SkiWelt near Kitzbühel is a sprawling gentle family-friendly ski mountain, up to just 6,400′, with several aspects and plenty of kids’ parks and lesson programs.  Affordable family hotels in nine Austrian ski villages surround the mountain base, plus kids can ski free with parents.

Innsbruck is a popular Austrian ski destination with 9 nearby ski resorts and a beautiful historic city as your base for après ski, shopping, dining and exploring. Ski seasons are long due to skiing on the nearby Stubaier Glacier. We enjoyed Kühtai, just a half hour from downtown Innsbruck as an ideal family ski resort where you can lodge slopeside overnight high in the mountains. Nordkette skiing is right in Innsbruck, Axamer Lizum is high elevation skiing just a half hour away.

Zillertal Valley has great high elevation, family-friendly skiing, with 5 major ski resorts in close proximity – Fugen-Spieljoch, Hochzillertal- Hochfügen, Zillertal Arena, Mountopolis, and Hintertux Glacier all connected by a free ski bus. With 544 kilometers of skiing, and 80 lifts, the beautiful Zillertal Valley is ideal for Austrian family ski holiday.

Austria is considered the birthplace of alpine skiing, Hannes Schneider founded the first ski school in Stuben, and the first ski club originated in the Arlberg in 1901, the first 5-star ski hotel debuted in Kitzbühel in the 1920s, and Dopplemayr constructed the first ski lifts in Austria. Families on ski holiday in the Austrian Alps will enjoying learning about the origins of Alpine skiing, while taking in spectacular scenery, skiing and snowboarding on big mountains with quality snow, and being treated to genuine Austrian hospitality.

See our Videos of Skiing in Austria and our Top Austrian Ski Resorts for Families.