Austria advice with kids

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Austria advice with kids

Started by Hudman in Ski Chatter - 7 Replies

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Hudman posted 31-Aug

Hi All,

Can anyone give me some advice on skiing with kids in Austria for the 2022 season? Mrs H and I are both competent skiers with an 8 year old who is starting freestyle training at the local dry slope and a 5 year old who has done a week on the snow back in early 2020.

We have generally gone to France and stayed with Esprit as the chalet setup/child care/ski school is just convenient. This year we think that a chalet hotel/self catering may be the way forward with independently booked childcare and lessons and to be honest I just fancy Austria! We would still be keen for the 8 year old to have at least 1/2 day lessons but will ski with us otherwise, the 5 year old probably needs 1/2 day lessons and 1/2 day play/childcare with the option for us to take them both out a few afternoons.

If people have good experiences of childcare, kids lessons and accommodation in Austria I would be grateful!

Ta in advance!
Hudman

DougR
reply to 'Austria advice with kids'
posted 02-Sep

Hi,
Saw your post. I guess a little out of season at this moment, so probably not many people looking at j2ski currently, but I'm sure you will get some responses in due course.
I can't help you with info on kids stuff, but if you want any info on Austrian resorts in general I may be able to help,so feel free to ask.
All this assumes of course that covid does not put the blockers on everything again this coming season!
Skied: On snow, On water, On mud, On slush, On ice. Oh, and on a few dry slopes.

Hudman
reply to 'Austria advice with kids'
posted 03-Sep

Hi Doug, yes fingers crossed this season isn't a wipeout like last. I'm only 1.5 hours from Glencoe so that will have to do if Europe is shut!

With Austria what resort would you recommend for good fast access to varied terrain with off-piste possible (conditions allowing)? My wife and I are happy skiing anything on the mountain and have some experience off piste (with a guide). The key might be how easy it is to do a morning charging and then get back to pick our eldest for afternoon skiing (he's happy on reds).

Apres isn't that important although some nice restaurants would be good for lunches!

Thanks
Paul

DougR
reply to 'Austria advice with kids'
posted 03-Sep

Hi Paul,
probably one of the first things I should say if you are used to skiing France is that in Austria there are not as many resorts that provide ski in/out locations. However what you will find are very good free ski bus services which are typically Austrian/German which means they arrive exactly when they should and are very reliable, so don't be put off by not being able to ski in/out. Just make sure your accom has close proximity to ski bus stop. You will also find lift systems are excellent, with many having bubbles and heated seats. In my experience accom in Austria is of a much better standard than French resorts and often cheaper. Food you will find surprisingly good and affordable, with prices for food and drink very similar to UK. Although some resorts are more expensive than others.
In terms of resorts the choices are many. If you like huge ski areas with lots of on/off piste opportunities then St. Anton, Lech, Zurs would be a great choice. However those are some of the more expensive resorts in Austria.
The SkiWelt (Soll, Ellmau, Sheffau etc.)is a huge ski area but not as much in the way of off piste opportunities. SkiWelt prices though are very reasonable.
Moving onto slightly smaller ski areas Kitzbuhel has good off piste while still being a large area, but again it is in the more expensive price range.
Saalbach has good off piste and a large linked ski area, but again it's in the high price ranges. Mayerhoffen provides good off piste and a large ski area, but access up and down is via the Gondola only and last time I was there queues were long. Prices were in the mid range bracket.
Schladming provides plenty of off piste with good piste areas also, pricing in the mid range.
If you are arranging your own transport (eg not travelling on a package with Crystal) then I would really recommend Serfaus/Fiss/Ladis, great off piste and on piste opportunities, great infrastructure and mid range pricing.
There are also lots of smaller resorts that will prob have lots of off piste but limited on piste. My experience has been limited to where we can go with Crystal though due to historically very limited flight availability from our local airport.
I think given your requirements I would recommend St. Anton as the number 1 choice, but as I mentioned, not cheap.
All comments made are my personal experience/opinion and are not intended to say any resorts or countries are better than others. I say this because I don't want to start another 'which is best' argument on this forum.
Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.
Skied: On snow, On water, On mud, On slush, On ice. Oh, and on a few dry slopes.

Hudman
reply to 'Austria advice with kids'
posted 03-Sep

That's brilliant, thanks! Flight availability might also be an issue as we are limited to Glasgow or Edinburgh and don't want to have to connect in London. I'll have a look but this certainly gives me a great starting point....looking forward to it already!

DougR
reply to 'Austria advice with kids'
posted 03-Sep

As you are going from either Glasgow or Edinburgh I would really recommend booking a package through Crystal as I don't think you will be able to do it cheaper yourself. Plus in the current Covid climate they guarantee money back or rebooking. They have been great with us, transferring all of last seasons cancelled bookings to the coming season and even gave discounts, which is more than can be said for EasyJet or others.
By the way I do not work for Tui or get commission, I just find them safe to deal with.
Skied: On snow, On water, On mud, On slush, On ice. Oh, and on a few dry slopes.

Jimbobilini
reply to 'Austria advice with kids'
posted 06-Sep

Hi, I've taken my daughter skiing to Austria a few times. Austrian resorts usually have quite a few ski schools to chose from so pick one that is based close to your accommodation. A lot of the ski schools offer half day and all day ski lessons and will even provide lunch. At the end of the week, the kids have a slalom race and the parents are invited to go and watch. Lots of fun!

Also, some ski resorts in Austria offer free lift passes for younger children so you may want check when choosing a resort.

Flat country skier
reply to 'Austria advice with kids'
posted 07-Nov

Hi Paul,

DougR has given a really brilliant overview re Austria's skiing areas. When are you planning to go? The ski schools are brilliant but can get busy over the peak holiday periods in the resorts where loads of tour operators go to. Our daughter learnt to ski in Lech at age 4, been to skiing schools in Zell-am-Zee, Söll, St Anton, all really good.

And as Jimbobilini mentioned you have choice of morning/afternoon ski school sessions or all day with the lunch. Or morning lesson, followed by lunch and afternoon kindergarten if your children are happy to be left

There are quite a lot of fantastic family hotels in Austria where everything is included (all meals, instruction, activities) and they take kids to/from the lessons, leaving the parents free to ski but they are generally quite expensive.
I suppose you pay for the convenience & service. My sister has gone to Dachsteinköning Family resort for a few years with their children (Dachstein West ski area) but they are not adventurous skiers, just love being on the skis and having time for themselves when kids are looked after They do live in Southern Germany and drive therefore it makes travelling more flexible and little less expensive.

I normally book ski trips independently but quite often it won't be cheaper than using the tour operators, only difference being I can choose the alternative resorts, dates, get the accommodation/rooms I want in the place I like. We have booked to go to Lech on 13 Dec (fingers crossed ) and can update re: how things are there.
Last time stayed in Lech 14, in St Anton 10 years ago!

Wherever you decide to go in Austria, I'm sure you will have great time! (As long there's snow and Covid restrictions are reasonable! )

Topic last updated on 07-November-2021 at 10:44

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December 4, 2021

There is snow forecast to fall in Austria over the next 2 days, in at least 50 Ski Resorts including Filzmoos, Kappl, Lech, St Christoph am Arlberg and Villach.

Fresh Snow is reported by Galtür, Hochoetz, Ischgl, Kitzbühel, Seefeld and St. Anton am Arlberg.

 At least 3 Ski Areas in Austria are reported to be open.

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