This article is sponsored by the Austrian National Tourist Office.
Snow and sports are a way of life in the Kitzbühel Alps. Glittering peaks surround the charming and traditional St. Johann in Tirol, with chocolate-box villages of Oberndorf, Kirchdorf and Erpfendorf nearby.
This exceptionally family-friendly wonderland of sparkling snow and mountain fun is just 60km from Salzburg airport and 90km from Innsbruck – so it’s a quick journey to St Johann’s snow-sure well-groomed slopes, swift modern lifts and rustic ski huts. Depending on your skiing appetites, there’s a great choice of lift pass options too: stay close to home on St. Johann’s 43km of slopes, or choose the 3 Länder Freizeit Arena ski pass for a more extensive choice of 171km of pistes. There’s one final bumper option, you can go big with a Kitzbüheler Alps ski safari: the Super Ski Card offers a massive 2,750km of skiing across Tyrol, Salzburg and Bavaria, including three snow-sure glaciers.
When it’s time for a pit stop (and when isn’t it?) there’s always one close by. In fact, there are no fewer than 20 cozy huts on St Johann’s slopes ready to welcome you inside or outside on their sunny terraces. Behind the doors of famous snow bars, sun terraces and piste-side restaurants, tasty culinary delicacies and traditional home-cooked food await. Raise a frothy beer or glass of crisp Austrian wine to the spectacular scenery and Tyrolean charm that surrounds. Indeed, the food and drink are such good value here, you may just stay for another…
For beloved après ski time, there’s relaxing wellness for grownups and watery-fun for the children alike at the Panorama Badewelt with spas with slides, pools, saunas and steam baths aplenty. At Kaiserquell, a world of steamy and dry saunas provide grown-up relaxation and recuperation for tired ski legs. For an airborne adrenaline rush, sail through the air for more than half a kilometre on the Flying Fox zipline or zoom downhill on groomed toboggan runs free of charge, day and night.
For a dose of true alpine serenity, join a torch-lit hike on a crisp, snowy evening to mystical Maria Blut Hermitage, inhabited by nuns for three centuries. Another speciality of the area, the scenic 250km of beautifully groomed cross-country trails are free of charge and easy to reach. And for all ages, a sunny stroll along dozens of miles of well-prepared winter hiking trails is a tonic for the soul – and, in a land where strudel is queen, great for the appetite!
Featured image, credit: Mirja Geh.