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European Ski Resort News

Experience Skiing St. Anton. A “Best of the Alps” Resort

There are few ski destinations in the world that can rival St. Anton where you’ll feel like you’re at the center of the skiing universe. This is a lively resort where you will find world-class skiing at its best, as well as non-stop nightlife, excellent food and much, much more.

St. Anton is a favorite for those in the know and draws skiers from every walk of life from beginners to advanced, as well as sports buffs of all ages. They call St. Anton the birthplace of skiing in these parts, as it was the first club of its kind that was organized at the turn of the century. Now, it’s considered to be one of the best.

Hotel Kirchplatz (3-Star), St. Anton, AustriaThe amazing ski area itself makes St. Anton a remarkable spot, which makes it such a terrific vacation destination. This area offers several tantalizing runs that descend some 192 kilometers (120 miles) off-trail. If you’re an avid skier, no doubt you’ll find the trail you’ve been looking for here, but there’s also plenty of skiing for all levels.

The Hotel Kirchplatz (3-Star) offers homey accommodation and family-run hospitality. Behind the pale green facade, a small reception area gives way to a small lounge and a contemporary-style breakfast room. A sauna, steam room, and heated boot rack are on hand. Guest rooms are simple, with modern wood furnishings and plump duvets on beds. This hotel proves popular with couples, families, and small groups seeking inexpensive lodging just outside the center.

Find Out More: St. Anton Ski Vacation from $1,798 pp

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Or, call our reservation center toll free for more information about other European destinations: 800-333-5533.

The Amadé Sports Region; Skiing, Culture and More Skiing

A winter vacation in Salzburg is more than a ski vacation. This picturesque old city offers an extraordinary cultural experience and serves as a fantastic base for skiing more than 100 resorts throughout “Land Salzburg.” Salzburg is located on the site of the Roman town Javavum, once an important crossroad in the empire. The beautiful baroque city that you see today was built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Museums and palaces bear witness to the city’s fascinating history.

Salzburg is a city, not a resort. But the surrounding area offers skiers and snowboarders just about any type of terrain that they could want. There are a number of different ski areas to explore. The Amadé Sports Region includes the scenic resorts of Altenmark-Zauchensee, Wagrain, Filzmoos, and Kleinarl. The Gastein Valley is home to three popular resorts: the spa resort of Bad Gastein, the quieter town of Hofgastein, and the family-oriented Dorfgastein. The Europa Sports Region includes the well-known resorts of Zell am See and Kaprun, and the scenic Hohe Tauern National Park provides many resorts at lower elevations. There are also ski safari programs that make it easier to ski several of the resorts in one trip.

The ski season in Land Salzburg generally runs from mid-December to mid-April, with year-round skiing available at the Kaprun glacier. About 60 percent of the resorts in the overall region are best suited for intermediates, with over 80 mountains to ski. Advanced skiers find fun off-trail terrain at Bad Gastein, Leogang, and Saalbach and for an even greater thrill there are off-trail glacier tours at Altenmarkt/Zauchensee, and the Kitzstein Glacier near Zell am See. While most of the resorts in the area are small, skiers will find challenging, varied terrain within a short distance of Salzburg.

The Salzburg Super Ski Card is valid in 22 ski regions in Land Salzburg covering 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) of trails. Passes are available for anywhere between three and 14 days. The Amadé lift pass is valid in 28 ski destinations covering 860 kilometers (538 miles) of trails and skiers can travel by ski shuttle between different resorts.

Saalbach-Hinterglemm is one of the most popular resorts in the area for snowboarders. There are two half-pipes, a boardercross, and a funpark that is lit at night. There are 12 kilometers (eight miles) of terrain dedicated only to snowboarders. There are also funparks at Bad Hofgastein, Flachau, Saalfelden, and Grossarl. There’s plenty of off-trail terrain, but boarders must be aware of avalanche risks. There are lessons available to instruct boarders on survival techniques as well as the finer points of snowboarding.

Cross-country skiing enthusiasts enjoy over 220 kilometers (137 miles) of trails in the Wagrain Region, 76 kilometers (47 miles) of trails at Abtenau, and over 200 kilometers (124 miles) of cross-country trails in the scenic Hohe Tauern National Park. Ice climbing is available for those who prefer to scale the frozen stuff rather than ski down it. Climbers can sign up for tours and receive instruction before heading out. Advanced climbers love the Salzach Gorge and waterfalls located 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Salzburg.

Most resorts in Land Salzburg have toboggan runs. Some of the best in the area are at Bad Hofgastein, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, and Wagrain. Most resorts also offer horse-drawn sleigh rides. Many companies offer sleigh rides in the Grossarl Valley and in Bad Gastein, some of which include a stop for snacks at a mountain inn.

Après-ski is lively throughout Austria and the Salzburg region is no exception. Saalbach has a reputation as the best of the resorts for rowdy nightlife. There are almost 40 bars keeping the night alive. Zell am See is also a good spot for those who like to party. Bad Gastein draws an older, more serene après-ski clientele. In Salzburg itself, there’s a wide range of nightlife opportunities. In the bars that line the left side of the Salzach River, you’ll find everything from Irish music to heavy metal. Along the Steingasse are numerous bistros and bars, among many others in the Old City.

One of the main perks of staying in Salzburg is the abundance of cultural events and activities to experience. Salzburg is known for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the city celebrates his life in many ways. From Mozart Square to Mozart’s birthplace, there are ample opportunities to learn more about the composer. Salzburg’s Old City is listed on UNESCO’s list of world cultural heritage sites and is always popular with sightseers. There are excellent museums in Salzburg including the Museum of Natural Science in the center of the Old City.

With so many Austrian traditions to learn about and enjoy, Salzburg is the perfect choice for vacationers looking for a cultural experience in addition to first-rate skiing.

This post is a reprint from the “Classic” version of the SkiEurope Report Newsletter.  The article gives a great overview of the region’s attractions and various ski resorts.

Skiing in France; Culture, Cuisine and Powder

France has long attracted skiers to its slopes and even hosted the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix in 1924. The skiers, and now the ‘boarders, are still coming. Whether they’re looking for glamour and upscale accommodations or a more down to earth setting, the resorts of France don’t disappoint. And there’s more than skiing that makes a winter vacation in France a special event. Visitors can take side trips to Paris or Lyon, visit museums and art galleries, and of course, enjoy fantastic French cuisine.

Take a look at a few of the great resorts of France: Continue reading

Best Snow-Sure Ski Resorts in Europe

Ski Val Thorens, France

The highest resort in the Alps and one of the most snow sure, with north-facing slopes guaranteeing good snow for a long season, even off the glacier. Val Thorens is Part of huge 3 Valleys. and home to the highest bar of any ski resort. Great for when it’s too warm and slushy elsewhere …

Val d’Isère and Tignes, France Skiing

Val d’Isere and Tignes, France, share the vast, snow-sure Espace Killy ski area, which includes two glaciers where year-round skiing is possible. The terrain is excellent for confident intermediates and experts. Tignes is appreciably higher, more convenient, surrounded by better intermediate terrain, and has quick access to the Grande Motte glacier.

Hintertux, Austria

Hintertux is one of the best glaciers in the Alps, but it also has some additional non-glacial terrain which is also high, shady and very reliable for snow.  At its highest point the ski region reaches a height of 3,250 m (10,660 ft) in the saddle between the peaks of the Gefrorene-Wand-Spitzen. It is open all year round with skiing in the winter, and hiking activities in the summer.

Lech/Zürs, Austria

The slopes in Lech and Zürs do not reach glacial heights, but do share the snowiest major ski area in the Alps.  Grooming and snow-making are also excellent, so snow conditions are very reliable. Lech are Zürs are the most glamorous and expensive resorts in Austria.

Obergurgl, Austria

Arguably the most snow-sure, non-glacial resort in the Alps, Obergurgl has a long season. Its altitude is exceptional by Austrian standards, many of its slopes face north or north-west and the resort claims 100% artificial coverage. Obergurgl has an excellent area for beginners, timid intermediates and families.

Ischgl, Austria

Ischgl does not have a glacier, but it does have the greatest extent of high altitude skiing in Austria – more than 80% of its 238km of pistes are above 2000m.  Ischgl excellent snow-making and snow conditions are highly reliable. The resort has lively après-ski which may or may not be to everyone’s taste.

Sölden, Austria

Sölden boasts not one but 2 high quality glaciers, the Rettenbach and Tiefenbach, that guarantee good snow throughout a long season.  Even outside these glaciers the average skiing height is good by Austrian standards, and snow cover is reliable.  The resort also has short transfers and day trips to nearby Innsbruck.

Cervinia, Italy

Despite the westerly aspect of its main slopes Cervinia is comfortably the most snow-sure of the major Italian resorts.  The village sits at 2050m with slopes reaching 3450m (3820m if you count Zermatt).  Nowhere else in Italy comes close to offering this extent of high altitude terrain. Link with Zermatt in Switzerland provides some spectacular views and good lunches.

Saas Fee, Switzerland

Saas-Fee is one of our favorite places. It oozes Swiss charm and the setting is stunning – spectacular glaciers and 4000m peaks surround the place. And good snow is guaranteed, even late in the season: the altitude you spend most of our time at – between 2500m/8200ft and 3500m/11500ft – is unrivaled in the Alps.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Since the Zermatt ski resort stretches across three individual mountains that rise over 10,200 feet (3,100 meters), there’s an incredible amount of skiable terrain here. These three mountains have a northern orientation and they’re quite high, so the winter ski season here, which lasts from late November through early May, is longer than most other resorts in Europe.

Read More: SkiEurope SuperSki Weeks

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European Ski Resort Openings for 2013-2014

The 2013-2014 ski season will be starting soon, so here are some opening dates for key resorts in Europe.

Tignes – Open November 03
Val d’Isere – Open November 29
Serre-Chevalier – Open December 13

Davos/Klosters – Open November 15
Engeleberg/Titlis – Open October 19
Grindelwald/Wengen – November 16
Les Diablerets/Glacier 3000 – November 02
– Open November 04

Hintertux –
Open November 04
Kitzsteinhorn – Open November 04
Molltal Glacier –
Open November 04
Soelden –
Open November 04
St. Johann –
Open December 06

– Open November 04
Breuil-Cervinia – Open November 04

Resorts Openings and Fresh Snow

Austrian Snow and Resorts

In the last few days, the snowy white powder has been falling in Austria. The heaviest snowfall was in the western Austrian resorts but snow fell across the country, so fresh powder skiing be easily located. On Thursday, Mayrhofen (3/25cm) opened for the first time this season, thanks to the fresh snowfall. Pitztal (36/164cm) has three opened lifts and Solden (15/130cm) has six lifts have been operating.

New Snow in France

Significant amounts of fresh snow have been falling across the French Alpine resorts,  advantage to the fresh snow. Tignes (82/140cm) and Val d’Isere (82/140cm) now have remarkable piste depths and there is fresh snow across the whole Espace Killy area. Les Deux Alpes (10/100cm) had a fantastic day skiing on Thursday.

French resorts scheduled to open on Saturday, December 10th,  include Les Menuires (32/80cm) and Meribel (30/80cm) in The Three Valleys. Courchevel (40/70cm) and Val Thorens (100/130cm) are now open. Continue reading

European Ski Resorts, What’s New for 2012

In Austria, Saalbach is ready to welcome the new season with new charilists and gondola. Further upgrades and eplacement lifts are also ready to welcome visitors in Hintertux, Schladming and Kitzbühel.

In France, Val d´Isère, already a top-tier resort, now boasts almost 160 ski slopes. Valpark, one of the best snow parks in Europe has installed 8 new snow cannons. The old Rochassons chairlift in Châtel has been upgraded and to a comfortable 6-seater lift up to the 650km of the Portes du Soleil area! Valmorel also has a new 6-seater chairlift which will open for the Christmas holidays.

In Switzerland, Champéry has replaced the Grand-Conche chairlift to the Portes du Soleil ski area.

More news as it becomes available…

Best European Ski Resorts for Early Snow

If you’re planning a ski trip for this coming season, there is a great article in the Guardian UK which lists the top 10 ski resorts for early snow. Of the top 10 ski resorts, the first 8 listed are European:

  1. Val Thorens, France
  2. Chamonix, France
  3. Ischgl, Austria
  4. Tignes, France
  5. Hintertux, Austria
  6. Breuil-Cervina, Italy
  7. Obergurgl, Austria
  8. Saas Fee, Switzerland
You can read more about these resorts on the SkiEurope website:
Read the full article here: