Did you know that Austria shares the record with Japan for the most ski resorts in the world? They have over 600 resorts each, that’s a lot of places to ski!
Austria is certainly a popular destination for downhill skiing, and helped to export Alpine skiing across the world in the early twentieth century. It has been invented in Norway, but was perfected in Austria, and the resorts that saw downhill as a sport were firstly in Austria, rather than Switzerland where winter sports holidays had taken off in the 1860s.
In a village called Lilienfeld, close to Vienna, alpine skiing was invented. A man called Mathias Zdarsky created skis with the heel of the boot fixed, and he taught thousands of people to ski at the resort. This meant the popularity of alpine skiing increased.
Downhill came to global attention after the invention of the Arlberg Technique, and this resembles skiing as it is today – it was transported across the globe and people still come to Austria today to perfect their technique.
There are many famous ski resorts in Austria, including Kitzbuhel, Mayrhofen and Zell am See. Whilst they are not purpose built resorts you can be sure that you will have a great time in Austria. The majority of places will provide you with a wooden chalet to spend your holiday, and this is preferred by some people to the more developed resorts in France You may find you want to travel to somewhere like Alpbach, with the purest air in Europe, and there are many resorts which offer unbelievable views.
Most of the Austrian ski areas you’ll find are not small. The largest to be fully lift-linked is the Ski Welt which has more than 250km (160 miles) of runs shared between eight resorts including Soll and Westendorf. A new connection nearly links this to Kitzbuhel’s ski area of another 160km (100 miles) to create one of the world’s ten biggest ski areas.
The majority of Austria’s ski areas are not small, and many are linked together, the Ski Welt has more than 160 miles of runs shared between eight different resorts, and this has recently been linked to another 100 miles of runs, creating one of the biggest ski areas in the world. Saalbach has over 125 miles of runs too, and there are various other beautiful places you can visit, including Ischgl.
Did you know the Salzburg Superski pass covers over 1500 miles of piste, fantastic for you to explore over the course of a season. You can also be sure that the lifts you use are modern and of high capacity; Austria is one of the leading ski lift manufacturers in the world.