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Question Austria 2021 Advice

Discussion in 'Europe' started by blueandwhite, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us

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    Hi all, looking for some advice from people who have skied Austria before. We've just booked flights to Munich for the 2020/2021 season. Booked flights super-early as we are using frequent flyer points. Essentially we are flying in to Munich on 30th December and flying out of Frankfurt on 22nd January. The current basic outline for our family of 4 is as shown below. I'd love to hear any advice on whether this seems like a decent plan or if there is a better way to do it.

    30th Dec - fly in, hotel at Munich Airport, rent car next morning and drive to Austria
    31st Dec to 8th Jan - peak season so get something booked early for that week and just deal with the uber-crowding and high prices
    8th Jan to 14th Jan - don't book anything and wing it to decent snow and cheaper accommodation at the last minute if possible
    14th Jan to 21st Jan - Skiing at Kleinwalsertal area (we have a friend who will be there so this is the locked in part of the trip)
    22nd Jan - drive to Frankfurt and fly out

    Given that we are there in the first week of January and crowds etc are unavoidable, any ideas on where might be some good resort(s) to have a look at? Appreciate it's school holidays so everywhere is going to be rammed. Would rather keep it to Vorarlberg and west Tyrol areas if possible as we have to get back to Kleinwalsertal later in the holiday. Cheaper obviously better and we have a rental car so not absolutely necessary to be right on the spot (although preferable of course!!). I'm guessing we'll be priced out of the big boys like Lech, St Anton etc so any other ideas would be useful for us to research. There seems to be so many resorts in Austria it's a little overwhelming researching it.

    We don't need any amazing off piste or super-expert terrain, we're happy doing mostly groomers and ducking off the side a bit if the snow's good. Taking all our own gear and kids won't need childcare or lessons etc so family resorts not an absolute must.

    And for the week after the 7th January, given it's essentially low season, any ideas on whether we could just book this stuff last minute to see what the weather and snow is doing or should we be booking this before we go as well? ie is accommodation hard to come by last minute out of season?

    Any advice appreciated :) I know it's crazy-early to be thinking about it but who doesn't get amped just after they've booked their flights!
     
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  2. LDJ

    LDJ One of Us

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    Can’t comment on best areas near that part of Austria as haven’t done too much other than Arlberg where I’m heading in a week or so. You can do the Arlberg cheaply with some planning though. If you want to go further afield I absolutely l loved Saalbach. Also in Europe generally holiday cycles often run sat-sat or sun-sun so you may find that from Jan 3rd-14th will be low season and actually cheap. These are weeks I generally ski across France and Austria and always book last minute depending on snow.
     
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  3. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    The main peak is Christmas - New Year. After New Year it should drop off. You could start with a few days in Innsbruck. In Voralberg you could look at the Montafon valley. In Tirol the Zillertal would be good. Heaps of options of course.
     
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  4. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you are interested the 3rd of the 4 hills ski jumping tournament is in Innsbruck in the first week of January.
     
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  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  7. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us

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    Thanks guys, good info. Should we be looking for altitude in the first week of January? Is that quite early in the season for snow in the lower resorts?
     
  8. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you book long time ahead I would look for higher ground this days.
     
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  9. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't think it is absolutely necessary to be above 2000m though can help. Snowmaking is Austria is first rate. Ski tourism is very important to Austria so plenty is invested in snowmaking to ensure visitors who book are able to ski. If you want to be sure go stay somewhere within reach of something above 2000m or a glacier. eg. in Innsbruck you have the option of Stubai. Or if in the Zillertal you can head to Hintertux. You can use the bergfex site to search for places over 2000m.

    Ischgl would be another good option - in the west of Tirol ie.close to Voralberg plus you can ski into Switzerland. Also if you like Apres-ski vibe it is one of the biggest.
     
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  10. teleroo

    teleroo One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    www.skiwelt.at

    Bit like a big version of Perisher terrain wise. Where I'll be next Jan. Never been there, not that high, but has trees and snow making. 2 hours from Munich. Lots of lifts (n=90) and trails.

    I'll be based out of Kufstein, free bus to the ski area. But lots of small villages at base of ski runs at about 600 m elevation with accommodation.

    I haven't quite figured out what other AT ski fields their season pass may cover coz not familiar with the names yet.
     
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  11. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also note when you are looking at accommodation you will generally find places directly in the ski resorts by the lifts (ski in/out) will be more expensive (often considerably), so consider looking at places a little bit away from the main resort but are on the free ski bus route. You can still get to the lifts in say 15 mins but be paying half the price or less. So depends on how much you want to pay for convenience.
     
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  12. ttn

    ttn Hard Yards

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    We have done Europe for the last three years so maybe this could help? :D and we also learnt a lot from the other contributors here. We could only ski in January too and on groomers

    As a family of 4 with 2 teens, we stayed at hotels (2 rooms) and 1 and 2 br apartments and we booked early (from April onwards) as more choices were available. We went to Solden from Munich last time. For us 2br unit costed almost twice 1br unit but it is still very affordable IMO compared to Aust

    1st year - Tignes (1br unit) & Solden
    2nd year - Dolomities (hotel), St Anton (2br unit) and Zermatt (2br unit)
    3rd year - 3V (1br unit) and Avoriaz (2br unit)

    We stayed at ski-in-ski-out in Tignes, Dolomities, 3V and Avoriaz and it was really good & handy and not necessary more expensive than other locations

    So what we had learnt so far? If good weather, not many fresh snow, could be a bit icy on some tracks and more lifts opened. If snow storms ;) plenty of fresh snow, poor visual, windy, cold and more closed lifts. It's not busy in Jan so that's another bonus

    There are plenty of resorts in the area but as you will have a car, I would consider Dolomities and St Anton (or Zermatt) before joining your friend. Cheers
     
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  13. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    ah yes Sölden would be another good option - has the Rettenbach glacier which hosts a World cup race in October.
     
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  14. Scoober

    Scoober One of Us

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    Our family went here last year, we stayed in Hopfgarten. The resorts are great, well interlinked and many different aspects so you could ski to suit conditions. Our youngest was 5 at the time and skiid it well, even some of the steeps. Westendorf is a bit of a beast and covers a lot of terrain.
    We were lucky as they had so much snow that year we almost couldn't get in coming from Prague through Munich and down, it stopped snowing 2 days before we were due and the Austrian efficiency had roads back under control quickly.
     
  15. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us

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    So much great information, thanks to everyone who's contributed. Looks like our plan is along the right lines and got lots of research to work on now!

    I guess the outstanding question is if we would need to book accommodation for that 2nd week of January in advance or not. Has anyone been over there in January and just booked accommodation on the fly? I'm guessing since it's off-season there should be plenty available? It would be great to leave our options open for that week.
     
  16. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Last minute booking for Saalbach- Hinterglemm will be difficult for 8-14 Jan.... St Anton - I have done last minute a couple of times and most of the limited options were down at St. Jakob. The ski bus goes along Dorfstrasse and past the Nasserain Gondola.
     
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  17. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I only did Saalbach on the fly once in early January. Only thing i could get was a converted cellar with a tiny window.
     
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  18. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skiing in Austria, so good :)
     
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  19. ttn

    ttn Hard Yards

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    If definitely have a car then you do have the option of booking accom until the last days as you can drive to any resorts you want according to snow. For us we did city visits before ski and no car so we have to book in advance to ensure certainty ie fly into Rome then train to Venice then to Dolomities

    I suggest you pre-plan your preferred ski resorts with option for replacement resorts if snow does not play nice at that time :)
     
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  20. geeoff

    geeoff Hard Yards

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    Highly recommend Montafon area. We stayed in Schruns at Hotel Zimba in early February 19 for 5 nights accomodation breakfast and dinner plus 4 day lift pass for around 800euro per adult.
    Schruns is reasonable size town but fairly quiet. There are some apres bars at bottom of ski areas that get lively for around lift closing.
    Cable car from Schruns runs straight up to Hochjoch area and then links by further cable cars into areas above StGallenkirch.

    With a car you can access St Anton within 45 mins and also drive around Montafon valley to start at areas you want to ride on a particular day (rather than catch a number of cable cars).

    Not aware of how snow sure it is in early January, although top around 2400 m so should get similar snow to most areas of St Anton and Lech.
    H
    Mainly Austrians and Germans in Montafon, compared to St Anton which is very “international”.

    Maybe Nasserien and St Jakob, which are a little out of town at St Anton, could have cheaper accomodation if you prefer to stay there.
     
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  21. Pisteoff

    Pisteoff Hard Yards

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    Just stayed a week in Landeck and skied Fiss, Ischgl, St.Anton and Vernon. Took the “ski safari” transfer which was only 5 Euro each for pick up from the apartment and transfer to the lifts. This would be particularly suitable for a family. The small resort of Vernon would be good for a family. A big vertical, wide slopes that don’t bump up, no crowds even on weekends and 2 express chairs. In contrast, St. Anton had amazing terrain but crowded, bumped up and icy slopes by the end of the day. Expensive to eat and drink there also.
     
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  22. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us

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    This is great information, thanks. Having the car to drive to other nearby resorts will be useful I think, although riding a number of cable cars to start the skiing day is my young son's idea of heaven! Looks like a nice area, thanks for the tip. No problem staying in somewhere less international, almost more preferable. My school german will hopefully get us through...
     
  23. Whiteman

    Whiteman A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I just got back from Saalbach-Hinterglemm, and last week was Euro school hols, and the place was packed with Dutchies, Germans, Brits & Skandies. Stayed in Hinterglemm, short walk to the lifts, and even though the snow is not nearly to the levels of previous years, it was still fantastic. Most Austrians speak at least basic English, so that shouldn't be too hard. You might need to make bookings for dinner if eating out.
     
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  24. Kletterer

    Kletterer Thredbo Doughnut Tragic Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you partake in Apres and leave dinner a bit late + not looking to be flash, Bobbys Bar for a pizza is a good option.