Best Ski Resorts for Beginners in Austria
Your first time on the slopes can make or break your love of skiing. Therefore, it’s important to choose your resort wisely. To try and help, we have rounded up the best ski resorts for beginners in Austria.
If a warm atmosphere and a picturesque view are important for your holiday, Austria is the ideal ski destination. The views are simply breath-taking.
Austria’s authentic Alpine villages were established well before its ski resorts, giving it a welcoming and homely feel.
While Austria may not be famous for its hardcore slopes and dangerous pistes, it’s perfect for those of us who are looking to discover quiet runs and mountainside villages. Tempted yet?
For beginners excited to try après- ski for the first time, Austria will not disappoint. Famed for its fantastic après, it is the perfect destination for those new to the slopes.
But where to start? There is an abundance of resorts out there that claim they are suitable for beginners. From gentle slopes to good instruction, there are many factors a beginner needs to consider when choosing a resort.
Westendorf – oozes Alpine charm
Westendorf may not be one of the huge, famous resorts, but it’s perfect for beginners. It’s low altitude and easy pistes make it the perfect place to get to grips with the slopes!
Situated in the middle of the Brixen valley, Westendorf is far removed from the noisy traffic and bustling city.
This magical village is totally encompassed by mountains, giving it a winter-wonderland feel. The views are picture-perfect. For those who have never been skiing before, these views are sure to blow you away!
WHY WE LIKE IT:
Westendorf is free from huge crowds and busy pistes. Your first experience of skiing shouldn’t be spent waiting around in queues.
This resort is not a soulless new-build. Surrounding the resort is a genuine Austrian town that has retained its charm.
Don’t be fooled by its quiet feel! There are plenty of bars to enjoy your first experience of après-ski. However, these bars haven’t ruined its homely atmosphere.
Westendorf is ideal for beginners as it is free from the crowds and has plenty of easy terrain to allow you to ski at your own pace.
It is home to plenty of ski schools also!
The travel is easy! Westendorf can be accessed from three different airports, including Salzburg and Munich, as well as a near-by train station.
Innsbruck is the closest airport- only 55 minutes away!
As a resort for beginners, we rate Westendorf 9/10
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Filzmoos – family friendly
For those booking for a resort that welcomes the entire family and all levels of skier, Filzmoos ticks all the boxes. You may not be pushed to your limit, but the gentle slopes are sure to keep all beginners happy.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
Filzmoos is located in an idyllic mountain village. It’s free from heavy crowds and long queues, allowing you to get the full impact of the picturesque views.
If you’re hoping to maximise your time on the slopes, Filzmoos is ideal.
The resort has something to keep older and younger kids happy. The nursery slopes are wide and frequent, while après-ski is on offer for the older members of the family.
Most of the slopes are an easy walk from your accommodation. This is ideal for those beginners who are struggling to get to grips with walking in snow boots!
Salzburg airport is only 1 hour away!
As a resort for beginners, we rate Filzmoos 8/10
Lech – plentiful snow
Lech has a modest altitude and crowd-free pistes, ideal for those who are looking to learn to ski in a quiet environment.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
Home to friendly terrain and gentle slopes, Lech is perfect for beginners.
Nervous of better skiers whizzing past? There are separate areas for beginners and experts, meaning you can ski without distractions!
But, if you do want to push yourself or witness some expert skiing- you can! Lech offers a wide-range of pistes for those who may not want to be surrounded by beginners all day.
The wide variety of beginner and intermediate slopes will see you picking up the technique in no time!
Snow, snow and more snow! Despite its low altitude, Lech holds the title of one of the snowiest resorts in the Alps.
If you’re a beginner looking to take the risk of skiing without lessons, Lech is the place to do it!
Lech is easily reached from Zurich international, at around 2.5 hours travel time!
As a resort for beginners, we rate Lech 7/10
Ellmau – the real softie
Part of the big SkiWelt area, Ellmau is the ideal starting point for beginners. This resort proves that beginner skiing does not have to be boring, with a range of long and short runs at an easy level.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
Despite being part of a linked ski-area, Ellmau is somewhat removed from the demands of SkiWelt.
It’s a quiet and charming resort, home to some simply excellent slopes for beginners due to its low altitude.
Ellmau is cheap! Even by Austrian standards, this resort offers some of the most competitive prices out there.
Ellmau is located near Munich, Innsbruck and Salzburg airports. Transfer times are between 1 and 1.5 hours.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Ellmau 7/10
Alpbach – a quiet retreat
Alpbach is often called the most beautiful village in Austria. With the landscape dotted with authentic-looking chalets and snow-tipped trees, this quiet resort is certainly a picturesque place to learn to ski.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
Alpbach often feels more like an Alpine village than a ski-resort, not only because of its unspoilt landscape. While you’re getting to know your skis, you will be surrounded by an Austrian farming village. Simply charming.
You’ll certainly get the most out of the slopes! Short-queues and quiet pistes mean that Alpbach is a popular resort with beginners.
There are plenty of ski schools too. We recommend Skischule-Alpbach for patient instructors and hands-on lessons.
Alpbach has plenty to offer off-piste! Fancy taking a panoramic trail alongside waterfalls and woods?
Alpbach is only a 50-minute drive away from Innsbruck airport.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Alpbach 9/10
Saalbach-Hinterglemm – double the fun
Saalbach-Hinterglemm are two separate resorts that are linked by a ‘ski-circus’. This has the advantage of offering a wide-range of skiing opportunities.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
These resorts are home to Austria’s largest intermediate area. Ideal for those looking for easy slopes without the crowds!
The low altitude does not guarantee snow all year round, however this is made up for with snowmaking.
While you learn to ski on the friendly pistes, you will be surrounded by a fun and lively village.
The après-ski is unparalleled. Both resorts are lively from the afternoon until the early hours. This is sure to give you everything you want from your first fix of après!
Saalbach-Hinterglemm is located around 1.5 hours away from Salzburg airport.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Saalbach-Hinterglemm 6/10
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Obergurgl – Austria’s highest parish
Obergurgl is one of the highest resorts in Austria, but this doesn’t mean that it is unsuitable for beginners. With snow-sure slopes and no glaciers, Obergurgl’s pistes cater to all levels.
This charming resort keeps Brits returning every winter!
WHY WE LIKE IT:
The small resort is set around a traditional village that features an 18th-century church. Framed by high-altitude peaks, the views are stunning!
While expert-skiers may not find many challenging pistes, Obergurgl is ideal for beginners and those looking to improve. It’s a sure win with an inexperienced skier! The lifts at either end of the resort make it easy to get around.
Off-piste, Obergurgl does not disappoint. The area is largely unspoilt, but offers a vast amount of bars and restaurants. Your first skiing holiday should be entertaining in more ways than one!
Obergurgl boasts an abundance of high-quality hotels. The hospitality and service is unparalleled!
Obergurgl is a 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Innsbruck airport.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Obergurgl 8/10
Ischgl – the best for après
Recently acquiring a strong following of British skiers, Ischgl is home to a vast array of slopes.
The resort is snow-sure from November until May, meaning if you want to learn when it’s sunny-you can!
All ages and abilities are catered for. Your first time on the slopes may be a wobbly one, however Ischgl has a terrain dedicated to beginners. This terrain- Idalp- features broad slopes specifically for you to take things slowly.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
Ischgl is home to some of the world’s best ski schools.
We really admire that Ischgl has made it its mission to make your first ski an easy one. Your first time on the slopes doesn’t have to be difficult!
The village has found a happy medium between retaining its authentic charm whilst offering modern touches.
For example, a travellator connects the two ends of the resort.
Travel is convenient in other ways also, as the ski lifts are only a short walk from most of the accommodation.
To avoid noise, try avoiding accommodation on the main street. However, for those who love a social buzz, the main street is home to a lively atmosphere that is sure to keep you entertained. There’s something to please everyone!
Ischgl is also home to plenty of restaurants, outside of the hotels. There are more than you would expect! From rustic pubs to stylish restaurants, the food on offer at Ischgl will not disappoint. There’s something different for every day of the week!
As the evening rolls around, the atmosphere doesn’t die down. In fact, quite the opposite happens. There are plenty of clubs and bars to suit all tastes, so just wait and see where the night takes you!
One of the hotels hosts a brand of Pacha, which also features in Ibiza. The après-ski here will not disappoint!
It’s not all about the skiing! Every year, Ischgl is home to a ‘Top of the Mountain’ concert at the start and end of the season, ideal for those looking to get more than technique out of their holiday.
These concerts see A-list celebrities and acts flocking to watch or perform.
It’s certain to be an unforgettable experience on your first ski trip!
Innsbruck airport is a 1 hour 40-minute drive away from Ischgl.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Ischgl 6/10
Niederau – ski in peace
Located in the Wildschönau valley, this picture-perfect resort is ideal for beginners. Instantly recognisable by its church steeple, Niederau’s views will not disappoint.
The beginner slopes are wide with friendly terrain, making them forgiving on the inexperienced skier!
While the range of pistes may disappoint the experts, for beginners, it’s ideal. There are plenty of flat slopes to get to grips with your skis.
WHY WE LIKE IT:
Niederau ticks all the convenience boxes. It’s located only two hours away from Innsbruck airport, ensuring your transfer is a quick one!
Also, most hotels are located near the main lift- only a 5 minute walk!
Beginners are not kept separate. Located in the heart of the village are beginner and kids’ slopes, meaning that you get the full immersive ski experience while you learn. Despite this, you are free to ski at a peaceful pace.
These slopes are well-looked after, supplemented by snow-makers if necessary. So, a lack of snow won’t hold you back!
The après-ski is lively and enjoyable. With an infectious buzz about it, Niederau’s after-hours opportunities feature a range of bars, clubs and restaurants. There’s something to suit wild or quiet nights out- it’s up to you!
One of our favourite aspects of this resort is its laid-back feel. This chilled vibe makes it ideal for beginners and families. The unhurried pace makes a welcome change from some of the most famous resorts.
Fancy taking the ‘Slow Train’? It’s an excursion to the moon-lit toboggan run in Auffach. Make sure to try it out to witness some unmissable breath-taking views.
Transfer times from Niederau range from 1 hour from Innsbruck airport, to 1.5 from Munich airport.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Niederau 9/10
Mayrhofen – the après capital
Mayrhofen is the jack of all trades of ski resorts. This resort boasts having something that appeals to everyone- presented in an idyllic, rustic way.
Mayrhofen has been one of the most popular ski destinations among Brits for years, and it’s easy to see why.
WHAT WE LIKE:
Mayrhofen has managed to retain its Alpine charm by strictly keeping its traditional Tyrolean architecture.
However, the resort is charming in other ways too. The locals are experts in providing hospitality for the holidaymakers who flock there year after year. This hospitality is a huge part of why the resort is so popular.
Thanks to the updated gondola, queues are a thing of the past! Despite the amount of people, Mayrhofen does not feel overcrowded, and you won’t be waiting around all day for lifts.
Despite being home to Austria’s steepest slope adventure, the Harakiri, there are a variety of beginner slopes. The terrain is perfect for the less experienced skier!
Also, the snow is reliable all season- meaning all you have to worry about is staying upright!
For those looking to get their teeth into some après-ski, Mayrhofen is ideal. Before lunch is over the après comes to life, continuing well into the night.
If you’re looking to relax rather than party- there’s plenty for you also. You’ll be surrounded by an abundance of spas, saunas and pools- just take your pick!
If you love shopping, you won’t be disappointed here. The centre of the resort is constantly buzzing, with a variety of shops (including high-end fashion) to suit all tastes.
Mayrhofen is only 1 hours’ drive from Innsbruck airport.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Mayrhofen 6/10
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Sölden – picture perfect views
For any James Bond fans, Sölden is home to some of the scenes from Spectre. However, it has a lot more to offer than this claim to fame.
Skiing is easier when the snow cover is reliable, right? Sölden is one of the most snow-sure resorts in the Alps.
WHAT WE LIKE:
Sölden is not famed for its views. But, due to it being a location of a film, the views are in fact outstanding. Even inexperienced skiers can appreciate Sölden’s beauty!
Check out the viewing platforms to witness the 360° views shown in the film.
Sölden is home to some of the liveliest après-ski in Austria. This is a large reason why the resort is so popular among holiday-goers.
The night-life is vibrant and varied, continuing well into the early hours.
Due to being one of the largest resorts in Austria, Sölden can accommodate all levels of skier. Featuring an abundance of ski schools, this resort can cater to the beginner! It has the most blue pistes out of all its runs, meaning that the inexperienced skier has plenty of choice.
Beginner-level shouldn’t be limited!
If you need a break from the slopes, or if you’re looking to try out a wider range of winter sports, Sölden is the resort for you.
The resort offers everything from ice hockey to sledding. You’re sure to find something you’re good at- even if you’re a beginner on the slopes!
Transfer to Sölden is little more than an hour from Innsbruck airport.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Sölden 7/10
Kitzbühel – the gentle giant
Despite being home to Hahnenkamm, the world’s most dangerous downhill race, Kitzbühel is in fact a gentle resort.
Don’t let it’s daring reputation put you off, Kitzbühel has a vast amount of opportunities for beginners. Most of its slopes are easy to tackle.
Its easy terrain comes in abundance- you will be spoilt for choice!
WHAT WE LIKE:
Kitzbühel is easily one of the most beautiful resorts in Austria. It’s as simple as that.
The town used to be a silver-mining centre, and it oozes Alpine charm by retaining this medieval architecture.
If you’re hoping to discover authenticity over purpose-built resorts, Kitzbühel will not let you down!
Due to this authentic charm, Kitzbühel is popular among couples looking for a romantic retreat. This chilled atmosphere radiates across the whole resort!
The low altitude ensures that this resort is a great place to get to grips with your skis. You are free to learn at your own pace. While it isn’t snow-sure all year round, if you go in winter months you’re sure to be safe!
Kitzbühel is home to the KitzSki Snow Park that offers a range of activities for all levels. This is the ideal place to learn new tricks, or to witness some amazing displays of skill.
At 1 hour 35-minutes, Kitzbühel is an easy drive away from Innsbruck airport.
As a resort for beginners, we rate Kitzbühel 7/10
Söll – find great prices
Söll is an established resort among beginners. With north-facing slopes that promise a good snow-cover, Söll is home to a variety of pistes that are sure to please every level of skier.
It is part of SkiWelt, one of Austria’s largest linked ski areas, which ensures a variety of activities.
WHAT WE LIKE:
If you enjoy cruising at your own pace, the slopes here are perfect.
Many of the slopes are tree-lined, making for a beautiful view while you’re learning.
Also, most of the runs are short, which is ideal for beginners.
The resort has a welcoming, friendly atmosphere that is appreciated by all its visitors. Exploring the village is easy- you can discover it on foot!
For those who don’t want to break the bank with their first ski-trip, Söll offers affordable prices and plenty of budget accommodation. You will certainly find value for money here!
If you’re looking to try night-skiing for the first time, you’re in luck! Söll is home to the longest night-skiing piste in Austria.
Söll is only one hour away from Innsbruck airport!
As a resort for beginners, we rate Söll 6/10
Choose Alps2Alps to get you from the airport to your resort! We believe your transfer should be easy and affordable, which is why we run to and from all the main airports in the Alps. Book now to save yourself time and money! Find more information on low-cost ski transfers here.