Winter is just around the corner, and many adventurers are eagerly awaiting the opening of the ski season in Europe, mostly in Austria and Switzerland. The sight of mountains covered in white snow is breathtaking, and skiing down the stunning slopes while admiring the beautiful Alpine scenery is an irresistible experience. Well, the wait is over.
This November, ski resorts are already welcoming adventure seekers, and we're here to guide you through some of the amazing ski spots in Austria and Switzerland. In this article, we'll tell you about ski resorts that are already open and should be on every snow lover's bucket list at the start of the season. So if you're an early bird and love the snow, read on.
In Austria, the Hintertux Glacier, the Kaunertal Glacier, Kitzsteinhorn/Maiskogel – Kaprun, Pitztal Glacier, Sölden, and the Stubai Glacier are already open and ready to challenge and thrill skiers of all levels. Let’s start with The Hintertux Glacier that actually “never” closes its “doors”.
The Hintertux Glacier, which is located in Tyrol is one of Austria's unique year-round ski resorts. The resort offers great skiing and fantastic views. More precisely it is located at the end of the Zillertal Valley, near the huge Olperer mountain at 3,476m, and offers outstanding powder skiing in winter and good slope conditions in spring. Its slopes are remarkably well-maintained and are suitable for beginners and advanced skiers. The snow there is always fresh, and as said, the panorama is simply breathtaking. Right now, there are 27 out of 60 km slopes open and 11 out of 21 ski lifts open.
For those who seek a perfect blend of natural beauty and challenging terrains, the Kaunertal Glacier, with its diverse slopes, is an ideal choice. Located in Tyrol as well, the Kaunertal Glacier is famous for its captivating alpine backdrop. The Kaunertal valley has kept its uniqueness like no other Alpine valley. Even in Tyrol, which has several valleys with beautiful scenery, the Kaunertal stands out. Mostly because of its untouched nature, but also because of the locals who are dedicated to preserving this particular region. This year it will be the 35th opening of the Snow Park.
At the moment there are 6 from 55 km of slopes open and 3 from 7 ski lifts.
The Kitzsteinhorn/Maiskogel–Kaprun, on the other hand, is the ideal ski area for families and all winter sports enthusiasts who appreciate the gentle terrain and the coziness of the traditional huts. The ski area is located in Zell am See-Kaprun (Austria, Salzburg (Salzburger Land), Pinzgau).
The next one is literally the top ski area in Austria. There are other high-altitude ski resorts in Austria, but none reach the heights of the Pitztal Glacier! The highest point of this large glacier at the end of the Pitztal Valley, is at a dizzying 3,440 meters above sea level. Right now there are 12 from 41 km slopes open. It is open from September to May.
They say Sölden is a big place with big ambitions and it can not be more true than that. With a surface area of 466.97 square kilometers - larger than the capital Vienna - Sölden is Austria's largest municipality, surrounded on all sides by glaciers, mountains, and meadows. For skiing and snowboarding, there are 143.4 km of slopes available. 31 lifts transport the guests. The winter sports area is between the elevations of 1,350 and 3,340 m.
Speaking of greatness, Stubai Glacier (Stubaier Gletscher) is the largest glacier ski area in Austria and it invites you all year round with guaranteed snow from October to May.
Guests from around the world can get from Innsbruck to one of the most fascinating mountain landscapes in the Tyrol by car in 45 minutes only.
Across the border, the Swiss ski season is also kicking off with the “opening” of the Saas-Fee and the Schilthorn – Mürren/Lauterbrunnen resorts. Known for their stunning Alpine landscapes and high-quality pistes, these resorts are on the bucket list of many winter sports enthusiasts.
Saas-Fee, often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Alps', promises an unforgettable skiing experience with its awe-inspiring surroundings and perfectly groomed slopes. It is an all-year-round ski resort in the Valais, Switzerland.
The ski resort Schilthorn – Mürren/Lauterbrunnen is located in the Jungfrau Region (Switzerland, Espace Mittelland, Bern, Bernese Oberland). The Schilthorn and Piz Gloria were the filming locations for the Bond film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". But that's not the only thing it's famous for.
It is well-known as the highest ski resort in the Bernese Oberland. It offers skiers a spectacular panorama view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch", which includes the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Whether you're an experienced snowboarder, a beginner skier, or just someone who loves magical snowy landscapes, these ski resorts welcome you with a promise of adventure, excitement, and pure winter joy.
As you begin this exciting winter season, remember to stay safe and enjoy every moment. Also, don’t forget to buy your digital vignettes before you enter Austria and Switzerland. The fines for not having the vignettes are high, and it only takes a few minutes to skip paying extra. Simply download the app eTOLLs EU.
Enjoy your winter to the fullest!