In Kitzbühel and Zell am See, Austria knows snow
More than just about any other winter holiday region, Kitzbühel symbolizes romantic charm, a sporting challenge and a refreshing natural gaiety.
The almost unreal ambience of the town nestling in the winter snows, the unique location and sheer beauty of the region, a superb offering in terms of sport and recreation, and a full calendar of world-class events – all that combines to make Kitzbühel the number-one winter holiday destination for many visitors year in year out.
A winter holiday in Kitzbühel is a holiday experience of a special kind for the whole family. The ideal location at an altitude of between 800 and 2000 meters above sea-level stimulates the production of positive hormones in the human body, which naturally promotes a general feeling of wellbeing. At a more material level, a full offering of fine accommodation in excellent three to five-star hotels, award-winning restaurants and a non-stop programme of events enable Kitzbühel with its holiday villages of Aurach, Jochberg and Reith to satisfy even the most discerning visitor in every respect.
Nestling in the mountains of Kitzbüheler Horn, Bichlalm and Hahnenkamm at an altitude of 800 meters above sea-level, the region is ideally situated to catch the snow-laden north-westerlies and the result is reliable snow cover right down to the valley floor from December to April. The region has about a hundred miles of perfectly groomed downhill trails for all ability levels and almost twenty miles of signposted off-piste ski routes, as well as action-packed terrain parks for boarders, natural toboggan runs and hundreds of miles of cross-country ski trails and winter walks. The infrastructure includes 14 ski schools for all ability levels, from today's beginners to tomorrow's ski racers, and a total of 56 ultra-modern ski lifts and cablecars. Following completion of the regional lift and cablecar network with the opening in December 2004 of the world’s most exciting 3S tri-cable gondola linking the Hahnenkamm/Pengelstein and Jochberg/Resterhِhe ski areas, a ski safari in the Kitzbühel region is now in a category all of its own. For children, youngsters, families and beginners, the region also offers a special service – which in this form is unique in Austria – with free practice lifts down in the valley in every resort.
Kitzbühel in winter offers a truly unique calendar of sporting, cultural and social events and is great for a weekend skiiing break or a full-blown winter holiday, for singles, pairs, groups or families.
ZELL AM SEE-KAPRUN
In nearby Zell am See-Kaprun, it is snow season around the year. The location of the skiing area on Salzburg's only glacier guarantees this.
Officially, the winter season kicks off in October, but actually visitors of Zell am See-Kaprun can enjoy sparkling white snow all around the year. Not even once in the year does the cold season hand over the reins on the over 2,900 metre high glacier of Kitzsteinhorn - perfect conditions for skiers and snowboarders who cannot imagine doing without their favourite sport during the summer months. Many kilometres of pistes, covered in glittering firn snow even at temperatures above the freezing point, overlook the green valley down below.
Zell am See-Kaprun combines the best of two seasons.
Over 20 lifts and cable cars on Kitzsteinhorn take visitors into the perpetual snow. From November onwards, the new Kristallbahn takes 2,600 visitors from the Alpincenter to the glacier. Hoods and seat-heating make the journey to 40km of pistes pass in the wink of an eye.
By Clark Kelly