At the very eastern end of the Austrian Alps, 180km west of Vienna, Hochkar is the main skiing area in the region. This area gets some of the highest snowfall in Austria and with slopes at altitudes of between 1,380 and 1,808 metres there are enough pistes of varying difficulty to keep skiers of all levels happy. There's 19km of groomed pistes, plenty of freeride possibilities, nine lifts, a KidsLand and a large snow park for snowboarders and daredevils on skis. When you’re ready for a break, there are seven ski huts. An adult day pass costs €39,5. Driving to Hochkar takes just over two hours: take the A1 towards Salzburg, exiting at Ybbs onto the B25 to Göstling an der Ybbs. The bus to Hochkar (Blaguss Reisen, tel. +43 1 61 09 00, www.abzumschnee.at) departs Vienna's VIB on weekends at 07:00, departing Hochkar again at 16:30; a bus ticket costs €69 for an adult, and includes the day pass. Hochkar, Göstling an der Ybbs, tel. +43 7484 21 22, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hochkar.com.
The Stuhleck ski area, 100km southwest of Vienna, offers a huge variety of winter sports facilities, and is especially attractive to snowboarders. Between 770 and 1,780 metres above sea level it has 24km of ski slopes of all difficulties, eight lifts, snowboard pistes with a funpark, cross-country ski runs, toboggan runs, snow-tubing, romantic horse-sleigh rides, 10 ski huts and restaurants, and endless hiking trails. The snow park is the best of its kind in eastern Austria, with two 6-15 metre long kickers with a perfect long and steep landing, and a good variety of rails, boxes, jibs and wooden obstacles. There's night skiing on one slope as well as in the snow park. An adult day ticket costs €46; a 3-hour evening ticket is €26. Driving to Stuhleck takes 90 minutes: take the A2 towards Graz, exiting at Seebenstein onto the S6 to Spital am Semmering. The bus to Stuhleck ( Blaguss Reisen, tel. +43 1 61 09 00, www.abzumschnee.at) departs Vienna's VIB daily at 07:30, returning again at 16:30; a bus ticket costs €69 for an adult, and includes the day pass.
Stuhleck-Semmering, Spital am Semmering, tel. +43 3 85 32 70, email@example.com, www.stuhleck.com.
Unterberg - Pernitz
The closest ski resort to Vienna, Unterberg is just a one hour drive away from the glorious capital. The resort has 16km of slopes that range from easy to intermediate, with the focus on creating a family-friendly environment and experience for all ages. The views of Schneeberg and the Rax are stunning, and the resort also offers some seriously thumbs up panoramic vistas of the foothills of the famous Alps. Unterberg is also home to a modern Fun Park, an obstacle-packed area that sort of acts like a skate park for skiing. Skipass tickets cost €33 (€25 for youths, €18 for children) and the season runs from December 27 until March 15. tel. +43 676 786 48 05, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.schigebiet-unterberg.at
Where to begin? 98.7km from Vienna, Semmering is all the wonder of Austria in one small Alpine beauty. Viennese high society discovered the glory of this place in the late 19th century and it soon became one of the country’s biggest attractions, featuring the first peak to be conquered by ski tourism and a mountain railway that redefined the term. That railway is a UNESCO protected marvel, built in 1854 and considered the first true mountain railway. The skiing is pretty magnificent too, good enough to host the Alpine skiing World Cup on a number of occasions, but with plenty of easy and intermediate routes for those getting to grips with the slopes and slaloms. Night and day skiing is available through red, blue and black runs. There are also discounted tickets available at the website, so give that a look. The season runs from December 7 until April 13. tel. +43 2664 80 38, email@example.com, https://semmering.com/
12.5km of slopes await those who traverse the 114km from Vienna to Annaberg, with tracks ranging from perfect for beginners to challenging for the more experienced. The view of Ötscher is stunning, a great way to experience the might of the peak known as ‘father’, but magic awaits in the forest known as Anna-Land, and by ‘magic’ we mean ‘talking animals’. Trust us on that one. Downhill, Nordic and backcountry skiing are all available, and Annaberg ticks a lot of boxes for any families looking to experience the wonder of an Alpine holiday. Anna-Park is perfect for those looking to get their sweat on, an athlete’s paradise with FIS-compliant runs. The season opens on December 27 and ends on March 22, with tickets starting at €36.50 (€31 for youths, €19 for kids). tel. +43 2728 84 77, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.annaberg.info.