Taking to the Slopes of Vienna

girl skiing (400x400)The Alps provide some of the most glorious mountain ranges in Europe, extending through the Mediterranean coastline, Switzerland, Northern Italy, Slovenia, and Austria. Since these mountain ranges consume a great deal of Austria’s landmass, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding rank high among favorite activities, with many ski resorts bordering the outskirts of Vienna. The close proximity allows travelers to stay in some of the more budget accommodations within the city, while travel to the resorts via public transportation is readily available. Knowing of some of these resorts, and their offerings, will help you locate just the right one when planning the perfect ski vacation to the area. Here are some of the most popular:

Hohe Wand – Wiese: Vienna is the only world capital city to have ever hosted an International Ski Federation world cup event within its city limits, and it happened at Hohe Wand – Wiese.

During the 1966 Olympic Games in Italy, Austria fared so well that it caused a skiing euphoria throughout the Austrian public. The sport gained immediate widespread popularity, as many Austrians took to the slopes. This triggered the idea to build a world class skiing resort within the boundaries of Vienna. The resort was built to International Ski Federation standards and guidelines and quickly became a favorite venue for international events.

The 400 meter long piste is served by a T-bar lift, and the slops boast a 25% incline. Floodlights allow for night skiing, and the slopes are open until 9:30 PM during the week, and 10 PM on weekends. The season begins the day after Christmas, and lasts until March.

Hohe Wand – Wiese is easily reached via public transportation, and if you do not ski, not to worry, they even offer a skiing school.

Hirschenkogel / Semmering: Also capable of hosting International Ski Federation events, Hirschenkogel is known for its well cared for slopes, and attracts thousands of visitors annually. Hailed as one of the largest resorts in Austria allowing nighttime skiing, 6 of the slopes, in addition to a fun park, are open until 10 PM nightly.

The ski runs are available for all levels of skiers, from beginners, to families with kids, to snowboarders. All slopes offer modern lifts, and you are always guaranteed a scenic view with plenty of snow.

If tobogganing is more to your liking, Hirschenkogel has extensive facilities.

If you aren’t worn out from a day on the slopes, you can enjoy a festive meal, or a stout beer or two, in one of the restaurants or taverns on-site.

Semmering / Stuhleck: Offering over 24 km’s of slopes, Semmering / Stuhleck is situated at an altitude of between 700 to 1640 meters, has 10 ski lifts, and a snowboarding fun park. The resort is roughly ½ hour train ride from Vienna.

All slopes are very well prepared, and if the weather will not cooperate, snow cannons will take care of the job. A night slope allows for after-hours skiing, and a baby lift caters to young skiers.