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Ski Holidays | Lakes Holidays | City Breaks | Mountain Holidays
Zell am See-Kaprun ski area
The Zell am See-Kaprun ski area is one of the top destinations in Austria. With three differently oriented ski mountains including glacier slopes, numerous family offers, child-friendly attractions and a magnificent mountain-lake panorama, it has everything to offer that makes a perfect ski holiday.
1) General information about the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area
- Kitzsteinhorn Glacier is the highest ski area in Salzburg
- Three multifaceted ski areas around Lake Zell
- Family-friendly offer, glacier slopes and freeride zones
- zellamseeXpress enables a ski connection to the Glemmtal
- Ski Alpin Card – merger of the Skicircus‘ Saalbach Hinterglemm Fieberbrunn Leogang with Zell am See-Kaprun (408 kilometers of slopes)
The Zell am See-Kaprun ski area is located in the Salzburg region above the communities of Zell am See and Kaprun. The highest point in the ski area is on the Kitzsteinhorn at 3,029 m, the lowest in the valley at 760 m. A total of 51 lifts transport you to the three ski mountains around Lake Zell. With 54 km of blue, 55 km of red and 29 km of black runs as well as 18 km of ski routes, there is a large, multi-layered selection of slopes for beginners to professionals.
Together, that makes 138 kilometers of slopes in three differently oriented ski areas. Family offers, children’s attractions and fun slopes have consistently earned the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area good ratings in our expert check.
Weather protection hoods and WiFi distinguish the modern lift systems, which also received the best ratings.
The local mountain of Zell am See is the Schmittenhöhe. It combines 77 kilometers of slopes on its wide mountain ridges. Above Kaprun lies the mighty Kitzsteinhorn (3,203 m), on which 41 km of the finest glacier slopes meander down. Chairlifts also lead from Kaprun to the Maiskogel (1,730 m), on the flanks of which there is a child-friendly ski area with around 20 kilometers of slopes.
However, Zell am See-Kaprun is not satisfied with this diverse range of slopes. A ski connection to the neighboring Glemmtal was opened in winter 2016/2017. From there the modern zellamsee Xpress drives back to the Schmitten.
In the overall rating of our experts, Zell am See-Kaprun received a very good 4.3 out of 5, with particular emphasis on the modern lifts and the wide range of family offers.
2) Zell am See-Kaprun piste map
3) Skiing in the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area
On the Kitzsteinhorn, winter sports fun awaits on the glacier slopes with guaranteed snow, which are open from autumn to early summer. The Gletscherjet and Panoramabahn take you to the heart of the ski area in two sections.
There are an astonishing number of blue pleasure slopes on the sunny plateau, and above all the red slopes spread out further up. A glacier shuttle drives up to the highest point in the ski area at 3,029 m. At the “Gipfelwelt 3.000” there is next to the summit restaurant, among other things, the panorama platform “Top of Salzburg” with a fabulous view and an automatic photo point.
With a snow park including a super halfpipe, a race track, the “Eagle Line” fun slope and half a dozen mountain restaurants, the Kitzsteinhorn glacier ski area is ideally equipped for winter sports enthusiasts of all ages.
Further highlights on the Kitzsteinhorn: The black slope “Black Mamba”, which is one of the steepest of its kind with a gradient of up to 63 percent. It is 1,000 m long and overcomes an impressive 290 meters in altitude. It gets cozy and wet in the Ice Camp, a fascinating igloo landscape with a party program at the Sonnenkarbahn II.
The largest of the three ski areas with 77 kilometers of slopes is the Schmittenhöhe. It is located directly above Zell am See and therefore in the heart of the tourist activity around Lake Zell.
There is a varied mix of advanced and family slopes. The CityXpress starts directly from the town center at 780 m into the ski area. Three more lift entrances a little above the center can be easily reached with the ski bus. There, the ascent with the worldwide unique Porsche designer gondola will be a highlight.
In addition to many blue and some deep black runs, there are several fun slopes in the ski area. On the XXL Funslope, children and adults ride 1,300 m over wave runs, tunnels and other obstacles, while the ride can also be recorded with the SpotOn video app. The Nightslope is illuminated for night skiing three evenings a week. In the evening hours, the view over Lake Zell is particularly mystical and beautiful.
Below the children’s area at the Glocknerbahn there is also a kids slope, which is particularly child-friendly with extra small obstacles. Apropos children: Dragon mascot Schmidolin lovingly looks after the youngsters in his dragon park, who can learn their first turns here.
Since winter 2016/2017, winter sports enthusiasts have also been able to ski from the Schmittenhöhe to the neighboring Glemmtal. A red slope leads to the valley station of the new zellamseeXpress, a ski route even down to the valley.
The 10-person gondola lift starts above Viehhofen and goes up to the mountain station on Salersbachköpfl (1,920 m). The tech highlight of the modern railway is its integrated sound system: In six Jukeboxx gondolas, passengers can log into the free WLAN with their smartphones and are automatically linked to the Jukeboxx app. So you can listen to your favorite music while driving.
The Maiskogel is the manageable and absolutely child-friendly ski area in the Zell am See-Kaprun ski region. The top spot for families is directly above Kaprun and the entrance to the Panoramabahn is right at the entrance to the village. In addition to the gentle blue and red runs, there is the Maisi Fantasy Park, a training slope and seven ski huts on the edge of the slope.
At the valley station there is a large practice area for young skiers as well as a large family and leisure park with four large slides and the “Maisiflitzer” alpine roller coaster.
4) Expert evaluation
With 4.3 out of 5 stars, Zell am See-Kaprun is one of the best-rated ski areas in Austria. In the family and beginner categories as well as in terms of modern lift systems, it even achieved the maximum rating.
5) Off-piste activities
There is always something going on in the valley towns of Zell am See and Kaprun. The tourist program is packed with ski shows, guest ski races, live concerts, art events and enjoyable days in the huts. There are several hiking trails with great views in the Schmittenhöhe ski area for an individual mountain experience. At the Ronachkopf on the opposite shore of the lake, a great ski tour leads past the Enzianhütte to the summit at 1,350 m.
Several snowshoe trails also lead over the Schmitten and the surrounding hills. A total of 55 km of groomed trails delight cross-country skiers, including a high-altitude trail at 2,900 m on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier and a night trail in Zell am See. The yodelling workshops on the mountain, which take place on selected dates on the Sonnkogel, are certainly among the most curious experiences.
Even without skis or a board on your feet, a climb to the “Gipfelwelt 3000” on the Kitzsteinhorn is worthwhile. This is the highest reachable point in the Salzburger Land, from where a great view over Lake Zell and the summit chain of the Limestone Alps opens up on the panorama platform “Top of Salzburg”.
Other attractions at the summit are the National Park Gallery, a 360 m long exhibition inside the mountain, and a cinema where visitors can learn more about the region and the Kitzsteinhorn.
When the temperature is low enough, Lake Zell is open to ice skating and ice hockey games – a wonderful natural experience. Otherwise, ice skaters can switch to an ice rink in Zell am See and another natural ice rink in Kaprun.
Gliding downhill is not only possible in the region over the ice, but also downhill. Toboggan fans, for example, get their money’s worth on the 1.5 km long, illuminated toboggan run from Köhlergraben through the Schmittental and on the 2 km long route above Kaprun at the Guggebichl snack station.
For relaxation after a day of skiing or as a welcome alternative in bad weather, the Tauern Spa Kaprun is the best option. The well-known thermal spa wellness center has a 20,000 m² SPA water and sauna world with 13 saunas and twelve pools.
Après-ski is also very important in the valley towns of Zell am See and Kaprun. Already from noon there is a relaxed, happy atmosphere in the Schnapshans-Alm on the Schmittenhöhe. In the afternoon and into the late evening there is a lot going on in the relevant bars and clubs such as the “Crazy Daisy”, the “Diele” or the “Karambar”.
6) Locations in the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area
The main town of the ski region and district capital of the Pinzgau is Zell am See . Located directly on the shores of Lake Zell, the municipality is the tourist center of the region. The place is not only suitable as a starting point for activities on the mountain, but also offers opportunities for souvenir shopping and strolling through the diverse rows of shops.
The neighboring town of Kaprun is a few kilometers further on at an altitude of 786 m and is the starting point for the slopes on the Maiskogel.
The Kitzsteinhorn rises above the village and is considered to be the first glacier ski area in Austria. To the south of Lake Zell is also the municipality of Bruck am Großglockner, which is the picturesque starting point for excursions on the Großglockner High Alpine Road.
7) Groups & Business Trips
8) Arrival in the Zell am See-Kaprun ski area
Coming by car from Munich, take the A8, A93 and then either through Walchsee and Lofer or St. Johann in Tirol and Fieberbrunn to Saalfelden. Change here to the B311, which leads straight to Zell am See.
You can take the train directly to Zell am See. From there, buses and taxis cover the remaining 6 km to Kaprun. It is also possible to travel by train via Bruck. The nearest airports are: Salzburg (approx. 100 km), Innsbruck (approx. 150 km), Munich (approx. 205 km) and Klagenfurt (approx. 225 km).
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