Worldwide Ski ResortsAustriaZell am See

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The four seasons resort of Zell am See is by no means an archetypical ski village, but a small town, attractively situated between the mountain and the banks of a lake. The town has an old, mainly pedestrianised heart that is home to a range of shops, bars, restaurants and hotels and some exceptionally attractive architecture in the medieval style.

Accommodation can be found both in the town and in its suburb villages of Schmittental and Schuttdorf, all off which have lift stations providing easy access to the slopes. Hotels tend to be predominantly 4 star quality, although there are plenty of pensions and self catering apartments to be found. A further option is to stay in one of the three hotels that are situated on the mountain itself at Schmittenhohe, Sonnalm and Breiteck. Eating out is not a problem here, with an excellent selection of good quality restaurants to be found, including some rather good Chinese places.


Zell am See stands at a modest 755m and provides access to 75 km of local slopes that are served by 28 lifts. It has an unfortunate snow record, as it is in an unusually sunny location and none of its slopes are higher than 2000 m. There are plenty of snowmaking facilities covering the lower slopes, but be prepared for closed runs and slush except in the best of seasons. When conditions are poor here, it is worth noting that there is glacier skiing to be had at the next door resort of Kaprun and Saalbach is only a bus ride away. While the resort has some moderately tricky steep black runs, there is little here that will keep the interest of an expert skier.

Intermediates have a choice of some very nice long reds and blues, and the more confident should be able to manage the blacks. The less confident will thoroughly enjoy the ridge skiing and some good cruising country. Snowboarders will find it a pleasant resort with few drag lifts and two terrain parks. Depending on the conditions, cross country skiers will find some first class trails to be explored in the valley as well as some short trails over at Kaprun and on the local mountain. Novices have a choice of nursery slopes and a number of very suitable easy slopes on which to progress. There are a number of ski schools that include specialist snow boarding and cross country tuition.

Mountain Information

The resort mountain forms a horse shoe shape with open easy runs on the ridge and steeper more challenging runs down through the tree line towards Schmittental. One of the best cruising runs is to be found from Areit and Schuttdorf. The best long black run leads down to the valley from the Sonnkogel. Mountain restaurants can be found all over the slopes and all are reportedly of excellent quality, specialising in local cuisine.

Apres Ski

Off the slopes, the resort fairly buzzes with a massive choice of bars and clubs to suit all tastes and pockets. The ice bar at the Berghotel on the mountain gets very busy and raucous at close of play while back in town, the Classic, the Hirschenkeller and the Diele Disco bar all offer the chance to enjoy a lively evening.

Austrian Resort Guide

Resort Information • Zell am See

Resort Height Resort Height 800m
Top Station Top Station 1892m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 789m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1103m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 8
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 4
High Capacity High Capacity 1
Opening Dates Opening Dates Dec - April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 4
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 7
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 7
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 5
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 6

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