Best family-friendly ski resorts in Austria this winter

Last updated 12th February 2018

Austrians ski like they breathe, and don’t expect to pay hugely inflated prices to do what comes naturally. So for all the adorable prettiness of most resorts, incredible snow sure ski-areas, and fun activities for kids, a family ski holiday in Austria can be very good value.

It also packs a lot of interest into the adventure, lets you mix up cities and resorts; spa and ski, or simply glide through some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe. Not forgetting it’s also the land of adorable ‘Mountain Hut’ restaurants, and they’re as good a reason as any to go.

Here are five wonderful, family-friendly resorts to think about this winter.

1/5  Kitzbühel, Austrian Tyrol: Kitzbühel/Kirchberg area

Austria’s downhill racing legend is also a fantastic family resort, scores high with older kids and teens, and has great schools and childcare for young, first-time skiers too.

In spite of its international reputation, Kitzbühel’s atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Naturally the skiing is excellent, the lift system’s one of the best in the region, and the area is snow-sure from December through to April.

Good for families

  • 463ha Kitzbühel/Kirchberg ski area with 215km of runs.
  • Dedicated family ski area.
  • Mini Club and Ski School from age five, multi-lingual instructors.
  • Half and full-day childcare for ages one to three.
  • Kids Go Free Days throughout season.
  • Savings of up to 65% on under 18s ski passes at the weekend.
  • Ministreif junior ski skills course.
  • Kitzbühel snow park
  • Kelchalm toboggan run.
  • Aquarena Adventure Pool.

Where to stay

Hotel Tiefenbrunner

How to get to Kitzbühel

Direct flights from UK to Innsbruck, two hours.

Kitzbuhel is one hour and 20 minutes drive from Innsbruck.

2/5  Schruns, Austrian Alps: Silvretta Montafon area

Ernest Hemingway loved Schruns long before there were any ski lifts. Today the village still has plenty of traditional Alpine charm, but the lift system can carry 14,400 skiers per hour, and there’s also a panoramic cable car.

Sitting at a lower altitude than some, Schruns has 25 canons keeping runs snow-sure when nature doesn’t. And, as well as four ski schools, Hugo’s Bunte Bergwelt Mountain Kingdom is dedicated to balancing fun and skill-building for kids from the age of three.   

Good for families

  • 42km of runs, longest 12km, 88% intermediate.
  • Dedicated kids’ ski and snow playground.
  • Bambini Ski Courses for kids aged three to four.
  • Full and half day nursery for kids from age one.
  • Multi-lingual local ski school, begins lessons from age five.
  • Good range of family accommodation close to lifts
  • Hugo’s Mountain Kingdom snow nursery park.
  • Nike Snow Park, Golm Children’s ski safari.
  • Aktivpark on Golm Mountain for ziplining and snow coasters.
  • Aquarena swimming pool complex.

Where to stay

Litz Apparthotel

How to get to Schruns

Direct flights from UK to Zurich, one hour and 35 minutes.

Schruns is two hours drive from Zurich.

3/5  Fiss, Austrian Tyrol: Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis area

Fiss is the oldest village in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, the Tyrol ski area where they win international awards for family friendliness. Historic as it is, it’s a young village at heart and keeps kids of all ages actively entertained, on and off the slopes.

Fun at Christmas, Fiss comes into its own during February, when hundreds of visitors arrive for the traditional Fisser Blochziehen carnival.

Good for families

  • Part of the 500ha Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski area
  • Close neighbour to the villages of Serfaus and Ladis.
  • Murmlikrippe nursery and childcare for non-skiers.
  • Berta’s Kinderland for ski-lessons and childcare from age three.
  • Snow Adventure Room, early intro to snow-fun from age two.
  • Three children’s restaurants, 125,000m² children’s ski area.
  • Three snow and shred parks.
  • Fisser Flieger, SkySwing, snow coaster, mountain ziplining.
  • Nightflow kids’ adventure evenings, themed family forest trails.
  • Tobogganing, sledging, skating, Ski-Fox, snow scooters, Snake-Gliss.

Where to stay

Hotel Garni Montes

How to get to Fiss

Direct flights from UK to Innsbruck, two hours.

Fiss is one hour and 15 minutes drive from Innsbruck.

4/5  Fulpmes, Schlick 2000: Stubai Valley

Just 10 minutes drive from Innsbruck, Schlick 2000 is the most accessible and family friendly ski resort in the Stubai Valley.

It’s snow-sure from November to April, and popular for snowboarding, downhill and freeriding. Charming Fulpmes is the main resort village, known for its century old tram (best fun way to visit historic Innsbruck), friendly atmosphere, and good local restaurants. 

Good for families

  • 10 minutes from Innsbruck, lifts from village to Shlick 2000 ski area.
  • BIG Ron’s Kinderland children’s ski area.
  • Famous for cute Tyrolean mountain hut restaurants.
  • Stubai super-ski pass covers entire Stubai Valley.
  • BIG Family Kinderland ski-instruction from age three.
  • All day childcare from three months at BIG Ron’s Kinderland.
  • Children’s Forest Festival, Christmas Treasure Hunt.
  • Schlick 2000 Snow Park.
  • Sledging, tobogganing, family snow shoe tours.
  • Innsbruck Christmas Market and festive events.

Where to stay

Hotel Waldhof

How to get to Fulpmes

Direct flights from UK to Innsbruck, two hours.

Fulpmes is 10 minutes drive from Innsbruck

5/5  Bad Hofgastein, Salzburgerland: Gastein Valley ski area

Traditional spa town and family ski holiday might sound like an uneasy fit, but Bad Hofgastein, just over an hour south of Salzburg, balances both effortlessly, and could make you a convert to the combo for life.

The town itself is fairy tale lovely, and Gastein Valley family skiing comes with everything from children’s lifts to long and snow-sure slopes, great ski-schools, and over 250km of varied runs on one ski pass.

As for the spa side of the holiday; forget everything you think you know before visiting Alpentherme Gastein. Apart from natural thermal waters and menus of soothing treatments, there’s a kids relaxation pool with its own cinema, plus an adventure dome with swimming pools, wave pools, and water slides, and even an aerial restaurant.     

Good for families

  • Set in Hohe Tauerne National Park, south of Salzburg.
  • Mountain Kinderland offers childcare from six months.
  • Historic town dating back to 16th century.
  • Multi-lingual ski schools teach kids from age three.
  • Close neighbour to the charming villages of Bad Gastein and Dorfgastein.
  • Excellent range of family hotels, and spa hotels.
  • Mountain Kinderland and dedicated children’s ski area.
  • Bad Hofgastein Snow Park, and winter playground.
  • Alpentherme Gastein family spa.
  • Traditional Christmas events, sledging, tobogganing, skating.

Where to stay

Hotel Österreichischerhof

How to get to Bad Hofgastein

Direct flights from UK to Salzburg, one hour and 55 minutes.

Bad Hofgastein is one hour and 45 minutes drive from Salzburg.