Tired of tedious transfers on skiing holidays with kids? Family Traveller’s Sean King slides into Salzburg in no time to discover awesomely easy ski breaks Austria-style at Alpendorf
Alpendorf gives you family skiing holidays less than an hour’s drive from Salzburg
The sheer number of European ski resorts can make choosing family skiing holidays a bewildering process. There are so many factors to take into account: costs, facilities, transfer times, snow conditions, difficulty, night life, mountain restaurants. The list is endless and it’s almost impossible to please everyone.
So when some friends came back from Austria recently raving about reasonable prices and amazing scenery, I took note. Then when they mentioned beautifully groomed, wide pistes as well as traditional mountain bars and restaurants, I knew I had to check out Alpendorf: part of the St Johann ski resort in the Salzburg region
Having been on countless family ski holidays there is no question that travel and transfer times are mission critical to getting the holiday off to a solid start. I can’t help wincing when I cast my mind back to a nightmarish nine hour bus transfer from Geneva to Val D’Isere during half term a few years ago. So I now look extremely carefully at transfer times before pressing the Book button.
The joy of Alpendorf is that it’s less than an hour’s drive from Salzburg, which is only a couple of hours’ flight from the UK. Without question, one of the easiest and most pleasant starts to a ski holiday that I can remember.
Alpendorf features over 210km of pistes, 12 peaks and 5 valleys
One criticism often levelled at Austria is that its resorts are too low and skiing holidays aren’t up to the likes of higher altitude resorts in France. Well maybe that’s why the folks at Alpendorf have put millions of euros into the latest lifts and artificial snow machines.
The resort now boasts 210km of pistes, 12 peaks and five valleys so there’s plenty to satisfy ski-loving families looking to enjoy stress-free time in the mountains. The runs are mostly blue and red and so well groomed that, even on the last run down at that end of the day, there were no issues with big moguls.
Hotel Oberforsthof is a perfect base for family skiing holidays in Alpendorf
We stayed at the Hotel Oberforsthof. This traditional family-run hotel, a few minutes walk from the ski lifts, has fabulous views across the valley. It’s also right next door to the ski rental store. And, as well as a large indoor/outdoor swimming pool, it features a steam room and sauna too, ideal for soothing aching muscles after hours of skiing.
On the slopes you’ll find tons of restaurant and bar options and the best news is that prices are way less painful than the majority of French and Swiss ski resorts. To give just one example ski passes start at an incredibly reasonable £29 per day. That’s almost half the price of skiing in France or Switzerland. As for food and drink, it’s mostly traditional Austrian fare and the bierkeller are exactly as much fun as you imagine.
Alpendorf offers everything families need this winter
You have to take your hats off to the good people at SalzburgerLand as they have really gone to town to make sure Alpendorf offers everything families need for a great skiing holidays. The Austrian scenery is stunning, there’s a genuine warmth and friendliness, and the laid-back atmosphere is perfect for kids.
If you’re looking to add a little competition into an Alpendorf ski holiday, check out the 12 Peaks Trophy. The challenge is to cover 12 peaks, 30 lifts, 46km and 21 pistes, but all in one day!
The ski circuit takes you over the 12 most beautiful peaks of the ski region and is a fun way to see the full ski area. Plus, who doesn’t love a bit of competition? To take part you simply register your ski pass so your progress can be tracked. More experienced skiers can make it in a day, but those taking their time can still complete the challenge, and get a badge as proof. Disclaimer: I had every intention of completing the 12 Peaks but got side-tracked at lunchtime and completely forgot to pick up my badge. Honest!
How to plan family skiing holidays in Alpendorf
How to get there
Direct UK flights to Salzburg take from 1 hour, 55 minutes.
Alpendorf is 50 minutes’ drive south of Salzburg.
Where to stay
We stayed at the Hotel Oberforsthof, a friendly, family-run hotel that’s close to ski lifts and has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and incredible valley views.
Good to know
Alpendorf offers private ski and snowboard lessons for both adults and children.
Images by JO Salzburg and Hotel Oberforsthof