Zell Am See
Zell Am See is quite unlike any other Austrian ski resort. It is not a traditional alpine village but a charming old world town on the edge of a lake. Located in Central Austria, Zell Am See provides some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. Surrounded by seemingly unending mountain ranges, it is a typical small European town around a charming town center and with one major road that leads to the shops and extends to the base of the mountains. A tunnel now takes through traffic to Schuttdorf, making Zee Am See a convenient getaway destination.
The fresh water lake on the edge of which Zell Am See stands freezes solid during the winter, providing an opportunity to ice skate or even walk on the lake. You could even try you luck at “Curling” which is a sort of bowls on ice. Zell Am See provides plenty of opportunities for horse-drawn sleigh rides, horseback riding, tennis, paragliding and indoor swimming. Any time that skiing seems to pall or the snowfall is insufficient, there is plenty of fun off the slopes too.
Zell’s pretty tree-lined slopes offer great views down to the lake and have a lot of variety and challenging terrain for a small area. Most of the terrain is quite gentle but there is enough variety to include a couple of steep black runs. The limited intermediate and advanced runs may get monotonous, but if you tire of that there are other skiing areas nearby. A single lift pass allows you access to the 55 funiculars, aerial trams, gondolas, chairlifts, and T-bars. The Kaprun glacier is accessible by local bus and offers some challenging runs. Other ski areas nearby include the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier, Schmittenhole, Maiskogel, and Ronachkopf, which all provide a wide range of slopes and fun for the entire family.
Zell can serve as a convenient base for a host of other ski resorts. One can drive up to Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Bad Gastein-Bad Hofgastein, Wagrain, Schladming and Obertauern. Cross country skiers can make the most of the huge range of cross country trails with a 125 mile network of marked and set tracks. Zell Am See offers a lively time off the slopes. The nightlife is exciting without being overly rowdy.