Ski Resorts in Carinthia (Austria)

The Top Ski pass costs around 500 Euros for a season pass and covers around 30 ski areas in both the Carinthia region and the Ost Tirol region. There are several large ski resorts in Carinthia like Nassfeld and Badkleinkirchen and then several smaller areas such as Gerlitzen, Goldeck and Arnoldstein and other ski areas where there are just a couple of lifts and runs. Most places open for ski-ing around the middle of December, snow conditions dependent.

Nassfeld Hermagor

Nassfeld ski area

This is the nearest large ski area to our house in Austria. There is a free bus service that connects many of the villages from Notsch at one end of the valley and also goes through Hermagor and drops off at the bottom of the new fast cable car up the mountain. Buses also run along the valley from Kotschach to Nassfeld (and go right past our door!)

The Nassfeld ski area is the largest in Southern Austria and in Carinthia. It covers 110km of runs and has large snow making capabilities. The skiing starts above 1300 metres to 2020 metres. It is one of the newer ski regions in Austria and there are plans to link the resort with the small Italian resorts on the other side of the mountain. There are 37 different pistes accessed from 30 ski lifts, including six-seater chair lifts and new gondolas. Good snow cover and good snow making facilities. The Millennium Express is the longest cable car in the Alps and takes skiers from the village of Tröpolach 17 minutes to the skiing (there are 2 middle stations), covering a distance of 6 kilometres and rising over 1.3 km in altitude.

The skiing is fantastic and varied and there are numerous little bars and restaurants, ranging from cheaper snack bars serving burgers and hot dogs, self-service restaurants and fancier sit down places. Apparently one of the sunniest places to ski in south Austria, there are numerous sun decks with sun loungers.

There is also night skiing every Saturday evening and you can even have a a plate of traditional Gailtal ham and cheese with a drink for 20 Euros per person as you ride the gondola up.

Nassfeld skiing

There are also “blue” days when you can test out various ski equipment on the mountain and there is a small snow park with jumps and rails.

The only real downside is there is only one run right back down to the bottom as the gondola crosses a large ravine. The run down goes from the far side of the ski area. Its a little flat in areas for snowboarders but passes a couple of good bars on the way down. However, when snow coverage is limited, the far side of the resort is not always open, so you cannot ski down, although you can catch the gondola to the lower middle station and ski down from there.

There is loads of parking at the bottom and even a little shuttle to take you the short distance from the car park to the bottom of the lift. There are a couple of rental places and 2 or 3 bars and restaurants at the bottom in Tropolach Village. The main collection of chalets and apartments is up near the top at Nassfeld SonnenAlpe. You can drive up to here and there is again plenty of parking. The road goes over the pass to Italy.

For more information visit the official Nassfeld site.

Kötschach-Mauthen

Kotschach ski area near NassfeldA great little ski area, about a 15 minute drive further down the valley from Nassfeld. It offers one very long chair lift and 2 ski tows (one drag lift at the bottom for beginners and a T-bar at the top of the chair-lift). There is a great, long run down from the top of the chair to the village, passing a number of small farms and houses.

bar at bottom of Kotschach ski area

At the bottom of the run is a fabulous little snack bar where you can get a Schnitzel burger or hot dog and a beer or Gluhwein.

It is a mecca for cross-country skiing. There is also a massive 28 metre tall ice climbing tower, toboggan run, swimming pool and much more.

Griminitzen (Kirchbach/Grafenburg) – Single drag lift on the edge of the village of Grafenburg. 9 Euros a day for an adult pass. Not included in Top Ski Pass.

Gitschtal Valley

WeissBriach

weissbriach ski areaThis little area was just up the road from us and great for a couple of hours ski-ing. There are three drag lifts – one shorter button lift and two longer T-bar lifts. One is fairly steep but there is a good run down through the trees to the bottom. The other T-bar takes you to the mountain hut and another good run down to the bottom. At the bottom of the runs there is a caravan site and two bars. There is also a toboggan run and at night you can catch a ride in the snowcat up to the mountain hut and have a meal and then toboggan down. Weissbriach is a lovely town and is served by the ski bus from Hermagor.

Not great snow coverage and the top of the main run can be icy as always in the shade.

Weissensee 

One of our favourite little ski areas to go to. There is a 4 man chairlift and 4 tow lifts (one T-bar, one very short little button lift and another short button lift) serving 7km of runs but the main claim to fame here is the permanently frozen lake for ice-skating. The ski pistes give a fabulous view of the lake and mountains. You can either park at the end of the lake and get the free ski bus to the lift or if you drive to the bottom of the chair, you can get the parking fee refunded at the lift office. There is a lovely little bar at the bottom as well as a kiddies ski area. And the at the top of the chair you take a track through the woods, come out at a little button lift and then from there a small ski down to a lovely traditional mountain hut with an outdoor terrace and sun loungers. There is also a drag lift right by the lake for beginners, with another little bar at the bottom.

Bruggen

Just before you reach Greifenburg, there is one drag lift with one ski piste. Family owned, private ski run and costs 3 Euros for an hour or around 11 Euros for the day. Small parking area at the bottom. Not part of the Top Ski Pass area.

Emberger Alm

Emberger Alm ski area, Austria skiingThis small ski area is up a long winding road, just past Greifenburg. It is high with skiing being at between 1,750 and 2,200 metres. There are 3 drag lifts and 10 kilometres of skiing. There are a couple traditional restaurants to grab a bite of food in or a drink but as all the runs are south facing snow coverage can go quickly and there are limited snow making facilities. More information available here. We first went here at the end of one season and was only open until lunch time and we arrived shortly before the closing time so did not get to ski. But have now been back and the snow conditions were fantastic, the views are to die for and it was very very quiet, even in half term week in February! The drag lifts are quite steep but there are a couple of nursery lifts. We loved it and it would be a great place to go for a couple of days. More in-depth review here. 

Dellach am Drautal

Another low ski run at 610 to 650 metres and with just one lift. Open daily so long as snow allows with a 500 metre run. Not included in the Top Ski Pass.

Goldeck

Goldeck ski resortGoldeck lies just outside Spittal and offers 33 kilometres of ski runs and a freeride area and a snowpark. More information on the official site. There are two options to get up the mountain and then once up on the summit there are three further lifts servicing the runs and a few lovely little restaurants and bars. There is a snow park and there are a number of free ride competitions held here through out the season. Goldeck boasts the longest black run in the Alps but you need good snow conditions for this to be open as it goes from the top back down to the car park. Not a huge area but some good ski-ing and some great views from the top, especially looking down on Millstatter See.

Top of Goldeck Ski area

Top of Goldeck Ski area

Mühldorf (Spittal)

One drag servicing one small ski run at 620 to 680 metres above sea-level. It costs 8 Euros for an adult day pass and 5.50 Euros for a child. Not included in the Top Ski Pass.

Baldramsdorf (Spittal)

Very low at only 560 to 590 metres and with just one lift, it is only open depending on the ski conditions. Not included in the Top Ski Pass.

The Villach Region

The skiing around Villach is in a number of different ski resorts, all within an easy short drive of the city.

Gerlitzen ski resort near VillachGerlitzen, right on the edge of Villach, over looks Lake Ossiach. A long cable car ride takes you from the shores of the lake up to the ski-ing area. There are various hotels and chalets just below the main ski area. From the top of the cable car there are a couple of chair lifts taking you to the summit from where you can ski all the way down to the other side of the valley where you connect with Anneheim. Some really nice wide runs, great for carving down and some lovely little bars. 

There is more information on the Gerlitzen website.

3km south of Villach there Dreiländereck ski area, accessed by the road up from Arnoldstein. It lies on the border of Austria, Italy and Slovenia and is a small family friendly ski area. It is a lovely small area, with plenty of parking at the bottom with a little cafe and another restaurant. There is a beginners area at the bottom and then one long chair lift up to the top, at around 1,600 metres. From there you can ski a few more runs using the four drag lifts. There are a couple of restaurants and then one long run back down to the bottom. The run down was shut when we skied there and there was not a vast amount of ski-ing but for a day at a different small ski area it is great. The ski area is literally on the border of Austria and at the end of the piste there are ‘border’ signs warning that on the other side of the sign lies Slovenia. Fantastic views of the Slovenian Alps from the top. You can read more about the area at 3laendereck.

Dreilandereck ski area

Dreilandereck ski area

Dreilandereck ski area

Dreilandereck ski area and restaurants

Bodental

A tiny little area a little further east of Arnoldstein, where there is just 2 kilometres of runs with 2 lifts as well as a free baby lift. Ideal for beginners with gentle slopes going from behind the guest house. We did not ski here as was a fair drive for such a small and quiet low area. 

Simonhohe

Simonhohe ski area in CarinthiaThere are 13 kilometres of pistes and 8 lifts, including the baby lift. It is around 36 kilometres north east of Villach, a pleasant 40 minute drive along the side of the lake. The website is here. The snow was not great when we went and as its fairly low, it has a short opening season and the runs get pretty slushy quickly. It was surprisingly busy for such a small area, but mainly locals ski-ing there. Two or three of the lifts were not not working when we went due to poor snow cover and so there were basically 3 pistes to ski, two easy short ones and a slightly longer one. There was a small snow park with a few rollers in it. Again loads of parking. There is a more in-depth review of Simonhohe here. 

Feistritz am Gail

One drag lift at just 555 to 660 metres, kept fairly well groomed. Just outside Notsch, to the west of Villach on the road to Hermagor. Not included in the Top Ski Pass.

Eberstein

Not far from Klagenfurt with one drag lift. 17 Euros a day for an adult pass. Not included in the Top Ski Pass.

Klagenfurt/Schleppe Alm

One chair and one drag lift but only at an altitude of 465 to 530 metres and with 0.6 kilometres of easy runs. Not included in the Top Ski Pass.

Bad KleinKirchheim & Surrounding Areas

Thermal spa at bottom of slope at BadkleinkirchheimBad KleinKirchheimSt Oswald offers around 100km of pistes and the skiing is all above 1000 metres up to 2310 metres. It is an old spa town but became more famous for skiing when Franz Klammer, who was born there became one of the greatest downhill racers ever. It is linked to St Oswald’s and good for intermediates with some more challenging runs for more experienced skiers. There are 4 gondolas, 7 chair lifts and and 15 T-bars. For more information visit the official website.  It is one of the larger ski resorts in Carinthia. 

We spent a few days ski-ing here and loved the area. The Badkleinkirchheim part is accessed by either a gondola or a chair, going from different ends of the resort. The first day we were there the snow was pretty sketchy and a number of runs were not open. St Oswalds is on the other side of the road and goes up another valley. Its all linked but you do have to take your skis off and go under the road to get on the chair at the other side. It takes about 2 hours to go up and down the lifts and runs and get to the far end at St Oswalds. We preferred the St Oswalds area and luckily had some fresh snow while we were there. Lots of nice restaurants on the mountain, plenty of free parking, fairly quiet even at the weekend and at the start of February. And if you fancy it, the outdoor thermal pool is right at the bottom of the ski piste! There is a review here

Heidialm- Falkert ski area, AustriaHeidi Alm Ski Park Falkert – A little further up the road from BadKleinKirchheim area is the small high resort of Heidi Alm. There is just 12 kilometres of pistes with 4 drag lifts, the highest going to over 2,300 metres. Its a strange little place and the day we opted to go the weather was not great and as there had not been much recent snow, there were just 3 fairly icy runs and one of the drags was not working. The T-Bar up to the top of the black is pretty steep. There seems a lot of chalets and accommodation for the size of the ski area but could see there being some good off-piste in the bowl when more snow. Short write-up here

Hochrindl – A little further east lies Hochrindl with 20 kilometres of pistes served by one 4 person chair and 5 drag lifts. We had a great afternoon ski-ing here. We parked at the far end at the main hub of the resort (again loads of free parking) and first did the couple of drag lifts there and then worked our way over to the far side where there is one long T-bar with a fairly steep run on either side. All the runs are within the trees pretty much and there was a lovely little hut serving great Gluhwein. There is a short review here

Hochrindl Mountain Hut

Turracher Höhe – If you stay on the ’95’ and not turn up to Hochrindl,a winding road takes you up the ski area of Turracher Hohe. There are 38 kilometres of pistes with 14 Ski lifts, ideal for beginners and snow sure being above 1900 metres altitude. Small resort centred around a little lake it is open from November through to May. More information on the main website.

Turracher Höhe, Austria ski resort

Its a great little ski area, maybe not as much parking as in other resorts but still found a spot no problem and was just a short walk to the lift. The ski area is in two areas, on each side of the frozen lake and you can actually ski or be dragged across the lake, which is fun and a little different. Some lovely wide pistes, and some quite steep ones for the more advanced skier. Unfortunately the wind got up while we were there and so the lifts up to the higher runs closed early. You can read more here

Hohe Tauren Area

This region has the highest mountains in Austria and offers the highest altitude skiing in the Carinthia region with the mountain range reaching well above 3000 metres. The area is less developed for tourism but brilliant for ski touring and snow shoeing. And being so high the snow is pretty much guaranteed from December through to April, with some areas allowing skiing from October and all year round skiing on the glacier.

Heiligenblut – With the runs starting at 1300 metres and going up to 2900 metres and with 55 km of downhill pistes it is an excellent place for ski enthusiasts. There are 3 gondolas, one 4-man chair and 7 drag lifts. Its quite a trek to drive up there but for early or late season skiing, its high enough to get the snow. News for the ski resort here.

There was a definite shortage of parking and there was nothing really down in the village and so we opted to drive up to the middle station of the gondola and managed to get parked on the edge of the road. The ski area is split into two areas. You can take the gondola up to the top station (and restaurant) and from there a steep red or black go down to a drag, with another gondola bringing you back out of the bowl. Or there are a couple of drag lifts serving some nice runs back down to the parking at the middle station. 

Heiligenblut ski liftThe second region is accessed by the Fleissalm gondola, which actually goes through the mountain in the dark. Its quite an experience! When you come out the other side, its like you are in a completely different resort. There are some lovely mountain restaurants and a chair and a drag to the top where there is a piste’d red and a steep itinerary run. There is also a small drag lift. You have to catch the gondola back through the mountain to get back to the other ski area.

Heiligenblut ski lift

The tunnel the gondola cars enter to go through the mountain

Mallnitz (Ankogel) – Here there are around 13 km of pistes served by one long cable car from the resort base at 1,287 metres and skiing is above 2,500 metres. There is excellent snow reliability and fantastic cross-country skiing (so we are told). Detailed ski map at www.ankogel-ski.at.

Ankogel-Mallnitz ski areaIts quite ‘old skool’ with a cable car straight out of the ’80’s taking you from the bottom to the top and then there is a drag lift. Not loads of ski’ing but a good long run down, with some steep parts. Not really suited to beginners or lower intermediates who would need to catch the gondola from the middle station. There are another couple of short drag lifts at the bottom for the nursery area. Nice small ski area for a day out and the off-piste would be fabulous when snow conditions allowed. There is a little more information here. 

Mölltaler Gletscher ExpressFlattach on the Molltall Glacier – The Mölltaler Gletscher Express train takes you to 2000 metres and then a cable car takes you to the top of the glacier, from there chairlifts take you to over 3000 metres for glacier ski-ing. There are a total of 9 lifts and 18 km of skiing with all year round snow cover. You can see more on the website. The ski area here is open all year round except for a month in June. 

Once at the top of the gondola there is a large self service restaurant with lovely terrace and great views. There are two chairs serving 4 runs on one side and then a couple of older chairs giving access to several more runs. It was a little icy in the morning but once the sun had been on the slopes for a couple of hours, then the snow started to soften up. 

A really nice small ski area, very high and with some great ski-ing. Loads of parking at the bottom of train. 

Mölltaler Gletscher

Mölltaler Gletscher

Obervellach – A one kilometre run with one drag lift and at an altitude of 670 metres to 720 metres. Not part of the Top Ski pass.

Reisseck-Kolbnitz – One drag gives access to one ski run of 1 kilometre long at around 800 metres. It is 11 Euros for an adult’s day pass and 7 Euros for a child. Not part of the Top Ski pass.

At the far reaches of Carinthia there are a few other ski areas.

Koralpe – The ski resort Koralpe, with an altitude between 1550 m and 2100 m extends over 29 km of slopes, with a four person chairlift, 4 drag lifts and a couple of children’s drags. There are also freeride areas and a 3km toboggan run. It is north-east of Klagenfurt.

We decided to book into a hotel for a couple of nights and ski the three small ski areas in this region. Koralpe was a lovely little ski area. There was plenty of parking at the bottom of the chair or you could drive further up to where the main ‘hub’ of the resort was. The rest of the lifts were drag lifts with some nice runs between the trees and higher more open bowls at the top. We spent an enjoyable few hours ski-ing around. 

 

Koralpe ski region

Koralpe

Koralpe ski area

Koralpe

Klippitztorl – At the far north of Carinthia, Klippotztorl is a small little ski area. Parking was a bit more of a squeeze here but we found a place close to the chair lift and nursery areas. There are just a couple of blues down from the chair or a drag lift a bit further over with a couple more runs through the trees, which are fun and a nice little restaurant on the edge of the piste. If you are in the area, it is worth a visit. 

Klippitztörl

Weinebene – Situated at an altitude of 1560 – 1886 m on the border of Carinthia and Styria, Weinebene has 12 pistes and 20km of runs as well as a good snow park where there are a number of small scale competitions held. It is just up the road from Koralpe. The day we decided to visit the weather had really turned and suddenly it was back to winter. It was a windy road up to the ski area. There was plenty of parking, but then there were only a handful of other people there. There is an old style guest house at the bottom of the ski area and then drag lifts from there. Its a good little area, with most of the runs between the trees. There is a lovely basic little hut to get a hot dog or soup in or maybe a Gluhwein or hot chocolate. The restaurant in the  old guest house in the car park is not really to be recommended. The food was ok but it lacked any atmosphere. 

Weinebene ski area

[Heblam – A small friendly ski area with 7 pistes, right on the border of Carinthia and Styria and half way between Klagenfurt and Graz – this ski area is not covered on the Top Ski Pass. There is night ski-ing until the end of February until 9pm. A daily ski pass is 30 Euros for an adult pass. Full details here. ]

Petzen – Ski-ing starts at 700 metres and there is 25 kilometres of pistes. Lying east of Klagenfurt, there is one long cable car up to the top and then a couple of drag lifts. A long blue winds its way back down, with a section of red piste. Various restaurants and bars offer drinks and food. Detailed piste map here. We did not ski here. 

Flattnitz – At the far north of Carinthia, past Turracherhohe and close to Glodnitz is a small little ski area with just a few lifts (2 chairlifts and 2 drag lifts) and 11 kilometres of pistes. We never made it this far north to ski here. 

Innerkrems

A fairly decent sized ski area in northern Carinthia. There is 45 kilometres of runs starting at 1500 metres and going to 2,200 metres.  There is also a fun park and snow park. More at the main website.

As we visited late in the season, the snow cover was past its best and so there was not that much open. There was a small car park at the bottom of the ski area and a few hotels and restaurants. We started by taking the 2 man chair up the left hand side. It’s quite a long slow chair and at the top there was only the one drag lift working. It was a good long red run down to the bottom again. With more snow and earlier in the season, there were a couple more drag lifts on this side. Then it was lunch at the restaurant at the bottom and then up the other side using the 4 man chair. There are a couple of short drag lifts but really its one chair lift with a couple of reds coming down to the bottom. One is a lovely run through trees and past mountain huts. 

Innerkrems

Katschberg

A large ski area in northern Carinthia with 70 kilometres of runs, 2 cable cars, 6 chair lifts and 8 drag lifts. The area is quite spread out with some runs on one side of the valley and the rest on the opposite side, although they are connected by a blue through the resort village (involves poling and walking) and ski buses run from the valley to the ski areas. The villages of St Margarethen and St Martin im Lungau serve the ski area. The official website is here.

We spent 2 days ski-ing here. The first day it was horrible conditions and bad visibility. We parked in one of the larger car parks (there were several in various places) and could put our ski’s on at the edge of the car park and ski down to a chair. From there you could work your way from one side of the valley to the other via drag lifts and chairs. There are several nice restaurants and the runs also bring you down into Katschberghohe itself – a nice little resort with hotels, bars and shops. And some strange round apartment blocks!

Katschberg

KatschbergTo get over to the other side you need to go back down to the resort and use the little travelator across the bridge over the road and then pole or walk to the bottom of the chair up the opposite side. From there you can go down into the other valley and to the village of St Margarethen. There is some really good ski-ing on this side and some lovely runs and restaurants on the way down. 

The second day the sun was out again and it was glorious. We spent the majority of the day over on the St Margarethen where there are long wide runs. And you even get to meet Alpacas and deer on the edge of the piste! Its a great resort and definitely one to be recommended. 

St Margarethen

Katschberg

St Margarethen

 

 

 

 

 

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