Zell am See ski resort guide & reviews Ski area, apres-ski, things to see & do in Zell am See
Zell am See is a medieval town on the shores of lake Zell and linked to Kaprun a few km away by free shuttle bus. Zell is a very popular all year round resort and the infrastructure is first class. Kaprun is a little smaller but still has plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to sample after a hard day on the mountains.
Zell am See - Kaprun is set in a beautiful national park- the Hohe Tauern National Park with 266 mountain peaks over 3000m and 130km2 of glaciers, 550 lakes and 279 rivers so no matter what time of year you visit, there are certain plenty of natural wonders to explore!
Both Zell am See and Kaprun have excellent après-ski with lively bars and a great choice of cafes and restaurants. If you feel like partying, there are several clubs that stay open until the early hours.
Wellness & spa
Kaprun has a spa in the Tauern complex where you can get a variety of treatments. In Zell, the spa at Salzburgerhof has an excellent reputation.
It has won several awards for being a family-friendly resort and with good reason as the children's facilities are second to none with baby sitters, kindergarten, free lift passes if under 12 and playgrounds on the mountain!
|Key information (whole area)|
|Longest run||8 km|
|Cross country||300 km|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Lively & Fun|
Zell am See ski area guide
Zell am See - Kaprun has 138km of pistes spread over 3 mountains but when you add in the off-piste areas and trails, the area is vast. The skiing season in Zell am See - Kaprun starts early autumn and extends into early summer on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier where there are some superb runs and the snow cover is usually excellent.
The Maiskogel (Kaprun) and Schmittenhöhe (Zell) mountains are where the beginners start to learn their trade. For mixed ability groups and families, Maiskogel is the best option. Afetr a few days and if you are feeling confident, the e are some gentle blues on the glacier to be tried and this gives you the feeling of high altitude skiing.
The Schmittenhöhe mountain directly above Zell and Kitzsteinhorn mountain directly above Kaprun are where most of the intermediate runs can be found.
There are some black runs around Sonnenalm on Schmittenhöhe and around the glacier but for the best fun and serious terrain, your best option is to head off-piste and do some touring - a guide is highly recommended.
The Kitzsteinhorn glacier has a snow park and is open during the summer too! As an alternative, snowboarders can test their skills in the Fun Park on the Schmitten.
There are 300km of cross-country skiing trails to be explored.
Things to See & Do
If you don't fancy skiing or the weather is not that great, then there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied. The town of Zell is packed with beautiful cafes, shops and restaurants and is an interesting place just to wander around. For something a little more energetic, you can try...
Winter walking and snow shoeing trails
There are many private ski chalets and apartments to rent in and around Zell am See The prices vary depending on whether the accommodation is near the bars, restaurants and ski lifts and the degree of comfort and facilities on offer but there is something to suit all budgets and tastes .See all rentals
Our view on Zell am See
Zell am See certainly has a lot to offer throughout the year for skiers and non-skiers alike. Whether its on the lake, on the mountain or in the medieval old town, there is something for everyone. A few suggestions
- For lunch on the mountain, the Panorama-Piff on the Schmittenhöhe is a good choice as there is a hot tub to dive in to and they provide the towels too! Dont forget your trunks though!!
- Don't go off-piste on the glacier unless you are with a guide
- Take the guided tour in to the centre of the Kitzsteinhorn down a 360m mine shaft. The viewing gallery gives you a birds eye view of the Hohe Tauern National Park and the Grossglockner - Austria's highest mountain