5 brilliant ski resorts in Austria for beginners


Going skiing for the first time can be both extremely exciting and inevitably daunting. If you’ve got your sights set on an Austrian ski trip then I’ve got you covered with the best ski resorts for beginners in Austria.

I adore skiing in Austria. It’s a place where charming alpine villages meet world-class skiing provisions. Throw in a lively après scene, wonderfully welcoming locals and luxury hotels, and you can see why it’s my favourite place to ski in the world.

Whether it’s your first time skiing, or you’re planning a ski trip for a group with beginners, I’m here to help you pick the perfect ski resort. 

I’ve chosen the following ski resorts in Austria for beginners based on the number of gentle blue slopes, quality of ski schools and ease of access to the slopes.

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury ski & travel expert with years of experience adventuring in the mountains to find the best resorts and hotels.

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1. Obergurgl-Hochgurgl

Best for: Families

Nearest airport: Innsbruck (1 hour 45 minutes)

Ski area height: 1,800 – 3,082m


Starting with one of my all-time favourite European ski resorts: Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

I’m lucky enough to have been skiing in both Obergurgl and Hochgurgl since I was a kid.

It was our go-to ski resort as a family so it very much feels like a home-from-home in the mountains for me.

Located at the end of the Ötztal Valley (also home to Sölden ski resort which is perfect for intermediates), I consider Obergurgl-Hochgurgl to be a bit of a hidden gem for beginner skiers.

Often referred to as the ‘Diamond in the Alps’, Obergurgl is a truly beautiful resort that sits high above the treeline for snowsure conditions. 

There are plenty of wide blues for beginners to build their confidence on without the pressure of narrow overcrowded pistes. 


Don’t miss the après party at the Nederhütte for an incredibly fun afternoon of dancing on tables, plenty of schnapps, and singing along to the classics.

For a slopeside stay I’d recommend TOP Hotel Hochgurgl for easy access to the slopes.

Or if you’d prefer to be in the heart of a pretty alpine village then I’d suggest making your base Obergurgl – check out The Crystal VAYA Unique or Alpen-Wellness Resort Hochfirst.

The Obergurgl-Hochgurgl area is also one of the highest ski resorts in Austria, ideal if you’re travelling at the start or end of the season. 

2. Kaprun

Best for: Glacier skiing

Nearest airport: Salzburg (1 hour 45 minutes)

Ski area height: 762 – 3,029m


Kaprun is located in the heart of the Salzburg region with plenty to offer both beginner skiers, snowboarders and non-skiers.

With slopes on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, Kaprun is a great resort for snowsure skiing. Ideal for beginners who’d like to avoid the crowds with some early or late season skiing.

There’s a lovely nursery area not far from the resort’s centre. While the glacier hosts a number of cruisey blues for when you’re ready to test those turns.

You’ll also find top notch ski schools in Kaprun, offering excellent tuition – whether it’s for the little ones in a group setting or private tuition for adults.

If all that skiing has got your thighs burning, I’d recommend stopping by the Tauern Spa for a spot of relaxation. 

I also love that the village itself has a really buzzy atmosphere, with plenty of bars and restaurants to refuel with food and cocktails.

For a gorgeous boutique place to stay, check out LEDERER Boutique Hotel; or for first-class service, book into Das Alpenhaus Kaprun.

3. Saalbach-Hinterglemm

Best for: Lively après

Nearest airport: Salzburg (1 hour 45 minutes)

Ski area height: 790 – 2,096m


Also located in the Salzburg region, the Saalbach-Hinterglemm ski area is another of the best ski resorts in Austria for beginners. 

The twin villages of Saalbach and Hinterglemm offer heaps of charm, but the big appeal of the area is its lively atmosphere and vibrant après scene.

In terms of skiing, beginners will be able to build their skills on the various gentle, tree-lined blues and easily accessible nursery slopes.

Several ski schools offer plenty of high quality tuition with expert instructors to help you grow your confidence.

I’d also recommend Saalbach-Hinterglemm as a great option for mixed ability groups. As well as the easy blues, there are a number of more challenging runs too.

If you’re looking for some lovely hotels, I’d recommend either the four-star VAYA Post Saalbach or the five-star Hotel Alpine Palace.

4. Westendorf

Best for: Scenic landscapes

Nearest airport: Innsbruck (1 hour 30 minutes)

Ski area height: 620 – 1,956m


Westendorf is an utterly idyllic ski resort with a quaint village and impossibly picturesque landscapes.

I’d really recommend Westendorf as one of the best ski resorts in Austria for beginners, due to both its tranquil setting and its high number of beginner slopes.

The nursery slopes next to the village are the perfect place to take to the snow for the first time. While the gorgeous tree-lined runs and gentle blues will help you build your skills.

If you progress quickly – or have more advanced skiers in your group – then you’ll be spoilt for choice with wide reds and blacks in the wider SkiWelt area.

Away from the slopes, I have no doubt that Westendorf will captivate you with its traditional Alpine charm.

It feels wonderfully authentic with its wooden chalets, welcoming locals, and family-run restaurants and bars. 

For a four-star hotel on the outskirts of Westendorf, I’d recommend Landhotel Schermer. Or for a luxurious aparthotel, you can’t go wrong with APART Resort Westendorf.

5. Alpbach

Best for: Tyrolean charm

Nearest airport: Innsbruck (1 hour 15 minutes)

Ski area height: 828 – 1,903m


Situated in the heart of Tyrol, I challenge anyone not to fall head over heels for the postcard-perfect beauty of Alpbach.

In fact it has been dubbed ‘Austria’s most beautiful village’, and I can see why. 

Traditional wooden chalets adorned with flower-clad balconies bring heaps of character, while the majestic Tyrolean Alps provide a breathtaking backdrop.

The hospitality is warm and the atmosphere is tranquil – so this is not the place if you’re after late night partying and lively après antics. 

There are still a handful of cosy pubs for a friendly pint though. Its calmer vibe does make Alpenbach ideal for families.

Beginners will be pleased to know that there is a separate nursery area for learning the basics. While the resort’s sun-drenched blues are perfect for progressing. 

The main ski school in Alpbach comes very highly rated, which is part of the reason why it’s widely considered to be one of the best ski resorts in Austria for beginners. 

For a luxury spa hotel, I’d recommend booking into the sublime Der Böglerhof. Or for a boutique option, I’m sure you’ll love Boutique Hotel Die Alpbacherin.

I know you can’t go wrong with any of these ski resorts in Austria for beginners. But if you’d like a few more options, then I’d also suggest:

  • Seefeld: A charming, family-friendly ski resort with a gorgeous Alpine setting.
  • Lech: A luxurious ski resort for an upscale getaway in the Austrian Alps.
  • Ellmau: Also part of the SkiWelt area (as with Westendorf), it’s a family-friendly resort that caters well for beginners. 

Are you currently planning your first ski trip or need any advice? Get in touch in the comments below!

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Jessie Moore
Jessie Moore

Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

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Want up to 25% off hotels?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.