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Ski Resort Guide | Zell am See-Kaprun

Mountain, lake and glacier: experience it all in Austria’s most scenic resort

Featured image credit: Zell-am-See-Kaprun Tourism

Don’t forget to pack a camera along with your skis or snowboard when you visit Zell am See-Kaprun. This stunning resort south of Salzburg in the Kitzbühel Alps is formed of a mountain, a glacier, and two historic towns, including Zell am See, which looks out over the glistening waters of Lake Zell.

“Pack a camera with your skis or snowboard when you visit Zell am See-Kaprun”

Thanks to the resort’s location and the fact that it encompasses its very own glacier, Zell am See-Kaprun offers guaranteed snow and an extra-long season which spans October to June. This, combined with the world-class mixed-ability slopes, high concentration of gourmet restaurants and jaw-dropping views makes Zell am See-Kaprun one of the most unique and versatile winter destinations in Europe.

Tempted? Here’s what you need to know before planning your visit.

How To Get There

It’s quick and easy to reach Zell am See-Kaprun from most major cities. Salzburg and Innsbruck are 80km and 160km away respectively, and Munich is 200km away across the border in Germany. 

It’s possible to catch a direct train from either Salzburg or Innsbruck, arriving at Zell am See station in two hours or less. From Munich, the train takes approximately three hours and you’ll need to change once in either Wörgl or Schwarzach-St. Veit.

Alternatively, contact your accommodation and they’ll be able to advise you on transfer services and perhaps even arrange one for you.

Credit: Zell am See-Kaprun Tourism / Faistauer-Photography

Why Go

There’s plenty to tempt prospective holidaymakers to Zell am See-Kaprun, and even more to keep them coming back again and again. For starters, it’s really several resorts in one. The two main ski areas are Kitzsteinhorn Glacier in Kaprun and the Schmittenhöhe, Zell am See. Both areas offer incredible slopes for experienced skiers while nearby Maiskogel is perfect for beginners, with gentle, wide pistes that run all the way down to Kaprun town centre. There’s even a beginner’s snow park, Maisi Park, which has lots of wave runs and small ramps – great prep before hitting the bigger parks.

The Kitzsteinhorn is SalzburgerLand’s only glacier ski resort, and it’s now easier than ever to access thanks to a new cable-car connection from the centre of Kaprun. Once up there, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible snow-sure slopes up to 3,000m, epic freeride and ski-touring routes, and no less than three snow parks. There’s even a superpipe that attracts plenty of pros to the area every season.

“The two main ski areas are Kitzsteinhorn Glacier in Kaprun and the Schmittenhöhe”

You can discover this wonderful skiing area with a Ski ALPIN CARD. The card gives you access to 408km of slopes – Kitzsteinhorn Gletscher, Schmittenhöhe Zell am See and Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn.

Downloading the brand-new Zell am See-Kaprun app is the best way to get all of the information while you’re at the resort. It’s completely free and includes everything from piste maps and hiking trails to weather and ski-rental recommendations.

Credit: Zell-am-See-Kaprun Tourism
Credit: Zell-am-See-Kaprun Tourism

Where To Stay

Zell am See is a picturesque town with beautiful lake views and the Grand Hotel Zell am See takes full advantage of that with its lakeside location. It’s a four-star superior hotel that sits on a private peninsula on the shore of Lake Zell and even has its own private beach. 

“Zell am See is a picturesque town with beautiful lake views”

There are panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains, and the nearest gondola is just a short walk or free shuttle ride away. If you can peel yourself away from the views, there’s lots going on inside to keep you entertained. Check out the in-house casino, or why not unwind after a long day’s skiing by paying a visit to the spa?

Lederer’s Living and Hotel Kaprunerhof are both in Kaprun. Both are walking distance to MK Maiskogelstation, and therefore make it easy to get directly to the glacier from the town.

Credit: Zell am See-Kaprun Tourism

Eating And Drinking

Zell am See-Kaprun is home to no less than 90 restaurants. Of those, eight have been awarded Gault Millau toques. There’s something for everyone, ranging from hearty, traditional Austrian food to swanky fine dining.

One restaurant that’s certainly worth a visit is Lebzelter. It’s located at the Lebzelter Hotel and offers up classic Austrian home-style cooking, all made using authentic local ingredients.

“Adrenaline-hungry skiers and snowboarders should test their skills on the Trass”

Other Activities

After you’ve worn yourself out on the mountain or glacier, head over to the Tauren Spa. It’s one of the biggest wellness facilities in the Alps, with seven pools, 1,200 m² of water surface, 10 saunas and the spectacular Skyline pool, which is half outside and enjoys incredible views of the surrounding mountains.

Credit: Zell-am-See-Kaprun Tourism

Fancy doing some open-air yoga right by one of the Alps most spectacular lakes? Be sure to get involved with the area’s Winter-Yoga scene. From the 22nd of November 2021 to the 28th of March 2022, there’s free yoga on Mondays between 4:30pm and 5:30pm in Elisabethpark, Zell am See.

For a fusion of food and first tracks skiing, book yourself on the Ski ‘n’ Brunch experience. It’s a chance to wake up early, breathe in the crisp morning air and thrill of skiing on almost completely empty slopes, before tucking into a tasty brunch at the same time others are still waking up after the late-night shenanigans of the previous evening. Places are limited so make sure you book in advance.

Hit This Run

Adrenaline-hungry skiers and snowboarders should test their skills on the Trass. It’s a challenging 4,000m black slope with a gradient of up to 70 percent and 1,000m vertical descent. If there’s been fresh snow, make sure to get up there on the first lift and enjoy the powder before the run gets groomed at 11.

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