Kaprun

Overview

Kaprun is a lovely village with a slightly towny feel to it. Expect to share the very efficient ski bus with school children, workers, and locals doing their daily chores. Buildings are all of a traditional nature with no high rise developments in sight and lots of smart 3 and 4 star hotels interspersed with shops, bars, restaurants and other accommodation options. The village is ultra-friendly and prices are staggeringly cheap when compared to other resorts such as St Anton, Val d'Isere, Saas Fee, etc.

Kaprun's ski area is linked with both Zell am See and Schuttdorf to form the "Europa Sport Region" and comprises of around 150km of piste. This pass affords free access to the regular and free bus services between the various villages and the various ski areas. In truth, although the terrain isn't huge, it  is ample for a weeks ski adventure and although overlooked by many it will suite all standards of skiers from from beginners through to experts. Yes, you aren't going to get ski in/ski out but this is more than made up for by that fact that you are in a real alpine village with atmosphere. 

Beginners will learn very quickly on the Lechnerberg slope and then progress to the Maiskogel. Here there are lots of opportunities for skiers to spend virtually all week with the runs being long and varied. From there trips to Zell am See and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier are just a very short journey by bus.

Intermediates can really get a sense of adventure in Kaprun by travelling to new terrain each day. The logical start is on the local Maiskogel mountain accessible from the village centre. Here there is a range of red, blue and black runs with around a 900m vertical. With Zell am See being a short bus ride away a good 2/3 days can be spent in this region too. There are some steep pitches and good black runs too in Zell am See with runs 14 13 and 11 all being very enjoyable and fast. The glacier at Kaprun is known as the Kitzsteinhorn and is around 15 minutes away by bus. The area is superb with great dining options too. Although the runs are mainly blue there are some amazing red runs and a great free-ride area that we will discuss in the advance section next.

Advanced skiers will overlook Kaprun as a ski base time and time again but this is really foolish. If you are a skier dead set on name dropping and dinner party bragging then go elsewhere. However, if you have a sense of adventure then come here with an open mind and you will be pleasantly surprised. The black runs in Zell am See are worthy of a black status anywhere in Europe. The pitches can be steep and the the vertical decent. There is also some great tree lined off-piste here too. One of Snow Finders' Nick's favourite ski areas is the freeride zone on the glacier at Kitzsteinhorn - here there are a selection of about 7 freeride routes and ample opportunities to off-piste just beneath the glacier itself. West Side Story is a superb free-ride routes with chutes and bumps galore. Ice Age, Left Wing, and Jump Run are all good challenges too.   



Positive

  • Charming and lively village
  • Glacier skiing
  • Varied terrain
  • Family friendly
  • Superb ski school

Negative

  • Not the highest of village runs but the glacier overcomes snow problems
  • Buses need to be used to make full use of the ski area's potential
  • Spread out village

Offslope/apres ski

The mountain restaurants are very good from the huge Big Apple centre on the glacier to the homely and atmospheric eatery near  the top on the skier's left on the Maiskogel. Eating on the mountain is a joy with cheap prices and a real feeling of value for money. 

Non skiers have a lot to do in this area with fantastic valley floor and Alpine walking routes mixed with journeys to the neighbouring medieval village of Zell am See with its beautiful lake. 

For nightlife, Kaprun isn't Ischgl or Zermatt but it does have a good range of bars and clubs for all tastes and some are pretty busy. In general, the Austrians like a beer or two and Kaprun is still busier than many mainstream ski tourist traps that France has to offer. 

Our View

Underestimate Kaprun at your peril. A stunning town with friendly locals and a varied ski area from wooded trails to glacier bowls.
 

At a glance

Chalets:
4
Hotel & Apartments:
12
Pistes:
136km
Resort height:
785m
Top station:
3030m

Suitability

Experts:
3 stars
Intermediates:
3 stars
Beginners:
3 stars
Non-Skiers:
4 stars
Scenery:
4 stars
Resort charm:
3 stars
Nightlife:
3 stars