Zell am See

Overview

Zell am See is a charming lakeside town comprising of a medieval centre which is traffic free. The lake itself is stunning and is used for winter sports such as curling and ice skating as well as walking. There are a huge selection of hotels, pensions, small boutiques, cafes, bars, clubs, coffee chops, and patisseries (the latter of which the Austrian's are famed for). Hotels range from small 2 star to grand 4 star residences such as the Impressive shoreside Grand Hotel. From the lake to the main City Xpress gondola it is a short 8 minute stroll through this atmospheric resort.

The ski area is shared with neighbouring Schuttdorf and Kaprun, just a short journey up the valley, and totals 138km of piste. Although at a lower altitude, Zell am See benefits from 95% of its pistes being covered by snow cannons. If mother nature fails to deliver then Austrian engineering and efficiency certainly will deliver!

Beginners benefit from from an excellent ski school and nursery slopes close to the village and further up the mountain. Advancement to the blue  means skiers will be able to ski from the top of the mountain at Maurerkogel right down into the village itself. Further afield a good selection of runs at Kaprun and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier are suitable for beginners. 

Intermediates will love the cruisey blues at Zell am See as well as some of the fast reds and even the blacks. Some of these blacks are quite achievable for modest intermediates and they too will benefit from a journey or two onto the glacier. Here there are great runs for all abilities that we will look at next in the advanced skiers section.

Advanced skiers will love the blacks in Zell am See, they do tend to ski hard and fast without a huge amount of moguls but those wanting bumps can find them quite easily in this ski area. The wooded terrain offers some great tree-lined off-piste. In truth, advanced and expert skiers will be best to hitch a lift by the free bus service and head over to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier. Here there are so good reds but the area is best for the free-ride terrain which will keep good skiers very well entertained for days on end. Here there are 5 free ride routes plus some amazing "ski anywhere" off-piste between the marked but ungroomed trails. Snow Finders' Nick raves about the area on and surrounding West Side Story and Jump Run with its natural pipes and kickers. X1 Ice Age is also a blast and particularly enjoys a lot of powder.

In general whilst the ski area isn't huge, it is both extensive and varied and should not be overlooked by good skiers.

Zell am See's valley floor has 40 km of cross country trails and another 18 km on the Kaprun golf course.
 

Positive

  • Charming Lakeside town
  • Tree lined skiing and great views
  • A lot to do away from the slopes
  • Lively apres ski

Negative

  • Lower slopes can mean poor snow at start and end of the season
  • Queues can be a problem at peak periods
  • Lifts can be a long way from hotels

Offslope/apres ski

Non skiers will delight in Zell am See from sightseeing and cultural excursions to wonderful winter walking and enjoying traditional Zither music - Zell has it all!

The nightlife is lively with the famous CrazyDaisy always having a strong following. Here, loud music pumps out, the beer and Jagermeister flow, and dancing on the tables ensues. But there is a lot more to Zell am See than The Crazy Bar with the B17 Hangar Bar, Diele bar, and Flannigans all rocking too amongst many more. For a more traditional music scene and a good knees up try Bacchuskeller or Schuttdorf's Gasthof Alpenblick. Dining options are plentiful here from fast food outlets to haute cuisine with a wide variety of restaurants offering Austrian, Asian, French, and international cuisine.

Our View

A beautiful Lakeside town with ample skiing and lots of off slope activity. Zell am See is an inexpensive fantastic resort for both skiers and non skiers. The nightlife is lively and there are lots of off-slope diversions to keep you entertained.

 

At a glance

Chalets:
1
Hotel & Apartments:
24
Pistes:
138km
Resort height:
755m
Top station:
3030m

Suitability

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