Ahh Christmas time once again, bringing cookies, hot cocoa, and lots of cheer :). It is around this time that I also start feeling the vacation itch, time for a getaway. And for me, that normally means time to head south and hit the beach. However, I have always liked snowboarding and now living in Europe there are amazing places that make me say, “No thanks beach, I’ll have to catch ya later. The mountains are calling” Last year we decided to drive down from Germany to Tyrol in Austria to ski in the Austrian Alps. At first, I was intimidated at the thought of snowboarding through such enormous mountains. While I like to snowboard, I am by no means great, or even good sometimes. Coming from Wisconsin, I was only ever able to snowboard on glorified hills. To me, this would be bigger than the big leagues. But, much to my surprise, it was an amazing place to ski and snowboard! I won’t sugar coat it, I did come back with a black and blue butt but, it was worth every moment.
Here are my absolute musts when on Ski vacation in Austria:
In order to get up to where the skiing begins from the base of the mountain, you’ll have to take a ride in the Seilbahn. So sit back, relax, and check out the view on the way up.
Top of Tyrol:
We took the Seilbahn plus a few chairlift rides all the way to the top of the highest peak in Tyrol, then climbed a few stairs to get up even higher until we reached the very tippy top. All I could see out to the horizon were sparkling white snowy mountain peaks. This is definitely in my top three sights I have ever seen in my life.
The Austrian ski vacation experience is only complete when you stay at a tradition lodge like this adorable one. Rustic, quaint, cozy, and friendly, a lodge is the best place to come back to after a long day of skiing. A large traditional dinner with a live Austrian band greeted us in the evenings and a full breakfast got us going in the morning. Its the perfect place to go with a large group of friends or to make some new ones.
I wasn’t quite sure what Apres ski really was on our first day but quickly found out it was one of my favorite parts. After a hard day of hitting the slopes, stop in at one of the many ski slope restaurants for a drink. If its still sunny out, grab a lounge chair and relax in the sun with a Radler or Almdudler (trust me, both delicious). And once the sun goes down, the party begins. Most of the bars have outdoor tents with music and lights. If you are a fan of Jagermeister, try the jagertee. Personally, I recommend the Glühwein. Hot spiced wine is the perfect way to warm up after playing in the snow.
After a few days in a row of skiing from morning until evening, along with falling on your butt a number of times if you’re me, you’ll need a little spa break. Look for a Therme to spend a relaxing day in the sauna and warm pools. The steamy heated outdoor pools make for the most fun :).
If you like skiing at all or just want a new winter vacation idea, head to Austria this year!