For those of you that have packed your skis and snowboards away thinking the winter sports season is over, think again.
If you are quick enough and of a spontaneous nature then pack your stuff, book your flight and head to Zell am See.
This popular resort has just a few days left from which to catch the last part of the season.
Indeed, you can even enjoy some winter sunshine while you are at it.
For the more patient among you, then why not wait a few months and catch the early part of the 2015/2016 winter season.
Zell am See is the ideal location for all levels of skier or snowboarder, from a complete beginner to a seasoned professional.
For the more modest skier why not try a ski school.
There are a number of options in Zell am See that can cater for even someone who has never put on skis or a snowboard in their life.
If you are a family this could prove to be especially useful as it will mean that your kids’ abilities can be enhanced, whilst you can still enjoy and relax with years of experience behind you.
Alternatively, if you are all complete beginners you can all learn together, but try to avoid being embarrassed by your child’s, or children’s, abilities to grasp the new sport quicker than you!
The Different slopes available
Zell am See is home to the longest funslope in the world, at 1300 metres long.
What’s a funslope I hear you ask? A funslope is essentially an area in which you can enjoy aspects similar to a beginner snowpark, like boxes, mini jumps etc, but also bridges, tunnels and snails.
Although initially it is ideal for the kids, it can be fun for all ages, particularly beginners or more senior skiers who are looking for an alternative type of skiing experience.
The funslope at Zell am See is the perfect family option but if you are a skier of a different variety and looking for something a little more helter skelter then there are many options open to you.
Snowboarders and skiers alike can enjoy the Snowpark Kitzsteinhorn. This incredible park is set at an altitude of almost 3000 metres and is the ideal location to try out audacious new moves. It has Austria’s biggest ‘super-pipe’, 160 metre in length and 6 metres in height.
In addition, there are many gradients of slope from beginners to intermediates to advanced.
As for the Apres Ski, Zell am See does not let you down either.
Whether you up the mountain, or in downtown, there are a bunch of options that will satisfy even the biggest post ski fun seeker.
Amazing lunches, dinners and gluweins (mulled wines) can be enjoyed whilst on the slopes with views to match, but once back down in the valley you can party to your heart’s content.
Up the mountains of Schmitten, above Zell am See, try the Schnaps Alm Bar, the self proclaimed biggest après ski bar in the Alps. Music of all kinds can be heard blaring out to the delights of all and sundry.
In addition, you can enjoy cocktails, beers, wines and, of course, local schnaps to warm the souls of the coolest of skiers.
When back in town, you can enjoy a slightly more relaxed scene at A Bit of Irish or O’Flannegan’s Irish Pub for a taste of Ireland within the cosy atmosphere of Austria’s Alps.
For live music the Kitsch and Bitter often has live bands playing a variety of music and is open until late.
However, the absolute must for all après skiers is the Ice Camp Ktzsteinhorn.
It is a large complex containing igloos and at its centrepiece is an ice bar which has the label drink ‘Ice Camp Glacier Vodka’ which will release the party in you. The ‘ice’ doesn’t end there with an ice cinema, ice lounges and even a food court to finish off the chilly experience.
Getting to Zell am See
Salzburg airport is Austria’s second largest airport, after Vienna, and is the obvious option for those travelling to Zell am See.
The airport is named Wolfgang Amadeus Airport in deference to the world famous composer and is the gateway to many other ski resorts, in addition to Zell am See.
Furthermore, with Shuttle Direct we can get you from terminal to hotel in less than an hour.
Indeed, Shuttle Direct can also guarantee luxury at affordable prices to help you recuperate following your flight, as well as saving your energy for the slopes ahead.
Where to stay
For the best budget option in town, go for the Waldhaus Opitz.
Within walking distance of the centre of Zell am See, this accommodation offers all the necessities at less than €50 per night (£35).
One of the added bonuses here, though, is the breakfast where some of the food comes from the onsite farm meaning it is as fresh as it gets.
For an excellent hotel at fantastic rates you cannot go wrong with the Glaserer Haus.
With its classic Austrian style it is a popular choice amongst visitors as it has all you would expect from a hotel without burning a whole in your pocket.
The rooms include cable television, as well as free WIFI, plus many of them have a balcony to relax and take in the ambience of Zell am See.
The hotel is a stone’s throw from Lake Zell, located in the heart of town and the nearest ski lifts are just two minutes away on foot.
In addition, it also has its own in house restaurant serving up delightful local cuisine during the ski season and you can even enjoy a wellness centre with a sauna and relaxation room. The ideal antidote to the stresses on the body from a day’s skiing.
If it is something you more luxurious you are after then you should definitely opt for the Romantikihotel Zell am See.
This four star hotel is one of the most highly rated hotels in town and booking early is essential to guarantee yourself a room.
It is little wonder that this place is in such high demand given the views of the Austrian countryside from this 15th century building located on the banks of the lake.
If all that wasn’t enough, throw in a spa area including a sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi, as well as beauty treatments and massages. As a result, you are looking at the perfect winter retreat.
Finally, local Austrian and international cuisine is available from the in-house restaurant to top off your amazing experience at Zell am See’s premier hotel.