Let’s start with one very important fact. Obertauern is the Ski Resort with the best snow depth in all of Austria – No wonder that this is an incredible Salzburg city break!

It’s often nicknamed the “home of snow” or Snobertauern, and it’s easy to see why. It’s usually open early in the season and if there is one place that’s guaranteed snow, it’s here.

Scientific studies have even proved this! It’s thanks to the unique weather conditions in the Tauern mountains, and the way the clouds hit from the north and the south!

Something else I am starting to find is increasingly popular, particularly for me, is a ski resort close to a big city. Austria is blessed with a lot of them. I absolutely love a 2 for 1 holiday; spending a couple of days in a city before or after the slopes. And that’s even better around Christmas.

Here’s everything you should know when considering a Salzburg weekend break.

Obertauern Facts

Obertauern Altitude: 1740 metres
Ski Area Altitude: 1630m to 2313 metres
Accommodation: 150 hotels or guesthouses and 6 Hostels
Season: Late November to the beginning of May
Ski lifts: 26 cable railways
Ski runs: 100km of runs, 61km Blue (easy), 25km Red (medium) and 4km Black (difficult)
Average snow depth: 264cm
Snow Parks: The Spot with lines, rails, boxes and jumps

Does Obertauern Make a Good Salzburg City Break?

Absolutely! Obertauern is known for its stunning alpine scenery and ski slopes, and it makes for an excellent city break from Salzburg.

Whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast or just looking to enjoy the landscape, Obertauern provides a refreshing contrast to Salzburg’s historical ambiance.

How to Get to Obertauern?

Obertauern is very easily accessed from Salzburg and is located just 90km south, making it one excellent Salzburg city break.

So easy in fact that I took a flight at 7am from London Gatwick and was skiing by 11:30am (UK time). It takes around 45 mins to drive from Salzburg Airport to Obertauern.

From the airport you can either use the hotel transfer service or direct shuttle bus. There is also a ski transfer helicopter!

If you’re travelling as a group, your best bet is to pre-book a transfer from Salzburg to Obertauern, which is the most convenient way to get there.

Best Time to Visit Obertauern

The best time to visit Obertauern largely depends on what you’re looking for in your vacation. If you’re keen on skiing or snowboarding, the ideal time is between late November and early May.

December to February offers the most authentic winter experience, though it can be quite busy around Christmas and New Year.

If you’re not into winter sports and prefer hiking or enjoying the alpine scenery, summer (June to August) is a beautiful time to visit.

The Skiing in Obertauern

There are over 100km of groomed pistes for skiing in Obertauern. Supported by a huge gondola and 18 chairlifts. It has the perfect blend for beginners and the more experienced. 61km of the runs are blue trails (see the facts below for the full breakdown).

At the top of most of the lifts, there is usually a red and a blue option. Meaning if you’re skiing in a mixed group you can take the run that suits you and meet at the bottom.

Obertauern also advertises that skiing is available from November to May, and better than that, they guarantee it! Let me just repeat that… November to May! That’s a massive window for skiing, one of the longest seasons I’ve seen in Europe.

Oh, and if 100km isn’t enough, you can also explore the nearby Grosseck-Speirereck resort, giving you a further 50km to explore.

The Village of Obertauern

The charming village of Obertauern is Austria’s snowiest village! Once you’ve skied right back to your hotel or lodge (did I mention ski-in/ski-out?), there are plenty of things to keep you occupied.

It’s known for having some pretty lively Après Ski, from international DJs to a more relaxed pub culture, and even some craft beer.

In the 1960s the Beatles came to town to shoot a music video, with some of the locals standing in as stunt doubles. It’s a claim to fame not forgotten in this region. They even performed a private concert in one of the hotels, and certainly helped put the village on the international map.

Things to Do in Obertauern

I always love a ski resort that has some other things to do away from skiing or snowboarding. Obertauern is absolutely one of those places. For the more relaxed activities they offer horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoe hiking and a spa and wellness centre.

However, if you’re still looking for adventure, take a look at this list:

  • Snow-kiting: a new sport taking the slopes by storm. Obertauern has a Snow-kiting school.
  • Snow Touring: requested via the ski schools.
  • Night Skiing: From Monday to Thursday the Edelweiss run is illuminated until 10pm.
  • Airboarding: Taking on the more conventional sledding, you lie on your front and shoot down the mountain.
  • Electric Fat Bikes: A great way to see the valley, fat-tire bikes are designed for riding on snow.
  • Tobogganing: a 1.5km and 5km taboggan run, even with night tobogganing!
  • Ice Climbing: on the frozen Johannes Waterfall.
  • Segway Tours: an extraordinary way to see Obertauern.
  • Cross-country skiing: with 5 trails from easy to difficult, Obertauern is known for its stunning Cross-country skiing.

A City Break in Salzburg

As I mentioned, I love combining my ski breaks with a city break. And Salzburg is one of the best places to do it. I’ve now been a few times, as you can see my previous article about Salzburg and Salzburgerland. I had an instant connection with this city, and this was my first time visiting in winter.

Salzburg is a small city and getting around and seeing the main attractions is made easy with the Salzburg Card.

I find it one of those cities where taking a walking tour is really important, not only to get to know your surroundings, but to appreciate the history and finer details. It gave me the perfect overview so that I could decide what I wanted to explore more of.

Where to Stay in Obertauern

Here’s a list of great places to stay in Obertauern to make your trip unforgettable:

Luxury: Sporthotel Cinderella

In Obertauern’s center, Sporthotel Cinderella offers ski-in access, a spa, pools, steam bath, and free WiFi. Rooms have flat-screen TVs and minibars; some with balconies. Breakfast buffet and a la carte dining is availablem which is convenient.

Mid-Range: Hotel Alpina

Central Obertauern’s Hotel Alpina features easy ski access, free WiFi, and a local cuisine restaurant. Rooms include cable TV and refrigerators. Spa with sauna and steam bath available for a fee, plus a cozy lobby fireplace and sun terrace.

Budget: Appartementhaus Christophorus

Appartementhaus Christophorus, next to Obertauern’s Gamsleiten Cable Car, offers apartments with kitchens and free WiFi. On-site sauna, steam bath, ski storage, grocery store, and ski pass sales.

Where to Stay in Salzburg

In case you plan only a day trip to Obertauern, these are excellent accommodation options in Salzburg.

Luxury: Hotel Bristol Salzburg

In the heart of Salzburg, near Mirabell Palace, the family-run Hotel Bristol offers a historic 5-star experience with free WiFi.

Air-conditioned, elegant rooms come with flat-screen TVs and free non-alcoholic minibar drinks. Features include an award-winning restaurant, concierge, valet parking, a library, and piano evenings in the lounge.

Mid-Range: Motel One Salzburg-Mirabell

Located by the Salzach River, Motel One Salzburg Mirabell is a short walk from Mirabell Palace and the Old Town.

This stylish motel offers air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs, rain showers, and free WiFi. Amenities include a bar and 24-hour reception. Salzburg Main Train Station is 800 meters away.

Budget: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Salzburg

Centrally located and with affordable prices, the traditional Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is in a listed building with free WiFi. Rooms feature minibars, work desks, hairdryers, and bio mattresses.

Choose from a buffet or continental breakfast. Close to the Congress Centre, Train Station, shops, restaurants, and cafés.

Conclusion About Obertauern

All in all what a fantastic way to combine a skiing holiday with a city break. With the home of snow mixed with the city of viewpoints (as I call it). And don’t think this is a city to visit once, Salzburg has more surprises each time I visit, and I seem to uncover more hidden gems as I go.

Have you combined Skiing with another holiday? Have you got any tips for Austria or Salzburg? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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