Zell am See-Kaprun (Europa Sportregion), Austria
Zell am See-Kaprun is the name of a ski region in the state of Salzburg, Austria. The area encompasses the ski resorts of Zell am See, Kaprun, and Kitzsteinhorn, and until recently was known as the Europa Sportregion. The resort was recently renamed in order to reflect the area more accurately. Hans Wallner, the marketing director of the resort, said: “package deals for activities like skiing, hiking, golf, and water sports are going to be improved and expanded. With these measures, Zell am See-Kaprun intends to stand out from our competitors.”
The Zell am See-Kaprun region is a very popular holiday destination regardless of the time of year. In the summer, tourists can enjoy up to forty different activities ranging from golf and rafting, to walking and horse riding. The resort is most popular during the colder months, however, and the slopes are great for skiing, snowboarding, and even horse-drawn sleigh rides through the local forests.
How to Get There
The state of Salzburg is served by the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (W.A.M) Airport and is widely regarded as an ideal gateway to the Alps region. Alternatively, Milan, Munich, and Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport are all within two hours drive of Zell am See-Kaprun. You should consider flying with Ryanair from London Stansted or Thomsonfly from Manchester. However, Gatwick, Coventry, and Doncaster airports also offer flights to the region. Kaprun is several hours drive southwest of Salzburg City.
Folkestone to Kaprun is a very long journey by car, since the distance is approximately 766 miles. The route will take you through three countries and you will be travelling for twelve hours. The ideal route will take motorists through Calais, Lyon, and Strasbourg in France, Stuttgart and Munich in Germany, and finally through Salzburg to Kaprun in the south of Austria. The Eurotunnel provides an ideal route into France for enthusiastic motorists but if you have never been to mainland Europe before, consider travelling to Austria by train as the trip can be a little taxing.
The Eurostar train from London is the ideal starting point for a train journey to Austria, with the weekend ‘Snowtrain’ providing direct access to the Alps. The town of Zell am See has its own railway station and is conveniently located close to a number of hotels. Trains from Salzburg Airport regularly run through Zell am See, ensuring that airport transfers are quick and painless.
Who the Resort Caters for
Zell am See-Kaprun caters for virtually everybody. The list of winter sports available is extensive but the region has made an extra effort to offer activities with universal appeal, making it an excellent choice for short holidays and Christmas breaks.
Zell am See and Kaprun are two completely separate towns. The former is located on the western bank of the Zell See (Zell Lake), making it ideal for ice-skating and ice-hockey matches. The town of Kaprun sits in a narrow valley to the south of Zell am See and is primarily a lively resort town and the numerous restaurants and cafés ensure that every evening will be entertaining.
The nearby resort of Kitzsteinhorn is situated on top of a large, permanently frozen glacier, and fans of winter sports can rest easy knowing that year-round skiing and snowboarding is on offer. Skiers of all abilities are welcome at Zell am See. The specialist skiing website J2ski awarded the resort’s facilities four stars out of five.
Children will enjoy the Gletscherbahn, a cogwheel railway that travels to the top of the Kitzsteinhorn glacier. Activities such as tobogganing, hot air ballooning, hang-gliding, and swimming will also keep youngsters entertained for hours.
What Accommodation the Resort Offers
There is a large range of chalets and hotels available at Zell am See-Kaprun. The resort has a total of 13,500 beds. The Gasthof Limberghof, for example, is a three-star chalet located approximately two miles away from the town of Zell am See. Limberghof sits above the local golf course and offers a half-board service. A three course evening meal is included with the rent. Children are very well-catered for at this particular chalet and a playroom is offered free of charge. During the ski season (December –April), the Gasthof Limberghof is available for between £200 and £300 a week and sleeps up to four people. For booking and more information please visit the Europe Mountains Gasthof Limberghof page.
Three and four-star hotels are scattered throughout Zell am See-Kaprun. The Aparthotel Krone is a small hotel located at the foot of the Kitzsteinhorn glacier, offering three-star facilities and half-board service during the ski season. This hotel provides you with access to a spa and relaxation room, a herb sauna, and a table tennis room. It is also very close to the slopes of both Zell am See and Kaprun. Reservations can be made at the official website.
Zell am See offers 130 kilometres of downhill skiing, with access to 81 individual pistes. Between the three ski resorts of Zell am See, Kaprun, and Kitzsteinhorn, there are two terrain and snow parks making the region very popular with snowboarders. There is also a huge cross-country skiing area, totalling over 200 kilometres. The Ski-Europe website commends Zell am See-Kaprun on its panoramic views and slopes suitable for experts but warns that the resort is not very well-served by lifts and cable cars. The website also warns of “horrendous” ski lift queues at the Kitzsteinhorn resort during peak season.
There are a number of ski schools at the resort and both adult beginners and children are welcome to join the nursery slopes.
|Cross Country Trails||218km|
”The Zell am See-Kaprun ski season begins in November and runs until the following April. For winter sports fans planning a summer break, the Kitzsteinhorn glacier offers skiing all year round.’’