Maria Alm, Austria
How to get there
One of the most stunning villages in Austria, Maria Alm is located in the Hochkönig-Skischaukel region, close to the Zell am Zee area. The beautiful little village has won awards for its attractive appearance and has a world-famous church, with the second highest spire in Salzburgerland. It is part of a breathtaking circuit of resorts including Saalfelden, Hintermoos, Dienten, and Hinterthal. You can ski in all of these areas if you buy the appropriate ski pass.
The resort is easily reached by a combination of air travel and public transport. The nearest airport to Maria Alm is Salzburg which is well-served by a wide range of flights departing from airports across the UK. You will usually be able to find good deals, especially towards the end of the season.
You can hire a car at the airport to take you the rest of the way to Maria Alm. Simply follow the A10 south towards Bischofshofen and follow the local highways to Dienten and then the ski resort. If you would rather not drive in Austria, you can catch the bus from the airport to Saalfelden and then transfer to one heading towards Maria Alm.
Alternatively, you can travel to Innsbruck airport. Carlton Leisure is currently offering flights from London Heathrow to the airport for just £199 return, inclusive of taxes. Thomas Cook is also offering 2 direct flights a week during the ski season for just over £150 return.
If you would like to travel by train from the UK to Maria Alm, take the Eurostar from London to Paris. Transfer to the high-speed train destined for Salzburg and then take the bus to Saalfelden and eventually, Maria Alm.
You can drive between the UK and the ski resort but this is not a particularly convenient option. If you do decide to drive, make sure your snow tyres and chains are in good condition and plan a safe route.
Who does the resort cater for?
Maria Alm has something to keep everybody happy. Intermediate skiers are best-provided for, with a large percentage of slopes suitable for improving basic skills. However, experts may be frustrated by the relative lack of challenging slopes in the local vicinity. The resort is very family-orientated and there is a great ski school that will keep the kids entertained. Snowboarders will be kept happy too by the popular snow park and the half-pipe, whilst cross-country skiers will love the wide range of trails suitable for cross-country skiing. A large range of cross-country equipment is available for hire for downhill skiers wishing to try out the sport.
For those who do not want to hit the slopes during the day, popular alternative activities include swimming in the local indoor pool, visiting the public sauna, working out in the fitness centre, playing tennis, and indulging yourself with a lovely massage. If you want to experience the fun of the snow without the danger of downhill skiing, you can take part in curling, hiking, sleigh rides, toboggan runs, and ice-skating. Nightlife is relatively quiet in this resort, primarily since it is quite small. However, there are several popular restaurants and bars in the centre of Maria Alm.
What accommodation does the resort offer?
Most visitors to the resort choose to stay in one of the comfortable hotels on offer throughout the village. Hotel Niederreiter is conveniently located next to the Dorf Jet gondola and offers a sauna, a steam room, a whirlpool, a lovely relaxation area, a solarium, and a beautiful garden. The hotel serves a great breakfast buffet and a three-course evening meal. There are 45 bedrooms, all furnished to a very comfortable standard. Marco Polo Club Alpina is located 9 kilometres away from the resort centre, making it a quiet, calm choice of accommodation. Maria Alm can be easily reached by bus, and the bus stop is just 250 m from the hotel. The hotel provides free packed lunches for those hitting the slopes and has a sauna, swimming pool, fitness room, spa, and solarium. For those who prefer greater independence, try the Chalet Maria. This chalet is comfortably furnished and conveniently located.
35% of the slopes are suitable for beginners, 55% of the slopes are suitable for intermediate skiers, and just 10% are suitable for experts. There are over 40 snow runs and the total slope length is over 150 kilometres. The slopes are served by modern lifts, which take nearly 50,000 skiers per hour up the mountains. The resort has 17 snow cannons which generate artificial snow to supplement the natural snow.
- Downhill Pistes: 150 km
- Cross Country Trails: 40 km
- Number of Ski Lifts: 39
- Maximum Vertical: 1200 m
- Highest Lift: 2000 m
- Altitude of Resort: 800 m
- Lowest Piste: 800 m