St. Johann im Pongau, Austria
St. Johann im Pongau is situated 55 kilometres south of Salzburg, and near to the River Salzach. It is generally considered to be more popular than its sister resort, St. Johan-Alpendorf, which is situated slightly further up the mountain.
The town of St. Johann is very traditional, but it caters well for the large number of skiers who visit each year. It is particularly good for shopping and has a large number of restaurants. Most people will find it provides everything they could possibly need for a successful ski holiday.
How to Get There
Salzburg International Airport is the nearest airport, situated only 60 kilometres away from the resort. From there you can take a bus or a shuttle to Salzburg station, and then a train straight to St. Johann.
If driving from Calais, the entire journey will take about two days to complete. Take the A-26 before following the A-4 and the A-8 to Salzburg. From there, take the B-1, the A-1 and, finally, the A-10. You will need to join Route 311 at the intersection and this will take you straight to the resort.
Alternatively, if you are flying to Salzburg Airport, the journey by car to the resort should not take more than one hour.
If travelling the distance by train, take the Eurostar from London to Paris, and from there take an overnight train to Munich. Trains depart frequently from Munich to Salzburg. You should take a train from there to St. Johann, a journey which will not take longer than an hour.
Who The Resort Caters For
There are slopes at St. Johann im Pongau suitable for skiers of all abilities, but intermediate skiers will be the happiest. Beginners also have the choice of three different ski schools in which to take lessons. However, as the resort is part of the Amadé ski area, there is a huge number of slopes available to choose from in one of the largest ski areas in the continent.
Snowboarders are also well-catered for in the Salzburger Sportwelt area, which has three half-pipes, two quarter-pipes, and a bordercross. The slopes are suitable for skiers and snowboarders of different abilities, so there is plenty on offer for everyone.
Away from the slopes, the après-ski scene is pretty good. There are lots of bars, restaurants, and cafés in St. Johann, as well as four nightclubs. Bunny’s Pub and Platzl Bar come highly recommended and are popular with a younger crowd.
However, the resort is generally considered to be most suitable for families, and there are many activities available to keep everyone busy. Winter activities are extensive and include mountaineering, hiking, ice-skating, and tobogganing. If the weather is bad, there are opportunities to indulge in tennis, swimming, squash, bowling, saunas, and many other activities.
There are plenty of sightseeing options as well, including a visit to the cathedral and trips to the Grossarilbach Valley or the stunning Liechtensteinklamm Gorge.
What Accommodation the Resort Offers
There are 3,700 beds available in St. Johann im Pongau, and these can be found in farmhouses, small pensions, mountain huts, guesthouses, and hotels. Notable hotels include:
- The four-star Gasthof Reiner is a very classy and popular choice.
- Unterhof Hotel is located just 100 metres away from the lifts.
- The three-star Landhaus Vötter is always a popular choice.
St Johann im Pongau is made up of 172 kilometres of runs, but the resort is part of the St Johann-Alpendorf ski area, which has 300 kilometres of slopes, meaning there is plenty on offer to enjoy.
It is also linked to the vast Amadé ski area, which offers 860 kilometres of slopes. Summer skiing is also possible on the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.
The slopes are very well groomed, and the snow-making facilities are impressive, meaning there will always be enough snow during your trip. Furthermore, the recently constructed reservoir located nearby has improved the snow conditions, making the skiing here particularly good.
- Altitude: 579 m
- Ski lifts: 12
- Vertical drop: 259 m
- Ski area: 142 hectares
- Beginner slopes: 35%
- Intermediate slopes: 45%
- Advanced slopes: 20%
- Cross Country: 132 km
- Longest run: 3 km
The ski season lasts from December to the beginning of April, and the best times for cheaper offers are before the Christmas holidays and late March.