The Ski Guide to Schladming, Austria

Austria is well known for its rich culture and history, the alps, Mozart and winter sports. To kick off the New Year, my Austrian visit circulated around a ski trip with my friend, Billy. Travellers often rave about Innsbruck but we were told of an alternative. It’s a small town in the Styria region, just out of Salzburg. I can assure you mountains for days!

Located in the north-west corner of Styria, Schladming is a former mining town home to approximately 7000 people. It is making its way up the ladders, becoming an international ski destination. The Schladming-Dachstein Region is one of the top 5 skiing regions in the country. There is over 120km of piste to discover and accommodates to various skill levels from beginners through to experts.

Getting in

Located 75 km South West of Salzburg, Schladming is easily accessible by bus. Flexbus offers services to and from Schladming taking 1.5 hours (time varies due to road conditions) and setting you back €7, an additional €9 for your bulky luggage (skis/snowboards) payable to the driver. Alternatively, there are OBB trains servicing Graz to Schladming and vice versa taking 2.5 hours.

Skiing

The Schladming-Dachstein Region is just one of 5 regions that make up the Ski Amade area.

Fun fact: Ski Amade is Austria’s largest ski area and Europe’s second largest.

At the main lift, there are free maps provided in case you’ll like to carry a referral. Otherwise, there are maps throughout the park to help with navigation. As always, there are different colour coded runs, which are as follows:
Blue: Beginners
Red: Intermediate
Black: Expert

Schladming-Dachstein Region

The main hub of this 4 mountain well-connected ski complex is Planai Mountain. The foot of this 1894 meter mountain is a 5-minute walk from the centre and a 20-minute walk from the train station (Bahnhof). In the main town of Schladming, there are all the amenities from sporting stores to restaurants to Apres Ski bars. The majority of restaurants cater to non-German speakers. The Apres Ski Culture is alive and pumping with a lot of places scattered on the slopes and a large bar located at the foot of Planai. There’s a wide range of accommodation options. Spoilt for choices in town to the resorts on the slopes.

Tip: Try getting a place with a sauna. Best thing after a long day of tearing down the slopes.

On top of Planai, you’re welcomed to amazing views over the mountain range and there are viewpoints to snap for the ‘gram. There are benches and chairs to take a time out after smashing it down those slopes. Throughout the area, there are free WIFI points to keep you connected, commonly found in some restaurants or the ski lift stations.

Image from Hauser Kaibling

Hauser Kaibling (2015 meters)

Located on the left side of Planai and is suitable for all levels, however, conditions were a tad icy – we did get around this mountain quite late in the day after the sun had gone, though.

Planai (1894 meters)

The main mountain that was explored on this trip. The main station is called Planet Planai and the main bus port with services to other parts of town or to Ramsau-Dachstein. There is a Ski Park, towards the upper right side. There are a handful of black runs if you’re feeling adventurous.

Hochwurzen (1850 meters)

Located on the right of Planai. Half of the runs here are blue and the other half are red – a good starting point if you were still learning.
If both Hochwurzen and Planai were on your agenda for the same day, it is advisable to go to Planai West Ski Station. To get to Planai West, take Bus C from Planet Planai. Ideally, ski Hochwurzen first and come back to Planai West to take the lift up to Planai. There is no piste connecting Planai to Hochwurzen so this is the best way to navigate it.

Reiteralm (1860 meters)

The next mountain over. There wasn’t enough time to get to this mountain as we spent most of our time on Planai. However, from the maps, it looks amazing so I’m a little gutted. There’s always next time, though! To get to this mountain, you’d have to ski to the opposite side of Planai West (further east) and take the ski lift up.

Activities

Apart from enjoying the fresh powder through skiing and snowboarding, there are a variety of things offered in the region. Sledging is available if skiing isn’t your “thing“.

On the opposite side of the valley is Ramsau am Dachstein. To get here, there is a bus departing from Planet Planai destined for Ramsau-Dachstein taking approximately 45 mins and is free with your ski pass. There are 3 ski lifts so skiing is available. Why come here? Well, if you’re looking for breathtaking views, there is a suspension bridge over the Dachstein Glacier linked to the Ice Palace and Stairway to Nothingness. During the winter period, there is no entrance fee however it will cost you €10 in the summer. Unfortunately for us, these attractions were not accessible due to renovations and heavy snow fall. Once again, another reason to return.

Although I’ve only travelled around Austria for 10 days, Schladming is honestly the prettiest place I’ve laid my eyes on. It is such an underrated skiing region, making it ideal to immerse yourself fully into the ski culture. The majority of tourists here are Germans and as German is the spoken language in Austria, it’s a perfect place to practice. Ski Amade, in my opinion, is Austria’s best-kept ski secret. Be prepared to have your breath taken away by the views, especially on blue bird days.

Peace, love and good vibes.

21 Comment

  1. Gaah! A sauna does sound inviting! I mean I don’t ski but I would love the sauna in Austria! And of course, the sledging! haha Also, your photos make Austria look so dreamy!

  2. Let me just say I love, love, love skiing and Austria is one of my favourite places to go. In fact, I just finished a post myself on skiing but in France on a presstrip. I have to admit I never knew about Schladming but gee it looks pretty and they ski area looks huge. I am definitely going to be looking this one up and adding it to my radar. Great post

  3. I’ll be honest, skiing definitely isn’t my “thing”. I’ve never actually tried my hand at it, but I used to work for a medical assistance company and have read and heard about SO many horror stories that I’ve been put off for life. BUT with all that being said I’m a sucker for a pretty view, and that’s certainly something most ski resorts offer up – this one included. It. Looks. Gorgeous.
    Also, sledging sounds hella fun! So maybe one day I’ll find myself here after all.

  4. Your guide is super clear, I loved it! I’ve never been to Austria but skiing seems like a good reason too 🙂 By the way, your pictures are stunning!

  5. Incredible photos!! Austrian ski resorts seem pretty under-the-radar; at least, there’s not much buzz about Austrian skiing here in the States (which I assume means it’s less crowded than France and other popular ski spots!). You had me at “suspension bridge over the glacier!”

  6. Holy cow, that looks like the most beautiful skiing ever. Your information is great and I love the pictures. I miss skiing and this makes me want to get back at it! Of course, getting to Austria is top on my list, what a great experience.

  7. Wow this place is so dreamy, your pictures are superb….I want to go! Austria is on my bucket list, reminds me a bit of some places here in WA state!

    Valerie

  8. Lovely pictures! I hope I can visit Austria in the future!

  9. Austria is one of my favourite places! It’s so outdoorsy with so much to do. I haven’t been in the winter yet, just the summer for white water rafting and mountain biking, but now after seeing these pics I’m very keen to get back! Great post.

    Rebecca

  10. I usually avoid winter destinations and favour beach holidays with lots of sunshine but your photos are amazing! Austria looks so lovely. I will be sharing this post with a bunch of ski loving travellers I know. I would love to visit in summer 😀

  11. Hello from Australia 🙂 as an Aussie I hate the cold but this looks like a real winter wonderland that is worth making an exception for. Just look at the cute chalets & snow thats, well white as snow & the endless pines! What was your highlight of this whole ski trip?

  12. I love skiing and have enjoyed trips to Austria before but I’ve not heard of these places so now I know there’s lots more to discover! I’m in Australia at the moment so missing my winter snow action…. get me to the slopes! Your pictures look great and it seems like you had perfect weather there!

  13. I really want to visit Austria next time I’m in Europe and I would never have known about this town if I hadn’t come across your blog post! Thanks for sharing this. Looks like you had a lot of fun 🙂

  14. Great photos, I have thought about having a winter holiday but I not up to skiing but it looks like a lot fun!

  15. Beautiful and it’s always nice to know if places other than the main touristy hot spots. Since skiing isn’t my “thing” – Lol – im glad there are a few other activities to do. I’m all for sledging but even otherwise enjoy the snow so not doing anything is also fine by me.

  16. I’d love to go skiing in Austria. I’m Scottish and we have good mountains for skiing in Scotland – when we get the snow, which, lately, hasn’t been the best. Schladming looks lovely. Nice pictures. All the best and good luck on your travels!

  17. This is a very useful guide for skiing in Austria. I don’t know skiing but I want to try it out at some point. I guess I now know where to head for it 🙂

  18. Love the Austrian Alps… we went there in summer. Are the slopes good to learn skiing as well? And which is the best month to go skiing at Dachstein?

  19. This looks amazing!! I lived in Munich for a year (and will be moving back in 2 weeks), so I’ve been sightseeing in Salzburg and Innsbruck, but not skiing. I’m a TERRIBLE skiier so I’m petrified of going, but I think I’ll try to confront my fear this season! Thanks for sharing this spot… I might actually look into going haha.

  20. Although I think skiing is not really my thing but I love going there. Usually if I am not keen to give another try for skiing, I will find a place where I can just watch people sliding and skiing with my cup of tea or coffee at the restaurant or cafe nearby. And that’s already an exciting one!

    Going sauna at the end of the session sounds so good! Must be really good!

  21. Hi, very good Article.
    Thanks for sharing keep up the good work.

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