News from the snow
St Wolfgang Austria
A pretty, thousand year old centre rich in cultural and historical features. One of the few resorts which honestly admits that their ski areas are best suited to beginners and families - not demanding experts.St Wolfgang is an ancient village in a spectacularly beautiful setting on the shores of Lake Wolfgangsee. A popular tourist destination year round, it has inspired painters and poets and captivated musicians and composers for centuries. With its long history of hospitality St Wolfgang has a well above average selection of hotels, restaurants and other holiday attractions compared to most villages of its size. The long history is also remembered in special events throughout the season including a magical Advent period and weekly events through the season such as folklore evenings. It is also one of the few resorts which honestly admits that their ski areas are best suited to beginners and families - not demanding experts. It's also worth noting that the local ski slopes on the Postalm are a good 35 minute ski bus ride away from the village on a rather steep and windy uphill ride from the 540m high resort to the 1200m base of the ski lifts. Once there however it is a great family ski area with a modern quad chairlift.
A pretty, thousand year old centre rich in cultural and historical features. One of the few resorts which honestly admits that their ski areas are best suited to beginners and families - not demanding experts.
There are some 17km (11 miles) of trails predominantly easy blues making this an ideal spot for first timers to learn in a beautiful, unpressurised environment with a friendly ski school. For complete beginners here are in fact nursery slopes at Puchberg right by St Wolfgang but these may not had adequate snow cover due to the low altitude early and late in the season.
Intermediate and advanced skiers may enjoy whizzing around the slopes for a few days but are likely to want to take advantage of the Dachstein West area pass which includes half a dozen ski areas in the region adding up to 140km (87 miles) of trails between them. The largest is at Gosau which boasts some 50km (31 miles) of runs up to five Kilometres long and more challenging terrain than the Postalm. It is an hour's ski bus ride away however.
There are some 60km of cross country trails in the area.
Facilities specifically for children are limited, there's no kindergarten, but the ski school takes children from age four during regular ski school hours.
Overall however St Wolfgang is very much a family resort which organised evening events like candlelit walks likely to appeal to family groups and often high value prices on accommodation and dining for children.
The Alpenrestaurant 'Zur Lore' on Schwarzenbach is typical, offering "authentic specialties of the Region." The Hotel Post, Zimmerbrau and Cortisen are all also good.
Although most serve traditional Austrian meals there are a few exceptions, such as Mirabella-Café on Pilgerstrasse which specialises in Italian, as does the Rudolfshohe.
If you just fancy an ice cream there are two ice cream parlours in the village and a good collection of cafes for cake and coffee.
If you just fancy a traditional après scene however, the Kap Horn and Kraftstoff Bars are both usually popular. The Tanzlokal Kellerstüberl is the village disco.
Other apres activities can include skating on the frozen lake, traditional bowling, sleigh rides and snowshoe walks. Weekly trips are organised to the casino in Salzburg.
Those in search of more park life should probably head further afield however. Gosau, an hour away on the ski bus, offers a park complete with half pipe.