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Neukirchen-am-Grossvenediger propmotes itself as "the friendliest ski area in the Alps" and it's hard to argue with that. The ski area is compact and best suited to beginners and intermediates, but advanced skiers can head off-piste with a guide if they get tired of the tougher pisted terrain and the giant ski area around the neighbouring Ziller Valley is just on the doorstep. The main Wildkogel ski area is reached by gondola and trails descend to neighbouring villages such as Bramberg. Much of the terrain is within a north facing bowl so snow conditions are good throughout the season. The resort itself is medium sized and can be lively. The surrounding scenery of the Hohe Tauern National Park is both beautiful and spectacular.

An ideal resort for new skiers, with Kitzbuhel nearby to attract the more advanced. That being said 15% or 4.5 KM of trails are categorised as black. The main ski area is reached by gondola and trails descend to neighbouring villages such as Bramberg.

Mountain

Neukirchen has 55km (35 miles) of well groomed blue and red slopes plus a single black. Trail options include an incredible 14km (nine mile) winding blue down to the neighbouring village of Bramberg (you need to take a bus back - free of charge) or the plunging five kilometre (three mile), 1300 vertical metre descent from the top of the lifts back down to the resort centre. Beginners have nursery slopes by the village and at the top of the gondola when snow is short at village level. With most of the area dominated by easy blue runs it's a great choice for those looking to be progressing around the mountain by the end of their first week, or indeed second week skiers who want something challenging but not too intimidating. Experts have limited options on the piste but extensive off piste powder fields to enjoy in the company of a guide. Alternatively buy a ticket for the nearby Zillertal Arena, accessed via Wald or Krimml, a short free ski bus ride away and opening up 160km (100 miles) of lift linked skiing. The full Zillertal Superski ticket takes in more ski areas in the Ziller Valley including the Tux glacier and Mayrhofen's big ski area.

Families

Families are well looked after at Neukirchen with special package deals and discounts including family-friendly Neukirchen has a selection of sports, souvenir and grocery shops to meet your holiday requirements.

Eating Out

Gourmets have a choice of excellent restaurants and inns offering traditional Pinzgau dishes as well as international cuisine. Recommended restaurants include the Dorfstub'n, Steiger, Pferdestall and the Restaurant Fichtenrand. The restaurants in the four star Hotel Gassner are a good place to sample authentic natural produce from local farms and game from their own hunting grounds. The hotel's kitchens have been recognized with the Austrian National Park Region "Seal of Quality".These can be savoured in the hotel's rustic dining room, or the new winter garden, or - if the weather is nice - out on the sunny terrace with magnificent views of the Hohe Tauern mountains and Neukirchen. If you just want a quick coffee and cake there are several cafes to try including Bäckerei Gruber, Schöppl's Kaffeehaferl, Theatercafe, an internet café - Schroll and the café in the Hoferhaus.

Apres

Neukirchen can be lively and there are several dozen bars and hotel lounges to try. Popular bars include the Kanne-Alm, the Salettl and Latino in the Hotel Unterbrunn, the Kellerbar Pferdestall and the Schirmbar in the Gasthof Neuhof. The Schirm bar in the hotel Kammerlander next to the lift station is also popular. The hotel and bar have been run by the same family since 1862. There are several late night spots. The main disco is the Pinzgauer Kanne but you can also party in to the small hours at the Almbar in the Hotel Unterbrunn or at Musi Box.

Boarding

A great beginners area for boarders, with easy access by gondola to the powder bowl, but without the intimidating gradients. Both ski schools also offer snowboarding tuition. More advanced boarders will probably want to head off-piste with a guide to hit steeper powder, or have fun on the resort's boarder - cross course. There are several terrain parks and half pipes at nearby Gerlos, part of the 160km Zillertal Arena a short free ski bus ride away.

// HIGHLIGHTS //
Vertical drop
1294m
Ski area
55
Resort height
856m
Airport
Salzburg
Train station
Neukirchen
beginner
57%
intermediate
23%
expert
20%