Scheffau ski resort is a charming, peaceful, pretty village in the Austrian Tyrol, its local ski area a key sector of the extensive SkiWelt ski domain that covers eight linked resorts in this region, offering a great range of slopes that are perfect for novice and intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
Picturesque Scheffau is perhaps the prettiest of all the resort villages in the SkiWelt region and sits in a truly stunning location at the foot of the spectacular Wilder Kaiser range.
The village is just big enough for an enjoyable stroll but compact enough to have everything within easy reach, except for the slopes unfortunately, which are around a kilometre away on the far side of the valley (accessible by ski bus).
The immediate surroundings and the ambiance of the resort are a sleepy rural idyll, this isn't the place to come if you're seeking the full-on lively Austrian apres-ski experience. The location, well away from the busy valley through-road, and the peaceful nature of the village makes this a great destination for families with young children, and very suitable for more discerning and/or more mature visitors who prefer to experience a more traditional and authentically Austrian winter-sports holiday.
Children are also very well catered for at Scheffau's wonderful 'KinderKaiserland' children's ski park, which features snow castles and tunnels, easy-to-use canopied 'Magic Carpet' surface lifts, and colourful obstacle courses; the facility also offers short lunchtime sessions specially designed for very young children of 2–3 years of age, usually unavailable at most other ski resorts.
The upper slopes of the Scheffau sector of the SkiWelt cover the most central area of this expansive linked domain, making this perhaps the best resort choice for keen intermediates intent on racking up the piste mileage around this wonderful ski area.
Uplift from the valley is provided by two parallel-running gondolas from the base-area hamlet of Blaiken, which is situated around one kilometre away from the centre of Scheffau village, linked by ski bus and by footpath; when snow conditions are at their best it's also possible to ski down to the lifts base from the village, via the pisted route of the footpath (classified as a blue run).
Given favourable conditions, there's also a separate compact beginners' area on the meadows close to the village, although the main beginners' slopes are situated in the Brandstadl area at the top of the gondolas.
The wide and gentle snowbowl beyond Brandstadl is perfect for progressing novices, and provides easy onward links for more experienced visitors to head towards the steeper terrain on the nearby central Eiberg and Zinsberg peaks at the core of the SkiWelt, from where all other sectors are then accessible.
There's a choice of two good long home runs down to Scheffau's base area at Blaiken, one blue and one red; there are also a couple of additional ungroomed 'ski routes' too, suitable for more advanced skiers and snowboarders, superb just after fresh snowfalls.
Off the slopes and apres ski
Scheffau's principal off-slope attractions are its picturesque setting and its sleepy rural atmosphere, there’s not really much else to do here other than ski or snowboard during the day and then relax with a couple of quiet drinks before and after an unhurried dinner.
There's a bit of apres-ski jolliness to be had at the lively Stern Bar by the base terminals of the gondolas for an hour or two around the time the lifts close, but the village itself has only a few laid-back bars and hotel lounge bars.
Alternative activity ideas include the floodlit toboggan runs at the neighbouring resorts of Ellmau to the east and Soll to the west, both just a quick taxi or bus journey away; both these villages also have excellent aqua-leisure centres too.
Bars and clubs