Europa Sport Region: Zell am See, Kaprun -
You'll ski and snowboard on the Kitzsteinhorn (3,203 m) or the Schmittenhöhe ski area (2,000 m) with 56 ski lifts and 132 km of well-groomed slopes for all skill levels.
One pass gets you onto 56 ski lifts and you can take in the entire area via a free shuttle service between Kaprun and Zell am See.
It's just a 10-minute ride. Snowmaking systems cover 70 percent of the terrain. You'll overlook a frozen lake from Zell am See, while the vast Kaprun snowfields are at a higher altitude and are partially on a glacier. The Kitzsteinhorn
means skiing and riding year-round and is served by the only subway-style mountain railway in Austria.
The villages may be only 10 minutes apart, but that's only in distance. Kaprun is small and quiet, while Zell is on a mini-peninsula jutting out into Lake Zell.
The Schmittenhöhe has wide-open, groomed slopes about equally divided among ability levels. You get there via a combination of cable cars, gondolas, and chairs. The slopes face south, which is wonderful for drawing those warm rays, but that can cause some soft snow in the springtime.
The old city is traffic free and delightful for strolling. This après ski scene is one of the reasons the Sportregion Europa is so popular. Tip: Be sure to get the local favorite for dessert at lunch or dinner at least once. It's Germknödel – a wonderful dumpling filled with jelly, poppy seeds, and butter sauce. You can ski it off, so don't fret the calories.
Europa Sport Region is in Salzburg, only 90 km from the city. That's a stop that should be mandatory. Be sure to visit the home where Beethoven was born. You'll hum Silent Night for weeks. Gateway airport is Munich, 193 km away. Good rail connections mean you won't need a car.