Set on a sunny plateau, Alpbach is an idyllic chocolate-box village centred around its baroque church. It is considered one of the prettiest villages in Austria. The German ADAC Skiguide chose the Alpbach Valley as the best ski resort in the category of "Small is Beautiful" in 2009.

Skiing in Alpbach ticks lots of boxes for beginners: nursery slopes are easily accessed above the village church; a good choice of gentle runs; sunny conditions so you don't get cold falling over; ski schools have an excellent reputation; and plenty of non-skiing activities so you can take a break from the slopes.

The Alpbach Valley is located in the Kitzbühel Alps in northeast Tyrol, close to the German border. The Alpbach ski area (1,000-2,030m) comprises 54 kilometres of groomed runs served by 21 modern lifts.

Ski lessons

With the help of qualified instructors of the three ski schools in the Alpbach Valley, you'll get the principles of skiing quickly mastered.

Alpbach Aktiv ski school encourages beginners to take lessons five days straight. The lessons take place from Sunday to Thursday and run four hours a day with an hour's break for lunch; €155 total cost. If you prefer one-on-one contact with your instructor, consider private lessons: a four-hour private lesson costs €155, then you pay €15 for each additional day. Children from 3 years old can visit Frosty's Snow World, directly below the mountain station for half- or full-day ski lessons (at level classified) for groups of up to six. The ski school also organises a ski race every Thursday and other fun activities at the end of the sessions. Book online to benefit from discount. 

Ski and Snowboard School Alpbach-Inneralpbach offers five-day group lessons starting Sunday or Monday) for €145 or €175 private one-day lesson. Specialist lessons include special deep snow courses, seniors-only lessons, and mono-ski school of disabled learners. Kids can head to BoBo's Kinder Club.

Ski School Reith in Alpbach is also ideal for kids, offering a free trial ski lesson and on Thursdays it's the children's ski race with music and barbecue. There are also pony rides and children's discos regularly organized. Rates for adults: €145 for five days' of lessons; private one-day €175. The Reith school also offers night-skiing lessons, which can be an exciting first-time experience.

This year chose the Alpbach Valley among the best ski resort for night-skiing, which takes place on six floodlit pistes on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. An evening ticket costs €15.

Long, wide runs

Skiing in Alpbach offers 15 kilometres of beginner slopes and 34 kilometres of intermediate. Once you've got your ski legs, take the family down the four-kilometre "family Inneralpbach descent" - the longest run in Alpbach. From the mountain station of the ski Pöglbahn, take run number 8 - follow the wide slopes lined with pine trees, cruising or carving, all the way down to the valley. The Reitherkogel run is also ideal for beginners and skiing families. 

You'll find plenty of long, wide runs on the Wiedersbergerhorn, such as the blue slope 13a to Muldenlift (I), or the more slightly advanced number 4 to the Gmahbahn (B) or further down to the middle station of the Wiedersbergerhorn Bahn. Kramsach and Brandenberg also offer fine broad, flat pistes for beginners.

Beginners' funpark

The funpark on the Wiedersbergerhorn is popular with beginners for its beginner kicker line with a 2x3-metre box. The Alpbach Aktiv ski school offers special training sessions in the funpark, called "funpark parties". Get guidance in developing balance and agility, and learning the basic techniques such as grinding and getting air. During the peak season it costs €50 for four hours. 

Non-skiing activities

Alpbach offers a variation of non-skiing activities at your fingertips. The Alpbach Seenland Card will be handed to you at your hotel and offers many extras such as free access to the pool in Alpbach, the tennis court Kramsach, and ice rinks Reith and Alpbach. In total, you'll find eight toboggan runs in the Alpbach too. Night sledding is great fun in Brandenberg or in the Alpbach Bischoferjoch. 

The ski season in the Alpbach Valley runs from early December to mid April. Fly to Innsbruck, Salzburg or Munich - from there either hire a car or take the train. The nearest stations are Brixlegg or Rattenberg.