A winter paradise for the best family ski resorts - Austria

The Carinthian formula for family happiness is child’s play! Here in Austria’s southernmost province, families can make winter dreams come true. Aspiring ski stars can learn their first turns on the wide, superbly groomed slopes of some of the best family ski resorts. Austria does family skiing like nowhere else. Exuberant toboggan runs, exciting excursion destinations and relaxing winter wellness await your family. When heavy snowflakes dance from the mountain peaks all the way down into the valleys and cover Carinthia in white, the south of Austria invites you to enjoy unforgettable winter moments for young and old alike.

6 good reasons for brilliant family ski holidays: Austria is a hit with kids

Ski resorts in Austria have modern and sophisticated infrastructure because they regularly see significant investment. From higher, faster and bigger lifts to extended and linked ski areas, Austria is always upgrading the holiday experience for its winter guests, from the smallest to the tallest. For family ski holidays, Austria is hard to beat.  

The southern Austrian province of Carinthia enjoys a long ski season, usually lasting from November through to May in the highest resorts. Austria is one of only four countries in the world that has lift served skiing all year round. Easter, with its milder temperatures, is one of the best times for family skiing. Austria’s family-friendly ski resorts in Carinthia offer snow-secure skiing through to spring.

You’ll find plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation at our family ski resorts. Austria’s sunny southern province has over 40 ski areas and the selection of accommodation in Carinthia ranges from inexpensive to luxury, often with a focus on wellness, family and gourmet experiences. Many resorts offer convenient proximity to the slopes, making your little ones’ early ski days fun and easy. 

Plenty of sun, the mild climate on the south side of the Alps and wide, safe slopes ensure that learning to ski in Carinthia is a complete success for families with children. Ski schools in Carinthia, and throughout Austria, have highly-trained instructors who love making sure beginner skiers of all ages have a great experience and learn the right techniques. Set your kids up for a lifetime of fun on the snow.

Carinthia lies on the border with Italy and Slovenia and the Alpe-Adria regional influence can be tasted with every meal. Being on the sunny side of the Alps ensures fresh produce harvested in season and that is an important part of the special flavours of Alpine-Adriatic cuisine. Here, longstanding cooking traditions and new interpretations merge to form a delicious regional style.

Pick up the Winter Kärnten Card to make the most of winter excursion opportunities across the region, ensuring an unforgettable family ski holiday. Austria has so much to experience on and off the slopes. Visit the Pyramidenkogel, the world’s tallest wooden viewing tower, or see the giant snakes and turtles at the Happ Reptile Zoo.

Here in Carinthia, making ski holidays fun and affordable is a focus for many family ski resorts. Austria’s beloved Bad Kleinkirchheim winter sports region has the ‘Family Euro’ package, where children up to age 12 accompanied by their parents ski for only one euro per day. In the Klippitztörl ski area children at selected accommodations can ski for free in the off-peak seasons. Heiligenblut has the Snowman ski pass, which is only four euro for children up to the age of ten in combination with a parent ski pass. At the Heidi-Alm Ski Park at the Falkert Mountain, children up to age 6 ride for free if they are accompanied by an adult. In the Sportberg Goldeck ski area, children up to age 14 who stay with their families at accommodation establishments located around Lake Millstatt ski free from January 9 until the end of the season, as long as their parents purchase ski passes. 

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The best family ski resorts - Austria loves family skiing!

Family skiing is a way of life in Austria and you’ll understand that once you’ve experienced it. The most beautiful holiday of the year is fun for the whole family at Carinthia’s family friendly resorts. Wide and safe slopes await young winter sports enthusiasts, who are well looked after by experienced ski instructors. Austria is an outstanding family skiing destination, where everything is family-oriented, from top to bottom.

For example, the Heidi Alm Bergresort in Falkert is an insider tip for those in the know about the best family ski resorts. Austria loves the popular figures from the children’s series Heidi and the Heidi Alm ski park promises a playful approach to learning in the snow.


There are children’s hotels, a specialist children’s ski school, and everything revolves around the big wishes of the little ones. 

But that's not all: the sunny south offers many more winter adventures. Nature loving boys and girls will enjoy exciting snowshoe hikes with wildlife watching, adventurous children will be whooping with joy on toboggan runs, and everyone loves ice skating, building snowmen and enjoying delicious snacks from the bakery on family ski holidays. Austria promises glittering memories for families and a unique "taste of childhood".

Discover a few more of our favourite family ski resorts in Austria:

Family skiing in the Katschberg ski region

Franz Gerdl
Advent Katschberg Pistenspass

Franz Gerdl
Advent Katschberg Kinderskifahren

Family ski holidays in the Katschberg region offer children's laughter, guaranteed. The Katschberg-Rennweg in sunny Carinthia is one of the best family ski resorts. Austria ski holidays mean kids squealing with delight, relaxed parents and happy families.

With over 70 km of perfectly groomed pistes and 16 modern lift systems for older skiers, the children enjoy themselves in Katschi's Children's World. This specially closed off nursery slope with fun, life-size figures enables safe and carefree skiing. If little skiers need a break, heated pavilions are available for a rest and a snack. 

Have fun in Weinebene, in the beautiful Lavanttal region

Klippitztoerl Familienspass

Franz Gerdl
Klippitztoerl Familienspass

The Lavanttal region is known as the “ski school of Carinthia” because the pistes are ideally suited to beginners and those returning to skiing after a break. Home to the boutique Weinebene, Klippitztörl and Koralpe ski villages, this winter playground offers plenty of variety and fun for the whole family, with snowshoe hikes, ski tours, tobogganing, cross-country skiing and more.

Snow cover is reliable here on the Carinthian/Styrian border. Weinebene is at an altitude of 1,580 to 1,886 metres above sea level and is an ideal skiing, snowboarding and cross-country ski region.

Discover one of the best family ski resorts, Austria’s Nassfeld-Pressegger See

Martin Lugger
Nassfeld Ski Alpin Familie

Martin Lugger
Nassfeld Ski Alpin Familie

The Nassfeld-Pressegger See holiday region is Carinthia’s largest skiing area and home to some of the southern province’s most charming family ski resorts. Collectively known as the Sun Ski World, this area has slopes for skiers of all ages, and all the facilities that make for perfect family ski holidays. Austria promises many family friendly runs at small resorts like Kötschach-Mauthen, Weissensee and Lesachtal – ideal conditions for making your first turns in the snow away from the crowds. 

Once you have gained confidence you can hit the Nassfeld resort, one of Austria’s top 10 ski resorts, which has breathtaking fun park areas and speed & ski movie funslopes. Nassfeld has no less than three children’s practise areas. 

Families love the Petzen ski region

ZANGELE / IME – InnovationMediaEvent GmbH, Tourismusregion Klopeiner See – Südkärnten
Schneeschuhwandern Petzen

MORI / Tourismusregion Klopeiner See – Südkärnten
Familie Skierlebnis Petzen

At the heart of the Petzen ski region is the stunning winter panorama of the  South Carinthian lakes. Views of the Jaun Valley, the Klopeiner See and the surrounding mountain landscape draw skiers, carvers, and snowboarders, as well as cross-country skiers and winter hikers to well tended trails and pistes. Here in the Südkärnten, Austria’s southernmost ski mountain area, everyone feels at home at one of Europe’s best small ski areas.

The fun and affordable Simonhöhe family ski resort, Austria

c Franz Gerdl BRM
Skifahren FamilienSki

Gert Perauer
Kinder beim Skikurs auf der Piste

Here in Mittelkärnten, the super fun and very affordable Simonhöhe ski resort delights families with downhill and cross-country skiing opportunities, all with gorgeous views of snow-covered forests and mountains.  Children love Simon the forest hare hopping about the kid’s ski school with his friends.

Families love the Simonhöhe Kids-Day and kid’s ski passes are discounted every Saturday. There is a free snowmobile service and twilight toboggan rides are a very special experience. This is really the ideal family snow land for family ski holidays, Austria. 

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All you need to know about skiing with kids

Do you want your kids to enjoy skiing as much as you do? Do you want to look forward to many years of fun family ski holidays? Austria specialises in family skiing and picking one of the wide range of family ski resorts will give your kids a head start to a lifetime of fun on the snow slopes. 

The magic age for learning to ski is around five years old. Many children around this age will be able to pick up the basics of stopping, turning and managing the lifts. You’ll be amazed how quickly they can escape the ski garden and get out onto the green and blue runs.

That’s not to say older children will not pick up skiing just as quickly, as more strength and endurance helps them progress. Younger than five years old it really depends on the child – for some very young children it is more about having a positive, fun experience in the snow and being looked after while Mum and Dad hit the slopes. 

It is vital to choose the right place for your family ski holidays. Austria is renowned for its professional and friendly ski instructors and ski schools, especially at the many family ski resorts. Austria and Carinthia have highly-trained instructors who love making sure beginner skiers of all ages have a great experience. 

Learning the correct technique from the beginning is important to minimise physical effort and the risk of accidents. Ski lessons with highly-trained instructors ensure that beginners can enjoy skiing from their very first turns.  For some children, group ski lessons can be daunting and you might like to consider private ski lessons for the family together. 

As your skiing confidence grows, having ski lessons each season is important to refresh and progress your skills. Even advanced skiers can benefit from private lessons to hone their technique. There is always room for improvement!

Make sure fun and not freezing is the refrain of your family ski holidays. Austria ski trips require thoughtful packing and you should check kids have everything they need for a great day on the mountain. A warm, waterproof coat and salopettes or onesie is vital. Underneath this, layers of thermal underwear and thin jumpers or fleeces can be adjusted depending on the weather. The clothing worn next to the skin must be made of a wicking fabric rather than cotton. Good socks, ski gloves, and a neck warmer that can be pulled up over the lower face in a cold wind finish off the outfit. Don’t forget that ski helmets are compulsory for children and teens up to the age of 15. 

Top tips for skiing with kids

1. Professional ski schools

What are our top tips for successful family ski holidays? Austria is known for its family-friendly resorts and professional ski schools, who work hard to ensure kids get the best start to a lifetime of fun in the snow. Ski instructors are trained to make learning to ski fun so kids learn the right techniques without even realising. Watch your child’s confidence grow as they master the snowy slopes with their new friends. 

2. Quality family time

A good breakfast and a pocket full of snacks can help kids get through a day on the mountain. And be on hand before and after ski school with encouragement and praise. Above all, a family ski holiday should be about quality family time together. So after ski school, hit the fun parks with your kids, either on your skis, or tubing and tobogganing is also fun at family ski resorts. Austria’s wonderful fresh mountain air is beneficial but tiring for kids, so make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. 

Skifahren in der Region Bad Kleinkirchheim
BRM c Mathias Praegant

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