Winter camping in Austria

Winter camping is very well catered for in Austria, with many campsites remaining open for cold weather adventurers through the year. We’ve picked a few of the best locations for winter camping in Austria...

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Winter camping in the Villach region

The area around Villach offers many beautiful places for winter camping in Austria. Campgrounds that are a summer holiday paradise on the shores of Lake Ossiach and Lake Faak become a sparkling white wonderland in winter.

Seecamping Kölbl

Seehotel Hoffmann_Winter am Ossiacher See

Camp right on the shores of beautiful Lake Ossiach at Seecamping Kölbl. The campground is spread over 20,000 m² so there is plenty of space for everyone to have fun and relax. Here on the sunny side of the Austrian Alps, the area around Lake Ossiach is a year-round holiday destination.

It’s only a 15-minute drive from the campground to Annenheim and the gondola to the Gerlitzen mountain ski area. Around this winter camping site there are plenty of opportunities for stunning winter walks and snowshoeing when the snow is thick on the ground.

Seecamping Kölbl

Camping Fischerhof Glinzner

Afritz im Winter

People have been camping at the Fischerhof Glinzner campground for 70 years and that tradition of hospitality alongside modern facilities makes this a wonderful place for winter camping beside Lake Afritz near Villach. There is a cosy inn with a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In winter, this gorgeous area of Carinthia is wrapped in a blanket of snow and Lake Afritz is often covered with ice.

Monitored by experts, this is an amazing place to experience ice skating in the midst of nature. There are many opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing and cross-country skiing in the area and there is even an artificial ice rink by the campground if you would like to try curling. You can also drive to Bad Kleinkirchheim easily, for more skiing and the delightful thermal baths.

Camping Fischerhof Glinzner

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Hohe Tauern region winter camping

The Grossglockner may be Austria’s highest mountain but the surrounding national park is equally awe-inspiring. The Hohe Tauern covers 1,856 square kilometres of pristine alpine landscape, from waterfalls to glaciated peaks. Here are a few picks for winter camping in the Hohe Tauern region:

Nationalpark Camping Grossglockner

Heiligenblut am Grossglockner

With magnificent views of the Grossglockner, this peaceful campsite is open all year around for winter camping in Austria. Here in Heiligenblut, in the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, the campsite is very convenient for winter hiking routes and cross-country ski trails through this incredible alpine landscape.

Plenty of space and excellent facilities, including electric hook-ups and a kiosk, are complemented by a free ski bus in winter so you can be on the downhill ski slopes in no time.  

Nationalpark Camping

HOCHoben

Tomaz Druml
HOCHoben camp & explore - Winter

Tomaz Druml
HOCHoben camp & explore - Innenbereich

This is true alpine camping – HOCHoben is located at over 1,200 meters above sea level and at the heart of winter adventures. Here in Mallnitz, at the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, this very modern campsite has excellent facilities, plenty of space, a restaurant, and static caravans if you don’t have your own winter camping vehicle.

There is storage space available for ski equipment and a drying room after busy days on the mountain. Free ski buses connect with the Ankogel and Mölltaler Glacier ski areas. Cross-country ski runs pass by the gate, and HOCHoben even has its own small ski lift that is perfect for tobogganing and beginner skiers.

HOCHoben

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Winter camping in the Nassfeld-Pressegger See region

The Nassfeld-Pressegger See is Carinthia’s biggest ski region and a perfect location for winter camping in Austria. From here downhill ski runs extend into the Lesach Valley and Weissensee, and all the way into Italy. There are also many wonderful cross-country ski runs, often with the Carinthian Cross-Country Ski Run Seal of Approval. Here are a few amazing campgrounds for you to choose from:

Schluga Camping Europarcs

Social Wintercamping c_Schluga Camping
Social Wintercamping c_Schluga Camping

Camping Schluga
Blick in den Wellnessbereich von Camping Schluga

Near the border with Italy, Schluga Camping in Hermagor-Presseggersee is only eight kilometres from Carinthia’s Nassfeld-Hermagor ski area, where over 110 kilometres of pistes and great après ski await. There is a free ski bus connecting the campground with the ski fields. There are also 300 kilometres of cross-country ski trails (the bus can also help you here), and both lakes Pressegger and Weissen have natural ice rinks.

After all that outdoors winter fun, relax in the AlpinSPA wellness centre, with a heated outdoor pool and large hot tub, as well as various saunas and treatments, all with panoramic views of the Carnic Alps. 

Schluga Camping Europarcs

Alpencamp Kärnten

Koetschach-Mauthen Skigebiet Vorhegg

The Alpencamp Kärnten is in the "high altitude health resort" of Kötschach-Mauthen, in the scenic Gailtal mountains. This campground offers four-star facilities and the warm hospitality of a family-run business. If you don’t have your own winter camping equipment there are glamping options available.

Have fun in the indoor and outdoor pools, as well as the wellness centre offering therapeutic treatments. In the Alpencamp restaurant the ‘slow food’ philosophy rules and you won’t be disappointed with the Carinthian culinary delights.  

Alpencamp Kärnten

Camping Knaller

Auf de Kufen am Weissensee

Camping Knaller is right on the shores of Lake Weissen and in the middle of a 76 square kilometre protected landscape area – the Nature Park Weissensee. With no through traffic, you can enjoy this unique landscape in the utmost serenity here in Techendorf.

During winter the frozen Weissensee becomes the biggest prepared ice rink in Europe and there are 50 km of cross-country trails nearby. Just nearby is the Naggler Alm family ski area with a 4-seater chair and T-bar lifts.
Camping Knaller

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Lake Millstatt region winter camping

At Lake Millstatt they talk about the ‘ski carousel’ in winter because this area is right in the middle of a large number of well-known ski areas. From your winter camping pitch you can ski up to 31 ski areas in Carinthia and the Eastern Tirol, including Goldeck, Bad Kleinkirchheim and Turracher Hohe.

Camping Brunner

@ Kärnten Werbung

Archiv_MTG_c_Gert_Perauer
Winterpanorama Millstaettersee

Right on the shores of stunning Lake Millstatt, Camping Brunner has a private beach and an unrivalled location for winter camping in Austria. Outdoors adventures are all around you in the Nockberg Biosphere Reserve and the Hohe Tauern National Park, and  Camping Brunner is only 12 km away from the Bad Kleinkirchheim ski area.

This lovely campground is open all year round with high quality facilities.

Camping Brunner

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Winter camping in the Klopeiner See region

Petzencamping

Langlaufen am Pirkdorfer See

Camp between the mountains and the lake at Petzencamping. On the beautiful shores of Pirkdorfer Lake, this idyllic camping area has everything you need for a wonderful winter camping holiday.

Bring your own winter camping vehicle or stay in one of their mobile homes or glamping tents. There is an excellent lakeside restaurant with a sunny terrace.

Petzencamping

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The best activities for winter camping in Austria

Listen to the crunch of your hiking boots on the snowy trail through the otherwise silent forest. When the mountains and valleys of Carinthia are covered in snow, winter hiking and snowshoe hikes are a wonderful way to experience the crisp winter wonderland. Ski touring in the back country is also popular. Top off your day with a stop at a traditional mountain hut for a hot drink and delicious Carinthian treats. Carinthia has plenty of superb tobogganing terrain so go flying down a snowy slope or a mountain coaster. There are particularly good toboggan runs in the Dobratsch Nature Park near Villach, in Bad Kleinkirchheim and also Feld am See, some of which are floodlit at night. If you are winter camping in Austria in December, make time to visit a Christmas market. Many towns and villages put on a magical display of lights, crafts, and there’s always time for delicious festive food and drink.

Time for spa and wellness

Nothing complements a winter camping trip like spending time at a thermal spa – after exhilarating days in the snowy outdoors skiing or winter hiking, soak in the hot thermal waters, revitalise in a sauna, and invest in your own wellness with a massage treatment. Austria is renowned for its spa holidays, with many famous thermal spas such as St Kathrein and Römerbad in Bad Kleinkircheim having natural thermal waters infused with health-giving minerals. It really is one of the most delightful things to do in Austria in winter.

Top ice skating spots

Skating across a frozen pond or lake in the midst of a snowy mountainscape – what could be more exhilarating! Austria has many lakes that freeze over in winter, as well as many towns and villages with ice rinks prettily lit up at night. The idyllic Lake Turrach in Carinthia becomes a giant skating rink, or visit Weissensee on your winter camping trip – it’s the biggest continuously frozen and prepared natural ice surface in Europe.

Go cross-country skiing

The swish of cross-country skis sliding through fresh snow is so satisfying. Cross country skiing is hugely popular in Austria and Carinthia alone has over 730 kilometres of trails, catering for all levels of experience and offering varied terrain through both mountain and valley areas. Try the 16 kilometres of excellent ski trails at Turracher Höhe.

Downhill skiing for everyone

Enjoy the comfortable modern lift infrastructure of Austrian ski areas, from the challenging downhill runs of the Turrach and Katschberg ski fields to smaller Carinthian ski slopes in the Lavanttal Valley and Nockberge Mountains. The Carinthian alpine areas are known for their sunny weather above the valley cloud, day after day. Or let the high mountain ski resorts like Grossglockner/Heilgenblut ensure your winter camping trip can stretch into April.

Tips for Winter camping in Austria

Here are our top 10 winter camping tips to make sure you have the best time in the outdoors this winter in Austria.

Make sure you book campsites in advance for winter camping. You don’t want to spend time finding a place to pitch up when daylight hours are short. Some campsites will have limited capacity in the winter so it’s best to book in advance.

Make sure you have winter tyres for your car/RV. Don’t be the person holding up traffic on the road because your vehicle isn’t properly equipped.

 

The camping pitch/site and car park area should be cleared of snow and ploughed if necessary when you are winter camping. 

Lay the power cables to your vehicle in such a way that they cannot be damaged by the snowploughs that keep the paths clear during heavy snowfalls. 

The awning on your RV/winter camper not only protects against drifting snow, but also acts as a storage place for sports equipment and to dry clothes. This prevents too much moisture building up inside.

It may seem strange to open your vents in cold weather but the airflow is important for reducing condensation. Make sure that the ventilation openings don‘t get blocked up with snow.

Regularly clear the roof of snow when winter camping in Austria so the weight of the snow doesn’t collapse your tent.

Only operate the gas system with a propane / butane mixture, which remains gaseous and can be used even when the temperature is below zero. Take great care when cooking inside with gas.

With shorter daylight hours in winter, it’s best to find and set up your camp well before sunset. As well as the darkness, the temperature drops early too, so pitch up, hook up to the electricity and get cosy before the cold really sets in.

When winter camping in Austria, make sure your shoes are inside overnight and stay warm so they don’t freeze.

Gerlitzen Winteridylle
FranzGerdl

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