Zell am See 3.5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Europe Tours

Zell an See - world class combo of lake, town, lifts, mountain, snow and ski.
Zell an See - world class combo of lake, town, lifts, mountain, snow and ski.
Powder for the Powderhounds at Zell am See ski resort.
Powder for the Powderhounds at Zell am See ski resort.
Fun off-piste terrain under the Zell am See TrassXpress gondola.
Fun off-piste terrain under the Zell am See TrassXpress gondola.
Zell am See has fine traditonal dining overlooking the ample ski terrain.
Zell am See has fine traditonal dining overlooking the ample ski terrain.
Zell am See Xpress gondola, new for season 16/17.
Zell am See Xpress gondola, new for season 16/17.
Off piste powder and tree skiing at Zell am See available for the adventurous.
Off piste powder and tree skiing at Zell am See available for the adventurous.
Modern hooded chairlifts service much of the terrain at Zell am See.
Modern hooded chairlifts service much of the terrain at Zell am See.
Zell am See summit (Schmittenhohe) start gate of the 1000m vert Trass piste.
Zell am See summit (Schmittenhohe) start gate of the 1000m vert Trass piste.
Quality top to bottom piste skiing abounds at Zell am See ski resort.
Quality top to bottom piste skiing abounds at Zell am See ski resort.
Awesome traditonal cuisine at Zell am See ski resort.
Awesome traditonal cuisine at Zell am See ski resort.
Ski beautiful below tree line terrain at Zell am See.
Ski beautiful below tree line terrain at Zell am See.
Skiing Zell am See ski resorts trail 20 to the excellent Jaga-alm restaurant.
Skiing Zell am See ski resorts trail 20 to the excellent Jaga-alm restaurant.
Zell am See ski resort Schmittenhohe summit and surrounding terrain.
Zell am See ski resort Schmittenhohe summit and surrounding terrain.
Child friendly skiing at Zell am See ski resort's Schuttdorf base area.
Child friendly skiing at Zell am See ski resort's Schuttdorf base area.
T-bar and offpiste powder (X6) on Zell am See ski resort's Sonnkogel.
T-bar and offpiste powder (X6) on Zell am See ski resort's Sonnkogel.
Zell am See piste ski terrain is 100% covered by snow making.
Zell am See piste ski terrain is 100% covered by snow making.
Just what is 'Happy' the clown up to at Zell am See ski resort?
Just what is 'Happy' the clown up to at Zell am See ski resort?
Zell am See ski rsort has three base areas, this one is 'mid' mountain.
Zell am See ski rsort has three base areas, this one is 'mid' mountain.
Zell am See ski resort has a pretty town centre and vibrant nightlife.
Zell am See ski resort has a pretty town centre and vibrant nightlife.
Ski and snowboard Zell am See.
Ski and snowboard Zell am See.

Zell am See

Zell am See (Schmitten) Ski Resort Austria

Beautifully situated lakeside, Zell am See ski resort Austria (a.k.a. Schmitten) merges many wonderful qualities inviting to all Powderhounds. A stellar location, easy access, guaranteed snow cover, varied ski terrain and a real village with lively après make Zell am See a great ski & snowboard holiday destination.

Linked with the nearby Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn ski resort & glacier, Zell am See is a classic mid-size Austrian ski resort that is surrounded by mountains of possibilities.

Summary of Pros & Cons for Zell am See Ski Resort

Pros

  • 100% of slopes on Schmitten covered by snow making means perfect pistes;
  • Modern lift system;
  • Intermediate piste skiers paradise;
  • Wonderful variety of terrain in combination with Kaprun;
  • Link with Kaprun means skiing available in all types of weather;
  • Breathtaking views from Schmittenhöhe
  • Guaranteed snow any time of the season on nearby Kitzsteinhorn;
  • Huge range of accommodation available;
  • Easy access by train direct to Zell am See from major centres;
  • Fun après in town & on the summit;
  • Close to vast number of ski resorts in the region.

Cons

  • Low elevation base areas vulnerable to vagaries of climate warming;
  • Can get busy at times;
  • Limited expert terrain.

Zell am See Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

The Zell am See ski area has a low base of just 760m but rises to a lofty 2000m on Schmittenhöhe via a host of modern lifts. One can take at least 5 different thigh-burning valley runs down the entire 1240m vertical on the ‘front side’, plus a 1000m+ descent on the ‘back side toward Saalbach. Cutting these long laps will very quickly render your legs to jelly.

Speaking of lifts (and jelly), there aren’t too many places that can boast having cable car cabins designed by Porsche. Zell am See can, and does..... boast about it that is!. They do look pretty cool (if you are into that; we prefer jelly!). Putting that aside, Schmitten does have an expansive and modern lift system hauling skiers and snowboarders up its 77km of piste skiing.  The 27 ski lifts are continually being upgraded & replaced.

The piste terrain is mainly east facing and quite varied. Unusually for a lot of the resorts in the region, Zell am See includes some very long advanced (black) runs. The range of beginner & intermediate trails will satisfy most skiers for several days.

Off piste terrain is only limited by your imagination. For the adventurous when the snow is deep, there are some quite lusty alpine bowls and literally kilometres of great (& very challenging) tree skiing possibilities.

See the Zell am See Skiing & Snowboarding page for more information.

Interlinked with Kaprun - Kitzsteinhorn

Zell am See (Schmitten) ski area is lift ticket (2-day or longer) interlinked to the high alpine glacier at Kitzsteinhorn and the family friendly lifts at Kaprun. Only a short ski bus ride away, the combined Kaprun-Zell am See ski area covers 138km of trails & 50 lifts. The difference in vertical from the base near Zell am See (760m) to the top of the ski-able area of Kitzsteinhorn (3029m) makes for an impressive 2269m vertical across the resorts – shame you can can’t ski it all in one hit!

Snow & Weather

Whilst snowfall statistics show Zell am See has a healthy 6m average winter snowfall (summit of Schmittenhöhe), the low base elevation of the resort makes it vulnerable to warmer weather. Pleasingly for winter visitors to Zell Am See, 100% of piste runs are covered by high tech snow-making.

The high elevation and northerly aspect of the nearby Kitzsteinhorn will generally guarantee quality snow conditions all winter, regardless of what is happening at lower elevations. 

Where is Zell am See, Austria?

Zell am See is in Salzburg state (Salzburgerland) near the border with the Tyrol and is located 110km south of Salzburg in central Austria. Zell am See is just north of Austria’s highest mountain – Großglockner (3798m).

Closest gateway airports are Innsbruck (142km) and Salzburg, with the closest major international airport being Munich in Germany.

Public transport options abound. Trains run regularly direct to Zell am See. Most train journeys to Zell am See from Innsbruck take around 2hr and from Salzburg about 1½hr. Regular buses, free for anyone with a ski pass, connect Zell am See to the ski lifts and Kaprun & the glacier at Kitzsteinhorn.

For detailed information see the Travelling to Zell am See page.
Europe Train & Bus Schedules & Tickets

Zell am See Accommodation

Zell am See has accommodation of every type and standard ranging from ski in ski out in the upper part of town, boutique options in the town centre to lakeside bliss on the shoreline.

Search & book all Zell am See Ski Accommodation here >>>

A major new spa hotel is located between Zell am See and Kaprun, adding to the diversity of local accommodation. Alternatively, one can stay in nearby Kaprun - particularly useful if the intention is to spend several days skiing Kitzsteinhorn.

See the Zell am See Accommodation page for info in the best places to stay.

Facilities

Not a fake ski resort base, but a real town, Zell am See has a full range of shops, services, bars and restaurants including ski shops to hire ski or snowboard equipment. The nearby Tauern Spa complex will sooth anyone’s cares away.

Nearby Ski Resorts

A host of nearby ski resorts can be conveniently reached by car, bus or train from either Schuttsdorf or Zell am See stations. Ski resorts accessible by train include the vast SkiCircus at Leogang and Fieberbrunn (or bus to Saalbach), iconic Kitzbuhel-Kirchberg, the huge SkiWelt – Brixental, Wildkogel at Bramberg, Weiβee Glacier World and resorts in the Zillertal via Krimml. Buses also connect to SkiCircus at Saalbach and Hinterglemm, and if skiing under the new ZellamSeeXpress gondola at Schmitten, you can continue off piste all the way to the valley bottom near Viehhofen (also part of SkiCircus Saalbach) and catch the bus back to Zell am See and Kaprun (buses run every hour).


Tours in or near Zell am See

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Zell am See

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Interlinked Ski Resorts

Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn


    Zell am See Trail & Piste Map
  • Zell am See Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Vertical (m)
    760– 2,000 (1,240m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6m
  • Lifts (27)
    8 Gondolas / cable cars
    10 Chairs

    Incl. Kaprun - 50 lifts
  • Ski Hours
    Late Nov - mid April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 77km
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced/Expert - 20%
    Intermediate - 45%
    Beginner - 35%

    Incl. Kaprun - 138km
  • Lift Pass Prices (Day Ticket 18/19)
    Winter Season
    Adult - €48 to €53
    Child - €24 to €26
    Child u/6yr - Free
    2 Day+ incl. Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn
 

    Kaprun Trail & Piste Map
  • Kaprun Ski Trail & Piste Map