Zell am See Ski Resort

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Zell am See is a world-class combo of lake, town, lifts, mountain, snow & skiing
Zell am See is a world-class combo of lake, town, lifts, mountain, snow & skiing
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 TrassXpress gondola at Zell am See ski resort
Fun off-piste terrain under TrassXpress gondola at Zell am See ski resort
Zell am See has fine traditonal dining overlooking the extensive ski terrain
Zell am See has fine traditonal dining overlooking the extensive ski terrain
Zell am See Xpress gondola is part of the connection to Skicircus Saalbach
Zell am See Xpress gondola is part of the connection to Skicircus Saalbach
Off piste powder & tree skiing at Zell am See for the adventurous
Off piste powder & tree skiing at Zell am See for the adventurous
Modern lifts serve most of the terrain at Zell am See ski resort
Modern lifts serve most of the terrain at Zell am See ski resort
Schmittenhohe summit start gate of the 1,000m vertical Trass piste trail
Schmittenhohe summit start gate of the 1,000m vertical Trass piste trail
Quality top to bottom skiing abounds at Zell am See ski resort
Quality top to bottom skiing abounds at Zell am See ski resort
Zell am See ski resort has loads of mountain restaurants with accommodation
Zell am See ski resort has loads of mountain restaurants with accommodation
Beautiful tree line terrain under Sonnengrat chair at Zell am See ski resort
Beautiful tree line terrain under Sonnengrat chair at Zell am See ski resort
The excellent Jaga-alm restaurant & hotel is perfectly ski-in ski-out at Zell am See
The excellent Jaga-alm restaurant & hotel is perfectly ski-in ski-out at Zell am See
Schmittenhohe summit terrain at Zell am See ski resort
Schmittenhohe summit terrain at Zell am See ski resort
Family friendly facilities at Zell am See ski resort
Family friendly facilities at Zell am See ski resort's Areitxpress base at Schuttdorf
Zell am See ski resort
Zell am See ski resort's Sonnkogel off-piste terrain
Zell am See has amazing on-piste ski trails, 100% covered by snow making
Zell am See has amazing on-piste ski trails, 100% covered by snow making
Zell am See ski resort is easily accessed via the Austrian railway network
Zell am See ski resort is easily accessed via the Austrian railway network
Zell am See ski resort third base area is up valley from the main town
Zell am See ski resort third base area is up valley from the main town
Zell am See has a gorgeous town centre plus vibrant bars & nightlife.
Zell am See has a gorgeous town centre plus vibrant bars & nightlife.
Ski and snowboard Zell am See in Austria
Ski and snowboard Zell am See in Austria

Zell am See Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Zell am See

Zell am See 3.5/54
Zell am See 3.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Racha Backcountry Ski Tour Georgia Snow Vigil
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Interlinked Ski Resorts

Kaprun - Kitzsteinhorn
Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm

Zell am See Maps & Stats

    Zell am See Ski Trail Map
  • Zell am See Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Zell-am-See only
    760m - 2,000m (1,240m)

    Ski ALPIN
    760m - 3,029m (2,269m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6m
  • Lifts (28)
    9 Gondolas / cable cars
    10 Chairs

    Ski ALPIN - 121 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Late Nov - mid April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 77km (Zell am See)
    Longest run - 5km+
    Advanced/Expert - 20%
    Intermediate - 45%
    Beginner - 35%

    Ski ALPIN (incl. Kaprun & Skicircus) - 408km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Ski ALPIN Card
    Kaprun-Skicircus-Zell am See
    Adult - €65 to €72
    Child - €32.50 to €36
    Child u/5yr - Free
    Kaprun Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Kaprun Ski Trail Map
    Kaprun-Zell am See Ski Trail Map
  • Kaprun-Zell am See Ski Trail Map
    Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang, Fieberbrunn ski trail map
  • Skicircus Saalbach Ski Trail Map

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 powder hounds. 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.

Intrinsically linked with the nearby Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn ski resort & glacier plus the neighbouring Skicircus Saalbach, Zell-am-See is a classic mid-size Austrian ski resort that is surrounded by mountains of possibilities.

Pros & Cons for Zell am See Ski Resort

Pros

  • Modern lift system.
  • 100% of slopes on Schmitten covered by snow making means perfect pistes.
  • Intermediate piste skiers paradise.
  • Wonderful variety of terrain in combination with Kaprun & Skicircus Saalbach.
  • Link with Kaprun means skiing available from lakeside to alpine glacier.
  • 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 including Salzburg & Innsbruck.
  • 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 at the margins of the season.
  • Can get busy at times.
  • Limited on-piste expert terrain.

Pros or Cons (depending on your perspective!)

  • You may want to pack up your home & move here permanently.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & 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 1,240m vertical on the ‘front side’, plus a 1,000m+ descent on the ‘back side‘ toward Saalbach. Cutting these long laps will very quickly render your legs to jelly.

Check out the ski trail map for Zell am See below.

Zell am See Ski Trail Map
Zell am See Ski Trail Map

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 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 on-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 exceptionally long advanced (black) runs. The range of beginner & intermediate trails will satisfy most skiers for several days.

Off-piste terrain here at first appears limited, but in reality it 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 (& particularly challenging) tree skiing possibilities.

Lift Pass Linked with Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn & Skicircus Saalbach

The Zell am See ski area is lift pass linked to the delightful Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn & Ski circus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. The combined Ski ALPIN lift ticket covers the slopes of Kitzsteinhorn, Maiskogel, Schmittenhöhe, Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang & Fieberbrunn. The difference in vertical from the base near Zell am See (760m) to the top of the ski-able area of Kitzsteinhorn (3,029m) makes for an impressive 2,269m vertical across the resorts – shame you can can’t ski it all in one hit! It does however provide access to a total of 408km of trails and 121 ski lifts - an area comparative to the massive Ski Arlberg.

Snow & Weather

Whilst snowfall statistics show Zell am See has a healthy 6m average winter snowfall (summit of Schmittenhöhe), the low elevation base 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 guarantee quality snow conditions all winter, regardless of what is happening at lower elevations.

For more information on ski lifts, terrain, trail maps & lift passes, see the Zell am See Skiing & Snowboarding page.

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 sensational Salzburg in central Austria. Located above the town of the same name, Zell-am-See is just north of Austria’s highest mountain – Großglockner (3,798m).

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

Public transport options abound. Train is the recommended mode of travel to Zell am See from either Salzburg or Innsbruck. Trains run regularly direct to Zell am See station, perfectly located lakeside near the centre of town. Most train journeys to Zell am See from Innsbruck take around 2hr & from Salzburg about 1½hr. Regular buses, free for anyone with a ski pass, connect Zell am See to the ski lifts, plus Kaprun & the glacier at Kitzsteinhorn. A sure way to POW (Protect Our Winters) is by taking the train to Zell am See. Search & book train tickets to Zell am See.

For detailed information on the best ways to get there, see the Travelling to Zell am See page.

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 or on the mountain, to boutique options in the town centre or lakeside bliss on the shoreline.

Search & book all Zell am See ski accommodation.

An exceptional hotel with a massive pool & complex, the Tauern Spa Hotel, is located between Zell am See & 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.

For info on the best accommodation in the village & surrounds, see the Zell am See Where To Stay page .

[AdListings collection="Europe" category="Austria Zell am See" subcategory="Zell am See Packages"]

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski & snowboard rentals are available from our partners in the centre of town. Receive a discount when you search & book from our Zell am See ski & snowboard rentals page.

If looking to check out the local off-piste or to try one of the huge freeride descents from nearby Kitzsteinhorn but are unsure about your abilities; off-piste ski lessons & guiding can make all the difference. Or perhaps you just want a regular ski lesson? For more information & booking, see our Zell am See Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

Services & Facilities

Not a fake ski resort base, but a real town, Zell-am-See has a full range of shops, services, bars and restaurants to cover every eventuality.

From a pool, spa & wellness perspective, whilst many local hotels have their own facilities one cannot compete with the nearby Tauern Spa complex. It is sure to sooth anyone’s cares away, plus is a great place to stay as well.

Nearby Ski Resorts

A host of nearby ski resorts can be conveniently reached by car, bus or train from Zell am See stations. Ski resorts accessible by train include the vast SkiCircus at Leogang & Fieberbrunn (or bus to Saalbach), iconic Kitzbühel-Kirchberg (either via Mittersill or Kitzbuehel), the huge piste paradise of SkiWelt, Wildkogel at Bramberg, Weiβee Glacier World and resorts in the Zillertal via Krimml. Buses also connect to the SkiCircus at Saalbach & Hinterglemm, or if skiing under the ZellamSeeXpress gondola at Schmitten, you can continue all the way to the valley bottom near Viehhofen (also part of SkiCircus Saalbach).

Review

The Powderhounds reviewed Zell am See in 2017 & returned in 2022 to check out all the new lifts & connection to the Skicircus Saalbach, as well as enjoy a great après ski session in the town. Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read the reviews!

See how Zell am See compares to the rest of the Austrian ski resorts on the Austria ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

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