Zell am See Ski Resort

Zell an See - world class combo of lake, town, lifts, mountain, snow and ski.
Powder for the Powderhounds at Zell am See ski resort.
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 Xpress gondola, new for season 16/17.
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.
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.
Awesome traditonal cuisine at Zell am See ski resort.
Ski beautiful below tree line terrain at Zell am See.
Skiing Zell am See ski resorts trail 20 to the excellent Jaga-alm restaurant.
Zell am See ski resort Schmittenhohe summit and surrounding terrain.
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.
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?
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.
Ski and snowboard Zell am See.

Zell am See Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Zell am See

Zell am See 3.5/53
Zell am See 3.5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
Dolomites accommodation & lifts packages

Interlinked Ski Resorts

Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm

    Zell am See Trail & Piste Map
  • Zell am See Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    760m– 2,000m (1,240m)
  • Average Snow Fall
  • Lifts (26)
    9 Gondolas / cable cars
    9 Chairs

    Ski ALPIN - 121 lifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Late Nov - mid April
    8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 77km
    Runs (incl. Kaprun & Skicircus) - 408km
    Longest run – 5km+
    Advanced/Expert - 20%
    Intermediate - 45%
    Beginner - 35%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 19/20
    Ski ALPIN Card
    Valid Kaprun-Zell am See-Skicircus
    Adult - €51 to €56.50
    Child - €24 to €26
    Child u/5yr - Free
    Kaprun Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Kaprun Ski Trail Map
    Kaprun-Zell am See Trail & Piste Map
  • Kaprun-Zell am See 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, 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


  • 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.


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

Pros or Cons (depending on your perspective!)

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

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.

See the Zell am See ski trail map here.

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 exceptionally 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 (& particularly challenging) tree skiing possibilities.

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

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 (3029m) makes for an impressive 2269m 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 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 snowmaking.

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 sensational Salzburg in central Austria. 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. 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 here.

For detailed information 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 accommodation here.

A great 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.

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

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? See our Zell am See Ski Lessons & Guiding page for more information & booking.

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 SkiWelt – Brixental, Wildkogel at Bramberg, Weiβee Glacier World and resorts in the Zillertal via Krimml. Buses also connect to 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).


The Powderhounds reviewed Zell am See in 2017 & are due to return in 2021 to check out all the new lifts & connection to the Skicircus Saalbach. 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 European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

Tours in or near Zell am See

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Magic Dolomites & Austrian Alps Ski Safari
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Ski Days
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Fully hosted & guided deluxe private ski safari taking in the best Dolomites & Austrian ski resorts over 10 days. Stay in 4 & 5-star hotels, enjoy the all inclusive meals & be transported by luxury van to each new destination. Private groups only for up to 10 people - apply for your best dates.
Price p/p From price based on 10 days, private group of 4, twin share
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations
USD 8,176
View Details
Premier Austrian & German Ski Resorts Tour
9 Days | 8 Nights | 7 Ski Days
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Fully hosted & guided deluxe private ski tour taking in six premier Austrian & German ski resorts over 9 days. Stay in 4 & 5-star hotels, enjoy the all inclusive meals & be transported by luxury van to each new destination. Private groups only for up to 10 people - apply for your best dates.
Price p/p From price based on 9 days for a group 4, twin share.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 7,504
View Details
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Zell am See here