The peak of Dachstein is an unmistakable landmark on the horizon welcoming visitors to the Salzburg region of Austria. Located 30km from Bad-Ischl in the very heart of Austria, Dachstein West, the largest ski area in Austria, is a magnificent skiing and hiking resort with a whole range of luxury accommodation, stunning mountain scenery and 140km of snow-sure pistes. Dachstein West is a definite favourite for family skiing holidays, as the terrain is perfect for families, learner skiers and intermediates.
Dachstein West is hugely popular with families for many reasons. The snow-sure slopes (from December until April at least) avoid any disappointment if you take a Dachstein West chalet late in the season, and there are plenty of learner slopes and ski schools to help get your children (or yourselves) up and running with confidence. Children also get to ride the lift systems for free, with the ‘mini ski pass’. The pistes of Dachstein West are fantastically wide and sweeping, with plenty of space for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy their sport in harmony! For the more experienced snow sport fans, there is some fantastic off-piste skiing to be found. There are some excellent cross-country skiing trails through the forests of Dachstein West, as well as some fearsome toboggan runs and many winter walking trails. Ice-climbing also thrives in Dachstein West.
During the summer months, the Gosaukamm cable car opens for business as does the little Hornbahn train which takes visitors the 3km from Hornbahn to the Edalm Hut, which puts on entertainment throughout the summer, but is really there as a starting point for walks up into the mountains. There are a huge range and diversity of walking routes through the Dachstein peaks, from those looking to enjoy a casual stroll through alpine meadows to serious mountaineers hoping to tackle the sheer slopes of Gosaukamm.
There is little après-ski in Dachstein West, as the resort prides itself on its relaxed, family credentials. There are some fantastic little restaurants and bars though, with 19 skiing lodges throughout the area, and both food and drink offer fantastic value for money.
There are three main resorts within the Dachstein West ski area; Gosau, Russbach and Annaberg-Lungotz. Regardless of which resort you decide to take self catering Dachstein West holiday rental accommodation in, you will be rewarded with both high class facilities and a delightful alpine charm. There are a range of world class restaurants throughout the resorts of Dachstein West, serving both international and Austrian cuisine. Each resort also has fantastic children’s facilities including crèche, children’s practice lifts and baby slopes.
Surprisingly, you can easily get a tan during the summer from a Dachstein West property. Temperatures in July and August can average up to 26°C in many years, with daily highs reaching over 30°C, which is ideal when walking in the mountains. In winter, temperatures are obviously much cooler, although still warmer than Dachstein West’s American counterparts.
Salzburg Airport (SZG) is just 40km from a self catering chalet in Dachstein West. There are numerous flights to Salzburg from the UK, provided by five separate airlines including British Airways, Ryanair and Thomsonfly. Airport transfers are readily available from the airport too.