Austria is renowned for superb alpine ski resorts but it is often difficult to decide where to head for with the choice of resort being so great. If you are looking for a resort that caters for families as a well as individuals and couples, a great place to consider could be Scheffau am Wilden Kaiser.
Scheffau translates as ‘leaning meadows’ which is exactly what you will find here, at the foot of the ‘Wild Emperor’ mountain range. Scheffau is a municipality within the Kufstein district and is situated approximately 13km north west of Kitzbuhel and 8.5km south east of Kufstein itself.
In winter this charming location is a traditional Tyrolean village with period houses, church and a fountain – becomes a gateway into Ski Welt (Ski World) which is Austria’s largest interconnected ski area.
At 752m above sea level the snow is always guaranteed in Scheffau and Ski Welt Wilder Kaiser has over 250km of slopes ranging in difficulty from Blue slopes suitable for beginners to the black slopes for the expert skier.
The actual breakdown of the pistes is as follows; there are 108km of blue runs, 120km of red runs for intermediates and 22km of black runs. The resort has been graded 5 stars for beginner and intermediate skiers and 4 stars for experts. Boarders can enjoy 3 star pistes although higher quality runs are not hard to get to.
Since the slopes are connected when there is sufficient snow, it becomes possible to tour virtually all the villages in the area. There are numerous modern ski lifts which make this easy. For visitors wishing to go farther afield, the excellent transport links make touring the local towns and villages very straightforward with excursions to Innsbruck and Salzburg possible as day trips as well as other natural attractions.
The resort caters for all ages. There is the excellent Kinder Kaiserland ski park located at the top of the main Scheffau gondola where children can learn how to ski. If you are really keen for your children to learn skiing from an early age, tuition can even be arranged for 2-3 year olds!
These toddler classes take place at lunchtime and the 45 minutes skiing will acclimatise their little legs to the art of skiing. There are child minding facilities in the Pepi Penguin Club for younger children (6 months to 4 years) where full day care is provided, whilst the Whizz Kids Club takes children aged from 3 to 11 years old.
These clubs are based in the Hotel Land Alpin but are available to all guests staying in Scheffau. The high level of demand for the service makes pre-booking essential.
Likewise the nightlife caters for both families and adults. There is plenty to keep visitors occupied if they have any energy left after skiing! The village offers a quiet and informal atmosphere in the evenings where guests can choose between local guest houses, the village pub and the lively apres ski ‘Star Bar’.
The ‘Star Bar’, located at the base station of the cable cars, offers hot and cold drinks, snacks and daily entertainment. Whether you are visiting after a day on piste or popping in during the day, the ‘Star Bar’ is a welcoming place to be and was in fact voted one of Austria’s top ten apres-ski venues.
Accommodation can be found at a selection of local hotels like the Walthof or the Wiesenhof where rooms are suitable appointed with en suite facilities, telephone, satellite TV and most rooms have a balcony.
There is provision for families as well as those perhaps seeking a more romantic winter break. Apart from the skiing there are other activities awaiting those looking to try something different.
You might like tobogganing if you are a thrill seeker or an adrenaline junkie; Nordic walking suits those with plenty of energy to burn (this is one activity guaranteed to burn the calories and get your body into great shape) in over 10km of cleared and maintained winter trails through beautiful Alpine mountain scenery and there is snow boarding with over 5 half pipes, several fun parks and some quarter pipes to choose from.
Near Scheffau you can try some of the most challenging powder descents too; sleigh rides offer a great way to wind down and are suitable for those who enjoy taking things easy whilst enjoying their surroundings. As the village’s main source of income is tourism, locals are very welcoming and are interested to meet new people from all over.
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