Solo Ski Holidays Austria are possible in Zell Am See town next to the lake

Zell Am See Zell AM See - Kaprun, Austria

The sonnenalmbahn gondola lift in Zell Am See close to the top station
Aerial View of Zell Am See
Two Skiers on Schmittenhohe
Zell Am See Trass Black Run


Enjoy the town altitude of 757m


77km in local area and 408km in full area

Ski Lifts

28 in local area and 121 in full area

Highest skiing

You can ski right up to 3029m

Zell Am See is known for its stunning scenery, idyllic lakeside location and diverse skiing. Nestled at the foot of a valley on the shores of Lake Zell, this historic town ticks all the boxes for "boutique ski resort". The charm of the town coupled with the quality of the on-mountain experience means solo ski holidays in Austria and Zell Am See will not disappoint.

Skiing next to a beautiful alpine or on a glacier? Sign me up!

Zell Am See Holiday prices

Extended Review

Our comprehensive Zell Am See skiing review from January 2020.

Extended Ski Area

Zell Am See is connected both to Kaprun and Saalbach-Hinterglemm (also known as Ski Circus). All three areas are included on your lift pass, the Alpin-Card, and there's a short (free) bus ride connecting them up. The new ski lifts connecting through to Saalbach-Hinterglemm ski area were built for the start of the 2019-2020 ski season. This new extended area gives you over 400km of pistes with a whopping 121 ski lifts serving 225 separate pistes!

For Beginners

Is Zell Am See good for beginners?

Yes, Zell Am See is good for beginners. Beginners skiers will feel very comfortable Zell Am See. There are plenty of long cruising blue runs on which to find your feet. There are pistes suitable for beginners around the Areitbahn II, Areitbahn III, Hahnkopf, Glockner, Breiteck, Kapellenbahn and Kettingbahn lifts.

There is also a beginners area with a covered magic carpet lift at the AreitXpress mountain station. Unlikely lots of other ski resorts, most of the easiest runs are actually higher up the mountain. There are bubble lifts that beginners can take up and down to get to their areas, and it means even a complete novice gets to experience the feeling of skiing right up at the top of the mountains with incredible views all around.

For Intermediates / Advanced

Zell Am See is heaven for the competent skier. The large connected ski area gives everything from meandering-below-the-tree-line skiing to wide open high altitude glacier skiing. Challenging north-facing reds, to sun-soaking cruisey blue runs, there is something to keep you entertained every day at all levels. Factor in the excellent lift infrastructure, mountain restaurants and lakeside views and you are in for a treat! You can find out more about skiing on Zell Am See on the official website, or take a look at our Zell am See Skiing Reivew.

Night Skiing

Skiing at night! What? Yup! There is a night slope just above Zell Am See. It is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during the Winter season. It's a great opportunity to try something a little different (and magical) while on skis. Access to night skiing is included as part of the "Alpine Card" lift pass. Go for the skiing, stay for the views!

Zell Am See see town as seen from the mountain with the lake in the background
Porsche Designed Gondola on Schmittenhohe
Aerial View of Zell Am See
Kaprun town with Kaprun castle in the foreground

Zell Am See Town

Historic Town Centre

Zell Am See is an old and storied town rich in culture and history. The fact that is is also a world class ski resort only adds to its charm. It's a very old village, and has been a tourist haven long before the arrival of skiing. it's worth a wander to the lake shore to see the Grand Hotel sitting in pride of place on the water's edge. Zell am see is also a popular summer destination.

Hotel Heitzmann is perfectly located at the edge of the car-free centre of the town. On your doorstep you'll find an array of bars, cafés, restaurants and shops. The Romanesque style church, just 200m from the hotel, is the focal point of the town. Lit up at night it makes a wonderful sight, with parts dating from the 1500s.


Austria is famous for it's Apres-ski, and Zell am See is no exception. You'll find plenty of bars on your doors step open each afternoon ready to welcome skiers back from the slopes. The bars start about 30m form the hotel door. Some resorts do their apres-ski on the mountain, and some in the village. Zell am See is definitely the later, with everyone heading into the village for their post-ski drinks. For the competitive people, you can try your hand at the uniquely Austrian game where you each take a turn trying to hit a nail into a large piece of wood using the chisel side of a hammer. Whoever gets the nail fully in, using the least swings, wins. A wonderfully frustrating bar game when, like me, you miss the nail completely half the time...

For those looking at their first ski holiday, a quick note on apres-ski. Partying happens early in ski resorts - normally in that gap after skiing and before dinner. You'll find bars choc-a-block with revellers at 5pm, then empty by 8pm when everyone wanders home for dinner.

Lake Zell

You cannot talk about Zell Am See without talking about the lake! The picture postcard views and coupled with its amazing history only add to the charm. For winter visitors one of the most important questions is "Does it freeze over?" ANd the answer is...... Yes, sometimes! Every few years the lake does freeze over. It usually happens after a prolonged period of cold dry weather. The tourist office will let you if it is safe to walk on the ice. If it is safe it is an easy walk from one side to the other.

You walk all the way around the lake. It takes 3 to 4 hours, and is (unsurprisingly) a flat route. There's a walkway right on the lake shore for large parts, then in sections you'll be walking on the roadside just stepped bak from the lake. If you fancy a day off skiing it's well worth the walk, or alternatively just an hours stroll after skiing along the lake shore offers magical views.

Fun Fact: Ferdinand Porsche (yes that Porsche) used to race his cars on the lake in the winter back in the day. His family still have a strong connection to the town, with their own mountain retreat there (including large car garage), and also Porsche designed the Schmittenhohebahn telecabine.


I've been very impressed by the range and quality of events and non-skiing activities Zell am See has to offer. I've been to a lot of ski resorts, and Zell am See has the best offerings outside skiing that I can recall anywhere.

The Snow Show

Most resorts do a Torchlight decent, but Zell am See have take this up to the next level. Their snow show includes people doing back-flips off a giant ramp, using the piste as a giant projector screen, ski instructors covered in leds lights to make them look like skiing robots, giant flame towers, skiers attached to parachutes (called speed riding so I'm told) and a piste basher, just to name some of the stunts involved. I watched it from the rooftop bar of the hotel, but if I went back I'd go to the slope-side itself to watch it up close as it was truly spectacular.

Ice Hockey

A great night out! The local team, EK Zell am See, have a game most weeks through until early February starting a 7 or 7.30pm (you can find visit their official website here (in German). Tickets are bought at the door and are available from two hours before the game. If you've never been to a ski resort ice hockey match, it's a great fun night out and all of 200m from the hotel. The play in the same complex at the big swimming pool.

Swimming complex

I was very impressed with the new swimming complex in Zell am See. A lovely way to ease the legs after a day on the mountainside. Saunas, a big pool with diving boards, slides, even heated floors. It's not cheap though at €14.90 to get in. You can find more information here and see their official website here (in German)

Other Events

There are a lot of events happening ina nd around Zell Am See during the winter months. There is something for everybody with both skiing and non-skiing related events being held across the resort. Here is a sample of whats on offer:

  • GP Ice Races
  • Balloon Night
  • Guided Winter Hikes
  • Snow Night Ski Shows
  • Ski 'N' Brunch
  • Ski Hut Evenings
  • Kitzsteinhorn Tours
  • Night SKi Racing
  • Snow Barbecues
  • Ice Fishing
  • Snow Yoga
  • Ski Product Testing
  • Carnival Parties
  • Hockey Games
  • Wildlife Feeding

A full list of all the events happening in Zell Am See.

Free guided Walks

Zell am see has some of the best offerings for non-skiers. If you look at the piste map, all the lifts marked in green are accessible to pedestrians, which is most of the lifts. There's not only the walk around the lake, but there's many other routes higher up the mountain too. One I can recommend is doing a lap of the lake at the top of the cityXpress bubble lift. The tourist office also offer free guided walks each week.


Highest skiing available in Zell Am See


of Pistes in the full area


Ski Lifts in the full area


Minutes from Salzburg airport

Getting to Zell Am See

If you are flying to Zell Am See then we would recommend you fly into Salzburg (SZG) airport. Salzburg airport is 73 kilometres from Zell Am See and has a transfer time of about one hour thirty minutes. This is the airport almost everyone who flies in takes. Transfers from Salzburg or Munich can take the form of a bus, taxi or train depending on your preference.

Munich airport (MUC) can also be used. It is 200 kilometres away but it is not the preferred airport as there are fewer transfer options available. Innsbruck airport (INN) is also an option, it is 145 kilometres away.

Recommended Transfer Route: A company called Holiday Shuttle is a great option. They operate 7 times a day from Salzburg and Munich airports. So long as you book a few days ahead and provide the hotel address it is a proper door to door service. You will save by booking a return ticket as the cost is 89 euros per seat return. To book please check their website at

By Train: You can take a train from Salzburg main train station to Zell Am See. It takes about 2h 10m. You must first get a line 2 bus from the airport to the train station. From the train station you take one of the Regional Express trains to Zell Am See.

By Taxi: A private minivan style taxi can be gotten for about €150 one way for the vehicle. These can usually fit between five to seven people.

By Bus: You can get a bus number 260 directly from Salzburg Airport to Zell Am See. It mas many stops along the way but it actually works out being slightly faster (1h 45m) than taking the train.

Top Tip: If you are getting an evening flight home you can get an early morning train to Salzburg and spend the day there exploring the beautiful old world city.

Art Deco Poster, Zell am See Cable Car
A minimalist style poster of Zell Am See Ski resort
An old poster of Zell Am See ski resort
A painted poster of Zell Am See ski resort

Zell Am See / Kaprun Lift Pass Prices 2022-2023

We are currently waiting for the liftpass prices to be published. If you'd like us to notify you when they are made available, please let us know.

The "Alpin Card" lift pass is the standard pass for Zell Am See. It is also valid for the entire Ski Circus area, which includes Schmittenhöhe (Zell am See), Kitzsteinhorn and Maiskogel (Kaprun), Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn. This area has 121 lifts covering 408 kilometres of slopes. It also includes night skiing in Zell Am See. We can book this pass for you and have it waiting at the hotel, at no extra charge.

Zell Am See Snow Forecasts

Accommodation in Zell Am See

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Zell Am See Dates & Prices 2022-2023

Covid Hotels Rooming Update:

We have reduced the types of rooms that we offer for the 2022-2023 season, in our Hotels only. We now have two different room types:

  1. Single Rooms: Theses rooms will be occupied by just one person and will have either a private bathroom or an en-suite.
  2. Twin Rooms: These rooms can only be occupied by two people who are from the same household or are travelling together. They will have a private bathroom or en-suite.
See prices for all Resorts

Room types explained:

See our full room type specifications


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A mountain in Zell Am See

Had the best time on this holiday! Great way to ski, meet new people and not pay through the nose for being a solo traveller! I have only been skiing for a year but I felt totally at home with the group. .

Bob stayed in Zell Am See (Dec 2018)

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