Slope Off to SalzburgerLand, Austria

If you can’t wait to breathe in some clear, fresh mountain air, to marvel at the sun glistening off the snowy Alpine peaks and for that exhilarating thrill as you start to descend a perfect powdery piste...then don’t wait. Instead, head to Austria’s SalzburgerLand – renowned for its 2,500 kilometres of slopes – as the ski season is about to kick off with the largest winter opening party weekend in the Alps.

As the only glacier ski region in the Salzburg area, the Kitzsteinhorn offers perfect skiing from October.  With the highest chair lift in the region at 3,000 metres it's complete with heated seats and protective hoods, a new Eagle Line, a fun slope with wave ride, smaller jumps, sharp turns and lots more.

Sharing the same lift pass as the village of Kaprun is the picturesque medieval town of Zell am See, set on the shore of a beautiful lake and with chic shops along its cobbled street. Only an hour’s drive from Salzburg Airport, this ski resort has gondola and chair lifts from the town centre up to the 2,000m Schmittenhole Mountain, perfect for intermediate skiing. However, Zell am See-Kaprun is also great for families and beginners, with 16 different ski schools.

With an astonishing choice of more than 60 mountain eateries, as well as lively après-ski, Skicircus is not only the coolest and largest ski area in Austria, it has now become one of the 10 biggest in the world. That means even more unmissable skiing – and with  on the slopes, you can show everyone else what they are missing.

Thanks to the state-of-the-art Tirol-S10-seater gondola to the Tirolean resort of Fieberbrunn, this ski area – shared by Saalbach, Hinterglemm and Leogang – now has a total of 270km of piste ranging from gentle slopes to black championship runs and the challenging mogul run.

In addition to wide and mainly intermediate pistes, with an enjoyable circuit that can be skied in either direction, the ski area has 20km of black slopes, new snow trails as well as deep powder skiing for free styling skiers and snowboarders, who also have a great choice of snow parks.

Saalbach Hinterglemm is also a magnet for winter sports enthusiasts, who can enjoy 260km of winter walking trails, four toboggan runs at the Reiterkogel (floodlit in the evenings), an ice-rink and sleigh rides, as well as snow tubing – sliding down on a rubber tyre – and snowmobile rides.

The Kitzsteinhorn glacier, Kaprun, Zell am See and the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn can all be found in the region of SalzburgerLand, which is renowned for its perfectly groomed pistes – more than 2,500km of them – modern ski lifts and gondolas (about 550 in total), traditional ski huts and spa resorts.

During the ski reason, numerous airlines fly direct to Salzburg, the World Cultural Heritage City, in under two hours and fantastic rail and road connections mean you can be at your resort and ready to ski in little more than an hour.

This region is also renowned for its cuisine (it boasts more toque-awarded chefs than anywhere else in Austria) and wide choice of accommodation, from romantic log cabins and luxurious chalets right next to the slopes to hotels with all the comforts. There are also Alpine spas including the Tauern Spa in Kaprun where you can enjoy the combination of ski and spa even at this time of year thanks to the glacier. With more than 120 ski schools, it is also the perfect place to learn – or relearn on a Your Ski Comeback package.

And when you book, you won’t have to worry about the weather or whether or not you can ski, as 85 per cent of all pistes in SalzburgerLand can make their own snow.