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Fancy somewhere different? - Vicki Power, St Johann-Alpendorf
Wednesday January 28, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

Looking for a new place to ski? How about one of the best kept secrets in Austra: Ski Amadé? PlanetSKI has been visiting this month.

Tirol may boast the flash resorts of St Anton, Kitzbühel and Mayrhofen.

But the neighbouring Ski Amadé region in the eastern Alps has been quietly hosting thousands of mostly Austrian and German skiers for years.

It's actually Austria's largest ski area - named after Mozart, who was born in Salzburg, 60km down the valley.

It has 760km of runs in 28 ski areas, although not all interconnected by gondola.

It makes Ski Amadé, and St Johann-Alpendorf where I was staying, a hidden gem of good skiing in a quaintly Austrian setting.

The big British ski companies have a negligible presence here and the resorts are smal.

Alpendorf, 3km up the mountain from Sankt Johann, is just one street of four-star hotels and chalets.

So if you're looking to get away from the package ski holiday hordes, you'll get an authentic experience in St- Johann-Alpendorf.

The Alpendorf gondola and Gernkogelbahn chairlift are easily walkable from everywhere in the village.

They are part of a network of 44 gondolas, chair-lifts (many with heated seating) and t-bars linking its 19 pistes that provide 300km of ski area.

Though the highest ski area is only 2,000m at Hirschkogel, there's 95% coverage of the slopes by snow cannon.

Largest in AustriaLargest in Austria









A decent resort for intermediates, St Johann-Alpendorf has ten red pistes, seven blue but only three black, though some off-piste skiing is available.

So I'm told.

And St-Johann-Alpendorf is linked by lifts to the neighbouring valleys of Wagrain and Flachau, giving skiers 177km of groomed pistes.

You'll find two speed-measuring tracks at the Hirschkogellift and for freestylers there are two terrain parks.

The ambience of Alpendorf is of a quaint, well-heeled family-oriented resort.

I was based at the Sporthotel Alpina, an imposing establishment just a few steps from the Alpendorf gondola.

It is like a Tardis - along with 72 rooms, it houses a bar, indoor tennis courts, spa and treatment rooms, golf simulator, two good-sized restaurants and a large crèche and kids' play area.

An outdoor heated pool is on its way for 2015.

Family-run, as are many hotels in the area, its welcome for parents and kids is warm.

But its elegant décor of marble and glass marks it out from the overly-ornate Austrian décor often favoured in this neck of the woods.

Après-ski is ample but sedate, not designed for the party-going crowd - the bonus is that loud Euro-pop and people won't keep you awake at 3am.

There's certainly novelty factor to be had in finding a resort as charming and authentically Austrian as St Johann-Alpendorf, only an hour's drive from Salzburg, where The Sound of Music was filmed.

Be the first of your mates to schuss down its slopes.

St Johann-AlpendorfSt Johann-Alpendorf












For the spirit of the mountains

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