Filzmoos is located in Austria’s largest ski area, the Ski Amadé, and it’s the sort of town you’d expect to see amid the pages of a fairytale book. Wooden chalets tumble their way down the hillsides, snow-laden forests of fir trees line the valley against a backdrop of majestic mountains. As well as alpine picture-book perfection Filzmoos is also the perfect place for a first family ski holiday with plenty of runs for beginners, intermediates and many other activities besides skiing. You’ll also get good value for money in Austria, some fabulous alpine food and the warmest of welcomes.
I’d only skied the French Alps in Morzine-Avoriaz previously, which is a large resort in the Portes du Soleil ski area, so I was interested to see how my trip to Austria with Inghams would compare.
The Ski Amadé region in Austria is made up of 28 ski areas and towns that together form the second largest ski area in Europe. Filzmoos lies in the heart of the Ski Amadé in Salzburger Land around 70k south of Salzburg at an altitude of 1057 metres. Filzmoos (pronounced Filtz Moose) sits at the foot of the twin peaks of the scenic Bischofsmütze (Bishop’s Mitre) Mountain and is a compact, family-friendly area with an unspoilt charming Austrian village feel. It’s also known as Austria’s Balloon Village as it holds an annual hot-air balloon challenge culminating in the magical ‘Night of the Balloons‘.
Skiing in Filzmoos
The skiing’s fairly laid-back in Filzmoos. The slopes aren’t heaving so there’s plenty of space to practise and little, if any, queueing on the lifts. We didn’t queue at all. There’s one main road which cuts through the village and it’s lined with restaurants, cafes, bars and shops selling or hiring out ski gear. Many of the hotels and apartments are ski-in-ski-out or just a ten-minute ride on the free shuttle.
Lift passes vary in price depending on number days and skiing areas and can be checked on Ski Amade website. Filzmoos offers 14 scenic runs over 12km. For ski-hire our group used Ski Stefan who were also kind enough to let me store my skis and boots overnight despite taking my own and not hiring from them.
Learner lifts and slopes have the advantage of being right in the village with plenty of space for newbies to safely practise and gain confidence. There are three ski schools in the village and Schischule Filzmoos looked after us with some excellent guiding on the slopes and some useful tips for improving technique and style. Schischule offers children’s classes and a Kinderclub to get the little ones off to a good start on the slopes. They also have a snowboard academy. They’re located by the Grossbergbahn chairlift and opposite the nursery slopes right in the centre of town.
A four-man chairlift takes you up to the Grossberg where you can ski back down to the village through the trees on a choice of blue and red runs. Alternatively, continue on the Mooslehen chair to the village of Neuberg in the neighbouring valley. On the opposite side of Filzmoos a modern six-person Papageno gondola takes you up to the Moosalm slopes with its picturesque red pistes leading back down into the village.
More advanced skiers will probably want to venture further afield to the nearby Dachstein glacier and Flachau. As the resort is part of the Salzburg Sportwelt a ski pass automatically allows access to five different resorts with over 860 kilometres of runs and 360 pistes. The ski bus is included in the cost of a lift pass and runs three times a week to connect skiers from Filzmoos to the other Ski Amadé resorts.
Weather in Filzmoos
Filzmoos has a good record of snow due to its proximity to the Dachstein glacier and is good for snow throughout the winter season. We had plenty of it during our January visit.
Other Filzmoos Activities
As well as skiing there are many other activities to keep you busy in Filzmoos from winter walks, snow-shoeing, curling, cross-country skiing and tobogganing. If you’d like something a little less energetic snuggle yourself in a blanket and jingle around town in a horse-drawn sleigh. Just 18k away is the Dachtein glacier where you can take the panoramic glass gondola to the Dachstein Sky Walk a spectacular glass viewing platform with stunning views over the mountain scape.
Where to Stay in Filzmoos
We stayed at the four-star Hotel Alpenkrone, a traditional tiered, wooden chalet-style hotel with views of Filzmoos town. The hotel is a fifteen-minute walk from town or there’s a free shuttle bus which stops right outside the front door. My bedroom was really spacious with plenty of cupboard space, a desk, en-suite with shower and balcony with views across the valley.
There’s a comfy lounge area in the lobby is filled with family antiques and traditional Austrian features. Head downstairs for the leisure suite with indoor pool and steam room. I had a really good back massage while I was there which really sorted out my stressy shoulders. Downstairs is the bar and a dining room with sun terrace for summer use.
The food at Hotel Alpenkrone is excellent and dinner consisted of four courses of both Austrian and international dishes. This was where I had my first taste of Käsenodelsuppe a dish of cheesy dumplings floating in a delicious hot broth. Definitely a new favourite of mine. Breakfast was also really good with a choice of hot and cold dishes.
Filzmoos is the perfect destination for a family of beginner skiers. There are excellent ski schools, outlets for ski hire and good nursery and beginner slopes with more advanced pistes to advance to. Nearby, and with free transport connections with the Amade lift pass, are many more challenging runs and ski areas.
I’ll be covering Austria’s mountain food and restaurants in my next post. They were so good they merit a post to themselves. Here’s a taster…
Inghams is offering seven nights, half board at the four-star Hotel Alpenkrone, Filzmoos, Austria from £559 per person departing 19th March 2016. Price includes return flight from London Gatwick to Salzburg and resort transfers. For more information or to book visit www.inghams.co.uk or call 01483 791 114. For more information on Filzmoos visit: www.filzmoos.at
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