East Side
February 27, 2012 6:14 PM   Subscribe

Which ski resorts in Eastern Austria would one recommend? It seems the majority of recommended Austrian ski resorts are on the Western side of the country. However, we're traveling by car from Budapest, and in our wish to keep the drive under four hours, wish to stick with Eastern Austria. Flying is not an option. Also, with English-instruction on learning how to snowboard would be a plus. One of us is very well versed with skiing resources in France, but when it comes to Austria we are clueless!

Since we're starting off from Budapest, we were open to anywhere within four hours of driving. We were also considering Slovenia, but everything online seems to edge us towards Austria... so here we are today. We've looked on the internet, and this is what comes up but nothing very concrete as a clear recommendation versus the overwhelming volume of resources for Western Austria:

Almenland Naturpark
Hebalm <-- seems only in German on their website
Novog <-- also only in Geman
... any others?

Even though the old metafilter threads make it out to be a daunting experience, we're looking to learn how to snowboard for the first time. One very experienced French skier, and one American who knows NOTHING about winter sports.

Extra Help:

- places which would easily have private English instruction of how to snowboard.

- if there are any recommendations for nearby nicer or higher-end hotels to relax (for the aftermath of recovering from falling-on-face a billion times from learning how to snowboard)
posted by peachtree to Travel & Transportation around Austria (2 answers total)
I suggest that you take a look at the topography here. Skiing mostly happens in mountainous regions, and the mountains of note here are the alps, which are generally splattered across the continent in an east-west direction. Let me take Hebalm as your potentially worst example - you bypass the main range and add a hundred kilometers to your drive over directly aiming at the mountains to end up at a two-bit ski resort (four lifts, of which one is even a CHAIR LIFT!!!) in the southern promontories. You should probably center your search on "skiing near vienna", which the Internets have tons to say on. Stuhleck, Hochkar (slightly outside your range) or Ötscher are about the only results worth mention for a full weekend.

Anything worth while in Slovenia is probably out on your four hours limit, since the Southern alps don't get serious enough until about six hours' drive west.

Let me also add that I think the experience of "proper" mountains is totally worth the extra travel effort, and there are direct trains from Budapest to St. Anton...
posted by themel at 11:37 PM on February 27, 2012

What about Vysoke Tatry, in Slovakia? It's a bit more than four hours from Budapest but is quite Alpine...looks like they've got English-language lessons and whole resort-type hotels/baths, too...I don't ski/snowboard but my students in Poland RAVE about the winter sports down there. Zakopane, Poland - the country's winter capital - is right on the other side of the mountains and might be a bit snowier since it's the north face of the Tatras.
posted by mdonley at 2:28 PM on February 28, 2012

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