One of the closest ski resorts is Gerlitzen, which is about 30 minutes from Klagenfurt. It has 42km of pistes, including 10km of easy slopes, 26km for intermediate, 3km for advance skiers. There is also a snow park for children and 4km of cross-country skiing slopes. In terms of lifts, there is one gondola, seven chairlifts, three ski lifts and two button lifts.
Nassfeld is the largest of the nearby resorts and is about an hour’s drive from Klagenfurt. A network of 29 cable cars and lifts traverse the 110km of pistes. There are also beautiful free-ride areas and a fun park. Nassfeld is home of the Schlag das ASS, one of the longest ski races in the world. Think picturesque long winding slopes and you won't be disappointed. The snow is guaranteed here, as all the slopes are covered by artificial snow machines. There are also three learning areas for children and a fun slope park.
Ski World Cup venue Bad Kleinkirchheim is also about an hour from Klagenfurt by car. There are more than 100km of well-groomed pistes, connected by four mountain car lifts, seven chair lifts and 13 draglifts. For families skiing with youngsters there is the Magic Zauberland area and the Kidsslope, so children are well catered for. There are also four ski schools with day care facilities. Among the other ski resorts near Klagenfurt are Bodental and Petzen.
Activities off the slope
The city of Klagenfurt offers plenty of entertainment beyond the action on the slopes: making this a great choice for people who want a winter break in the mountains, that’s not all about skiing. This city is culturally rich, with a choice of galleries and museums. Pay a visit to the popular Stadtgalerie to see the works of famous artists including Andy Warhol, Paul Klee and Gustav Klimt. The Museum of Modern Art Carinthia, the botanical gardens and the city’s antique tram are also well worth a look. If shopping floats your boat, then there are some well-known high street brands and small boutiques on offer. The weekly market is a must for bargain hunters and the annual Christmas market is guaranteed to boost your festive spirit.
For wellness and luxurious thermal spas head back to Bad Kleinkirchheim, which is well known for both. The Thermal Romerbad is a three-storey spa world complete with saunas, a solarium and a wide range of massage and beauty treatments. The area’s healing waters are thought to help with various medical conditions including sciatica and rheumatism - but they’re also good at simply soothing tired ski legs. The thermal spa at nearby St Kathrein has swimming pools, treatment rooms and numerous saunas and steam rooms.
For fun in the snow, many of Klagenfurt’s surrounding ski resorts also offer sledging, toboggan runs, snow tubing and snowshoe trails. At Gerlitzen, around 30 minutes from Klagenfurt, there are also cross-country skiing trails for intermediate and beginner level skiers. Home to a number of paragliding schools, Gerlitzen has special thermals that make it a particularly good spot for the sport. So take to the skies and soar above the mountains to see the slopes from a different angle!
Mulled wine and freshly baked pastries are the firmly on the winter menu in Klagenfurt. The city also has its own Klagenfurt torte, which can be enjoyed at most of the cafes and bakeries. While apple strudel and hot Austrian coffee are guaranteed to refuel the body after a few days skiing. For restaurants, try one of the many Italians. The area’s cuisine is strongly influenced by Italy, which lies across the border just a few miles away. Head to Dolce Vita, a popular restaurant that specialises in pastas, game and seasonal produce. Princs is another Italian hot spot, though slightly different in style. Pasta, pizza and street food are served alongside live music and DJs at weekends. For a more overtly Austrian dinner try Wispelhof, a fine dining modern twist on classic regional food. Venison and beef are regular stars on the menu and most of the restaurant’s produce is sourced locally.
Up in the mountains there’s also plenty of choice for hungry skiers. Restaurant12 serves simple regional dishes in stylish surroundings near the Birkenhof tow lift in Gerlitzen. Alpine barbecues, pasta and lots of Carinthian cheese provide sustenance, while the wine and cigar lounge can keep you off the slopes for the rest of the afternoon. If you are after something more rustic then opt for the Pollinger Hutte or Huaba Hitt’n, which are both also at Gerlitzen. The large sun terraces are a hit when the weather is good, and be sure to try the hearty menus, which both feature homemade meals and locally reared meat.