Not far away from the busy streets of Munich you can find Austrian hospitality, empty mountains full of powder snow and warm Saunas to relax in after a day of skiing. After the ISPO I went to the Salzburger Lungau region with my brother and enjoyed a few relaxed days in this hidden gem of Austria, enjoying an untracked experience.
Disclosure: This trip was made possible with the help of Salzburger Lungau Tourism who arranged accommodation and activities for us. This does not influence the article as I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.
The Salzburger Lungau Region is a mere couple of hours away from Munich, and unless you try to drive there on the start of some German holiday you can be in as little as one and half hours by car from Munich in the Lungau - in our case we stayed in the picturesque village of St. Margarethen in the Grizzly Resort Sport Hotel, which is located at the base of the ski slopes. The Hotel staff expected us much later and was surprised when we walked in a bit before 20 o’clock! We checked into our rooms, had a quick shower and then it was down to the restaurant to enjoy some tasty Austrian food.
After Dinner I went out to photograph the stars, but soon I was so cold that I wanted to only get back inside and sleep! And as we had a long day in front of us, that’s what I did!
Ski-touring to the Seeköpfl
The next morning Albert Essl picked us up at the Hotel. We met Albert already two years ago when we were visiting the Salzburger Lungau in 2016 and enjoyed his guiding and company, so it was great to meet him again and go for a ski tour together.
Albert picked for us an easy tour for our first day, to the beautiful Seeköpfl summit. We started at a parking lot where we left the car and after a few hundred meters of walking we were stepping into our bindings and beginning to skin up. Over a narrow road we ascended deep into the forest. I really like the skinning up part of ski-touring, it’s relaxing and enjoyable for me to skin up through the forest, observe how the trees get fewer and fewer and then coming out into the open, with wide, majestic views in all directions. We were very lucky with the weather, too: Sunshine and a blue sky - it was a perfect day.
After a couple of hours we stood at the summit of the Seeköpfl, the sun shining down on us. We were happy, it was a beautiful day, we were outside in nature, and now a nice descent waited for us - or so we thought! The ride down was pretty icy with only a few patches of good snow, and at the end there were the dreaded narrow and icy forest roads back to the car. Ah well, there was snow in the forecast so it will be better soon!
After the skiing part of the day my brother and me quickly developed a good routine: Chilling on the rooms for a bit‚ then down to the Sauna, then getting dressed and off to Dinner. It was a pretty good Sauna at the Hotel, and it’s nice that in the Southern countries they often have a wee Bar with juices, water, nuts and tea where you can drink & eat a bite during Sauna turns.
Skiing on the Katschberg-Aineck
The next morning I looked out of the window and it was grey and white. The clouds were low and it was snowing a little, but the snow should really start dumping in the afternoon. Hence my brother and me decided to ride the Katschberg-Aineck ski slopes, and with a chair lift in front of the hotel we didn’t have a long way to get there, either! It’s a big ski region with 70 km of slopes and 16 lifts, and you can have days and days of fun here. We enjoyed the A1 slope the most, as it offers some superb views on the valley, as you’ll see from the photos. A benefit of skiing on the slopes is also that you can eat in one of the huts, and it is something I always like to do, with the tasty Germknödel being my lunch of choice! Another benefit of skiing on the slopes is that you just ride down to your hotel and then can be in the Sauna in a matter of minutes 💦🔥👍
Exploring Schönfeld and the Nockberge
The next morning it indeed was still dumping snow, and the forecasted 80 cm of fresh powder seemed very realistic. After a tasty breakfast we went outside to clean the car, and boy was it snowed in! After we almost dug out the car we took off towards the Nockberge, a truly hidden gem of the Salzburger Lungau.
Even when the road was cleared that same morning by the time we were on our way to the Dr. Josef-Mehrl-Hütte another 5 cm of pow ❄️❄️❄️ was on the street and my brother was concerned if we’d actually make it back - there was a rather steep road to get up on the way back. But that was none of my worry right now, I just loved the truly white and snowy surroundings we were in.
We made it to the beautiful Dr. Josef-Mehrl-Hütte, parked the car and stepped into our bindings. Our goal was the Matehanshöhe, another easy tour, and given that there was a high Avalanche Danger with the fresh snow we wanted something that was safe and easy. The ascent went for the first part via the closed ski slope and then along a ridge till the summit, though as my brother is not used to so deep powder we decided to cut the tour a bit short, not make for the summit and head back down and enjoy the powder!
After the trip we enjoyed a lunch of Kaiserschmarrn at the hut before safely making it back to the Hotel in the afternoon, with plenty of time to pack, go to the Sauna and enjoy Dinner. Alas, this was our last evening together, and our short trip to the beautiful mountains of Austria were almost over again. I guess we’ll return again, as there’s still so many powdery summits and beautiful views we’d like to see!
How to get there and where to stay
You can travel by train and bus to the Salzburger Lungau to it is the most easiest to arrive by car. A rental car for a week can cost around as little as 120€ and allows you to get around really easy in the region, which is almost mandatory if you want to go ski-touring.
There’s over 700 accommodation options in the Salzburger Lungau, with something for every budget level (It makes sense to check out the Package Offers where you often can safe quite nicely). We stayed at the Grizzly Resort Sport Hotel, a very relaxed and high-quality 4 ⭐️ Hotel right next to the ski slopes. We can completely recommend the hotel with its tasty breakfast buffet, relaxing Spa & Sauna, comfortable and spacious rooms and delicious 3-Course Menus in the evening.
If you want to go ski-touring and don’t want to go on your own give Albert Essl a call and let him show you the best powder stashes and most amazing views. Albert is a superb Guide and skier who also can give you great tips on how to improve your powder skiing. If you prefer the slopes then ski the Katschi slopes - with 70 km of slopes you’re busy for a day or seven to explore them all!