Located one hour away from Salzburg, Grossarl is a small, quiet village tucked away in the lesser-known Grossarltal, which runs parallel to the better-known bigger Gasteinertal, to the south of St Johann im Pongau. The village is located at an altitude of 924 meters and forms the heart of the Ski Amadé. The special thing about Großarl is that it lies in a dead-end valley. Here, the accommodations blend harmoniously into the natural environment which enhances the tranquil and relaxed atmosphere of this lovely authentic Austrian ski village.
The ski area is connected to Dorfgastein and forms the Skischaukel Dorfgastein Großarltal with close to 80 kilometers of slopes. With a ski pass you can ski here as well as in the other ski areas in the Gasteinertal such as the ski area of Bad Gastein and Sportgastein. In total you have 200 kilometers of ski slopes at your disposal. In addition, all areas are on the Ski Amadé lift pass which covers a massive 760 kilometers of piste across five neighbouring regions.
Although the mountain resort has a population of 3600, the size of the village in no way reflects how big the ski resort Grossarltal up the mountain is though. In fact, it is widely considered to be the best in the region for families and intermediate skiers thanks to its plethora of nursery slopes, blue runs and easy reds, with some steeper reds and a couple of blacks for the more experienced.
The Grossarl area is the larger of the Skischaukel Dorfgastein Großarltal, with a nice selection of long winding blue and red pistes providing a variety of home-runs down through the attractive wooded slopes to the two access gondola terminals in the valley. Several descents in Grossarl lead back to the village, making it a compact and manageable area.
The lifts of the two villages converge on the 2033 meter high Fulseck and the 2027 meter high Kreuzkogel. In between there are a number of bowls and long valley runs that lead back to the villages.
Grossarl is blessed with plenty of skiing for all levels. A smooth piste dashes down the ridge that divides the two valleys giving lovely views in each direction and you can easily ski either way, with gondolas back up. he upper half of the mountain is served by a gondola and four chairlifts. This ski area is therefore really very suitable for families and families with (young) children.
Better intermediates can make the most of the steep short reds into the bowl beneath the Kruezkogel peak, and there are a couple of ungroomed longer red routes off the Fulseck-Kieserl ridge on the non-lift-served side of this bowl; this unpisted but patrolled flank of the ski area also offers more advanced visitors some limited possibilities for some off-piste action, otherwise there are only two short black pistes in the entire linked area.
Budding freestyle skiers and snowboarders are very well catered for at Grossarl’s small but well-maintained snowpark on the Sonnenbahn slopes just below the Kruezkogel summit; with various kickers plus a nice set of novice-friendly butter-box modules, in flat, rainbow, and wave forms.
Despite the fact that the altitude range may seems limited, they do their utmost to keep the slopes as good as possible. Even after a longer period of thaw, the valley run often remains open and reasonably passable.
There are plenty of mountain bars and restaurants dotted around the slopes. Food is exceptional in all three areas with a collection of Ski-Toque huts, mountain restaurants offering signature dishes from top Austrian chefs.
In many ways perhaps Grossarl is the region’s best resort choice for families and for intermediate-level skiers. Großarl is one of the cheaper alternatives for a winter sports holiday in the Salzburger Land. If you are looking for an affordable small-scale family holiday, away from the crowds, then you have certainly come to the right place in Großarl.
For more information on Großarl, please visit the official website of Großarltal