October skiing in Austria
Autumn isn’t the most obvious time of year for a ski trip to the Alps but there are a surprising number of resorts already offering lift-serviced snow-sports.
Of the four big Alpine countries (Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland), Austria currently offers the largest amount of skiing with 121 km of slopes spread across 9 resorts. Many of the resorts open from late October are within a short distance of Innsbruck in Austria. We’ve underlined in blue the resorts currently open (in this corner of the Alps) in a sample of our Ski Resort Map of the Alps above.
These include 12km at Kaprun (next to Zell Am See) and an impressive 38km at Hintertux, a short distance from Mayrhofen. Further east there are 3km at both the Dachstein and Moelltal Glaciers. Kitzbuhel is the first non-glacier resort to open (2.5km of piste now available) and is easily reached by train taking just over 2 hours from Salzburg, and 1 hour 10 minutes from Innsbruck.
The other four resorts in Austria are relatively close together, all to the south west (and within 50km) of Innsbruck. These include Stubai (15km of slopes open), Solden (23km), Pitztal Glacier (12km) and Kaunertal Glacier (13km). The railway line from Innsbruck follows the Inn valley to the north of these resorts, and most have bus connections from the nearest station. Innsbruck airport is well served by flights from the UK, and the city can also be reached by train leaving London St Pancras in the early evening to arrive in Innsbruck just after 9am, although this will involve several changes. See the Austrian Federal Railways website for more info.
Other alpine countries
In Switzerland, Saas Fee has 20km of pistes open, and neighbouring Zermatt has 16km. Zermatt can be reached by train from Geneva (with a change at Visp). Geneva is just over 6.5 hours by the quickest train from London St Pancras offering a very competitive city-centre to city-centre journey time compared with flying. Engelberg has 8km and is just under a 2 hour train ride from Zurich (change at Lucerne).
In France, only Tignes is currently open offering a decent 20km of autumn skiing on the Grande Motte glacier.