There are few better places in the world to experience the winter holidays than Salzburg, Austria. Steeped in holiday tradition, “Mozart City” is especially famous for its Christkindl Market, which attracts travelers from across Europe. And as you browse the bazaar, you can warm up with a glass of gluhwein (mulled wine) or a toasty kaiserschmarrn dessert, a caramelized pancake served with whipped cream and topped with roasted nuts and warm apple sauce.
Salzburg is also where the Christmas classic, Silent Night by Franz Gruber, was originally composed. While the city may be silent on Christmas Eve, save for the chime of a few church bells, it explodes with the sound of fireworks on New Year’s. In fact, if it’s clear, you can catch glimpses of fireworks displays atop the looming peaks of the surrounding Alps.
Though the Alps may appear to be far off, the groomed Nordic trails and Alpine slopes of Flachau and Werfen are a mere thirty-minute train trip away. I was able to head into the mountains on several occasions to ski Austria over the holidays and even just two weeks after the Winter Solstice, the snow is deep, the sun is bright and every kind of winter activity is readily available. The highlight for me was a gondola ride to the top of Werfenweng, as paragliders buzzed the lift towers. After a big hamburger (yes, gotta have one of those) and plate of French fries, we rented classic Austrian rodel sleds to cruise down the 6km trail to the valley.
Our first group of VBT Ski Vacation travelers arrives in Salzburg tomorrow and we’re excited to get going! We’ll head deep into the Alps to the town of Obertilliach where 100km of groomed trails, sledding hills, alpine vistas and a few apple strudels await us. Interested in joining? We’ve still got a couple of spots available on our final departure in March. Check out our Ski Vacations to learn more.