With summer holidays almost drawing to a close, the super efficient among us might be starting to plan ahead for Christmas, or for their next getaway if the yuletide festivities are still too daunting to consider yet. After months of planning, the summer break is over far too quickly and the thought of organising something else to look forward to is too tempting to ignore. So perhaps with the change of season and preparation for the cooler weather come the thoughts of snow and winter fun. What better way to appreciate the snow and explore a new destination than skiing?
Skiing was first introduced around five thousand years ago and used as a means of transport and for hunting. It wasn’t until many years later that skiing was used as a form of leisure activity. Austria is a popular skiing holiday destination and features many regions to choose from. Each area has its own special areas of interest and local facilities on offer to suit the needs of couples, groups and families.
The resort of Waidring, Austria is a quaint little picturesque village with two thousand inhabitants and stands at 781 metres above sea level. Waidring is situated in a valley between Loferer Steinberge and Steinplatte mountains between the border region of Bavaria, Tirol and Salzburg. The nearest airports to Waidring are Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich, all within two hours drive of the village. The winter season begins in November in Waidring and lasts until April. Waidring’s ski resort, Steinplatte is renowned for its perfect snow conditions. There are 100kms of cross country skiing and the longest ski run is 9kms.
The Waidring resort is quite small and is a part of the Schneewinkel ski area which covers around 170kms of piste and is included on one lift pass incorporating other resorts including St Jakob in Haus, Kirchdorf and Fieberbrunn. There is a regular free ski bus which links Waidring to other Schneewinkel resorts. With such a variety of slopes available in close proximity to Waidring, it is a perfect destination for skiers of varying abilities in groups or families. There are nursery slopes conveniently located in the centre and the other slopes, which are mainly suited to beginner and intermediate skiers, are at the Steinplatte which can be found approximately 4 kilometres away.
Lift passes can be purchased from your hotel and tuition (including beginner’s tuition) is available in the resort. However, it is worth noting that tuition cannot be booked in advance in the Waidring resort. There are twenty skiing instructors and ski school meet at Hausberg on the first day at the bottom of gondola station. Skiing lessons are usually given from Sunday to Thursday and between the hours of 10.00am until 12.00 noon, then again from 1.15 pm until 3.15 pm the only exception is a 9.00 am start on the first day. Children can be provided with lunch and supervision and are included in the ski or board tuition fee (approximately 10 Euros). Also beginners do not require a full lift pass for the first day or so and may purchase a special cheaper beginner’s pass for access to the beginner lifts in the resort. Equipment hire is also available including skis and snowboards.
There are a total of five mountain restaurants in Waidring and the apres-ski is quite informal. Some popular nightlife haunts include ‘Schniedermann Bar’, ski party at the Hausberg, ‘Alte Schmiede’ and ‘Zardinis’. The main hotel in Waidring is the Hotel Waidringerhof which is situated across from the main gondola station. It has sixty five rooms and is a family run hotel which is beautifully furnished and has a warm and friendly ambience. Traditional cuisine is also served at the Hotel Waidringerhof and bookings are available on a half board basis. Other services on offer at the Hotel Waidringerhof include an indoor pool, six sauna options as well as steam room, plus solarium and massage at an extra cost. There is also a lounge bar with an open fire and a non smoking dining room area and also children’s free play room complete with toys. All in all, the Hotel Waidringerhof is suitable for families, groups and couples alike. Evening meals are also available. Other hotels available in Waidring include the Hotel Tiroler Adler and the Hotel Grafenwirt.
Other activities available in the Waidring resort area include winter walks, cross country skiing, curling, bobsleigh, tobogganing, sleigh rides and bowling.
Waidring has an overall four star rating for its skiing facilities, which are mostly suitable for beginners and intermediates. The apres-ski facilities and additional activities on offer are very good for a small ski resort.
Cheap Ski Holidays is a trading name of Hello Sunshine ABTA number K2931 and an Agent for ATOL Protected Operators. a trading division of Hays Travel Ltd, who are Members of ABTA. ABTA and ABTA Members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist when things don't go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA's Code of Conduct. For more information on ABTA, the Code of Conduct and the arbitration scheme available to you if you have a complaint, contact ABTA, 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ, Tel 020 3117 0581 www.abta.com.
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