Zauchensee – a skiparady in the holiday test

Zauchensee – Two ski beginners between mountain romance and sore muscles

If you can not ski as a true or long-time Munich, you have to be crazy. Admittedly, that’s us, but (as we think) more in a positive sense and that’s why, at the ripe old age of the late 20s and just before Christmas, we’ve seized the opportunity to venture onto the boards for the first time.

Man needs goals

So why not start right away in a World Cup place? And thanks to the rest of the holiday and the friendly support of the local tourism association, it is spontaneous for four days in the so-called “double holiday paradise”, the ski and hiking region Altenmarkt-Zauchensee in the beautiful Salzburger Land.

After barely more than two hours drive we are there and in view of the great mountain panorama we feel a bit queasy. It is directly reassuring when we see the illuminated toboggan runs in Altenmarkt when driving by. For an emergency program in the event of a total failure while skiing is taken care of.

Arriving in the tranquil hotel village of Zauchensee, we first of all enjoy a wonderful dinner in the Hotel Salzburger Hof and discover a regional specialty: rowanberry liqueur. Hmmm, that starts off well.

The next morning, strengthened by the wonderful breakfast buffet of the Hotel Sportalm, you will walk to the ski rental. While we still try not to lose our balance despite all the equipment, our ski rider “Rupi” is beaming with joy. With him we steer wobbly, but purposefully towards “Zauchi’s Kinderland“. There, big and small beginners are practically tirelessly pulled up the small hill by a conveyor belt, before it goes downhill in the truest sense of the word with them.

From Rupi, the hearty mountain farmer and humorous ski instructor in one, we learn not only to slip more or less elegant on the snow that day, he also has real life wisdom ready:

“If someone asks you how you are, always say” Very good! “. Then you’ll feel better. “

Thanks to such motivational thrusts, of course, I’m still “very good”, as I uncertainly around a curve eggs, then slid unchecked in a side slope marker. Fortunately, the pain that follows is limited to the abdominal muscles of my audience.

Thanks to a generous portion of Kasnocken or a “chilled beef soup pot” and plenty of Almdudler on the Garnhofhütte we feel in the afternoon ready for the next challenge. So we leave the Kinderland behind us, to let ourselves be pulled up by the ski lift next door to the next higher slope. A few hours before, we had only been able to watch him longingly. Time flies by and because of all the excitement I do not feel that I can not feel my left middle-toe, in a little tight ski boot, at some point.

Smoking – revived tradition

In the evening, it’s off to a new pre-Christmas attraction in Zauchensee – a smoky hike. During the almost two-hour forest walk, a herbalist introduces us to the secrets of smoking. So we learn that even ordinary kitchen herbs, such as The sage is suitable for soaking in soothing smoke. As we walk along the path lined with torches, accompanied by song and brass, and enjoy the resinous scent of the incense burner, we feel quite adventurous. Whether it’s because of this contemplative mood or because we just have not seen much snow this winter in Munich – the snow crystals here seem to be glittering in a very special way.

Still full of profound thoughts, we return to the cozy Felserhütte and warm ourselves up, with Jagertee and Kaspressknödel soup, an Austrian specialty.

High up

The next day, it goes down to familiarize a few times the beginner‘s hill, then Rupi holds us already called for higher and we take the cable car up the Rosskopf.

Wow, what a view – we first admire the snow-capped peaks in beautiful sunshine and wonder again why we did not learn skiing much earlier. Proud as Oskar we sharen our first skier summit photo, conveniently directly from here via WLAN in the home. In addition to free Wi-Fi on many stations, there are also two Photo Points (at Rosskopf and Gamskogel II) and two Skimovie courses (at Gamskogel and Kogelalm) since 2015, for those who want to capture and share their skiing experiences.

Then we manage the blue piste, still slowly but surely, and on the descent from the middle station we learn from Rupi that the ski resort Zauchensee / Flachauwinkl-Kleinarl has about 73 more snow-sure slopes to offer. For all skiing enthusiasts who are not yet satisfied, there are three freeride routes in Zauchensee, which can be reached directly from the mountain stations. Ideal for families: the neighboring ski area Radstdt / Altenmarkt. There are another 17 km of slopes, where it is a bit more leisurely. Both areas belong to the ski region “Ski amadé”, which covers a total of more than 760 km of slopes.

Christmas (Old) market

After our first successful descent, we treat our struggling legs for a while, before we open the Advent market in Altenmarkt in the late afternoon.

Even from a distance, the entrance gates shine towards us – large wooden angels. In the middle of the lovingly decorated stalls, an oversized Advent wreath trembles and we sit on sheepskin-covered stools around a fire pit to enjoy a glass of mulled wine. Two wind players deliver the appropriate Christmas-romantic background music.

Last but not least, we still want to visit the Markterwirt, a traditional Altenmarkt restaurant (the cozy house is over 900 years old – worth seeing!). Here we enjoy the wild game of the homeowners and for dessert a “moor in a shirt” (mini chocolate gugelhupf with vanilla ice cream, gorgeous).


At the end of the holiday, we decide to scout the adventure thermal bath Amadé the following day.

The slide world, water-climbing wall and also the swimming pool we leave with heavy heart left. Our ski soreness has applied for a spa stay in the sauna area.

At the “surprise infusion” we first enjoy the relaxing scent of hay flowers and are then generously supplied with rose oil. With baby-soft skin, we make up last but not least in the salt sauna. Here we stalk like a stork over the coarse-grained hot salt sand. Now that all foot reflex zones have been sufficiently massaged, we feel completely new-born and ready for a souvenir shopping in Altenmarkt. All those who like us can not dare to go home without such small gifts, are recommended here especially stone pine products (pillows filled with chips, fragrance oil, brandy, etc.) from regional cultivation. They spread a pleasant woody scent, demonstrably promote relaxation and sleep, and are available in every corner of the area.

In Altenmarkt, we also pass by the headquarters of Atomic Austria GmbH and learn that the manufacturer of ski-sport articles and world market leader in alpine skiing is currently producing the new skis for the next season behind closed doors. Another new feature is the possibility to create individual designs for your own skis online in the Atomic Custom Studio. The first position on my Christmas wish list for 2016 is already taken ;-).

We will be back

After this short detour, we head back home with full bags and are already making plans for another ski weekend in February.

Also for the “boring October” in the Hotel Sportalm we want to come back to Zauchensee. Because in October, when the hiking season is over and the skiers still look at home on the couch Tele-Gym, it is quiet in Zauchensee. Then the Hotel Sportalm is occupied by a maximum of 50 guests, the day starts with a relaxed late-riser breakfast and the in-house lounge library can be used for undisturbed reading and working.

Four active relaxing days in the beautiful Zauchensee ultimately leave you wanting more and return and a slightly numb feeling in the left middle of the toe. The latter, however, only last for a week …

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Christina Cherry
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