This winter you don’t have to just watch romantic Christmas scenes in movies, but live it in real life. SalzburgerLand makes for a perfect winter getaway. Situated not far from the majestic Austrian Alps, the romantic city of Salzburg offers more than just skiing, although there’s plenty of that too in surrounding areas.
Steeped in history, Salzburg city sits on the border with Germany, with breathtaking views of the Alps and is split by the Salzach River and is renowned for its baroque architecture. Once home to Mozart and the fictional home of the Trapp family in the Sound of Music, Salzburg has many strings to its bow.
With British Airways flights from London Gatwick starting from only £31 each way*, in a few hours you can find yourself tracing Julie Andrews’ steps in the Mirabell Gardens and recreating the ‘doe, a deer’ scene, or climbing to the top of Mönchsberg for unforgettable views. In just a short trip, by lunchtime you can even lose yourself in the winding lanes of the Christmas markets as you go from stall to stall snapping up your Christmas treats.
If you want to get out of the city, and feel the powdery snow beneath your boots, then there is plenty on offer in SalzburgerLand with the Alpine pastures, stunning mountains, breathtaking glaciers and serene lakes to be enjoyed.
Here’s why you should make Salzburgerland the next place you visit this winter:
1. Christmas Markets
Wafts of homemade apple strudel and mulled wine will entice you into the Christmas Market in Cathedral Square. It’s the oldest market in Salzburg and considered one of Europe’s best. With over 100 stalls, you’ll be able to browse locally made trinkets, jewellery and mouth-watering delicacies. You’ll also be able to snap up locally made candles and unique Christmas decorations as you gear up to the big day. But not just a market, there are also advent activities to get you in the spirit, including Christmas stories for children, guided tours and carols performed by the local choirs. Salzburg, and the mountain villages around the whole of Salzburgerland, are known for the array of different markets for visitors and locals alike to enjoy, this is where traditions are kept and the homely atmosphere is enjoyed during advent.
For more information visit here.
Of course skiing is one of the main attractions for SalzburgerLand, which boasts over 2,000km of pistes. The area is not short of adventure that suits every level of skier. You can also let the stars guide you as you can go night-skiing at Maria Alm, Obertauern and Nagelkopfl Fun Mountain, to name a few. While the Rauris Valleys and Forstau are perfect for young families that want a safe place for little ones to practice on the slopes. There is over 23 ski regions to choose from, and find your perfect spot.
Making your life a lot easier is the Salzburg Super Ski Card that you can buy that will open up all of the ski runs for you, allowing you to be flexible and make the most of your time, starting at 56 euro a day for an adult.
3. Rest and relaxation
Unwind with unbeatable scenery and surroundings in SalzburgerLand, instead of thermal undies, why not try a thermal spa instead? There are a number of spas in SalzburgerLand that suit adults and families, but with a wide range of treatments available.
Tauern Spa Kaprun has its own kidstein – so there’s adult time while the kids enjoy the bubbles and waterfalls as well as the adventure grotto. Who doesn’t love an adventure grotto? With views of the snow-covered summit of Kitzsteinhorn mountain, guests can relax and unwind in a skyline pool on the top floor before enjoying the open fireplace in the lounge.
You can get your baked goods at the same time as you’re pruning yourself at the Tauern Spa Kaprun, where its baking oven sauna is the place to visit. Yes, you can get fresh bread rolls after your spa session as they are actually baked there – on site!
Felsentherme, which is located in Bad Gastein, offers extraordinary views of the mountains for guests as they forget their woes in the stone pine sauna or tunnel sauna, alternatively if you’re feeling adventurous there is a nudist terrace with two cold and warm water ‘summit pools’. Apparently there’s nothing like running out of the sauna into the snow stark naked – but we’ll take your word for it.
To find the right spa for you, visit here.
4. Eat, drink and be merry
Christmas markets and Austrian cafes have tasty offerings including traditional bites such as lebkuchen. The ginger biscuits are often prepared for the Christmas markets and are hard to resist. Glühwein, also known as mulled wine, is prepared with a traditional Austrian recipe and can keep you warm as you check out the sights. But, also Salzburg is home to the oldest restaurant in Europe at St Peter’s Abbey. With over 1200 years of history, this monastery is a sight to behold, with its ancient walls and decor.
Adding to this, you can sample Salzburg’s cuisine with the delightful Via Culinaria. The perfect find for foodies, this experience promises to take you on a culinary journey across nine different themes with 260 ‘taste addresses’, sampling the most delicious local produce – so you are bound to find at least one to that gets your tastebuds going. There’s the Culinary Pathway for Gourmets, the Culinary Pathway for Fish Fans – as well as Meat Eaters and Herb Lovers. With the key ingredients for Via Culinaria being ‘regionality, originality, quality and authenticity’, you know you’re in for a treat. To discover more, click here.
You can’t really come to Salzburg and not appreciate Mozart. The prolific composer was born in the city and is its most famous son. Take a visit to the two places that Mozart called home (try late afternoon when the coach tours depart). His birthplace is on the third floor of Hagenauer House, and is where the child prodigy lived with his family until he was 17. His first violin, which was given to him at the age of six in 1762, is on display here as well as his silk wallet. Mozart’s Residence is home to the museum about the composer – this usually takes around 90 minutes to get around.
For more information, click here.
Speaking of music, if you’re not that into classical music, you can soak up the festive atmosphere with Christmas carols. Did you know that Salzburg is where “Silent Night! Holy Night!” was written? It’s actually been 200 years since the carol was first heard in 1818 in the Nikolas Church, before going on to become a staple of Christmas. SalzburgerLand, proud of its history is celebrating the significant milestone with a festival, an exhibition and a musical.
If singing Christmas is your thing, then you’ll also be happy to know that Salzburg offers a sing along session with a choirmaster. The doors are open for all to attend a session within a cathedral every Tuesday night. (Ironically, there appears to be no Silent Night in sight!)
For more information, visit here.
Let your hair down, and fly down the mountain in your own toboggan. Now that is not something you can do every day. It’s a true winter classic, which you can do during the crisp day or before getting cosy at night. Not far from the city in Salzburg, in SalzburgerLand, there are a number of sledge runs that’ll get the adrenaline pumping for the most daring thrill seekers, or offer a more leisurely pace for those who want to soak up the twinkly night sky. You can rent out your sledge, or take your own, depending on how seasoned you are. For those that fancy a good Alpine view and want to take it easy, the gondola is the way to go before zipping down into the valley to the cosy mountain huts and their glühwein.
They also have the world’s longest sledge run in the Wildkogel-Arena which is no less than 14km, which drops sledders an incredible 1,300m in elevation down the mountain during a trip of a lifetime that lasts between 30 – 50 minutes. Whether it’s a racing sled, a snazzy bob or even a traditional toboggan, you can ride whatever you like down the Wildkogel mountain, as long as it’s safe. So what will your ride of a lifetime be?
For more info, click here.
8. Snow hiking
For the more energetic, snow hiking is also an option to get the blood pumping as you work up an appetite for traditional Austrian eats. You can quite literally get back to nature as you head off the beaten runs, and try to spot the Alpine wildlife and marvel at the magnificent glaciers, bringing those Instagram highlights you’ve pored over to real life. Earn the extra jars of mulled wine with a hike through the Alpine forest. One recommended trail is in Rauris Valley, in the Salzburg countryside which will take you three hours, but is well worth the effort to take in the splendour of the 15,000ft peaks.
For more information, click here.
9. Stunning views
The romantic streets of Salzburg with its domes, spires, abbeys and museums are rich in history. The iconic Hohensalzburg Fortress towers over the city and is visible throughout the city streets and forms part of the Salzburg skyline. Popping up here will get you your bearings for the city. SalzburgerLand offers the best of both worlds, with snow covered mountains on one hand, the fast paced river through the middle and the baroque towers of the city buildings.
Let’s not forget the breathtaking scenario that awaits you from the mountains.
10. Getting about
Travelling to Salzburg is great value for a European break with British Airways offering fares starting from £31 each way* from London Gatwick, based on a return fare, with up to 10 flights a week in the peak winter period.
Once you get to the city, you can buy the Salzburg Card for 37 euros for 48 hours and this gives you unlimited access to public transport as well as entry to the city’s top sights. This makes a weekend getaway more manageable and more room for those Christmas treats.
To find out more on how to get your card, click here.
Transporting you to your chosen ski resort from the airport, there are a number of shuttles that you can pick up with ease after your flight.
When you’re planning your trip to SalzburgerLand, make sure you take advantage of the SalzburgerLand Card. This guest card allows you to pay a visit to all of the top spots, with free or discounted access to around 190 attractions between six and 12 days.
You can find more information on how to get your card, click here.
To book your winter break to Salzburg – visit ba.com/salzburg
For more information about planning your trip- visit https://www.salzburgerland.com/en/