Zell am See is one of Austria's best-loved ski resorts, with stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the lake below. While the skiing above the town may not match up to some of its neighbours, the scenery and the active nightlife offer more than adequate compensation.
The area can also offer snow-sure skiing on the Kitzsteinhorn glacier above the nearby village of Kaprun, with which it shares a lift pass. And the size of the town and the proximity to Salzburg make it a good choice for non-skiing party members.
Elevation: 763 metres
Location: 5700 Zell am See - Salzburg - Austria
The town, like many settlements in Austria, was originally a way station built by monks on a trade route between north and south. The inhabitants of the area around the Zeller lake took part in the trade themselves - transporting salt and wine in alternate directions.
The construction of the Giselabahn railway in the 19th century provided an
impulse for the development of the town as a tourist destination and the first
lift was built to the Schmittenhöhe in the early 20th century. Since then,
further expansion of the facilities in the mountains around Zell am See has
boosted the number of visitors to the area to over 2 million overnight stays
The town is larger than most ski resorts and best comparable to ski towns such as Kitzbühel and Chamonix. The road tunnel under the town has alleviated some traffic problems (as the town is an important transport junction) and the pedestrian centre provides some respite from vehicles.
The skiing can be accessed from the centre of the town, from the suburb of
Schüttdorf (a generally cheaper option for those looking for a ski holiday on a budget) and from
a cluster of lifts at the base of the Schmittenhöhe itself.
Read more about the slopes on our skiing page.
The access to Zell am See is relatively straightforward with vehicle access
from Salzburg, Munich and Innsbruck mostly by motorway and then by a variety
of local roads. The railway station lies on a direct link between Innsbruck
Find out more about getting to the resort on our travel information page.
The accommodation in Zell am See is located in the central part of the town by the lake, on the road up to the cable cars, or at the base of the lifts in the neighbouring settlement of Schüttdorf.
More information about Zell am See hotels & other accommodation