a little bit of history...
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.
More information about the ski area
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
and Salzburg. The accommodation is located in the central part of the town by the lake, on the road up to the cable cars, or in the neighbouring settlement of Schüttdorf.
More information about hotels & travel information
What the resort is good for...
- romance - skiing in one of the loveliest settings in the Alps
What the resort is not so good for...
- busy regional town so less 'mountain resort' atmosphere
- slopes relatively low and limited although Kitzsteinhorn glacier nearby