Obertauern is Austria's answer to the high-level purpose-built resorts of the French Alps. Its brightly-coloured hotel facades and some unusual cartoon character names for its hotels sometimes give the resort a feeling of being in a theme park on snow.
But, as always in Austria, the accommodation and facilities are top class and, behind the facades of the newer mega-hotel complexes it is still possible to glimpse the settlement which grew up to serve visitors and traders travelling over the pass.
And, of course, the quality of the snow and access to the pistes are just as good as in those concrete purpose-built rivals on the other side of the Alps.
Elevation: 1730 metres
Location: 5562 Obertauern - Salzburg - Austria
The route over the pass dates back to Roman times and settlements were built here back in the Middle Ages to aid those travelling in the mountains. Road races were held in the 1920s and the first skiers started to arrive - in those days, the only way up into the mountains was by foot.
The first lifts were built in the 1950s and from then on the resort saw an
expansion of both the skiing infrastructure and the accommodation possibilities.
Since then the resort has seen a boom in overnight stays and in construction
of facilities and lodging.
More information about Obertauern hotels & other accommodation
The main attraction is, of course, the altitude. In a country where many of the ski areas are fairly low-lying, the ski-in ski-out experience and snow-sure conditions offer something a little bit different. And while many of the higher resorts in other alpine countries can offer the altitude, few can compete with the combination of access, hotels and ski area.
The skiing is not particularly difficult, but it is eminently suitable to
intermediate skiers who are looking for comfortable groomed skiing and plenty
of options for a week's skiing holiday.
More information about the Obertauern ski area
The access to such a high-altitude resort is also surprisingly easy, with
an impressive motorway heading north to Salzburg and south to Villach within
easy reach of Obertauern.
More information about travel to Obertauern