Ski Tours (Tours)

Last Updated: 12th Feb 2014

Contiki’s Ski Tours operate throughout the European winter (usually December to March) and are focused around the town of Hopfgarten in Austria.

Austria is well know throughout not only Europe, but the world, has having some of the best ski runs on the planet. Austria’s reputation is built on not only the fact that it not only has some of the most accessible runs in the world but also some of the least expensive. The variation of runs also ensures that everyone, from the first time beginner to the Olympic-level competitor, is catered for. Unlike many other European and world ski resorts, you can literally ski from the top of a mountain to your front door (or bar) step with no long bus or car rides to the slopes and ski lifts.

The scenery as you carve up the slopes in Hopfgarten is absolutely exhilarating and words cannot describe the feel of the fresh, crisp air in your face and lungs combined with the panorama of the powder covered Alps.

As well as the outstanding skiing and snowboarding there are loads of other winter activities like ice skating, sleigh rides and toboggan runs available in Hopfgarten while the party scene and the apres ski festivities throughout Austria are off the wall.

The Ski Fields

The whole ski area is part of the ‘Ski Welt’ (English: ski world)circuit offering 250km of pistes with interconnecting gondola, chair and drag lift systems to get you quickly to any area of the mountain. Beginners in skiing or snowboarding can take advantage of the local beginners lift pass and ski schools. The beginners lift pass includes Hopfgarten, Itter and Kelchsau. Gentle nursery slopes in the heart of Hopfgarten (perfect for beginners) are made easy with patient instructors who will soon have you motoring through the trees from ‘middle station’ and up on to the more advanced slopes in no time at all. You can also upgrade your beginners lift pass to one that covers the entire Ski Welt region.

Intermediates and Advanced skiers or snowboarders will want to take advantage of the whole Ski Welt ski area including the 7km descent to the village. You can also go out with a local, experienced ski guide, in a group or on your own, to get off the beaten track and really discover the hidden mountain (bookable when you are in resort). The nearby town of Westendorf usually has half pipes, bowls and jumps for

Where you Stay

The accommodation is in the Gasthof Schoneck that has been a favourite with our guests for many years. Used as a Contiki Special Stopover for the summer Concept/Budget Tours the Gasthof is transformed into warm winter lodgings for the ski season. The Gasthof Schoneck is staffed with Contiki staff that know the town back to front and are available both on hand and behind the scences help you make the most if your stay. The Gasthof also has an awesome bar, internet facilities, an outdoor sauna and a whole bunch of extra fun winter activities and adventures.

The Gasthof is centrally-heated with accommodation based on your choice of twin or quad-share with some of the rooms having shared facilities. If you’re travelling alone, Contiki can arrange for you to share a room (with same sex roomates) in the style of your choice, at no extra cost while a number of twin rooms with private facilities are also available for a small supplement.

Food

Included in the ski tour every morning is a continental buffet breakfast of cereals, bread, juice, fruit and yoghurts along with one hot dish. Lunch is yours to do with as you wish. There are loads of eateries in the town of Hopfgarten while places like Gasthof Thenn in the ski fields themselves are great for a lunchtime break on the Alps.

The evenings are yours to make the most of local cuisine. Hopfgarten has a great variety of eateries to cover all tastes and price ranges including pizza and pasta places to much more traditional local Gasthof restaurants with a great mixture of traditional Austrian and international food.

Contiki also offers ‘half-board supplement’ that can be booked when you book your trip where almost all of your dinners are included at the Gasthof Schoneck accommodation. Optional dinners are also occasionally scheduled and can be organised by speaking to the Contiki team when you get to Hopfgarten.

Getting to and from Hopfgarten

There are a number of different ways to get to the ski fields and Hopfgarten.

By Coach from London

As part of the tour you can take a Contiki coach from London to and from Hopfgarten. The Contiki coach departs from the Royal National Hotel, Bedford Way, London, WC1, on Fridays at 7.00pm and returns to London on Saturdays at around 11.00pm.

Independently

You can also make your own way to the accommodation in Hopfgarten. If you make your own way to Hopfgarten, you should plan to arrive on a Saturday (the day after the coach departs from London). If you make your own way there you can deduct the amount quoted by Contiki for the coach price.

If you want to fly into Hopfgarten the closest big international airport is in Munich, Germany (about an hour and a half’s drive or train ride away) while the closest ‘big’ Austrian city is Innsbruck. The easiest way to get to Hopfgarten though is by flying into Munich and taking a train or a transfer from Munich to the accommodation in Hopfgarten.

You can contact Contiki when you are making your booking and get a quote of current airfares and return transfers from Munich airport to the accommodations.

Please note: If you arrange your own flights and transport please ensure that you arrive at Hopfgarten on the Saturday (the day after the coach departs from London). Likewise, you can then deduct the cost of the coach from London from the total tour cost.

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