St Johann Alpendorf is the ultimate winter adventure paradise with unlimited skiing and activities that is less than an hour’s drive from the historical city of Salzburg. Not only is it part of Snow Space Salzburg but the even bigger area of Ski Amade, the 2nd largest in Europe with 760 kms of slopes.
Due to the high altitude of the slopes and the efficient snow-making facilities, it offers amazing skiing conditions from early December through to April. There was good coverage of snow when I was there in March for spring skiing. Usually, during this time of year, you have to go up high to ski but l was still able to ski back to the hotel in the centre of Alpendorf.
Cover Picture Provided By: ©JOSalzburg Austria
Ski St Johann Alpendorf
Alpendorf ski resort is located in St. Johann just 3 km from the main city of Pongau in the Salzburgerland region. It is one of the most accessible ski resorts in Austria and the quickest entry into the Snow Space Salzburg ski area. The resort is a nice size making most of the accommodations and restaurants within easy reach of the slopes.
If you don’t want to walk or you want to visit Pongau or the other ski resorts you can easily use the free ski bus during the winter season. Check what is currently required to enter Austria here before travelling.
Here are 5 fantastic reasons why skiing in St Johann Alpendorf should be your next winter holiday.
1. Alpendorf is part of the Snow Space Salzburg Ski area
Alpendorf is a part of the Snow Space Salzburg, a high-tech winter sports destination with over 210 kms of slopes across 12 peaks in 5 valleys. It is one of the five largest ski regions in Austria and is just as popular in winter as it is in summer. The ski area consists of Flachau, Wagrain and St. Johann, together with Flachauwinkl/Zauchensee.
All are interconnected via 70 modern ski lifts, some with seat, lumbar and backrest heating. One of the highlights of the skiing area is the 2 World Cup ski-class slopes. Flachau has the Hermann Maier FIS World Cup run and Zauchensee has the World Cup run. Please make sure to wear a ski helmet when skiing on these slopes, I wear one from the brand Head.
Access to the Snow Space Salzburg ski area for St Johann is via either the Alpendorf cable car or the Gernkogelbahn chairlift. Then on your way back it is an easy ski down via the 36 blue or red slopes. If you are driving you can park at the Alpendorf cable car parking which also has lockers.
2. It is also part of the Ski Amade, Europe’s second-largest ski area
St Johann Alpendorf is also part of the even larger Ski Amadé area, known as Austria’s greatest ski paradise. It has a whopping 760 km of slopes connected by 270 ski lifts. That includes 25 resorts across 5 regions of Salzburger Sportwelt, Schladming-Dachstein, Gastein, Hochkönig and Grossarltal.
It is Europe’s second-largest ski area and one of the most diverse winter sports destinations in the Alps. The ski areas offer a varied mix of slopes with different levels of difficulty as well as a 100% snow guarantee from December.
Not sure what type of ski jacket to purchase for the ski season, buyer’s guide will give you some great suggestions.
You only need one ski pass to access the whole Ski Amadé area and if you register the card you can track where you have skied. This is great if you are using a GoPro for skiing or snowboarding and want the name of the slopes. There is also a ski bus from St Johann im Pongau and Alpendorf to all the other resorts. Access to the ski area from St Johann is the same way to Snow Space Salzburg.
3. It’s one of the most accessible ski resorts in Austria
Alpendorf is easily reached by car, train or even bus due to its unique position, making it an ideal resort for a day trip or even for a weekend break. It has direct access from major cities by train, the drive is mainly motorway and Salzburg is only 53 km away. The resort is so accessible that several types of public transport run daily during the winter season to service the area.
Coming from Salzburg Airport
If you are flying, the closest airport is Salzburg International which is less than an hour’s transfer to St Johann Alependorf. There are several airlines like BA that offer direct flights from the UK to Salzburg that are seasonal. I use Easyjet from Gatwick which takes an hour and 55 minutes. If you book early enough then you can get a reasonable price.
Compare flights and prices on TravelSupermarket for the best deal for the 2022/2023 ski season.
If you are arriving by train from Austria or Germany
There are many direct train services from both large and small cities in Austria and Germany to St. Johann im Pongau. From there, there is a free ski bus that takes skiers and snowboarders the short distance (3 km) directly to Alpendorf. The ski bus is even scheduled to arrive at the same time as the train arrives so guests don’t have to wait in the cold.
2. The 12 Peaks Trophy
One of the highlights of staying in St Johann Alpendorf and skiing is partaking in the 12 Peaks Trophy challenge. It is a special ski route that covers 12 peaks, down 5 valleys, across 46 km of slopes on 21 ski runs. You will take in some of the most beautiful peaks in the region and experience stunning panoramic views. Not to mention ski and board some of the best terrains in the region.
If you complete the 12 Peaks challenge in a day you will receive a black trophy, in two days a red trophy or in three days it is a white trophy. You will also receive a special surprise but you have to wait to do the challenge before you find out what it is.
All you need to do to participate is register on skiline.cc and leave your ski pass number. From there you can track the slopes and cable cars you have to ski on the Skiline portals available around the ski resorts.
The entry point of the 12 Peaks Tour in Flachau is Spicejet 1, however, you can start from any point along the ski route. If you are starting from St.Johann Alpendor then the suggested starting point is the 36 Alpendorf Gondola. Remember to wear good gloves to keep warm. I have Leki women’s ski gloves they are a little pricey but fantastic for keeping the cold out.
4. Free ski pass and save money
When you purchase a ski pass during “Ladies Week” in mid-March, you get a second one free. This offer is open to all genders and is valid for the whole of Ski Amadé ski paradise. You don’t just get a free ski pass but one person from the two can get 1 day‘s free ski guiding.
This 2022/2023 winter season “Ladies Week” will be held from the 18th – the 25th of March 2023. Here is the link to see what events will be held during this time, like the prosecco morning. This is a great option if you are on a budget as you can split the one ski pass between two people and save money. Here are another 11 great tips for saving money skiing.
5. You can combine a ski holiday with a city break to Salzburg city
One of the best things about skiing in St Johann Alpendorf is that you can combine it with a trip to Salzburg city. Salzburg is one of the top European destinations, especially for a weekend break. The city is the birthplace of Mozart and offers historical sites and well-known landmarks like Hohensalzburg Fortress.
Being only 38 miles from the Salzburg centre means you could even take a break from your ski vacation for a day trip. If you don’t drive then you can take the direct train from St. Johann Im Pongau to Salzburg Hbf with Austrian Railways (ÖBB) that operates every hour. I spent a couple of days in the city after skiing in the Snow Space Salzburg ski area and it was a great addon. Here are 10 Top Historical sites to see in Salzburg that can easily be done in 2 days.
Additional Information for skiing in Sankt Johann Alpendorf
Where to hire equipment in St Johann Alpendorf
Dorfverleih ski and snowboard rental is a good option for hiring ski equipment to use. It is located under the Hotel Sonnhof on the slopes of St. Johann Alpendorf.
Due to its access to the slopes, you don’t have to carry your equipment far to go skiing. If you rent for 7 days you pay for 6. Children get a free rental of equipment if both parents are renting. You can currently get huge discounts on your ski and snowboard gear this season with Sun & Ski sports.
Eating in Snow Space Salzburg
There are plenty of places to stop for a drink or something to eat on the slopes. However, if you are skiing in Snow Space Salzburg I suggest Auhofalm, a traditional Austrian restaurant/bar that is popular with the locals. It is located on the Flying Mozart ski run in Wagrain. Also in Wagrain is Starchen Stadl, a great spot for après ski or coffee. It is near the G-Link cable car and has great views across the slopes.
Eating in Sankt Johann Alpendorf area
SternAlm Alpendorf is a great spot for lunch or afternoon drinks on your way back to Alpendort. It is located at the top of the Gernkogelbahn chairlift in the St. Johann ski area. Oberforsthof Alm is another great spot if you are looking for somewhere off the slopes in Alpendorf. Sit and eat in the Panorama lounge which has amazing views across St Johann.
In St. Johann Im Pongau then I suggest the Reinbachstube, a family-run restaurant that serves delicious dishes.
Free skibus in St Johann Alepndorf
There is a free ski bus that covers all 25 ski resorts in the Ski Amadé area. It is served by seven routes all marked with a different colour. The main depot stations all have car parking and ski lockers.
St Johann’s bus depot is at Valley Station Alpendorf Gondola. The lockers are located in the parking area and are open daily from 8 a.m. to around 6 p.m. during winter. Ski lockers can be hired as small or group equipment for a day or a week.
Here is the ski bus map line for St Johann Alpendorf that links the other resorts in the Snow Space Salzburg ski area.
St Johann Alpendorf hotels
Most of the hotels in St Johann Alpendorf are either on or close to the ski slopes. I stayed at the 4-star superior sports Hotel Oberforsthof. It is a great hotel that makes sure all your needs are covered for a winter ski holiday in Slazburgerland. Even down to offering in-house ski rental to ski schools with a professional instructor. It was fantastic being able to walk out of the hotel, cross the road and be directly on the Alpendorf ski area.
Hotel Oberforsthof’s rooms are spacious and elegant with some having spas, a separate lounge area and panoramic views. The hotel featured a restaurant, bar and lounge area. It also had an indoor pool, a spa area with various saunas and a relaxation area. As well as a gaming area, ski and boot locker room and underground car park located on the bottom level.
Check availability and prices here for Oberforsthof and other hotels in the St Johann Alpendorf area. If you want to expand your search then also consider staying in St Johann im Pongau hotels.
Other adventure ski articles that might interest you
- An affordable ski resort Monte Bondone – Italy
- The ultimate skiing guide Champéry– Switzerland
- Skiing and winter activities in Chatél – France
⇒ You can check what is currently required to enter Austria and if you still need a mask here before travelling.
Have you been to St Johann Alpendorf and skied in the Snow Space Salzburg ski area before? Please feel free to comment below. Another amazing Austrian Hotel worth checking out is Park Igls Medical Spa.
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⇒ If you or someone you know is unsure about skiing with a Pacemaker or Defibrillator (ICD). Then I suggest taking a read of this informative article on skiing with a device.