The 2008-09 season for Filzmoos opens at the beginning of December (see snow reports) and is attracting an increasing number of British enthusiasts in search of good snow, enchanting village life, and a great venue for families.
If you are looking for "the ideal family resort" or for a quiet but enchanting ski village with a great snow record and enough skiing to keep most guests happy, then look no further than the delightful resort of Filzmoos (1057m). Set in the heart of the Salzburgerland region of Austria, Filzmoos is compact and traditional with a range of modern lifts and is a great venue for families as the majority of downhill pistes are red and blue. But there is black-run skiing on offer from the top of Rossbrand which is served by a 6-person modern gondola.
Filzmoos has not been spoiled by any large-scale development although buildings have been added over the years. Original buildings have been tastefully refurbished and offer a high standard of accommodation. Shops, bars and the post office are centrally located and visitors never have far to walk, either to the lifts or local shops. But there is a free shuttle bus service which serves all the slopes.
The skiing slopes and lifts form a unique circuit catering for around 12,000 people an hour. There is the 6-person gondola to the top of Rossbrand (1600m); then there is a 4-person chair; a double chair and 5 drag lifts for the lower slopes. Filzmoos is linked by chair lift to nearby Neuberg. The nursery slopes are great for beginners and children, as they are long, but gentle so you get a good ski run before having to use the lift again. The 6-person gondola "Papageno" has been described as "one of the most comfortable and most attractive constructions in Austria".
Filzmoos forms part of the world-famous "Ski Amade" region in Salzburgerland and your ski pass covers 24 ski villages, 270 lifts and 865km of downhill slopes. The neighbouring resorts of Flachau and Zauchensee are about 20 minutes car journey away and as both stage World Cup events the skiing terrain is good enough for the "best"! The resort of Filzmoos is at the foot of the imposing 2,454m-high Bischofsmutze and the 3,000m Dachstein mountains and because of this it often gets more snow than the neighbouring area. When the Editor visited Filzmoos at the end of January this year (2005) the village already had 1m50cm of snow and 1m89cm at the top. With heavy snowfall all day, a further 15cm was added in the space of five hours!
The Dachstein Glacier is a short distance away and perfect for that "something different day" so Filzmoos can rightfully claim to have a glacier "on its doorstep!"
Salzburg Super Ski Card
This offers over 2,200km of freedom on virtually all slopes in SalzburgerLand and the Card is accepted in all of the 23 major ski regions of the SalzburgerLand and neighbouring areas and offers amazing skiing. You take advantage of season passes or you pick-the-day options available between November 2008 and May 3, 2009 so that you can get out and and ski whenever the mood takles you and the weather permits. You can also save bunches of money when compared to purchasing individual day passes and also pass through lift turnstiles using the very latest hands-free card technology.
Cross country skiing fans have a lot of opportunity to enjoy their sport including the high-level trail along the top of the Rossbrand (1600m) and 14km in length.
Filzmoos caters for 3,500 guests and has a range of excellent guests houses through to 4-star hotels. The Editor visited The Hotel Hanneshof (4-star) with its own large indoor swimming pool, excellent lounge bar, sauna and wellness centre. The menu was so extensive, the Editor was spoilt for choice at lunchtime but eventually settled for a traditional Wiener Schnitzel, pommes and salad. It was a struggle to finish what was an ample portion!
There is a choice of restaurants and bars in Filzmoos and for something really romantic, full of character and serving traditional meals, there is the "Alt Filzmoos" with its wonderful original wood cladding, log fire and located adjacent to the stables where the sleighs are kept. Filzmoos is famous for horse-drawn sleigh rides but allow a good three hours for the round trip as there is a stop-over halfway for a warming drink and snack! Kids are really spoilt in Filzmoos with three ski schools and a kindergarten. There is a leisure complex complete with large indoor swimming pool, sauna, wellness centre and playroom for youngsters and teenagers alike.
In January each year there is the International Hot Air Ballooning Festival when around 50 competitors from around the world descend on the village for a week. Guests are able to take hot air balloon rides throughout the winter.
For holidaymakers there is a packed programme of weekly entertainment ranging from a white sausage party (every Sunday evening) and a Filzmoos slide show (on a Monday), through to curling and a visit to a farm museum as well as live music evenings.
There is little doubt that Filzmoos has much to offer for those seeking a holiday without the hustle and bustle of larger ski resorts. Nowhere is very far but a free shuttle bus service links all the slopes and lifts with hotels and guests houses. So if you arrive by car, just park up for the week!
One of the best ski shops for equipment and clothing which the Editor has come across is the "Ledl Sport centre" in the main street. This caters for "Sport 2000 rentals" as well as servicing of skis and boots. The Editor recommends British guests taking a skiing holiday at Filzmoos without their own equipment can book beforehand by visiting: email@example.com or logging onto their website: www.sportledl.com
Filzmoos is convenient for those flying into Salzburg Airport as it is around 40-minutes journey. Transfers can even be arranged by your hotel. For those driving from Calais, it takes around 11 hours on excellent motorways but as in all mountain areas, snow chains should be carried. Local roads are usually extremely well cleared as well as sanded and gritted. There is a third transport option - if you want to arrive by train, the valley station at Eben is only 15-minutes road journey away.