Cross country skiing in Austria

“A week of skiing that aims to perfect your cross-country skate skiing technique, in the Tyrol, in a small group with fantastic tuition”


Cross country skate skiing | 5 days of skiing | Achenkirch | Pertisau | Options to visit Innsbruck, Mayerhofen or Kufstein | Traditional hotel on Achensee Lake | Sauna

Description of Cross country skiing in Austria

This cross country skiing holiday, in Achensee region of Austria’s Tyrol, is focused not only on the wonderful set tracks, or loipes, in and around the Achen Valley, which cuts between the Karwendel and Brandenberg ranges in the Alps, but also on developing the technique of cross country skate skiing.

There are over 200km of loipes in this area, and we start with the Achenkirch one which leads directly out of your hotel, if conditions suit. This hotel is a local institution when it comes to cross country skiing, traditional and rustic and has been welcoming winter holiday makers since 1875. It has a superb location overlooking Achen Lake and has wonderful mountain views and, still family run, their delicious, local and traditional food is a Tyrolean treat.

The days will consist of morning tuition with the brilliant Eric Woolley, another institution in cross country skate skiing and a Snowsport England Coach/Tutor, and he has been guiding our guests here for many years. In the afternoons we will go out on guided tours on different loipes, not only around Achensee but also Pertisau, on the western lakeshore, bordering the forested valleys and white pastures of Karwendel Alpine Park Nature Reserve, the largest of its kind in Austria.

There will be five full days of cross country skate skiing on this trip. Skating is aimed at people who may have tried classic cross country skiing and now want to try something a little more challenging. Using a shorter ski, it generally takes a faster pace thanks to the techniques that Eric will teach you. We do welcome mixed abilities on this trip, however the minimum age is 18.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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01 Feb 2020
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08 Feb 2020
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15 Feb 2020
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22 Feb 2020
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29 Feb 2020
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No Snow?
As it stands currently if the clients were to go on these and there was poor snow coverage, it is likely the leader would look to make use of what snow there was, including artificial snow, though in general this wouldn’t be enough to maintain a week’s worth of skiing, as it is used far less to create cross country skiing tracks. For this reason we do not promote dates prior to January.
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Cross country skiing in Austria

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


One of the strengths of this centre is the use of local transport services. The network of bus routes and trains is not only very convenient for us, but provides support for local facilities and employment for local people.
By supporting the local community we are demonstrating how responsible tourism can still make a difference in a ‘developed’ area of Western Europe. The bonus for our clients is that they can see how they are supporting directly the local economy and the warm welcome they receive from the local inhabitants.

Accommodation and Meals
Accommodation for the week is in the family run Hotel Fischerwirt in the Tyrolean village of Achenkirch. The Fischerwirt is a traditional Tyrolean inn and as such is a member of the "Tiroler Wirtshaus". This association exists to ensure that members maintain authentic Tyrolean cuisine with local influences. The focus is on local ingredients with proof of origin (AMA seal of approval), the diverse native culinary delights as well as down to earth Tyrolean ambience, coupled with good hospitality. For over 20 years, the initiative focuses on values such as seasonality and regionality. The most basic elements of the initiative are the:
love of Tyrolean cooking
freshness of the produce sourced from local farms, rivers and forests
particular emphasis on authentic atmosphere and architecture.
The atmosphere of a traditional Tyrolean inn can probably be best summed up by the expression "Tyrolean hospitality". The dishes prepared in every inn are based on traditional Tyrolean recipes.

We use the services of a local family run bus/taxi company based in Maurach for our airport transfers. Where clients are not able to make use of our transfers arrangements, we are able to recommend a family run company from Innsbruck, which provides a convenient and reasonably priced service.

Local Craft and Culture
Clients are encouraged to stop at mountain huts and restaurants and other local businesses, where our visit makes a valuable contribution to their trade. When there is a village event, such as a band concert, we make every effort to attend, especially as the tourist board provides a convenient bus service! On the free day, it is possible visit the nearby city of Innsbruck, where there are many interesting cultural sites, but the Tyrolean Folk Museum is one of the most popular. Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

3 Reviews of Cross country skiing in Austria

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 14 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So much: learning to ski x country, great comarederie, saunas, the choir, the food, beautiful scenery

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Flag up early if there are any issues with your equipment.
Don't take out too much kroner as not much to spend on and can pay for most things with card

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefitted the Danish co-operative who run the hostel superbly

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Absolutely brilliant.

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Getting in one week from being almost unable to stand up on skis to skiing 15km across country on the final day.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Get as fit as you can before you go. Take layers of clothes for skiing and lighter clothes to wear indoors - Austrian hotels are very warm!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Benefits for local people were mainly using local services (transport, cafes etc) but Austrians are not exactly hard up so I didn't feel this was a big issue. The impact on the environment was not more actively minimized than on any other trip I've taken.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A lot of fun plus a real sense of achievement in learning to do something I initially found quite difficult.

Reviewed on 03 Mar 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

In the past we have always downhill skied, but this time we decided to try cross country skiing having never done it before. It took a short while to learn the basics and by the end of the week we were able to complete a cross country journey - with no broken bones!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If travellers like group holidays with everything organised for them then this is the right holiday to choose.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

By being tourists in a small community we contributed to one of their local industries (tourism).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The skiing was good but the holiday didn't allow any flexibility in the programme. We may have chosen the wrong resort - it was too quiet with not much else to do. The hotel lacked atmosphere.

Read the operator's response here:

This cross-country skiing programme offers 6 days of guiding through the Austrian Tyrol. As Trins is easily accessed by public buses and trains, many choose to take a day off to go shopping in Innsbruck. Thanks to the new cable car, downhill skiing is available straight from Innsbruck. There are usually many of the villagers in the hotel bar so most clients tend to enjoy the lively hotel atmosphere.

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