Cross-country skiing in the Alps
There is no track directly in the village of Schladming. However, if you go with the ski bus just for a little bit, there are lots of really nice tracks. In Ramsau am Dachstein there are a total of 220 km. of tracks at 1.100 meters above sea level to 2.700 meters above sea level. The World Championship has been held on this location and often the very best stars do their training here. There are tracks with lights and snow cannons inside the cross-country stadium. Here you will even find a park that offers a lot of fun exercise. At Nordic X-Park you can practice length between e.g. slalom carpets and small jumps, perfect for families with children. Ramsau requires a ski pass for cross-country skiing and costs about 11 Euro for 1 day. The bus from Planai to Ramsau takes about 30 min.
There are also great tracks in the area of Rohrmoos Untertal and Obertal. There are unfortunately no busses to Obertal but to Untertal you can take the bus from Planai, it takes about 40 minutes (the bus stop is Janerbrücke). Here are some nice tracks, both a bit longer and shorter and it is even for free. However, there are no lights on the tracks.
Wagrain is an excellent location when it comes to cross-country skiing. You get to the various tracks by taking the ski bus from the center or just outside Grafenberg Resort. You ride with the bus around 10-15 minutes no matter what track you want to go to.
A popular trip is “Jägerseeloipe” which runs from Wagrain to Kleinarl. This is a very nice trip about 6 km. of easy road and not so advanced. If you want to challenge yourself a bit more, then you can take the bus to the small village of Hof. Here you will find a track called “Tauernloipe”, which is impressive 63 km. long. You can either go for the entire round that passes the Untertauern, or just go for a shorter tour to the lift “Die Rote 8er”.
In Zauchensee you stay right next to the cross-country track that runs out of the valley and all the way to Altenmarkt. You start at the lake and then you go down the 10 km. long track. Once in Altenmarkt you can stop for a lunch break before taking the track back. Note, the track home is going upwards so this is a more demanding tour.
If you want to go cross-country skiing during your stay in Saalbach then head towards Hinterglemm. The easiest way is to take the ski bus from Schattberg X-press in Saalbach towards Hinterglemm. Here you will find a shorter track on approx. 2 km. up on the mountain. Take the lift Reiterkogelbahn and jump directly out on the track that climbs to the bottom of the Rosswaldbahn. You will need a lift pass.
If you want to go on a longer track, you should also go to Hinterglemm, more specifically near the tennis court. Here is a 10 km. long track that leads you all the way through the valley to Lengau, where you will find the famous hanging bridge Baumzipfel. Right next door is the hidden restaurant Lindlingalm which is worth a visit before returning home.
If you stay at Hotel Pinzgauerhof in Zell am See, you have a really good starting point for cross/country skiing. Just about 1 km. from the hotel there are 2 nice trails of each 3-4 km. One of the tracks is even lit at night, so you don’t have to hurry back if the sun sets.
If you want additional opportunities, you can easily hop on the bus towards Kaprun. Here you will find several different trails, which all start at the cross-country center (opposite the lift in Kaprun, the Schaufelberg). The tracks are between 2-6 km. and some are also lit at night. In total, there are about 15 km. of trails, mostly easy ones. Here you can go throughout the season as the snow cannons are running the whole time.
If there are plenty of snow in the villages there is a wonderful trip that stretches from Zell am See to Krimml. The „Pinzga-loipe“ is no less than 200 km. Long and you go along the Salzach creek, which takes you through several villages. On the way home you can catch the local train if you lack the energy.
If you want to go on higher altitudes, there are nice trails on both mountains. On Schmittenhöhe there is a 2 km. long track. To get there you take the CityXPress lift up from the center. On Kitzsteinhorn there are 3 km. of tracks at 2.900 meters above sea level. To go cross-country skiing on Schmittenhöhe or Kitzsteinhorn it requires a lift pass.
There are no cross-country tracks in the village of Bad Gastein, but just a short bus ride away at the nearby villages you will find plenty of opportunities. The busses start from Mozartplatz or close to the lift Stubnerkogelbahn. The most popular track is in Sportgastein and is approx. 5 km. long.
If you go to Angertal, you will find another good track that is about 6-7 km. long.
Obertauern is a really good destination for cross-country skiing. The village is snow-sure at 1.600 meters above sea level and there are also snow canons, just to be on the safe side. The tracks are easily accessible and you can get up right at the lift in the village. There are several tracks of different lengths. Most of them start from the Gamsleiten lift and there are trails for all levels of difficulty. It is free to use the tracks. Try for example the Weltcuploipe, which is a 10 km. long medieval track that starts at the bottom of the Gamsleiten lift or the Hundsfeldloipe which is about 6 km. long and offers really beautiful scenery.
St. Anton is best known for its off-piste, but there is actually good cross-country skiing as well. Loipe Stanzertal is for example a 22 km. long tour that starts in Pettneu. There are great connections with the ski bus. Loipe Verwall starts at Hotel Mooserkreuz, about 2 km. from St. Anton center. In total, there are about 40 km. of trails in and around St. Anton.
Canazei and Campitello are located in Val di Fassa which is part of the famous cross-country ski race Marcialonga. This is one of the biggest cross-country ski races and is part of the World Cup.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to go for the whole tour of Marcialonga, as the existing tracks will only be completed during the race for the entire route to be driven. However, you will be able to go quite a bit of the way relatively smoothly.
If you start from Canazei, the track goes to Campitello and the lift Rodella. Here you get off the track and walk 50-100 meters past the lift where you jump on the track in Campitello, which takes you further to Mazzin. From Mazzin you continue straight ahead to Pozza di Fassa. Here it stops and smoothly continues to the Marcialonga track, and you can easily return to Canazei again. Thus, the total distance back and forth will be around 40 km.
If you stay in Alba you can either take the ski bus to Canazei and try Marcialonga, or head for the old lift to the Alba/Pozza area. Here, at 2.000 meters altitude, you will find a 2 km. long track, which offers a fantastic setting among the Alpine peaks. Right here you will also find a restaurant where you can have a well-deserved lunch. You will need a lift pass to go here.
In Livigno you will find a total of 40 km. of cross-country ski tracks divided into different routes. The longest runs through the entire village and is a total of 29 km. It is very easy to jump on the tracks no matter where you stay at, since the tracks run in parallel with the entire village. The height of the village also makes this one of the most snow-sure destinations.
If you are out on the track, be sure to visit Livigno's own dairy, Latteria di Livigno. Here, dairy products are served from the area and they also have a restaurant.