There is nothing quite like Christmas in the mountains. Mountain peaks dusted with snow, lights twinkling in the trees, Christmas markets filling the air with festive aromas of freshly baked Christmas biscuits, spicy baked apples and glühwein. There’s truly nothing better.
For many people, Advent is the best time of the year, and for those people, there’s just one destination for the best Advent experience this winter – SalzburgerLand. Celebrating the run-up to Christmas should be a time of joy and relaxation, so there’s no better time to swap the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a mountain getaway.
You can fly directly from the UK to Salzburg and combine the perfect festive city break with adventures on the slopes at some of Austria’s best ski areas.
Though Advent means the ski season has only just begun, SalzburgerLand’s resorts bustle with excitement and energy. Everyone is in high spirits, enjoying perfect days on the slope and evenings in the après bars, or curling up by a roaring fire.
Down in the valley, the city of Salzburg is beautiful at the best of times, but with a dusting of snow and a Christmas tree or twenty, it is truly magical.
From the end of November, Advent arrives in SalzburgerLand and so too do the Christmas markets. Here, Christmas markets are not simply an afterthought; they are a staple of Advent, with locations ranging from Hohenwerfen Adventure Castle and the banks of Lake Fuschl and Lake Wolfgang, to small villages with breathtaking mountain backdrops.
There are stalls selling homemade Christmas tree decorations and local products, which make the perfect presents for loved ones, and you’ll be spoilt for choice with warming traditional delicacies, from hot chestnuts and hearty sausages to tasty punch and glühwhein. Throw in a backdrop of magical brass melodies and you’ve got festive perfection.
Perhaps the most striking of them all, Salzburg Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt) lies in the shadow of the great cathedral, in the heart of Salzburg’s World Heritage-listed Old Town. One of the world’s oldest Advent markets, the Christkindlmarkt’s deep historical roots and unique setting make it one of the city’s most spectacular Advent experiences. The market opens each year on the Thursday preceding the first Sunday in Advent and runs through until Boxing Day. With its varied market stalls, traditional Austrian culinary delights and specially designed lighting emulating the romantic night stars, it’s no surprise this market draws visitors from across the world.
Alternatively, for a more unique experience rooted in Christmas culture, visit the market in the traditional village of Oberndorf, where the famous carol “Silent Night” has its roots, having been written, composed and performed by Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber for the first time 200 years ago. salzburgerland.com/en