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Like twinkling, snow-dusted villages on a Christmas card, Hochkönig is outrageously pretty. Cradled by the Berchtesgaden Alps in Salzburgerland, the highest peak of the area Mount Hochkönig frames dramatic views with its cloud-draped craggy peaks tumbling down to fir-lined pistes, rustic cabins and picture-perfect Alpine villages like Maria Alm, Hintermoos, Hinterthal, Dienten am Hochkönig and Mühlbach am Hochkönig.
Part of Ski Amadé, a criss-cross of 28 ski areas which make the largest ski area in Europe, Hochkönig is certainly the place to come for the ski aficionados with every level of ability catered for from wide practice runs to thrilling training tracks, fun snow parks and family favourite tobogganing. But there are a few things they do differently here too, which really makes it stand out.
For example – have you ever skied at dawn, watching the sun rise over the mist-swirled crags before an Alpine breakfast in a cosy mountain hut? Hochkönig is all about experiencing the glorious mountain vistas in interesting settings and the great thing about early morning skiing is that you’ll be the first to make tracks in the snow, enjoy freshly prepared pistes and experience the majesty and silence of the Hochkönig mountain range.
Another stand out of Hochkönig is its opportunity for freeriding – skiing or boarding in untouched snow with deep snow descents. If you’re not familiar with it, we would recommend giving it a try - the sense of freedom and sheer thrill is one-of-a-kind. Hochkönig is well set up for it too, with mountain guides on hand to advise on safety and integrated avalanche beepers de rigeur for all freeriders.
If you need any more reasons, then look to Hochkönig’s snowfall. With its particular microclimate, it has some of the best snow reports in Austria and has a long ski season, often stretching to the warm and sunny days of mid-April. We’re also big fans of the gourmet culture here, focusing on fresh mountain produce, traditional Hochkönig recipes like roast pork with dumplings, Kasnocken with Pinzgauer beer cheese served in cosy, wood panelled huts where you’ll be spoilt by the high quality of mountaintop fare.
Many use their time in Hochkönig to plan their day around certain in-the-know huts on a gourmet ski safari – choose from rustic Austrian classics, formal a la carte cuisine or even vegan food – a burgeoning scene on the mountains of Hochkönig. Wherever you feast, you’ll know picturesque Hochkönig awaits for fresh air, thrilling runs and a homemade schnapps at the end of it. Prost!
Old lovingly restored rafters overhead, the worn travertine stairs and wide entrance doors hint at the house's previous incarnations – throughout the centuries, PoSt has lived not only as a post office but as a grocery store, boarding house and quarters for Franciscan nuns, right next to the church.