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HOCHKÖNIG – MARIA ALM

The highest mountain in the Berchtesgarden Alps, Hochkönig entices skiers of all capabilities to discover the slopes and attracts outdoor holidaying families to its broad spaces and vibrant array of summer and winter activities with plenty of provision for beginners and children.

At 2,943m above sea level, the mountain has a variety of ascents and descents, with forests all around, and wonderful opportunities for skiing, including cross country and off piste for advanced while intermediates fare extremely well; snow boarding, horseback riding, nature walks, trail running, tobogganing, sledding all feature and more, according to the season.

There are 33 modern lifts and 120km of seamlessly linked kilometres of pistes with over 60 prepared slopes, and what is described as ‘one of the most beautiful ski’ tours in the Alps: The Königstour with its 32km of continuous slopes and 6,700 vertical metres.

For activities, the region prides itself on offering everything from A to Z, beginning with its charming celebrations of Advent. In Maria Alm this sees Tyrolean picture book images brought colourfully to life with horse drawn carriages, rides, the sound of alphorns, markets and a pilgrimage to the light festooned church. And for Z, the exhilarating Ziachschlitten sled rides.

Maria Alm is a village with bags of life and charm, just a 15-minute ride away from the resort, with always something going on whether it is Gluwein evenings or traditional markets. Close by is Funslope Schönanger for those looking for a bit more action but not ready for Blue Tomato Kings Park at Mϋhlbach. The Living Room on the Hochkeil, Mϋhlbach is a compact ski area with 100% natural snow offering a different sensation to that of the harder packed canon variety. Hinterreit is another small ski area, with a practise lift for beginners, and stars of the skiing world practice on the FIS training route here.

A weekly night show at Beginners Park Natrun in the Magic Area is a breathtaking display of freestyle stunts, to inspire and amaze. And new for spring 2016: the world’s first Forest Slide Park. Summer at the Hochkönig is just as action filled as winter with hiking over alpine meadows, e-biking, trail running, climbing, racing downhill on the flow trail in Natrun and not forgetting the Alpine Coaster, a 1.6km thrill packed toboggan run with 345 vertical metres, 61 curves and three jumps!

The Hochkönig is part of the 2nd largest ski area in Europe: Ski Amadé, taking its name from the world famous Austrian classical composer, Amadeus Mozart.