Winter Riding at the Schlosswirt

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT. Unfortunately until we are unable to take any further bookings here until we are able to visit and test out the new set-up.Enjoy winter in this stunning national park from the back of a Haflinger pony. Highlights include galloping through the deep snow, winter moonlight rides through the forest and horse sleigh rides along the river. In the evening spoil yourself in this romantic cosy hotel with a hot Gluhwein or Schnapps by the fireplace in the friendly bar. Rejuvenate those tired muscles with a sauna or steam bath then enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner. Ski-touring and off-piste ski guiding with a professional ski and mountain guide. Long ski season. International ski resort with excellent access to off-piste (with guide). Ski and Ride Chalet Parties. White-Spirit Weekends: Alpine Adventure Challenges. An ideal venue for a white Christmas and/or New Year and you can book now for the 2011/12 festive season!

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT. Unfortunately until we are unable to take any further bookings here until we are able to visit and test out the new set-up.

Winter Riding at the Schlosswirt

Ride from the door of the hotel into the snow-filled valley or up into the mountains. The 8 indigenous Haflingers are sure-footed and are fitted with special winter shoes for riding in the snow. There are four super Winter rides so you will be able to sample the spectacular scenery from horseback. Riding level: from novice riders (who can trot and control a horse) to experts who will enjoy the longer rides with canters in the snow. Very friendly and sociable small hotel. After riding, take afternoon tea with a slice of cake at the open fireplace in the cosy bar. Steam room and sauna. Massages available. Stylish, individual bedrooms, singles, twins and family studio rooms (with two separate bedrooms).

Read this great interview in Horse & Rider magazine with Toni about how he takes care of the horses during the snowy winters in Austria.

Ride and Ski trips

Split your time between skiing / snowboarding and riding. Some of you go skiing whilst the others ride or ski in the mornings, ride in the afternoons; it's up to you. The ski resort of Heiligenblut nestles in the shadow of Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner (3798m). Ski and snowboard school, kids' Ski Paradise and Snowland. Fantastic panoramic views across 40 mountains higher than 3000m. Good snow record with ski runs to 2900m; runs for all ability levels. Mountain / ski guides available. Free ski bus from the door of hotel.

Services of a mountain guide for ski tours, snow shoe treks and ice climbing experiences (at extra cost, paid locally). 'Learn to ski powder' courses also available. Numerous toboggan runs and cross-country trails in the area.

See piste map and photos (including ski pass prices and ski hire) here: www.heiligenblut.at. For more information about the local ski school, see www.schischule-heiligenblut.at.

Alpine Extreme: Outdoor activity weekends:
Get your friends together and have five days of ice- climbing, powder ski-ing, ski-touring, toboggan races and even a midnight ride! 5 nights Thursday to Tuesday.

Winter Wonderland Weddings: We can also arrange romantic winter weddings with sleigh ride to a mountain chapel lit by lanterns. Dramatic mountain/ forest backdrop, local priest, room for up to 70 guests.

Join the Riding Company for a Festive Chalet Party
Booking now for Christmas 2011 and New Year Ride and Ski holidays

Are you dreaming of a White Christmas?? Well book one right here with trail riding in the snow included and brilliant skiing on Austria's highest mountain, the famous Grossglockner. Perfect for riders, skiers and families but with only 23 rooms, space is limited and there will be a great atmosphere guranteed over the festive period. Sleigh ride, gala dinner and 5 hours of snow riding are included. We can advise you of ski pass prices.
Great prices for a 7 night half board holiday Christmas Week: Riders £599 Non Riders £525, New Year week: Riders £613 Non Riders £538

Flights and insurance excluded. Family deals available.

White Spirit Weekend

Schnapps, Snow and Ice: ski-tour, free-ride, ice-climb and snow-trek on horseback.

4 days, 4 winter challenges : walk up an Austrian Alp on skis then make your own tracks down, free-ride off-piste using the lifts, climb up a frozen waterfall and abseil down, trek on horseback through the deep snow to a hut where some well-deserved Schnapps will be waiting for you, White Spirit challenge completed!

Dates for first timers and for experienced riders and for experienced off-piste skiers.

Prices for the challenges: White Spirit Taster: £646 per person (including guides, ski-pass, all activities, 5 nights half-board (breakfast, 5 o’clock tea, dinner) airport transfer.

White Spirit : Full on £699 per person

Just Riding: £485(5 nights half-board (breakfast, 5 o’clock tea, dinner), 5 hours of riding out and airport transfer.

Just Skiing: £528 (5 nights half-board (breakfast, 5 o’clock tea, dinner), 4 day ski-lift pass to Heiligenblut ski area, free ski shuttle bus, and airport transfer. Minimum numbers apply.

Press Articles

Horse & Hound Magazine.

Guest comments:

'I had a great few days and enjoyed the riding very much the haflingers were wonderful and responsive to my cues but knew when I needed them to take over. The rides were spectacular and the views were wonderful. I loved the hotel and the food was lovely, everyone was so friendly. Alice, Sussex (Schlosswirt).

We had a superb holiday we loved the hotel and surrounding area and will definitely visit againl. The holiday went like clockwork with all flights and taxis on time. The riding was just how I hoped. We rode on a variety of paths and tracks mostly through snow some as deep as the horses legs which was exciting and very different. The horses were fit and very sure footed and were responsive to their rider which was necessary as some of the tracks particularly high up were narrow and icy. The horses were well cared for and it was clear their welfare was paramount. I would not hesitate to recommend this holiday. Debbie, Reading.

I had a wonderful time in Austria, I wish I had booked longer. The hotel was very nice and staff very helpful. The best bit of course were the ponies, I would have bought Stocki (the pony I rode) if I could and brought him back to the UK! I have never rode western style before but the saddle certainly helped me to hang on over the steep territory and deep snow! Something we never get to experience in London. The trekking was excellent, the snow and ice prohibited us a little bit but I still got the chance to ride into the mountains and view the amazing scenery and gallop through the snow. I was well matched to Stocki and he has tempted me to buy a Haflinger! Anastasia, London

For more details of riding at the Schlosswirt please see Mountain Adventure Riding.

Season dates: Winter season starts 17th December and runs until 25th April.
High Season: 24th December to 8th January, 6th February to 12th March
Low Season: from 17th December to 26th April except above dates.

Getting there

The nearest airport is Klagenfurt which is 1.45 minutes from the hotel. A minibus or car transfer to this airport is included in the cost of the holiday.

Ryanair Direct flight from London Stansted to Klagenfurt (on Tuesdays, Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays)
Thomsonfly (Manchester to Klagenfurt, once a week).
Austrian Airlines (London Heathrow and Dublin to Vienna - good flight connections to Klagenfurt).
Air Berlin (Manchester, London Stansted, Belfast and Glasgow to Vienna, then connect to Klagenfurt).

Salzburg is 3.30 hours away . We can arrange transfers from here, approximately £108 per person, one way.

Easyjet fly from Gatwick, Bristol and Liverpool to Salzburg.
www.airportdirecttravel.co.uk is Birmingham Airport's own website and sells charter tickets from Birmingham to Salzburg.
Air Berlin fly from Stansted to Salzburg ( Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), leave Stansted at 2pm, arriving in Salzburg at 5pm. Return flights will depart from Salzburg at 12.30pm, arriving in Stansted at 1.30pm. Prices start at £34 one way including free ski carriage, 20kg luggage allowance, allocated seats and in-flight refreshments

Lowcostseats - internet travel agent for charter flights offering good deals.
Jetnav - an independent website searching schedule services, budget airlines and some charters.
Dohop - searches charter and schedule services.
Travelocity - internet travel agents for schedule services.

We can advise on flying from other airports, train, car hire and self-drive options - please contact us.
Austrian train timetable. Train travel: For everything you need to know about any train journey visit Seat Sixty-One.

Self-drive: Car rental can be booked easily and inexpensively online with Holiday Autos. Please tell us so that we can reduce the quote of your holiday.

If you would like to view the location of this holiday, please refer to the overview map and detailed map.

Riding ability

No riding lessons are given at the Schlosswirt, so all riders should know the basics and be comfortable riding at trot and canter. However, complete beginners can go on walking-only rides as the haflinger ponies are well behaved, surefooted and are familiar with the terrain. 100 kg max rider weight.
Winter riding is offered subject to weather and snow/ground conditions. There are trails suitable for novice to experienced riders. Moonlight rides are offered only on clear moonlit nights and for three days either side of full moon. The riding guides speak good English. Children welcome.

What to bring

Your normal jodhpurs or trousers which can be worn with thick tights/thermals underneath, a warm anorak/coat, gloves, scarf and boots with a good tread (essential), and jumper/fleece/long-sleeved t-shirt layers which can be added and removed as required. Although rarely insisted upon outside the UK, you should always wear your hat whilst mounted. Although hard hats are available in all our riding establishments, you are advised to bring your own. A balaclava which can be worn beneath the hat is advisable in December and January, when it is also advisable to ride in ski kit.

Rooms:

Please note that there are just three twin bedrooms with two separate beds. Most 'twins' in Austria are two separate mattresses (made up with separate sheets) but on a single base. There are a few single rooms with a single bed but you may also book a double room for singe use (supplements required only in peak season). All rooms are ensuite with shower (and a few have baths), all with hairdryers and European-style two pin plugs.

Weather

Current weather forecasts and general weather information for the region can be found here and here.