The Almdorf Seinerzeit might just be the most fantastically picturesque mountain retreat you could possibly come across. Not exactly a small village and not quite a standard hotel – the Almdorf is rather a gathering of charming independent chalets, situated 4,600 feet above sea level, near the town of Patergassen on the Carinthian slopes of Southern Austria.
The 29 cottages are mostly two bedroom, two bathroom – therefore ideal to share with family or friends – and come in four different categories varying in size from 807 to 1080 square feet. Built in traditional alpine style with wooden walls, sheepskin insulation and a central hearth, they could have been plucked right out of The Sound of Music. The property includes two restaurants; Fallacher, which serves local classics such as oven roast duck and Holzknechthutte, reportedly the smallest restaurant in the world with a maximum capacity of four diners. However, if you are simply exhausted after a day of mad slaloming, then one of the hotels various ‘village hosts’ can easily cook up a storm in the privacy of your chalet kitchen.
A short drive down the valley, the nearby spa town of Bad Kleinkirchheim provides superb pistes and excellent après ski in the form of thermal baths and massages. Many of the nearby churches are testament to the regions history, with buildings dating back to the 15th century. The Almdorf Seinerzeit is open all year round, and although the popular periods of Christmas and New Years book up well in advance, snow season luckily spans from mid December to late March.
So strap on some lederhosen and start practicing your alpenhorn.