They say that good things come in small packages and Rauris, with its teeny, tiny population of approximately 3,000 is surely a testament to that fact. A resort known best by its excellent hiking opportunities, typical of such sparsely populated areas, the territory of the municipality is, on the other hand, rather large.
Rauris is in fact the biggest community of Salzburg in terms of land. It lies within the National Park Hoe Tauern, and includes most of the Raurisertal valley, an area that was once an important mining centre and the origin of highly valuable gold ore.
Today, this bi-seasonal skiing holiday destination sells more than 420,000 over-night arrangements per year. In fact, it is a serious ski-lovers’ paradise; every year, the British army conduct their team training for Telemark skiing (the oldest and most difficult kind of skiing) and the Telemark World Cup races are held here.
From the sad history of Ulli Maier to the wild horse and vulture filled forests, PurpelTravel.co.uk fills you on this magical winter escape.
Skiing in Rauris
The local skiing area, Rauriser Hochalmbahne, expands between altitudes of 950 and 2,200 metres. Its slopes only sum up to 25 kilometres, but Rauris makes a fine base for exploring other skiing areas in the wider region. There are 2 main gondola lifts, the second of which you have to ski to. There is a chair lift with a 4.5KM toboggan run at the top of it along with some drag lifts. The nursery slopes are ideal for beginners as they are not too steep or long, but they do get a little busy during peak months due to the local ski schools. There is a free Ski Bus which picks up at the far end of the village every 30 minutes.
There are two skiing schools in Rauris. One is the Karl Maier school, whose daughter, Ulrike Maier, was an Austrian ski-racer. At just 17-years-old, she gained her first points in the World Cup. She became world-champion in the Alpine Ski-World-Championships 1989 in Super-G. 1991, and later went on to win five World Cup races and cam second 9 times. On the 29th January 1994, Ulli Maier tragically died during a downhill race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The ski school is dedicated to her memory.
The second ski school is Skischule Rauris, which caters to adults, children, and those seeking private lessons.
Nightlife in Rauris
Nightlife in Rauris is mostly in Shake’s Beer (there are only three or four bars), a small village pub where as everywhere else, smoking is permitted, so non-smokers beware. They play Austrian music on homemade instruments (drum barrels with pieces of wood attached) and the gluhwein and Jaegermeister flows! If you want a lively après-ski resort, this probably is not your bag, but if you want some good skiing, first-class food and a very friendly resort then pack your bags and make your way here.
Wildlife spotting in Rauris
The National Park Hohe Tauern is the largest nature reserve of the Alps and the second-largest national park of Europe at a whopping 1,800 square kilometres wide. It includes mountain ranges along the central Alps with Austria′s highest mountain, the Großglockner, glaciers, several major rivers (most importantly Salzach, Mur, Isel and Möll).
A hideaway for an extensive variety of alpine flora and fauna, the Park is home to vultures, wild horses, wolves and more. And the best bit? Entrance is free of charge.
Hotels in Rauris
There are several excellent hotels in Rauris. The Hotel St Hubertus is set a little way out of the village of Rauris, next to the gondola station, and so is ideal for anyone who wants quick access to the mountains. Its position also means it is very quiet at night. Then there’s the Hotel Rauriserhof, which, for several generations has been owned by the Riesslegger-Mayr family, who provide a comfortable holiday home, with excellent attention detail and fine hospitality. Last but not least is Hotel Grimming, a canine’s paradise. As a specialist on holidays with your dog, this hotel allows both you and your four-legged friend to have an unforgettable time.
What to eat in Rauris
After a hard day’s skiing on the slopes, in the cold Austrian Alps, you may find yourself with a craving for something sweet. Austria, and Salzburg in particular, is home to a diverse variety of fine desserts; the Salzburger Nockerl is a sweet soufflé much-loved throughout the region. They are typically made with egg yolk, sugar, flour, vanilla, milk, salt and vanilla, thrown into thin dough and baked on a low heat. They are said to represent the hillsides of Salzburg with the dusting of powdered sugar serving as the snow, which caps the mountains.
The most popular cuisine however is the knodel (dumplings), served with different toppings, sweet or savoury. These delicious mixtures of spherical and of variable composition are a traditional dish of Austrian cuisine, although widespread in parts of southeastern Europe such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Trentino Alto Adige. They make the ideal lunch or dinner in the colder months, with a recipe rooted in very ancient origins. One of the earliest artistic representations of this dish is actually depicted in the frescoes that decorate the Romanesque chapel of Hocheppan. Our favourite is filled with custard and crushed sesame seeds, but we’re certain you’ll try several alternatives while in Rauris.