Top Ten Places for a White Christmas in Tirol

Last updated 10.12.2018MichaelMichael
Photo Credit: Lisa Hörterer

I’m sure plenty of you are thinking about where to spend Christmas this year. In most cases it will be with your family, of course. And for many – if possible – in snowy surroundings. The team at the Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), Austria’s official weather service, have done the maths and worked out for us where in Tirol where you are most likely to enjoy a white Christmas.

Hochfilzen in Pillerseetal Valley, 960m

When it comes to seasonal averages (1988/89 – 2017/2018), Hochfilzen enjoys 635 centimetres of snow per year. This makes it the number one spot on our list for those in search of a white Christmas. The average maximum snow depth over the last 30 years has been an incredible 121 centimetres, making Hochfilzen the snowiest inhabited place anywhere in Tirol. On average Hochfilzen has 140 days per winter with snow on the ground.

Probability of a white Christmas: 93%

Schneeschuhwandern bei Hochfilzen im Pillerseetal. (Foto: Tirol Werbung)

Snowshoe hiking near Hochfilzen in the Pillerseetal Valley. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung)

Galtür in Paznaun Valley, 1,590m

Galtür at the end of Paznaun Valley in Tirol’s westernmost corner has an average of 169 days of snow a year. In fact, since 1991 Galtür has had snow on the ground every Christmas (except in 2014).

Chances of building a snowman on Christmas Day: 90%

Galtür im Schnee. (Foto: TVB Paznaun – Ischgl / Silvapark Galtür)

Galtür, all covered in white. (Photo Credit: TVB Paznaun – Ischgl/Silvapark Galtür)

Leutasch near Seefeld, 1,135m

Since 1991 there has been snow on Christmas Day in Leutasch almost 100% of the time. Between 1988/89 and 2017/18 Leutasch had an average of 162 days per winter with snow on the ground. That all means that the chances are good that come Christmas this chocolate-box village will look like something you might find in a snow globe.

White Christmas index: 90%

Leutasch, Rauthhütte, Blick auf Hohe Munde. (Foto: Tirol Werbung, Martina Wiedenhofer)

Snowshoe hikers on the way to the Rauthhütte near Leutasch, looking towards the Hohe Munde mountain. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung/Martina Wiedenhofer)

Obertilliach, 1,400m

An average of 367 centimetres of snow is par for the course each winter based on the average from 1988/89 to 2017/18, with the average maximum snow depth during the last 30 years lying at a more than respectable 83 centimetres. On average there are 140 days a year when snow is on the ground. In a nutshell, Obertilliach offers a really good chance of a white Christmas.

Likelihood of snow on 25.12.: 90%

Skiers walk through walls of snow in Obertilliach. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung)

Obergurgl, 1,940m

Obergurgl is perched high in the Alps at the end of the Ötztal Valley. Average snowfall between 1895 and 1991 show it to be among the top five snowiest places in Tirol. Thanks to its high altitude, the chances of enjoying a white Christmas here are good. The average snow depth at Christmas is 48cm.

Chances of making a snow angel on 25.12.: 93%

Ausblick von einer Hotelterasse in Obergurgl.

Snowy view from the Hotel Hochfirst in Obergurgl.

St. Anton am Arlberg, 1.300 m

St. Anton calls itself the “Birthplace of Alpine Skiing” – and rightfully so. This resort in the heart of the Arlberg region is one of Austria’s prime spots for heavy snowfall. In the town’s history between 1895 and 1992, St. Anton boasted an average of more than 100 centimetres of snow per year. Its altitude and location on the eastern side of the Arlberg Mountains make St. Anton among Tirol’s best bets if you are looking for a white Christmas.

Chances of a white Christmas: 90%

Weihnachtliche Idylle beim Museum im Arlberg-Kandahar-Haus in St. Anton am Arlberg. (Foto: Wolfgang Burger)

The local heritage museum in picture-perfect St. Anton am Arlberg. (Photo Credit: Wolfgang Burger)

Achenkirch, 916m

In Achenkirch there is an average 122 days a year when snow is on the ground. The average maximum snow depth over last 30 years (1983/84 – 2017/18) has been 70 centimetres. Located on the shores of Lake Achensee, this is a really picturesque place to spend a snowy Christmas.

Probability of a snowball fight on Christmas Day: 83%

Langläufer bei Pertisau am Achensee im Winter 2014/15. (Foto: Tirol Werbung)

Cross-country skiers near Lake Achensee. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung)

Hinterhornbach in Lechtal Valley, 1,100m

In the 30 winters between 1988/89 and 2017/18 there were an average of 137 days per year with snow on the ground. The average maximum snow depth during the same period was 96cm. That means there is a high probability of snow at Christmas.

Fingers-crossed-for-snow index: 90%

Winter walking in scenic Lechtal Valley. (Photo Credit: Eisenschink)

Winter hikers in the Lechtal Valley. (Photo Credit: Eisenschink)

Tannheim, 1,110m

Over the last 30 years (1988/89 – 2017/2018) Tannheim has had about 75 centimetres of snow per year and an average of 133 days with snow on the ground. There’s a good chance you’ll need to pull on your snow boots on Christmas Day!

Probability of a white Christmas: 90%

Winterwanderer im Tannheimer Tal. (Foto: TVB Tannheimer Tal)

Walking in a winter wonderland in the Tannheimer Tal Valley. (Photo Credit: TVB Tannheimer Tal)

Innsbruck, 578m

Based on snow statistics from the years 1988 to 2017, there are pretty decent chances of enjoying a white Christmas in the regional capital Innsbruck. Obviously the city is located much lower than the rest of the places on this list. Still, Innsbruck holds the record as Austria’s snowiest regional capital. The snowiest Christmas Day in recorded history occurred in 1961 with a total of 96 centimetres of snow.

Chances of a snow-dusted Golden Roof: 50%

Weiß steht Innsbruck gut. (Foto: Tirol Werbung, Bernhard Aichner)

Innsbruck looks gorgeous blanketed in white. (Photo Credit: Tirol Werbung/Bernhard Aichner)

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When he is not working, Michael Gams is out exploring this beautiful country, hiking, mountain biking, freeriding and ski touring to the most beautiful spots in Tirol.

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