Buzzing the roof of Austria

It's the end of April, the ski season's over, right? Not in Zell am See! With the Kitzsteinhorn glacier offering pristine pistes until the end of June, we felt this would be a fantastic location for an end-of-season getaway, and we certainly weren't disappointed.

Our venue for the trip was the lavish Tauern Spa resort in Kaprun, Zell's sister resort located about a 10 minute drive away. The Tauern Spa is one of Austria's premier day spas, featuring naturally heated thermal pools, massaging jets, peaceful relaxation areas and, of course, all manner of saunas, from soothing herbal steam rooms to red-hot Finnish ovens. A particular highlight of the afternoon were the fruity cocktails served directly to you in the pool, which we sipped rather gloriously in the spring sunshine.

The 4* superior hotel attached is every bit what you would expect: a sumptuous five course meal, complete with mouth-watering dessert buffet; large rooms with extremely soft beds to melt into after eating your own body weight in tiramisu; and access to the private spa featuring a rooftop infinity pool and breath taking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, yet another 'cat that got the cream' moment.

Being the ski freaks that we are, we of course couldn't pass up on the opportunity for a bit of spring skiing on nearby Kitzsteinhorn glacier. Skiiers flock to Kaprun in April and May to enjoy the 41km of wide open pistes, plus a wealth of off piste terrain. The snow was dumping down around us all morning, setting up a good base for the spring season ahead and giving us an excuse for lots of hot chocolates.

But the highlight of the trip, and of Zell am See, is best described with the photo below.

A scenic flight in a light aircraft, taking in the mighty Kitzsteinhorn glacier, the majestic Grossglockner peak and finishing in a nose dive over the crystal-clear waters of Lake Zell. This is definitely the Alps at their best and is the perfect way to make your trip that little extra special.

Ski, sky and spa: the three elements to a wonderful spring season incentive.

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