A car isn't essential as the train, taxi and bus connections to Zell Am See are perfectly adequate. In fine weather, this is great touring terrain; in winter, roads are cleared and gritted quickly after snowfalls but be aware of dangerous driving conditions. Traffic from the city of Salzburg can be heavy in ski season.
Salzburg airport is 90 minutes away, although allow extra time if there is heavy snow (www.salzburg-airport.com). It's possible to get a taxi transfer with Holiday Shuttle. If you're feeling flash they can also arrange a helicopter transfer (www.holiday-shuttle.at).
Trains to Zell Am See run regularly from Salzburg; check timetables at www.oebb.at.
Country code for Austria: 43. Zell Am See: 6542.
Mozart's Women by Jane Glover and Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier by Brenda Fowler
Do go / Don't Go
The ski slopes open from December to February. From May through to autumn the upland pastures are popular for walking, biking and riding. The turn-of-season shutdowns are in March and November.
Austrian cuisine can weigh in on the heavy side; no wonder they have chairlifts to get them back uphill. If you're feeling greedy though, rib-sticking goulash and freshly made noodles are delicious, as are Wiener Schnitzel and Weiner würstel (sausages), smoked meats, potato dumplings and stews spiced with paprika. That should give you plenty to walk or ski off. And the favourite Austrian desserts, such as strudels and Sacher Torte, are worth leaving some room for. Just schedule one of the detoxifying and toning body treatments back at your hotel and you can wolf without guilt.
Taxis are eight-seater cars; it's easy to pick these up in town or at the taxi rank outside the train station.
There is no service charge included in restaurant bills so a tip of about ten per cent is normal.
Bring some warm layers, even in the height of summer as temperatures can drop dramatically at altitude. Sunblock is essential up in the mountains.
Scattered across the Schmittenhohe are wooden sculptures and other works by international artists. There are a number of trails that will lead you to them.
If you want to indulge in some shopping then Moreau in Kaprun is a designer emporium stocking Prada, D&G and Chloé, as well as Belstaff and North Face (www.moreau.at). Mr Smith should seek out Subway in Kaprun and Grito in Zell Am See, both of which carry a great selection of the coolest boardwear brands including Analog, Volcom and WE. Definitely pop into the boutique at Mavida and stock up on the hotel's 'Crystal Spa' products.
There's a view of the town and of 30 or so 3,000-metre-high peaks from the Sis Chapel high up on the Schmittenhohe.
Wander through the farmers' market every Friday morning from 08h in the Zell Am See's main square - the Stadplatz. You should be able to sniff out some local Pinzgau specialities to sample.
March The mediaeval centre of Zell Am See is transformed into a traditional Lent market, celebrating the beginning of spring. July/August Every Wednesday throughout the summer there is an evening festival with music and street parties. September The Cheese Festival in Kaprun is great fun; the participants take it very seriously, even if you don't.