Ski Resort Guide | Arlberg

Experience skiing the way it’s supposed to be in Austria’s biggest powder playground

Featured image credit: Josef Mallaun

Arlberg: the cradle of alpine skiing. With five postcard-perfect mountain villages, a sprawling network of glorious groomed slopes, and some of the best backcountry action in the world, this stunning ski area takes some beating. 

“A sprawling network of glorious groomed slopes, and some of the best backcountry action in the world”

From the snowsports mecca of Zürs to the family friendly resort of Stuben, Arlberg offers a uniquely varied and versatile skiing experience. It’s easy to see why it’s been the recipient of countless industry awards over the years, and no surprise that its world-class slopes have helped to mould many local youngsters into Olympic-level pros.

Planning a visit? Why not use this whistle-stop virtual tour as your jumping-off point?

Credit: Arlberg Marketing / Josef Mallaun

How To Get There

To reach Arlberg from the UK, visitors can fly into one of four airports: Altenrhein, Switzerland (100km), Innsbruck (120 km), Friedrichshafen, Germany (130 km), or Zurich, Switzerland (200 km).

The train station Langen am Arlberg is, it’s worth mentioning, a popular way of getting there from Switzerland.

From Altenrhein, you’ll need to catch the train to St. Anton. It takes two hours and twenty minutes, and there are two brief changes along the way. Once you arrive in St. Anton, simply hop in a local taxi or catch one of the many buses to your chosen resort.

“Arlberg offers a uniquely varied and versatile skiing experience”

Innsbruck offers a direct train service to St. Anton which only takes an hour and seven minutes. From there, it’s just a short taxi or bus ride to the slopes.

If you’re flying into Friedrichshafen, you’ll need to jump on a train for St. Anton with three changes. It’ll take roughly three hours and fifteen minutes.

For flights to Zurich, there’s a direct train to St. Anton that takes two hours and twenty minutes, followed by a short bus or taxi transfer to your resort.

Credit: Josef Mallaun

Why Go

There are countless reasons to choose Arlberg as your next winter destination, but one of the most obvious is the abundance of snow. This region is one of the snowiest in the Alps, famous for its high-alpine deep-powder runs – 200km of them to be precise. Add to that more than 300km of groomed slopes, 88 lifts and 80km of cross-country ski trails, and what you get is one of the top-five largest ski areas on the face of the earth.

The area is made up of St. Anton, St. Christoph, Stuben, Zürs and Lech, which combined to form Austria’s largest inter-linked ski area in December 2016. Since then, Arlberg has gone on to win numerous accolades including a five-star rating from in 2019, ‘Best European Ski Resort’ in the ADAC Ski Guide 2018, and ‘Best Place to Ski’ in the Snow Trex 2018.

Because the resorts that make up Arlberg are so diverse, there’s something to keep everyone happy. Kids and beginners will find plenty of blue runs, ski schools and toboggan action to enjoy, while advanced skiers can make use of Austria’s only heli-skiing port in Zürs.

Where To Stay

If you’re visiting one of the best ski areas in the world, why not go all out and stay in the best hotel? 

Hotel Zürserhof is a luxurious, five-star, family run hotel situated in the world-renowned resort of Zürs. It boasts stunning rooms, incredible food and indulgent post-mountain pampering courtesy of the 3,200 m² in-house spa.

Credit: Lech Zurs Tourism

Eating And Drinking

Arlberg’s five villages have Austria’s highest concentration of top-class restaurants relative to population size. Here you’ll find no less than 30 Gault Millau award-winning eateries serving up once-in-a-lifetime dishes in some of the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.

At the top of any food-lovers list should be the Rote Wand Chef’s Table. This four-toque restaurant is helmed by Max Natmessnig, who is, according to Gault Millau, Falstaff and A la Carte, one of the most exceptional and talented chefs in the whole of the Alps. 

It’s one of the top culinary highlights in the mountains, offering up innovative dishes using the finest regional produce.

“Arlberg may be one of the best snowsports destinations on the planet, but there’s more to do here than just skiing and snowboarding”

Other Activities

Arlberg may be one of the best snowsports destinations on the planet, but there’s more to do here than just skiing and snowboarding

The area is home to 110km or winter hiking trails that invite visitors to get outside and explore the mountains at a slower pace. Some of the trails can be accessed by cable car, using the Sonnenabo ticket, allowing visitors to experience high-altitude hiking in an accessible manner.

And make sure to get yourself down to Stuben on a Tuesday night. There’s a weekly toboggan evening where you can whizz down floodlit slopes and finish off with a mulled wine or non-alcoholic punch at the bottom.

Climbers are well catered for too. The St. Anton Winter climbing trail is 850m long and considered one of the most beautiful in Tirol. 

Hit This Run

Looking for a hair-raising challenge? Jump on the Valluga gondola at St Anton and try one of the many challenging runs back down. Arguably the gnarliest is the Valluga Bridge Couloir route, which involves ladders, ducking under a bridge and squeezing through a 2m-wide couloir at speed before joining the wide open runs back down towards Zürs. Keep in mind, this one’s only possible with a guide who knows the area well.

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