When choosing your ideal ski holiday there are a bewildering choice of resorts that claim to the best in Europe. However how many of these destinations actually deliver a quality ski product and choice of hotels and restaurants that is difficult to beat ? Not only that, do you choose France, Switzerland or Italy for that 5 star ski break or do you decide to stay in Austria at a sophisticated resort that is a favourites for skiers and famous for its après ski, restaurants, nightlife and shopping ?
With an award winning ski area, this resort is also connected to 4 major airports by excellent road and rail links that ensure that you can arrived relaxed and ready for the slopes. It’s clear to see why visitors keep returning and with excellent snow conditions guaranteeing fantastic skiing you will soon become hooked on staying in the Arlberg region. It is no surprise therefore that the Arlberg region has been voted one of the top 5 ski areas in the World and is actually Austria’s largest ski region with 88 lifts and cable cars providing access to 305 km of well prepared pistes
Skiing down to St Anton
St Christoph – Fantastic location close to the ski lift
At the heart the Alberg, the resort which captured our imagination and delivered a memorable long weekend, was the enchanting town of St Anton. Nestling in the Valluga valley, the resort offers a wide choice of slopes for beginners, but also will test intermediates and experienced skiers alike and the excellent snow conditions earlier this Winter have allowed most runs to remain open throughout the season.
With the ‘Gampenbahn’ cable car providing quick access right from the heart of St Anton to the highest point in the region – Valluga summit at 2811m, the even better news for non skiers or beginners is that you can take the Bahn upto the mountain top cafe without even putting on your ski boots on. The view from the summit is mind blowing and offers panoramic views across the Arlberg – certainly not to be missed. Meanwhile if you are an experienced skier you can enjoy the ‘Run of Fame’ across the Arlberg region to St Christoph, Stuben, Zurs, Lech, Schrocken and Warth
For those who prefer the mountain top Alpine restaurants for their lunch stops St Anton does not disappoint however our favorite lies at the picturesque village of St Cristoph, a mere blue run down from the top of the Galzig or for those non skiers you can take the ski bus from bus stop F in the centre of town for a short 7 km bus journey – even better there is no cost ! The Hospiz – Alm, a traditional Austrian mountain lodge is nestled at the end of the slopes and has a fantastic 180 degree panorama of the surrounding valley. Sit outside and soak in the view, catch a suntan sitting in the deckchairs but don’t forget to sample the best ‘Apfel Struddle mit Schlag’ I have ever tasted!
Hospiz Alm, a traditional Austrian mountain lodge
Excellent Apfel Strudel at Hospiz Alm
At the end of an exhilarating day skiing the fun does not stop and you had better be ready to party as the après ski in St Anton is certainly lively and offers a wide range of options. One of our favorites was the Mooosewirt bar located some 300m from the end of the blue run into town and a perfect spot to relax with friends and enjoy the music on offer. Whilst attracting the younger crowd that doesn’t mean to say that the more mature skiers cannot have their own fun and ‘Base Camp’ located 100m from the cable car in town certainly attracted a great following alongside a DJ to keep the partying rocking.
If you are looking for a quality hotel and want to relax your aching body after a hard days skiing then I suggest you look no further than the Valluga Hotel located a mere 10 minutes walk from the centre of St Anton. In a quieter part of the resort this hotel ticks all the boxes especially if you are looking for a great Spa and excellent food. While the rooms provide luxury and comfort allied to the most attentive staff I have experienced in a ski resort. With free transfers to and from the ski lift we really did feel like VIP’s.
Finally It is worth remembering that although you can buy a package holiday to St Anton with a wide selection of tour operators it is now even easier and could be cheaper if you booked your travel and hotel direct. Normally we hire a car from Munich to access the Austrian ski resorts but not any more as we now let the ‘train take the strain’ as we relax on board the comfortable trains that connect with major cities and towns. Our journey from Munich Airport booked via Trainline Europe via Innsbruck was a dream, no delays, just a smooth start and end to our Austrian mini ski break. One recommendation however is spoil yourself and travel First Class – it’s only a small supplement and remember you deserve it !
Mooserwirt – Lively Apres Ski
Skiing at its best – visit St Anton
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