St. Anton am Arlberg

For the bold and brave – on piste and off. Rated as on of the top five alpine resorts for very good reason, St. Anton has it all, exceptional skiing, outstanding off-piste and one of if not the best après-ski scene in Europe. Boasting some serious heritage to boot, it’s the birthplace of the “Father of Modern Skiing” the legendary Johann ‘Hannes’ Schneider and where après-ski originated. This cosmopolitan resort is perfect for the advanced, on and off the slopes.

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Skiing in St. Anton

Situated at 1,305m with the Valluga cable car taking you up to 2,810m, there are runs a plenty ranging from moderate to the plain insane. St. Anton is fully deserved of its cult status and its slopes are not a place for the fainthearted. Blues here would be considered reds in many other resorts. However if you like throwing caution to the wind and you’re confident enough on the steep or to have a crack at the black, this is definitely the resort for you.

1304 m

Elevation

305km

Piste

180m

Off-Piste

87

Lifts

Skiing in St. Anton - the cradle of alpine skiing

St. Anton is well deserved of it’s cult status and generally suits the more advanced professional skiers and boarders who flock here from around the world to enjoy the diverse terrain and endless off piste. Its consistent snow record, extensive and varied ski area (340km of pistes, 200km of off-piste itineraries and over 55km² of off-piste terrain) and modern network of 97 lifts make St. Anton the largest and one of the best ski areas in the Arlberg. Undoubtedly favouring the stronger skiers and riders (blue runs here would be considered reds in most other resorts), St. Anton breaks down the marked but ungroomed off-piste runs into “normal” and “extreme” routes. However, even supposedly “normal” routes, like those coming down from Schindlerspitze and Kapall are to be approached with caution. “Extreme routes”, like the 18 down Valfagehr, are best tackled with a guide (often the best way to enjoy St Anton’s full potential).

It’s not all for the advanced though with nursery slopes at the base of the main ski area. You’ll need to progress quickly however to tackle the gentle blues further up the hill. St. Anton is also ideal for intermediates looking to perfect their technique on the tricky blue pistes and pick up the pace on the tough reds. There are also plenty of opportunities to develop a taste for off piste. Small children generally thrive here on the nursery slopes and there’s a superb children’s ski school and youth centre in nearby Nasserein. Beginners will want to stay around gentle Nasserein to start with, while comparatively quiet Rendl is ideal for intermediates looking to find their snow feet. The fast reds down from Albonagrat to St Christoph are great for perfecting carving, while a top to bottom from Valluga to St Anton will test the strongest of legs. Fancy your skills? Then why not time yourself on the Kapall World Cup piste and punish your knees on the Mattun and Schindler Kar mogul fields.

Most of St. Anton’s terrain is on the northern side of the valley, the same side as the town, though there’s also the smaller Rendl sector on the southern side. Rising directly above St Anton and Nasserein, the Gampen and Kapall mountains offer fairly gentle beginner slopes at their base, getting more challenging the higher you get. The pioneering Galzig gondola, the world’s first lift to boast a ferris wheel system enabling skiers and snowboarders to embark on ground level, whisks visitors west across the Moos valley to the Galzig mountain, where the ski area really starts to open up.

The resort of St. Christoph nestles in the valley south of Galzig, while the imposing Valluga and Schindler peaks rise up to the east. The large Valluga I cable car takes people towards the top of Valluga, while brave off pisters can continue up on the little Valluga II cable car to the very top at 2,811m. Press on northwest along the top of Galzig, and the town of Stuben lies in the next valley south. From here you can access the relatively quiet slopes on Albonagrat, while Zürs and Lech resorts lie further north.

Après-ski

If it’s après-ski and cuisine that you’re after, St Anton is definitely the place for you – it’s almost as famous for its après as it is for it’s skiing. Home to the legendary institutions such as the Mooserwirt and the Krazy Kangaroo, be prepared to party hard at the end of your day’s riding when you come here.

Après-ski and restaurants

St. Anton is world renowned for its après-ski and as such is popular with younger crowds. Boasting a multitude of options including the legendary Mooserwirt and Krazy Kangaroo, just above St. Anton, await you at the slope’s side – party boots as well as your ski boots are needed. The Mooserwirt, the self-proclaimed “world’s baddest” après bar, is the absolute epitome of Austrian oompah après. Think tabletop dancing from 3pm onwards, liberally fuelled by vast quantities of beer and Jägermeister, and cheesy music provided by the legendary 64-year-old DJ Gerhard – a St. Anton institution in his own right. The KK offers up much the same with a slightly hipper vibe making it popular with crowds of young Swedish and Australian ski bums.

Slightly further down towards St. Anton, tucked away in a picturesque candle lit wooden chalet is Underground on the Piste, ideal if free flowing beers and glühwein accompanied by live acoustic bands are more your thing. If a more relaxing après-ski drink is your thing, then Anthony’s fits the bill perfectly.

The Anton Café at the base of the Galzig gondola is also a highlight, a contemporary bar that turns into a full on dance floor come 6pm. In a similar vein, Basecamp (located at the base of the piste) is a covered outdoors bar and has live DJs playing every afternoon. If you can hold off having lunch up the slopes, their BBQ and particularly burgers are well worth the wait. The Galzig bistro offers an atmospheric, slightly calmer option serving excellent food. If it’s a traditional Austrian vibe that you’re after, then head to Café Heferl with their excellent selection of local beers. If you’re keen to end up with some nightclubbing, then Piccadilly-Postkeller, Kandahar, and Murmel all offer something a little different to provide your night’s entertainment.

The cosmopolitan feel of St. Anton is reflected in the wide range of over 80 restaurants available from lively cafe/bars to exquisite fine dining, both up the slopes and down in the village.

Notable mountain mentions include Verwallstube, St Anton’s most sophisticated (and expensive) mountain restaurant, the Ulmer Hütte, originally built as an Alpinist Association Hut in 1903, taking pride of place in the saddle below Schindlergrat that leads towards Rauz and Stuben. The breathtaking views available make the terrace ideal for sunny days. Alber’s Rodelalm (toboggan hut) and Robi’s Rodelstall (barn) are quintessentially rustic old mountain huts, serving up Tyrolean classics with bags of atmosphere on the side. The Alm is a great spot for hearty lunches on the sunny terrace and the Stall is particularly popular on Tuesday and Thursday evenings when there’s nighttime tobogganing. Whilst the Rendl Restaurant with its large sun terrace, known as Rendl Beach (featuring its own Beach Bar and menu), is almost a reason in itself to ski on Rendl. Think delicious burgers, grilled meats and seafood – this is probably the best self-service restaurant in the St Anton am Arlberg ski area.

Options on offer in St. Anton proper are just as rich and varied. The atmospheric Galzig Bistro Bar located near the railway station serves generous portions of locally sourced food with a varied menu stretching from delicious burgers to Thai curries. The slope side Arlmont Hotel in Nasserein with its cutting edge minimalist design has a large terrace and serves small portions of traditional local dishes – ideal for après snacking, while more substantial dishes are served in the à la carte restaurant in the evening. After some authentic Thai food? Then the Skiing Buddha serves up excellent well priced dishes that are also available for takeaway.

St. Anton summer

As with the entire Arlberg region, St. Anton becomes a bucolic paradise in the summertime. The stunning scenery and unspoiled natural surroundings play host to a wide variety of summer outdoor pursuits.

Summer activities

From hiking over 300km of sign posted trails to biking along more than 200km of marked routes over Alpine passes, to climbing to white water rafting there’s plenty to keep you occupied ninth summertime in Lech. The numerous local lakes and mountain rivers offer the opportunity for kayaking, rafting, canyoning, and tubing. Accompanied by experienced guides, you can savour the mountain scenery from a different perspective.

Also on offer are numerous annual cultural fixtures and folk events taking place throughout the summer. For the St. Anton village festival, locals dressed in traditional national dress proudly parade through the village streets to the accompanying sounds of brass bands to celebrate the Alpine region. There’s also the Mountain Film Festival hosted each year in late August, where films are introduced and industry movers and shakers share their insights and learnings.

Kids & Family

Ski schools – Way back when, skiing granddaddy Hannes Schneider revolutionised skiing when he opened the Arlberg Ski School in 1921. Today it has over 300 instructors and owns the smaller St Anton Ski School. Both offer excellent English-speaking tuition for skiers and riders of all levels, including off-piste guiding. There’s also the smaller Skischule Alpine offering a wealth of experience in ski, snowboard, touring and cross-country ski tuition.   Be it on the Märchenwiese, the Geländegarten or sliding down the Orgelbahn – the ski instructors for children are experts with plenty of patience, imagination and understanding.

If you don’t ski or fancy a break from the slopes there is so much more to do in St. Anton. Indulge in spa treatments, swim, massage, snowshoe, or even take in a movie at the local cinema. Numerous activities are also available for the adrenaline junkies, paragliding, ice-climbing, and more:

Winter hiking – Nine marked, well kept trails, walkable in hiking boots and covering some 70km, take you to scenic viewpoints and mountain huts around St Anton and St Christoph. Details and maps can be obtained from the tourist office.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoes – The area has several snowshoe trails with equipment available to rent from most of the local shops. The Arlberg Ski School can provide full information. They’ll also provide details about cross-country skiing, several courses of varying length and difficulty being dotted around the resort.

Tobogganing – For those who enjoy tobogganing, there’s a 4km sled run from Gampen to Nasserein, finishing by the atmospheric Rodelstall restaurant. The run is lit at night and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Use of the toboggan run is free and toboggans can be hired from local sports shops and at the Nassereinbahn.

Extreme winter sports – Heli-skiing, mountaineering and other thrill inducing extreme winter activities can be arranged through the Arlberg Alpin Freeride Center in Stuben.

Ski shows – Every Wednesday evening at 9pm from late December, the Arlberg Ski School hosts a ski show at the World Cup Stadium demonstrating the art of skiing. The instructors guide spectators through a 45-minute long, multimedia presentation on the development of skiing from its beginnings through to present day with impressive stunts and synchronised skiing performances.

Indoors – The state of the art indoor sports centre arl.rock, completed in 2009, offers a combination of indoor and outdoor climbing routes in an area of almost 1,000m² including boulder, lead, fixed-rope, and ice-climbing, as well as the new climbing trend of dry-tooling. The centre also boasts a four-lane bowling alley and indoor tennis and squash courts.

For those looking for something less physical, the wellness centre in St. Anton gives you the perfect excuse to have a relaxing massage or kickback and spend the day sunbathing and swimming in one of their outdoor pools.

Karte und Lage

St. Anton liegt an der Rosanna und der wichtigsten Ost-West-Eisenbahnstrecke zwischen Österreich und der Schweiz.

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