With its vast network of ski lifts and powdery pistes, the Arlberg region of Austria claims to be “the cradle of Alpine skiing.” Here are eight reasons why you may want to add this winter wonderland to your travel bucket list.
1. The Location
Just over an hour west of Innsbruck by train and skirting the borders of the easternmost provinces of Austria, Vorlarlberg and Tyrol, this ski paradise is also extremely convenient for those of us living in the Alpine country next door. Direct trains from Zurich can have you on the slopes of St. Anton am Arlberg in less than 2.5 hours, making this region an ideal candidate for Swiss skiers wishing to spend time in the mountains.
Actually, when it comes to commute times, Liechtenstein has it even better!
2. The Fantastic Skiing
With more than 300 kilometers of groomed slopes (pistes) and 180 kilometers of off-piste skiing, you need days to explore every run in the region. In fact, the Arlberg has the largest network of ski slopes in Austria.
3. The Alpine Villages
Stay in one of five Alpine villages to connect immediately with the ski slopes: St. Anton am Arlberg is the largest and most lively town by far; Lech and Zürs are charming and more relaxed; St. Christoph is hemmed in by high mountains; and Stuben is the most family friendly setting.
4. The White Ring
Circulating between the villages of Lech and Zürs, The White Ring provides snow junkies a beautiful circuit of 22 kilometers of piste with 5,500 meters of altitude change. Since 2006, top competitors come out every year for The White Ring Race… but anyone can follow the course all season long.
5. The Run of Fame
As of the 2016/2017 ski season, the brand new Flexenbahn cable car has brought the ultimate challenge for skiers and snowboarders: The Run of Fame. Now daredevils can zip across the entire region, covering 65 kilometers of continuous downhill skiing and over 18,000 meters of altitude change. Ready, set, go!
6. The Stellar Views
Truly, Austria’s Arlberg region is an Alpine paradise. Words don’t even do it justice.
7. The Austrian Specialties
Work up an appetite on the slopes and chow down on something special, like the Germknödel – a steamed dumpling with a plum jam filling sitting in a pool of melted butter (or vanilla cream), sprinkled with sugar and crushed poppy seeds.
Not so appealing? Ok… just stick with the schnitzel and fries.
8. The Home of Après-Ski
Let’s be honest. Many travelers put St. Anton am Arlberg on their list for one reason and one reason only: the après-ski culture. Hundreds of people flock to the mountainside huts in the early afternoon to party until dark. DJs and live musicians blast out their tunes at deafening levels, but the beer is the star of the show. The bars close not too long after the sun goes down, because their clientele still has to get down the last run of the mountain, somehow!
Hey guys – what do you think of Austria’s Arlberg region? How do you feel about skiing in costume? Does anyone know if there is such thing as a Ski-U-I (Skiing Under the Influence)?