Resort Guide: St Anton am Arlberg
The world renowned ski resort, St Anton am Arlberg, lying in the Tyrolean Alps, sees thousands of passionate skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts every year. Aerial tramways, chairlifts, and the Ferris wheel cable car will take you up to 2,811 m (9,222 ft). The resort opens in November and closes at the end of April, with ideal snow quality that allows visitors to ski at the 280km long ski pistes and 180km off-piste areas for more daring skiers.
What places St Anton at the top of the best ski resorts in the world is not only its groomed ski pistes and the plentiful off-piste terrains, but also its numerous après-ski entertainment options.
Skiing in St Anton
In St Anton, there is a piste for every skill level, although the plethora of demanding runs has led many people to believe that this worldwide known resort is ideal for more experienced skiers.
Beginners may find it hard to ski on the crowded slopes, but, likely, there are other areas which are proper for those who don’t have any previous experience. At valley level and up in the mountains at Gampen and Rendl, there are some beginner slopes that you can access by purchasing a lift pass. Another area popular among beginners is the one around Nasserein. Whether or not you find skiing challenging on the slopes of St Anton, remember that there are apres-ski facilities that can keep you busy.
If you’re an intermediate skier, you have a satisfying number of options. Several ski areas can help you test your strengths and move on to the next level. Some red and blue runs that are perfect for intermediate-level skiers are located in Galzig, Gampen and Kapall. You can begin from Kapallbahn, go all the way to Gampen and then take the slightly more demanding route to Galzig. Another popular, although a bit challenging, intermediate difficulty run is the long route from Schindler Spitze to Alpe Rauz. Even if you don’t feel that confident, you won’t run out of choice, as there are less hard runs, such as the blues on Rendl.
Advanced and expert skiers can put their skills to the test in the numerous black runs, off-piste and steep trails. If you want to go off-piste, it’s safer to book a UIAGM/IFMGA qualified mountain guide. Piste to Powder, based in St Anton offers guiding and off-piste adventures tailored to your skill level and preferences. You can join an open group with other skiers of your skill level or book a private guide. If you are not quite ready for the Off Piste you can book an intensive Technique booster to build your confidence. Piste to Powder guide all season in St Anton, Lech-Zürs and also offer hut to hut touring adventures.
If you prefer to stay on piste, there are 18 itinerary runs. You can try the rapid reds that lead to St Christoph or the Mittelstation to Stuben with its sharp bends. Other advanced skiers opt for the black 40 or the run from Rendl to Pettneu.
St Anton Ski Pass
With one of the most state-of-the-art lift systems, the wider Alberg resort area includes 96 lifts, of which some are gondolas, cable cars, and chair lifts. You’ll be surprised to find out that some of the chair lifts have heated seats. The Galzig gondola is the one that stands out as it uses a Ferris wheel mechanism to carry visitors from Galzig to Valluga mountains while offering breathtaking views of St Anton.
There are different types of ski passes: one-day tickets, passes for up to 30 days, and season passes. During the peak season in 2020/2021, a 7-day pass costs €351 per adult, €211 per child, and €303 per youth visitor from 16 - 19 years old as well as for seniors aged 64 - 73. The pass also includes access to Lech and Zurs and other areas in Alberg.
The peak season starts in mid-December until the beginning of April. In the off-peak season, in the beginning of December and from mid-April till season closing, prices of ski passes are lower. For a 7-day pass, you pay €301 per adult, €177 per child, and €262 for youth and seniors.
St Anton Snow Forecast
St Anton has gained a great reputation for its steady snow conditions that make many winter sports enthusiasts come back every year. At 2000m the snow average is 8m, which means that the snowfall is abundant and perfect for skiing.
When the weather gets warmer, many areas of the resort have thinner snow conditions that are not always ideal for skiing. An alternative would be to head to the shaded Albona and Rendl, where the snow quality is better because their slopes face north. Rendl is also a good place to turn to when the weather is bad as it’s more protected by woodland.
St Anton Accommodation
In the cosy town of St Anton and the neighbouring villages, you can find plenty of accommodation options with a wide price range. There are economical options but St. Anton is admittedly one of the most pricey resorts in the Austrian Alps.
The types of lodgings you can stay at include guesthouses, apartments, pensions, chalets, ski-in and ski-out hotels. Accommodation in St Anton village and close to the Galzig gondola is the most expensive because access to the slopes is quicker from there. This option comes at a higher price but with ultimate convenience. You’ll find most of the ski-in-ski-out hotels in St. Christoph. Nasserein and St Jakob have more affordable options, and you have more possibilities to find available accommodation even if you don’t book many months in advance. If you’re looking for a quiet and authentic taste of the Austrian village experience, Stuben is a perfect choice.
Even if you opt for more budget-friendly accommodation, rest assured that the quality standards are high, the amenities are plenty, and the staff is friendly and ready to help you with everything you need.
Food, Après ski & Nightlife
St Anton is famous for its vibrant nightlife and numerous other entertainment options. The party starts early in the afternoon at the bars located on the slopes and during the night live music events bring the place alive. After a day spent out on the slopes, you’ll find skiers partying at one of these bars and restaurants. For a quieter alternative, you can have a drink at one of the pubs and bars in St. Anton village.
St Anton is also known for its top-notch dining options. Even if your accommodation package includes half or full board, it would be a pity not to try the local cuisine. Your visit there won’t be complete without tasting the traditional Tyrolean specialities, such as Kasspatzln, a soft egg noodles dish, Hirschfleisch, a deer escalope with mushrooms, bacon and onions, Prügeltorte, a spit cake, and many more.
Other restaurants specialise in international cuisines, such as Chinese, Italian, Indian, and the list goes on. If you’re looking for something more affordable, cheap meals are available at fast-food restaurants and bakeries in the village.
Getting to St Anton
Most international travellers fly into one of the following airports: Innsbruck Airport (96km / 1h 15 min), Friedrichshafen Airport (130km / 1 h 30 min), Zurich Airport (195km / 2 h), and
Munich Airport (300km / 3 h). Innsbruck, Zurich, and Munich Airports are directly connected to St Anton via rail. If you don’t want to take the train, you can book a private transfer ride to drive you from the airport to your accommodation. This option is ideal if you’re travelling as a group because the cost per person might turn out to be cheaper than a train ticket. If you choose to drive, St Anton is easily accessible via the A14 motorway which then follows the local road network to Tyrol.
Once you arrive at the resort, you can use the bus to get to any parts of the town and the nearby villages, such as Stuben, St Christoph, Lech, and Zurs. You can also walk around St Anton village as the distances are short. Almost all St Anton village is pedestrian-only maintaining the pristine fairytale charm of the area.
Even if you’re not a top skier, this magnificent resort in the Austrian Alps is a dreamy destination for winter vacations. Entertainment and leisure activities are numerous, food is of the best quality, and the snow is abundant. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, buy your lift pass, and get in on the fun.
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