St Anton am Arlberg is the heart of the famous Arlberg ski region, and best known for its classic ski village and immense ski terrain that has been enjoyed by skiers for over a century. St Anton is one of the best European ski resorts for family ski holiday, with a ski town offering charming lodging and dining, big mountain skiing with modern lifts, and an excellent ski school.
St Anton is vast, summit of 9,222-feet, and 41 ski lifts servicing 91 miles of prepared (groomed) ski slopes plus limitless off-piste terrain. From St Anton you can ski to the nearby towns of St Christoph and Stuben, and to Lech Zurs and Warth all on one ski pass.
St Anton’s vertical is 4,944-feet, with the longest run spanning 6 miles. If that is not enough for you… your Ski Arlberg pass, an electronic ticket, provides access to 87 lifts and 211 miles of skiing in the region. Ride the free bus (included with your ski ticket) to nearby Lech and Zurs and take a gondola to Warth – there is a season’s worth of skiing for a family ski holiday in St Anton.
The ski village of St Anton looks like a ski fairy tale postcard with Austrian chalet hotels, ski boutiques, après ski umbrella bars and cafes. Meanwhile, the ski lifts are modern and impressive, like the Galzigbahn lift, a one of a kind Ferris Wheel24 passenger gondola that whisks skiers from St Anton village to mid mountain in scenic swift style. This lift simply must be ridden to be appreciated. From the summit of Galzig at 6,555-feet, families can choose from plenty of groomed (prepared) ski slopes, or head up the amazing Valluga for steep, long and super scenic skiing. To ski off the true Valluga summit requires a guide and a gondola ride to 9,222-feet where you can ski the backside to Zurs and connect to Lech but you should be an expert and a guide is strongly recommended.
Delightful Austrian chalet lunches await, ski to St Christoph’s Hospize Alm where lederhosen waiters serve beer, brat, cheese, and apple strudel while Austrian music plays in this amiable historic alpine setting (the kids will love the slide to the restrooms).
St Anton’s Schindler Spitze and the Gampen area provide more great skiing, both on and off piste with views of the Alps and St Anton village. Gampen is where ski racing, children’s ski lessons, and the Rodelbahn toboggan run are based. A short walk across St Anton village with your skis brings you to Rendl, the north facing area with more trail skiing and off piste terrain. On a sunny day, stop at the sun terrace called Rendl Beach at the top of the gondola for awesome scenery and a snack (beer or wine for Mom and Dad).
St Anton’s après ski is legendary, with many bars at or near the base of the ski slopes. Kids can enjoy the Toboggan run, or the Sports Club, while Mom and Dad stop for apres ski at the world famous Mooserwirt on the way down the last ski run. The Mooserewirt ski bar fills with hundreds of skiers drinking beer and dancing in ski boots to a DJ inside and on the sun terrace from 3 to 8pm. St Anton has instituted a “volunteer policy” that après ski ends at 8, and skiers should change out of their ski attire by then, to curb ski boot stumbling revelers in the village after dark – these are Austrian ski worries.
Evenings in St Anton, classic fondue restaurants and more casual cafes cater to families. Dining at “The Ski Museum” is a must, Austrian cuisine is served in this 1912 Chalet featuring extraordinary woodwork. Upstairs is a Ski Museum tracing the history of St Anton skiing, known as “The Cradle of Alpine Skiing,” and home to ski instructor Hannes Schneider who trademarked his Arlberg technique which he introduced in the US, at Cranmore NH in the 1930s.
Weekly during the winter ski season, St Anton hosts a Wednesday Ski Show that lights up the slopes, as St Anton ski instructors put on a fantastic on snow display of skiers jumping through fire rings and fun acrobatics on skis. Other great St Anton events include the White Thrill in April and the Synchro Ski World Cup in Feburary.
Where to Stay in St Anton
Hotel Bergschlossl – An Austrian castle, located right next to the impressive Galzigbahn lift. Convenient and charming for families. This 3rd generation family-owned, four star hotel offers all the latest amenities, WiFi, iMac, a spa, ski room, and an extensive buffet breakfast, with Tyrolean decor.
Mooser Hotel – A newer hotel, located on the slopes above St Anton village, this 17 suite hotel is modern and spa inspired inside, while the exterior is chalet style. Luxurious rooms, a stunning spa, and a sophisticated dining room overlook the slopes and village. While located next to the rowdy Mooserwirt Bar, the Mooser Hotel is quiet and zen-like in its atmosphere.
Valuga Hotel St Anton – A stylish hotel in the village featuring alpine modern suites for families with Jacuzzis, and excellent in hotel dining, a block to the ski lifts.
St Anton Stats: 9,222′ summit, 4,944′ vertical, 41 lifts, longest run 6.3 miles including Stuben and St Christoph. 116 kilometers of trails and 85% snowmaking coverage. Your Ski Arlberg Pass is valid on 94 Ski Lifts in the region including nearby Lech Zurs (an expert only guided run away or more likely a short bus ride).