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A Different Kind of Ski Tour

Arguably the best thing about skiing in Europe is how easy it is to get around on snow—and there's no place that makes sightseeing on skis as easy as St. Anton, gateway to Austria's famous Arlberg region.

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With 88 state-of-the-art lifts connecting 190 miles of groomed runs, world-class backcountry terrain, and five historic Austrian ski towns, St. Anton is a bucket list shoo-in. There’s so much skiable terrain, in fact, that it used to be a serious feat to check off all the runs and make a stop at each of St. Anton’s neighboring resorts—St. Christoph, Stuben, Zürs, and Lech—since the latter two were only accessible from Stuben via a 20-minute, overcrowded bus ride. But the Flexenbahn gondola, added in 2016, now closes the loop and makes skiing from St. Anton out to Lech and beyond a much simpler and more doable affair. The new six-minute gondola connection also makes St. Anton the largest interconnected ski resort in Austria, and the fifth largest in the world.

What this means: you can explore a corner of Austria without changing out of your ski boots. (Read: You can ski five iconic Austrian resorts and be back in St. Anton in time for après at the Krazy Kanguruh.) And yes, the stories you’ve heard about St. Anton’s legendary après scene are spot-on.

The Arlberg Checklist

Book a guide and ski the legendary Valluga North Face

Valluga North Face
Getting to the Valluga North Face is no joke.Photo credit: Mattias Fredriksson

Expert skiers flock to the Arlberg region for its steep, lift-accessed extremes, reliable snowfall, and consistent snowpack. If you’re an experienced off-piste skier and up for a challenge, book a guide and tackle the famed Valluga North Face.

Ski down the “Après Ski Mile” and make a few pit stops

Have we mentioned that St. Anton is known for its après? Whether you’re a partier or not, it’s definitely worth checking out the legendary Mooserwirt, Krazy Kanguruh, and Taps, all located on the main run down from the Galzig lift to the resort. Use the buddy-system on the way down to the base to ensure everyone makes it in one piece.

Pop a bottle of bubbly over glitzy Lech

If your day’s mission is to ski out to Lech, St. Anton’s classy and fashionable sister, stop for lunch at the Balmalp, right next to the top of the Zugerberg double chairlift. The traditional hut is a local favorite, known for its giant pizzas, beautiful views, and tradition of poppin’ Prosecco and lining the sundeck with the empty bottles.

Spectate world-class synchronized skiing

This is no joke. St. Anton calls itself the “cradle of alpine skiing,” home to Arlberg local Hannes Schneider who invented the Arlberg technique of skiing, which paved the way for modern skiing and instruction. St. Anton celebrates its rich ski history by showcasing its world-class ski instructors in weekly synchronized ski shows, held every Wednesday evening during the winter season.

Ski to Warth, the snowiest village in the Alps

Warth is quite the place.Photo courtesy of Ski Arlburg/Alex Kaiser

Warth, home to only about 150 permanent residents, was a long-kept secret until St. Anton’s recent expansions, linking the remote town and ski area to the other five big resorts. Located at an elevation of 1270m, Warth is blessed with an average seasonal snowfall of 433 inches.

Dine at the Museum Restaurant

St. Anton has plenty of excellent dining options both in the hotels and downtown. But save one lunch or dinner to eat at the Museum Restaurant, a beautifully restored Tyrolean mansion displaying ski history and culture in every nook and cranny. It’s located right on the slopes just above the base area.

Make it Happen

By Plane

The closest international airports are Innsbruck and Munich. Flying into Munich tends to be cheaper and offer more options in terms of airlines and itineraries, but it’s a 2.5-hour drive from St. Anton. Innsbruck’s smaller airport is only a one-hour drive or train ride from St. Anton.

By Train

Train travel from Innsbruck is quick, easy and cheap (a one-way ticket costs around 16 Euro, or $19). The trip takes little more than an hour from Innsbruck’s main train station and drops you in downtown St. Anton, a short taxi or shuttle ride from the resort. 

By Automobile

If driving from Innsbruck or Munich, be sure to purchase a “Vignette,” a road tax sticker needed to drive on highways in Austria. You can purchase the sticker at gas stations, automobile clubs, and newsstands. 

Get all the details you need to plan your trip at