St Anton

Famous Austrian village with lively nightlife and even livelier terrain!

St Anton Ski Holidays

You might recognise St Anton from the movie 'Chalet Girl'.

The resort is one of the oldest in Europe. With a pedestrianised resort centre, legendary apres scene and a much improved and linked lift system, St Anton should definitely be on your 'must do' ski holiday list.

Close to airports
Advanced skiers dream
Snow record
Nightlife

Munich, Zurich, Innsbruck + Friedrichshafen, under 2h

260km of pistes. 184Km marked off-piste Ski from 1304m to 2811m

St Anton Ski Chalets


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St Anton Ski Holiday Guide

St Anton is part of the Arlberg Ski Circus ski area, which joins the resort with nearby Lech, St Christoph, Stuben and Zurs to create an area spanning 260km of piste and (perhaps more famously) 184km of additional off-piste ski areas. The resort is one of the oldest in Europe, and its first ski club was founded in 1901. With a pedestrianised resort centre, legendary apres scene and a much improved and linked lift system, St Anton should definitely be on your 'must do' holiday list.

Beginner A couple of well placed beginner areas but no dedicated learning pistes to speak of.

Intermediate Confident intermediates will love St Anton, those looking for cruesy blues and easy reds probably wont.

Advanced St Anton was made for expert skiers, both the pistes and the freeride areas are packed with challenges.

Snowboarders There's a couple of parks in the area, but snowboarders usually head for the off-piste freeride areas.

Families Resort facilities and convenience are exceptional for families.

High Altitude 1304m - 2811m with good snow making facilities.

Nightlife You'll find morning, afternoon and night life in St Anton. There's always a party happening somewhere!

Pretty Village Historic town with attractive, pedestrianised town centre.

Cheap All local prices scale quite reasonably, meaning there's something for all budgets.

Large Ski Area The Arlberg Ski Circus is far from being the largest ski area in Europe, but if you're looking for quality over quantity, read on!

Close to airport Five international airports within a 2 hour drive of the resort.

In resort convenience The resort sprawls through a narrow valley but there's a regular free bus service.

So in summary then,

St Anton ski holidays are great for:

  • Advanced and expert skiers on some of the steepest terrain in Europe
  • Apres shenanigans with loads of great bars to choose from
  • Snow - it's got the best snow record in Austria

St Anton ski holidays are not great for:

  • Beginners progressing to intermediate skiers and snowboarders
  • Peace and quiet - it's a bustliing resort, especially during school holidays

Skiing St Anton

The ski network in St Anton is well organised, efficient and much improved and there are essentially three main ski sectors, two of which are connected.

A relatively new Funitel gondola lift (a cross between a funicular and a telepherique) to the west of the village provides access to the slopes of the Galzig sector, which in turn connects to the Schindler and Valluga peaks. Exit the gondola lift at the Vailuga Grat stop for sunny bowls and long runs down to Alpe Rauz.

On the opposite side of the village, the Nassereinbahn 4 seater chair lift from the centre of the village connects to the Nasserein area and the Kapall peak, where you'll find a 1500m vertical descent and some wide, open pistes which descent back into the resort. The sun drenched ski area of Rendl isn't linked, but is accessed from the centre of the resort. Rendl is one of the only places you'll find tree lined runs, which are useful in bad weather or low visibility.

Your Arlberg Ski Circus lift pass covers the resorts of Lech and Zurs too. Make sure you pay them a visit, using the reliable free bus service which departs from the resort centre.

Beginners

Whilst it's fair to say that beginner skiers and snowboarders should probably head to other European ski resorts for their first ski holiday, there are a couple of nursery slopes in St Anton. There's a children's ski area in the Gampen area, and a gentle beginners slope with a magic carpet on Nasserain. Nasserain is also where the the SkiSchule Arlberg (skischool-arlberg.com) is based, offering ski lessons for both adults and children.

Intermediates

Nervous or progressing skiers may loose their bottle when they arrive at the top of their first blue run in St Anton. The resort is known for its famously under-classified piste map, and some of the blue runs in the Arlberg Ski Circus would definitely be classified as red runs in other resorts. With this in mind, it's worth taking some local advice on where to ski before you loose your nerve altogether!

However, more accomplished intermediate skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the snowy bowls off the summit of Valluga, while the bumps and trees on the run between Kapall and Gampen are great fun. The true test for ambitious intermediates is the men's downhill run back into the resort.

Experts

Each and every time we've visited St Anton, we've discovered a new 'epic' piece of off-piste and immediately labelled it our favourite run of all time. There's more than enough black piste and off-piste in the Arlberg area to keep expert skiers busy for a week. A good starting point to warm up those ski legs is the Schindlerkar run, which is always covered in challenging moguls. The back side of Valluga, from a starting altitude of 2811m, is a challenge worth seeking out, but we'd always recommend taking a local guide with you as this is proper back country skiing and these runs aren't patrolled. Also on Valluga, the surrounding bowls are perfect after a fresh dump of snow.

Freestyle

St Anton is popular with freestyle skiers and snowboarders, most of whom congregate at the top of the Stanton Park on Rendl, just above the gondola station. Measuring 340m, you'll find a jib line, both intermediate and pro lines, a beginners (park) area and a pretty nice restaurant with a great viewing platform over the park.

Snow Conditions

St Anton consistently has more snow each winter than the other Austrian ski resorts. Many of its slopes are South or South West facing, which means they'll suffer a little but on sunny days towards the end of the ski season, or they'll be pretty icy first thing each day.

A snow history of St Anton is coming soon!

St Anton Resort Facts

Resort altitude: 1304m

Highest lift: 2811mm (Valluga Peak)

Lifts/Drags: 82 in the Arlberg Ski Circus

Total km of slopes: 260km in the Arlberg Ski Circus, plus 184km of classified off-piste

Open: Late November to beginning of May

Cost of lift pass: Winter 13 / 14

Day - Arlberg Ski Circus

Adult: €48.00 Child: €29.00

Week Arlberg Ski Circus (6 Days)

Adult: €235.00 Child: €141.00

Piste map

Download the Arlberg Ski Circus piste map here - http://ski.intermaps.com/skiarlberg/skimap.asp?map=ost&startdata=lifte&lang=en

Amenities

St Anton has 2,564 permanent residents and perhaps because of this, the resort has many useful facilities for holiday makers. You'll find the usual suspects have shops on the main street of the resort, and if shopping is your version of apres ski, you won't be disappointed. There are also a number of well located supermarkets in the various sectors of the resort, which are useful if you're in self catered accommodation.

Families in particular will enjoy the Arlberg Well centre (arlberg-well.com), built for the 2001 World Alpine Skiing Championships. There's an indoor and outdoor swimming complex, skating rink and tennis courts to keep everyone entertained on bad weather days. St Anton also has a second, separate sports centre which features an indoor climbing wall, ice climbing and other fun activities, there's also a cinema in the resort too.

Pamper Yourself

In addition to the swimming complex at the Arlberg Well Centre (arlberg-well.com), tired skiers will also find a range of massage and beauty treatments on offer in the adjoining spa complex. There's an assortment of saunas and steam rooms, and a treatment menu that includes Swedish message, deep tissue massages and reflexology.

Other St Anton Activities

Visitors to St Anton staying in the Nasserein area can enjoy the 4.2km long, illuminated toboggan run, which snakes down the hill from Grampen to Nasserain - it's great fun to watch at night! There's also a range other other snow activities such as snow shoeing, husky rides and mountain wilderness tours which you can join in St Anton. Such activities are great for exploring the local area and offer a fun alternative to skiing and snowboarding.

Childcare

St Anton Nannies (st-anton-childcare.com) offer professional, qualified and experienced nannies to look after children on holiday in St Anton. They arrange loads of fun snow-based, weather and age appropriate activities for children to take part in, such as sledging, treasure hunts, making snowmen, crafts and cooking. You'll probably find that your kids have more fun than you do!

Eating out

St Anton has a large selection of restaurants, both centrally located and on the outskirts of the resort, to suit all budgets and tastes.

Fine Dining

The a la carte restaurant of the Hotel Schwarzer is one of the most popular, highly regarded high end dining experiences in St Anton. The wooden paneled dining room itself is over 400 years old and the menu includes fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Another fine dining restaurant worth a try is the Museum Restaurant in the centre of the resort, which offers authentic Austrian charm and a huge wine list.

Local Food

The Mooserwirt is something of an Austrian apres legend (more on that later), but it's also got one of the most locally inspired menu offerings in St Anton. Expect wiener schnitzel, hamburgers, Austrian cheeses and a load of local beers too.

Pizzas, Pasta and Grills

San Antonio is a quirky restaurant where dinner is served with military style efficiency, usually to a packed restaurant. The pizzas here are excellent, as are other menu items, which we found to be reasonably priced considering the restaurant's location.

Something Different

We've noticed a trend across the Alps of late. Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants are popping up all over the place. The Skiing Buddha, near the train station in central St Anton has become a popular alternative to the local Tyrolian style of food and the quality of dishes is outstanding.

Drinking and Dancing

The apres scene in St Anton is the equivalent of its extreme off-piste reputation. Challenging runs and successes are celebrated in Austrian apres style in bars both on the piste and in the resort centre.

The Krazy Kanguruh is one of the busiest piste-side bars in the resort. Since 1965 the terrace has been rocking to the sounds of local live bands and there's usually a drinks offer (or five) to start the party as you mean to go on. The Krazy Kanguruh competes with the Mooserwirt for St Anton's 'best bar' title. The Mooserwirt sits piste side, and you're guaranteed to spot the huge crown before you hear the music. Between 3.30pm and 8pm DJ Gerhard entertains the hoards, as he has done for over 20 years. Opposite, you'll find the quieter, more civilised Griabi bar, from which the terrace is a good spot to overlook the goings on across the road!

Further down, in the resort centre, the party usually gets doing from 8pm, when most skiers manage to slide their way back down the mountain from the apres parties above. The Basecamp Bar has a sunny terrace and can be found across from the Gamberbahn lift. Similarly, the Picadilly bar and Kandahar are popular with holiday makers and locals, and usually host a live act, band or DJ until the wee small hours.

Travel

Getting to and from St Anton

St Anton is less than two hours by road from Munich, Zurich, Innsbruck and Friedrichshafen airports, all of which are regularly served by the mainstream UK airlines. The journey between the airport and resort is best completed using a local airport transfer company or using the Arlberg Express, a local coach service which runs between the airports and the ski resorts of the Arlberg from €50 per person for a single journey.

Arriving in St Anton by train is also an option, and the you'll find the train station is well located in the resort centre.

Getting Around St Anton

Very few people drive to St Anton, mainly because of the distance from the UK, but also because the resort centre is car free. There's some car parking in the resort, but not a great deal. Getting around St Anton is best on foot and most central amenities can be accessed this way. There's also a free, regular bus service which connects all parts of the resort and runs until late in the evening.

What Makes St Anton Much Better?

  • The snow making facilities that cover 80% of St Anton's slopes use only natural resources to produce snow. No chemicals are added in the snow making process.

  • Reusable sources of energy are being investigated for use in powering the resorts lift system.

  • A hydro-electric power station is used to power many resort buildings including hotels and the resort's leisure facilities.

  • The resort centre is car free, and arrival by car is discouraged, lessening the impact of vehicles on the mountain air.