There’s nothing quite like a ski holiday in an authentic Austrian village, and with its narrow streets, wood beamed buildings and historic onion-domed church, St. Anton am Arlberg certainly fits the bill.
But there is much more on offer here for a young, lively crowd than just a picture-perfect resort – St. Anton is also famous for its excellent skiing, vibrant nightlife and a good restaurants and bar scene.
A Whole Range of Skiing
Located in a region that’s known as ‘Europe’s snowiest area’, one thing you can rely on in St. Anton is the snow. But while nearby resorts like Söll offer extensive runs for all abilities, St. Anton prides itself on its challenging blues and reds, which push beginners and intermediates to improve or look elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong, there are nursery slopes at the bottom of the piste area and plenty of blues for beginners. But the full expanse of the 305km of pistes – served by 88 lifts – is best for confident intermediates and above.
For those who love a challenge, the resort also boasts 200km of off-piste routes, which will keep even the most adventurous winter sport practitioners on their toes.
Legendary Après Ski
On to the all important après ski scene! St. Anton’s nightlife is a fantastic mix of authentic Austrian beer guzzling and good cheer, and is home to a bunch of old-style DJs who play great cheesy disco tunes. Although it isn’t achingly hip, it guarantees a huge amount of beer-fuelled fun!
The après ski scene here is so famous that there are certain places that you simply have to visit in order to claim that you’ve really ‘done’ St. Anton.
The first is the legendary Moosewirt on the blue run down to the resort, known as the Galzig. Moosewirt has been a go-to spot for a beer or Jägermeister on the way back into town since the 1960s, and promises a party (albeit quite a cheesy one) on the slopes every day.
Come here to discover that it is actually possible to dance on the tables in ski boots and then stay until the pistes close!
If the euro-pop and drunken crowds of Mooserwirt get a little too much, head across the piste to Krazy Kanguruh. A slightly hipper crowd of mainly Australian and Swedish skiers tends to party here. There’s just as much beer-fuelled fun as at the Mooserwirt, but you can expect the music to be cooler.
If the weather is good, I suggest that you soak up the sunshine and the lively atmosphere at Sennhütte. This venue, which is also on the Galzig run, hosts a live Austrian band here on most days, and there’s lots of drinking and dancing. It’s definitely a good place to enjoy a schnapps or two at the end of the day.
A Bite to Eat
If you’re looking for good places to stop for lunch or want to soak up some of those après beers, St. Anton has a fantastic array of reasonably priced restaurants, ranging from pizza parlours to traditional Tyrolean eateries to fine dining options.
The Ulmer Hütte
For a beautiful view and some traditional home-cooked food, one of my favourite places to stop for lunch is the Ulmer Hütte on the slopes below Schindlergrat. If the weather is good, it’s a great place to rest after a morning of skiing, as you can sit outside on the terrace and take in the mountain views.
This lovely restaurant is another ex-Alpine hut that’s located halfway down the Rodelbahn, serving hearty Austrian mountain fare. Expect dishes full of carbs to fuel an afternoon of skiing, such as the delicious Gröstl (fried potatoes with eggs, bacon and onion). The roaring log fire and cosy wood-panelled interior also make this a great, welcoming place to stop if the weather is not so good.
The Happy Valley Steakhouse
If you are looking for a big volume of food to fill you up after a day on the pistes, – or to line your stomach for a big night out – you’re in great hands at the Happy Valley Steakhouse.
This American-style venue is part of Anthony’s Hotel in the resort centre, and boasts a lively atmosphere and massive cuts of delicious meat. It’s perfect for refuelling after a day of exercise (although vegetarian friends might want to look elsewhere – or perhaps just stick with the bar’s great cocktails)!
How to Get to St. Anton am Arlberg
Just over an hour by road from Innsbruck Airport, St. Anton is an easy ski resort to get to. Flights are offered by airlines such as easyJet and British Airways, which fly directly from London to Innsbruck in just two hours.
If you’re travelling in a group, one of the most economic and convenient ways of getting from the airport to the resort is to book a group transfer with Shuttle Direct.
Let the airport transfer service know what equipment you’ll be bringing with you, and Shuttle Direct will accommodate your needs and those of your mates. Unlike many other transfer operators, a friendly driver will already be waiting for you when you arrive at the airport, and won’t charge you an extra fee for transporting ski equipment either.
Where to Stay
Haus Sailer – The clean and comfortable apartments at Haus Sailer are close to the Galzigbahn and Rendelbahn cable cars, offering great access to the slopes and to the après scene in town. All of the rooms offer great mountain views and free Wi-Fi.
Gafluna – The traditionally Austrian Gafluna guesthouse is just a short walk from the Nassereinbahn cable car, and has a ski bus stop on site. It’s close to the centre of the resort, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area and free Wi-Fi throughout.
Gsörhof – The Gsörhof apartments are a mile from Nasserein, but are easily accessible by ski bus. The apartments have a seating area, kitchen and private bathroom.
About Shuttle Direct
If you are travelling with a group, why not travel together in one of Shuttle Direct’s group transfer mini-buses or coaches? Shuttle Direct provides room for all of your friends and transports your ski equipment at no extra cost, offering a fantastic transport solution for the ski season.