Winter Love in Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg, namely Stuben am Arlberg, is where the first ski course in history took place in 1906. Discover 32 ski areas, 1,000 km of slopes and 760 km of winter hiking trails. Hungry? The province might be small but TheGault Millau Guide lists an impressive 80 gourmet addresses.
Great Diversity, Compact Space
Vorarlberg makes it easy for winter sports enthusiasts to leave with plenty of new impressions. Distances are short in the small province and its villages have kept their original charm. Skiers are able to access the slopes directly from their accommodation in several resorts including Oberlech, Damüls in Bregenzerwald, Brandnertal, and Gargellen in Montafon, meaning guests are able to quite literally "ski in – ski out". Cross-country skiers and winter hikers can also set off from their holiday homes in various villages.
The cross-regional ski passes offer great flexibility and, in addition, they are usually also valid for public transport. The train and bus connections are excellent in Vorarlberg, so you can choose a different ski area every day if you desire and enjoy the fascinating landscapes, which are slightly different wherever you go. From the mountain stations in Damüls-Mellau and on the Diedamskopf in Bregenzerwald, for example, you get panoramic views all the way to Lake Constance. Skiers on the Arlberg, in Montafon, Kleinwalsertal, Brandnertal, and Klostertal enjoy views across the mountains of Vorarlberg and its neighbouring countries. In Vorarlberg, great diversity also means there are slopes for all ability levels.
Building Culture, Culture & Hospitality
Vorarlberg does not just delight with its landscapes. In many places, the combination of old and contemporary architecture leaves visitors pleasantly surprised. From ski huts to restaurants, hotels, and lift stations; there are buildings worth seeing everywhere. Take the ski hut "Der Wolf", the Balmalpe in Lech Zürs am Arlberg, the valley and mountain stations of the Mellaubahn in Bregenzerwald, Restaurant Frööd in Brandnertal, the Alpine Sports Center in Schruns in Montafon or the mountain station of the Nebelhornbahn in the cross-border ski area of Kleinwalsertal-Oberstdorf, to name but a few.
Ski in the morning and head to the museum in the afternoon? This can easily be done in Vorarlberg, where everything is close together. Most of the museums are open in winter, too. Vorarlberg’s passion for beauty is also evident in the delightful cultural events throughout the winter months. Villages and hotels host sophisticated après-ski concerts in homely settings and the ski season ends with Tanzcafé Arlberg’s swing, pop and jazz sessions on the sun terraces of Lech Zürs am Arlberg.
All that exercise in the winter air tends to make us hungry, but luckily Vorarlberg offers a wealth of first class restaurants, inns, and ski huts. The Gault Millau Guide lists an impressive 80 gourmet addresses here and Lech Zürs am Arlberg, home to 19 award-winning restaurants, can rightly call itself a "World Gourmet Village". But there are plenty of excellent dining establishments in all of the other regions, too, and whether award-winning or not: Vorarlberg‘s chefs are particulalry good at conjuring up something spectacular from predominantly local ingredients.
The hosts at the mostly family-run hotels, holiday homes, and restaurants go the extra mile to ensure a feel-good ambiance. Just like the mountain cable cars, they take the greatest care to look after their guests and staff.
Vorarlberg Facts and Figures
A winter sports destination with history: the first ski course in history took place in Stuben am Arlberg in 1906
Number of ski areas: 32, plus several villages with a lift
Largest ski areas: Ski Arlberg (with Tirol): 88 lifts/300km of slopes, Silvretta Montafon: 34 lifts/118km of slopes, Damüls-Mellau: 20 lifts/80km of slopes
Total km of slopes: around 1,000
Total km of cross-country trails: 640
Total km of designated winter hiking trails: 760
Number of ski schools: 41
Highest mountain: Piz Buin 3,312m (on the border of Montafon to Switzerland), within the ski area: Valluga in the Ski Arlberg area 2,810m
Village with the most snow: Damüls in Bregenzerwald (1,423m) – an average of 9m snow fall per winter
Restaurants with Gault Millau toques: 63, 19 of which are in Lech Zürs am Arlberg
A selection of the museums that are open in winter: vorarlberg museum in Bregenz, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Jewish Museum Hohenems, inatura Erlebnisnaturschau and Science Center in Dornbirn, Kunstraum Dornbirn, Women’s Museum in Hittisau, Angelika Kauffmann Museum in Schwarzenberg, Kulisse Pfarrhof – winter sports museum in Damüls, Werkraumhaus Andelsbuch, Montafon Heritage Museum in Schruns, Lechmuseum in the Huber-Hus in Lech
Special Alemannic winter tradition: "Funkenabbrennen" on the Saturday/Sunday after Ash Wednesday. Metre-high wooden towers (bonfires) are burned down to drive away winter.