Thu, 2013-03-28 16:15 — Anonymous
St. Anton is the jewel in the crown of the Arlberg Ski Circus, a huge ski resort that links St. Anton with Lech, Zurs, St. Christoph, Sonnenkopf and Stuben. Offering arguably the most extensive ski area in Austria, the Arlberg Ski Circus has become a Mecca for keen winter sports enthusiasts from all over world.
St. Anton is justifiably famous for its skiing but this isn’t the only reason to visit this vibrant resort. St. Anton has become synonymous with the other main activity in ski resorts: après-ski! Thanks to its lively on-mountain après-ski haunts such as the Mooserwirt and the Krazy Kangaruh (or KK to the locals) St. Anton has become the “must visit” resort for après-skiers the world over.
The Arlberg Ski Circus offers the widest range of ski terrain in Austria thanks to the several very different resorts found within. St. Anton itself offers a great mix of terrain, from the tree-lined runs down to resort to the high altitude skiing on the Valluga peak at a dizzying 2811 metres.
Most pistes in St. Anton are geared towards the intermediates to experts but there is also a fantastic nursery slope next to the Nasserein gondola. Once a beginner looks to graduate to non-nursery slopes, its best to head to the Rendl ski area which boasts several flattering blue runs, perfect for practicing on. The Rendl ski area also features the resort’s snow park, with a range of different size jumps and rails.
St Christoph is the only other resort linked to St. Anton by ski lift. The skiing here is gentler than St. Anton and the number 8 blue piste is a favourite for skiers looking for wide, open terrain. You can ski from St Anton to Zurs from the top of the Valluga peak, this is off-piste though and is only to be tackled with a qualified local guide.
For all other skiers looking to access Lech and Zurs, there are two options. You can ski to St. Christoph and then take the ski bus to Lech, and this is included in the price of your ski pass. The other option is to take the local bus from St. Anton to Lech. This is not free but isn’t very expensive. NB. During busy periods this service can get very busy indeed so we do advise you arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled departure of the bus.
Lech itself could not be more different as a ski area than St. Anton. Lech is a haven for skiers looking for wide, open, easy greens and blues. Lech also boasts a fantastic range of marked itinerary runs that are not pisted but are patrolled – these runs are perfect for those keen to master off-piste skiing.
Sonnenkopf is a smaller resort that is not linked to the rest of the ski area, you do need to take the bus to get here but it is well worth visiting for a day trip. Because it is more difficult to get to than the other main ski area on the same lift pass it tends to keep its snow much better, and this area is often excellent for powder skiing. Skiers can regularly find fresh tracks here even a few days after the last snowfall.
Après ski in St Anton
If you asked a hundred skiers which resort offers the best après-ski, chances are the majority would say St. Anton, and rightly so. Après-ski is taken very seriously in Austria, it’s viewed as almost as important as the skiing itself! Après usually starts around 4pm on the mountain itself. The two most popular venues are the Mooserwirt and the Krazy Kangaruh. They are both in a similar location but offer very different ambiance.
The Mooserwirt is a traditional, boisterous après-ski venue, DJ Gerhard spins a lively mix of cheesy Euro tunes, each with its own dance that everyone apart from you seems to know! Don’t worry though, you’ll be singing and dancing along by the end of the week! Krazy Kangaruh is also very lively but tends to feature live bands more than Austrian après-ski music. The good news is both are fantastic so you really can’t go wrong. Don’t overdo it though as most revellers ski back down to resort. It’s a very short and easy ski but after a few too many, it can be very dangerous indeed.
The party carries on in the town centre into the wee hours. The haunts most popular with the British skier are Bar Cuba and Scotties bar. Other bars of note are Kandahar and Postkeller. Have a look at our Après-Ski section for more details.
Activities in St Anton
St. Anton offers lots to do outside of skiing. Perhaps its main attraction is its state of the art “wellness” centre. The swimming pools here have to be seen to be believed, one indoor and one outdoor which is heated to 27 degrees during the winter. The outdoor pool also has a flume which connects to the indoor pool. Its spa area spans over 420 m2. There is also a sauna and steam room, massage suites and a UV tanning room.
The village is actually habited all year round, and as such features all of the bars, restaurants and shops that you would expect to find in a small town. If that’s not enough why not jump on the train and spend a day in Innsbruck?
Getting to St Anton, Austria
The two most convenient airports are Innsbruck and Friedrichshafen. Both airports are under a 1 hour and 45 minute drive away with Innsbruck being the closer of the two (1 hour 15 minutes). Zurich is also possible thanks to very good train links and although the transfer to resort will be significantly longer (3 hours+) Zurich offers more flight options than the other two airports, especially from non-European airports.
If you are making your own way to St. Anton, there are various options for getting from the airport to your chalet:
Train – Innsbruck main train station (a 10 minute bus ride from the airport) offers a very quick and efficient service straight into St. Anton town centre. This is generally regarded as the cheapest means to get to resort. Roughly 60 Euros.
Private transfers – There are a wealth of companies that offer a private door to door service, whilst this is more expensive than the train service, it’s certainly the most convenient!
Train -From Zurich is again a very efficient service right into St. Anton centre. The journey does take over 3 hours though.
Arlberg Express Shuttle service - For 80 Euro per person return, this service takes approximately 3hrs45mins from Zurich airport to St. Anton bus station.