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Bucket list destination:

St Anton

  • St. Anton, Tyrol, Austria

Last updated: 03 October, 2023

Among serious skiers and snowboarders, St Anton is one of the world’s top resorts. Experts come here for the sublime, extensive and challenging off-piste – as well as its impressive array of piste skiing, which links by lift with St Christoph, Stuben, Lech and Zurs.

Known as the cradle of skiing – Hannes Schneider started the first organised ski school here early last century – there are slopes for all, including beginners, and the season is long. The car-free village centre is charming and the apres ski, both on and off the slopes, extremely lively.

Exceptional runs

Two highly accessible showpiece bowls, Schindler and Mattun, are gems among the myriad fabulous slopes that attract skiers here. Schindler is so popular it is often a virtual piste, but to finish you can choose the monster, leg-burning, Steilhang mogul run.

Mattun is a long off-piste challenge with many variations.

Apres ski

The apres ski is among the liveliest and most varied in the Alps – with some legendary huts and bars, both on and off the slopes. The action kicks off on the slopes from mid-afternoon, with some venues having live bands, others relying on DJs.

Crowds eventually ski down to the village bars – some have rock musicians playing and plenty of dancing, but it’s also possible to find more toned-down places for a quieter drink.

Other winter activities

The Rendl area has a world-class terrain park with perfectly sculpted kickers, and a jibline featuring various boxes and rails. At the foot of the pistes the Arlberg WellCom centre is an excellent leisure facility, with indoor and outdoor pools featuring jets that propel you around at speed, a huge steam room and a range of saunas.

The centre also has indoor and outdoor climbing walls, plus an outdoor ice rink for skating and curling.

Summer activities

Hiking is big in St Anton during the warmer months, when the resort ticks over as a summer holiday destination. Nordic walking courses can also be arranged in the village, as can the usual summer ‘adrenalin’ sports, such as paragliding, mountain biking and canyoning.


St. Anton lies at the far western end of the Tirol region, at a height of 1,305m. It is part of the Arlberg ski area, which  embraces St. Christoph, Stuben, Lech and Zurs, with 88 lifts and 190 miles of piste all included on just one pass.

The village straggles a little along the valley, but with two main gondolas and two chairlifts from the base, most accommodation has fairly good access to the slopes.

Travel advice

When to go

St Anton and its Arlberg neighbours of St Christoph, Stuben, Lech and Zürs have a long season, from early December to late April. The slopes immediately above St. Anton have a southerly aspect, so in the early and late seasons can appear snow-starved. But higher up the slopes face every direction and can keep snow well.

The area is famed for its off-piste, with notable spring snow in March and April. Mid-December, late January and mid-April are the quietest periods, although runs back to the village can be heavy in late season. Snow-making is extensive.

Getting there and away

The closest international entry point is Innsbruck Airport – the approach affords stunning views of the peaks. The airport is an hour from St Anton by train or taxi. Buses are regular but take a little longer.

Zürich is another option, with trains taking just under two and a half hours to St Anton, which has Europe’s highest mainline station.

Getting around

The centre is compact – even the extremities of Nasserein and Oberdorf are walkable. Only if staying in farther-flung St Jakob will you need the ski-bus. The lift system is fast and comprehensive. From the centre and Nasserein, three fast gondolas and two chairs keep queues to a minimum.

Thanks to the introduction of the Flexenbahn gondola in 2016, skiers no longer need to take a bus or taxi to reach Lech-Zurs for change-of-scene skiing – the whole of the Arlberg is now connected by ski lifts.