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Destination guide for St. Anton
St. Anton, Tyrol, Austria
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.
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.
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 early and late season 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.
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.