- Austrian Alps
St Anton Travel Guide
St Anton in the Austrian Alps © Johnfmh
St Anton is a popular holiday resort destination for British skiers and snowboarders, who are attracted by the first-class skiing and the incredible après-ski. St Anton is linked to the neighbouring resorts of Lech and Zürs and makes up the Arlberg ski area, the largest linked area in Austria with more than 300km of piste. The area offers extensive skiing for intermediate and advanced skiers and some of the best off-piste skiing in Europe. The resort's south-facing slopes can get slushy by the end of the day, particularly in spring, and partly for this reason the collection of bars on the slopes above St Anton get packed by around 3pm.
St Anton is the largest ski resort in the Arlberg ski area, which also includes Lech, Zurs, and the village of St Christoph and St Jakob. The combined Arlberg ski area offers hundreds of miles of groomed runs and ski trails for skiers and snowboarders.
The most prominent point in St Anton is the Valluga summit from which runs one of the best and longest intermediate ski slopes in Europe, taking skiers all the way down to the valley floor. There are many more choices for intermediate skiers on holiday in Lech and Zurs, which also offer some of the best off-piste skiing in Europe.
Thanks to the Flexenbahn cable car, it's now much easier to get from St Anton to Lech and Zurs. Due to their north-facing slopes and position at the end of the valley, Lech and Zurs offer reliable snow and comparatively uncrowded slopes.
The best skiing for beginners is in St Christoph or Rendl. There are two ski schools in operation, run under the same umbrella, both employing hundreds of instructors and guides with a solid reputation for excellent tuition and service.
St Anton is also known for having some of the best snowboarding terrain in Austria, with a vast array of natural obstacles, steep powder fields, and drop-offs providing thrilling free-riding. Gampen, Kapall, and Rendl are recommended for boarders and Rendl has a terrain park.
Shopping along St Anton's pedestrianised main street is quite laid-back, with plenty of cosy bars and cafés where shoppers can rest their feet. St Anton's shops tend to be expensive but the quality of merchandise is good. There are numerous ski shops, as well as jewellers, antique stores, and clothing boutiques.
Dining out in St Anton is a diverse and satisfying experience, with everything from burgers to vegetarian meals on offer at establishments that keep cooking until well after midnight. For five-star dining in St Anton, try the luxury hotels like Raffl's St Antoner Hof or Alte Post. Exhausted skiers wanting a hearty meal can seek out traditional Austrian fare. Some of the best in St Anton is served up at the Sporthotel, where a variety of sausages can be savoured with an accompaniment of potatoes and sauerkraut, all reasonably priced. Game and dumplings also appear on most St Anton menus. Fondue can be enjoyed at the Montjola, one of the oldest restaurants in the area.
The club and bar scene in St Anton is very lively, and less expensive than some of the other European ski resorts. The legendary Krazy Kanguruh Bar on the mountainside, and the MooserWirt Bar, are both usually packed with skiers and snowboarders after a day on the slopes. Alcohol flows freely to the tune of rock and hip hop in St Anton. The night is long at the numerous other discos and clubs, but for those seeking something more sedate there are quieter, more sophisticated bars in the St Anton hotels.
Skiing, snowboarding, and partying are the main activities on the agenda in St Anton, but the town does offer alternatives. The Arlberg Hotel has a spa and a swimming pool, and there's also a bowling alley and indoor tennis and squash courts.
St Anton's south-facing slopes can get slushy by the end of the day, particularly in spring, and the lower beginner slopes can get quite crowded.