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“Tour” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ski Arlberg

Ski Arlberg
Lech, Austria
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Ranked #1 of 3 Attractions in Lech
Type: Ski/ Snowboard Areas, Sports
Attraction details
Vail, Colorado
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Lech to Zurs for lunch Zug for drinks, ski with space and freedom, you don't feel locked onto lifts and runs

Visited March 2013
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215 reviews from our community

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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“The Oldest and Best Ski School in the World”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

THey have taught all 3 of my children to ski from very young - now grown up and excellent stylish skiers.
Teachers speak several languages and are great fun but very professional

Visited January 2013
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Jersey, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great slopes - particularly for beginner and intermediate skiers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

The pistes are beautifully prepared, a large range of modern lifts, and a wonderful range of mountain restaurants to enjoy Tyrolean food and hospitality, all the there wear traditional dress.

Visited February 2013
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Worcester, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Himmlhof st anton”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We loved there sort ,however not for beginners as slopes are very steep the locals were very friendly .Restaurants and bars are expensive but location is stunning so well worth it .

Visited April 2013
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Biggar, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
506 reviews 506 reviews
184 attraction reviews
Reviews in 195 cities Reviews in 195 cities
503 helpful votes 503 helpful votes
“Large area for confident skiers”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

In March 2013 a 6 day adult pass cost €228 which covered 280km of pisted slopes at Lech, Oberlech, Zurs, Zug, St Anton, St Christoph, Stuben and Klosterle/Sonnenkopf - together known as the Ski Arlberg region. The ski area is substantially increased by off-piste opportunities, some of which are labelled as “Ski Routes” and these confusingly may or may not have been groomed in some fashion.

The slopes are generally best suited to confident intermediate skiers and above. Many of the blue runs are more of a challenge than the red runs due to overcrowding (which regularly creates moguls by early afternoon) and this together with only a marginal difference in steepness make some blues tricky. This is less of an issue at Lech. With the exception of a long, busy and heavily moguled #2 run at St Anton, the few black runs which exist are not a challenge to good skiers who will get their kicks off piste. During our visit run blue 4 was closed for a day or two following an avalanche and traffic was diverted down black 2 so it’s condition was perhaps exceptional. Blue 4 subsequently re-opened as a ski route!

Weather permitting there are plenty of good views looking across onto other slopes and the small Valluga II cable car in the St Anton area provides access to a panoramic sight from 2811 metres. Only those with a ski guide are allowed to take skis up this old gondola as there is a difficult descent from near the viewing platform at the top.

A circuit tour known as the “Weisse Ring” starting at Lech, Zug or Zurs gives a good overview of these areas and although a small separate piste map is available the route is well sign posted.

Favourite runs this time for me included red 15 at St Anton (a well used ski route), red 19, 14 & 13 in the same area and blue 17 down to Stuben in ideal conditions (it was harder going in softer snow on another day). As always good visibility can make or break opinions. Previously I’ve enjoyed many runs in the Lech and Zurs areas.

Zurs, Lech, Oberlech and Zug are interlinked via lifts, as are St Anton, St Christoph and Stuben however to get between these groupings involves a taxi or bus (shortest route via Alpe Rauz). Sonnenkopf/Klosterle also involves a taxi or bus journey. We used both options. The buses can be extremely crowded, the Post Bus less so although it is subject to a small fare and the taxis are not too expensive if shared between a number of people. Is travelling outside your lift-linked base worth the hassle? I would say yes if you are a good skier and want lots of variety but otherwise it’s not essential.

Most of the lifts are fairly quick and tows are few and far between on the upper slopes. We didn’t experience much queuing - except at the bus stops! Several of the chairlifts in the Lech area have heated seats for added comfort.

On this occasion I was with a large group of mixed ability skiers/boarders based at St Anton which, although having a reputation as being a bit of a party town, was surprisingly quite an attractive place. A lot of the famed après ski takes place in the mountain bars close to the base - with a final section of piste still to ski - it’s cut up by the end of the day so be aware of this added hazard combined with alcohol - your own and others intake. Places such as Heustadl, Mooserwirt and Krazy Kanguruh alongside the piste offer lots of beer, Jaegermeister and sing-alongs. St Anton has “noise police” these days and anyone being unruly in public is fined on the spot. This tends to have a sobering effect and we didn’t see wild goings on in the streets in town - although the policing doesn’t appear to extend to the slopes! Minus skis we visited Kandahar (good music, small dance floor), Bar 37 (tiny but friendly), Scotty’s Bar (popular, casual place), Piccadilly (entry fee €6 for men, girls encouraged to dance on bar, busy), Bar Cuba (good for televised 6 nations games but otherwise quiet) and Bar Aquila (upmarket looking place across from Hotel Schwarzer Adler but no more expensive than other bars).

We stayed at the catered “Chalet Alpenheim” towards the Nasserein area of St Anton which was very good although it was a bit of a hike up and down to the town centre for nightlife. Our only dining out experience at night was at Skiing Buddha, a Thai restaurant located alongside the climbing centre in St Anton. The food, service and ambiance there were very good and I could easily recommend the place.

I’ve stayed at Lech before (at the excellent Hotel Berghof) and visited the town on this occasion also - it remains a picturesque, upmarket resort. Après ski here by contrast to St Anton can take the form of drinks and/or fine cuisine at the bar outside the Hotel Krone overlooking the river and ski school - if you have money to spare! Service is best if you are known to the staff, a celeb, a regular guest or wearing a fur coat. At night the town was quiet based on past experience, with guests making use of their own expensive hotels.

Zurs is smaller than Lech and St Anton, has some very expensive hotels however it is dissected by a busy through road and overall the village doesn’t look that attractive. Zug, St Christoph and Stuben are traditional little villages if you‘re looking for a relaxing life. Sonnenkopf is a quiet ski area on the extreme edge of the region which has some skiing below the treeline which is useful when the visibility is poor.

Eating on the mountain was largely uninspiring - if you enjoy sausage you’ll be in heaven as they serve every possible variety. At St Anton - Kandahar Restaurant is a large self service place at Galzig lift, the menu is only in German, it’s busy but has plenty of tables, a great view from large windows, large portions (but with some manageable kids versions), decent soups, pasta, sausage, Weiner Schnitzel and chips. Escalators operate up and down to well maintained toilets. Ulmer Hutte near the Arlenmahder chair - had lots of tables & chairs slope side and an open-air bar which also sold sausages (not good in our experience). At Stuben - Albona Berg restaurant - off Albonagrat 1 lift, was a hut with very limited choice - soup or sausage and even the veg soup option had a sausage floating in it. Decent apple struddle. Near the Albona 1 chairlift, behind the church, there is a small traditional restaurant - Berghaus which is worth a detour. In Zurs, at a very busy Restaurant Seekopf I had noodles with so much garlic added that I was unable to eat more than a few mouthfuls - many other dishes looked good. Balmalp off the Zugerberg lift in Zug had soups and fresh pizza on the menu which were all enjoyed by our group and was probably my favourite - it‘s also busy.

If money is not an issue, you’re into comfort rather than cavorting and you prefer slightly less crowded piste conditions I would recommend the Lech area in preference to St Anton. St Anton is not inexpensive however it is a more lively, busy place on and off the slopes.

Visited March 2013
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