Bregenzerwald ski region in Vorarlberg has long been attracting skiers from Switzerland, Germany, France and Benelux. As yet unknown to the majority of British skiers, it’s, easy to get there, reasonably snow sure and has plenty of good value accommodation.
Good skiers can easily ski the groomed runs at each of Bregenzerwald's three main ski areas in 2-3 days, but the fact that they're close together and connnected by an efficient free ski bus service makes Bregenzerwald a good destination for a full-week ski safari as well as convenient for weekend skiing. The 3-Tal Bregenzerwald lift pass is valid for all Bregenzerwald ski areas and for travel on most buses running throughout the region.
Besides 200km of piste skiing, 50km ski routes and 56 ski lifts covering three main ski areas - Damuls-Mellau, Warth-Schrocken and Au-Schoppernau - Bregenzerwald has 300km of cross-country skiing (45km skating runs and 66km mountain cross-country ski runs above 1,000m) and 200km of well prepared winter walking trails plus toboggan runs and ice skating.
There's skiing to suit all ability levels. 38% of runs are blue, 36% red and 14% black, but when you take account of the off-piste possibilities there's much more for advanced skiers than it may seem from this analysis of the on-piste skiing, especially at Daműls-Mellau and Warth-Schröcken after a dump of fresh snow.
Bregenzerwald ski villages
Unlike many ski resorts - crowded in winter, empty in summer - Bregenzerwald's pretty villages are thriving rural communities. Tourism, farming and local handicrafts each accounts for approximately 1/3rd of economic activity. It's a pleasant change to see farm animals occasionally in winter and so many charming buildings, not just ski rental shops!
Because Bregenzerwald villages are unspoiled and not over dependent on tourism, the end result is quieter, family-friendly skiing among real communities and an excellent choice of accommodation to suit all budgets including many excellent family-owned hotels including plenty of good 3-star and some especially good 4-star hotels, private guesthouses and apartments. What's more, Bregenzerwald hotels are noticeably cheaper than comparable accommodation in better known ski resorts in Austria.
When it comes to après ski Bregenzerwald is fine for families and most couples, but will not appeal to those seeking a vibrant party atmosphere and late night entertainment as none of Bregenzerwald's villages has much in the way of après ski outside the main hotels and even the bars nearest the ski lift base stations will mostly be found wanting.
Where to ski and stay in Bregenzerwald?
Damuls-Mellau, the biggest ski area between the villages of Damuls and Mellau, has lots of on-mountain ski-in, ski-out accommodation and is good for skiers and boarders alike, especially intermediates and advanced skiers wanting access to easy off-piste skiing alongside and between pistes.
Warth-Schrocken is best for beginners and advanced skiers including some good ski touring opportunities and a varierty of challenging 'off the back' excursions for strong off-piste skiers. Now lift-connected to Lech - one of wor;d's best known luxury ski resorts - and the Arlberg ski area as a result of which Warth is now surely be the place to stay and ski, and hotel prices in Warth are likely to increase accordingly.
Au-Schoppernau (Diedamskopf) the smallest of the three main ski areas, has some of the steepest pisted runs including red and blue runs which are surprisingly steep in parts. Although smaller than the other two Au-Schoppernau (Diedamskopf) is worth skiing for one day in six during a week-long stay.
Located half way between Warth-Schrocken and Damuls-Mellau, Au-Schoppernau has plenty of good accommodation and is a convenient place to stay if you want to ski all three ski areas, whereas Daműls and Warth are better choices if you prefer to ski predominantly in just one ski area and for ski-in and ski-out convenience.
Recommended hotels in Bregenzerwald
Most Bregenzerwald hotels are family-owned with under 50 rooms, i.e not big enough to be of interest to mass market tour operators. Standards are high and the choice of hotels include some excellent and affordable 4-star hotels. Check location carefully before booking accommodation away from the main ski areas.
Hotel Adler, Au 4-star
Hotel Krone, Au 4-star
Gasthof Adler, Schoppernau 4-star
Erlebnisreich Natter Hotel, Schoppernau 4-star
Hotel Gasthof Adler, Damuls 4-star
Damulser Hof Wellness Hotel, Damuls 4-star
Alpenhotel Mittagspitze, Damuls 4-star
Hotel Walisgaden, Damuls 3-star
Sonne Lifestyle Resort Hotel, Mellau 4-star deluxe
Family Hotel Jageralpe, Warth 4-star
Sporthotel Steffisalp, Warth 4-star
Hotel Walserburg, Warth 4-star
Boutique Hotel Lechtalerhof, Warth 4-star
Search all hotels in Bregenzerwald, chack availability and book online >>>
Getting to Bregenzerwald
The nearest airports are Friederichshafen, Memmingen and Zurich which are approximately 100km, 125km and 175km respectively from the ski resorts.
For skiers travelling from the UK, Monarch airlines will be operating new scheduled flight services from London Gatwick to Friedrichshafen and from Manchester to Friedrichshafen, providing useful alternatives to the London or Manchester to Zurich route operated by Swiss International Airlines (SWISS.com).
Transfer times from Friedrichshafen to Bregenzerwald take about 1½ hours by car and from Zurich to Bregenzerwald it takes around 2 hours by car or 2½ hours by train and taxi. Flying into Innsbruck or Munich is also possible, but transfer distances and journey times are longer.
Exact distances and transfer times depend where you are staying, but if you book an early morning flight to Zurich (and a return flight in the evening) via Swiss.com you can arrive at your hotel in time for lunch and ski same day as arrival (and on the day of departure).
MyTransfer Service Shuttle offer efficient and comfortable transfer services from all of the above airports to Bregenzerwald ski resorts, with a user-friendly online booking engine at www.mytransfer.at
Bregenzerwald Tourist Information
1135 Impulszentrum, 6863 Egg
Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg, Austria
Tel: +43 (0) 5512 2365