Austria’s western most province of Vorarlberg features six family friendly ski regions offering great skiing on- and off-piste, high altitude ski touring and well-maintained trails for cross country skiing and winter walking.
Vorarlberg has plenty to offer discerning skiers and boarders - traditional Austrian hospitality in pretty villages, good accommodation, a consistently good snow record, efficient lift systems, well groomed pistes, plenty of off-piste and easy transfers by road or rail from a choice of airports. There's value for money accommodation to suit all budgets from affordable 4-star hotels including some great ski-in ski-out hotels, bed & breakfast pensions and self-catering ski apartments.
Vorarlberg ski resorts are invariably cheaper (and quieter) than better known ski resorts elsewhere in Austria, and there are many good hotels to choose from. Après ski mostly involves an umbrella bar or sun terrace on the mountain before wellness and drinks in the comfort of your hotel, which appeals to families with young children and groups of committed skiers looking to maximise their time on the slopes.
Bregenzerwald region in northern Vorarlberg lies between Bodensee (Lake Constance) in the west and the Arlberg and the Tirol to the east. There's 259km of downhill skiing and 93 ski lifts between 600-2,050m, best of which is in Damuls-Mellau (89km), Warth-Schröcken (66km) and Au-Schoppernau (44km). These three main ski resorts are mostly served by fast chairlifts and connected by regular free ski bus service. There's skiing and boarding for all abilities including off-piste, ski touring and over 300km of cross country skiing (including 66km on mountain above 1,000m) and 200km of well prepared winter walking trails. Bregenzerwald is a thriving tourist destination both in winter and summer with 35,000 tourist beds, in over a dozen pretty villages throughout the region and numerous attractive 3-star and 4-star hotels some of which are situated high in the ski areas. Bregenzerwald Ski Resorts Guide >
Montafon ski region in southern Vorarlberg has glaciers and 80 peaks over 3,000m. There's 219km piste skiing between 650-2,300m mostly on Silvretta Nova, Hochjoch, Schafberg and Golm and 57 ski lifts carrying 90,320 riders per hours. Most pistes are blue (109km) or red (78km) with comparatively few black runs (32km), but lots of opportunity for skiing off-piste, great ski touring, three Snowparks, around 30 mountain restaurants and 144km cross country skiing. Montafon has over 17,000 guest beds including a wide range of accommodation in the main town Schruns-Tschagguns and ski villages Gaschurn, St Gallenkirch, Gargellen, Partenen and Silbertal and more beds lower down the valley. Montafon Ski Resort Guide >
Brandnertal region in the south western corner of Vorarlberg has 53km of family friendly piste skiing between 890-2,000m and on two mountains served by 14 ski lifts carrying 20,200 rider per hour. There are ski lifts from the adjacent villages Brand and Bűrserberg as well as a cable car and a blue piste connecting the two mountain ski areas and a free ski bus running between them. There's also 27km of cross-country skiing and a good selection of family friendly hotels. Brandnertal Ski Resorts Guide>
Klostertal is situated west of the 13km long Arlberg tunnel and home to family friendly ski area of
Sonnenkopf and pretty Stuben am Arlberg. There's 64km of piste skiing in total, 39km on Sonnenkopf and 25km on the Abona at Stuben, which is connected by ski lift at Rauz to the much bigger St Anton ski area and by free ski bus to Lech-Zűrs. Better still, the off-piste skiing in Stuben, which includes the lift accessible uninterrupted 1,000m vertical Albona north face, is challenging and highly regarded, and stays largely untracked long after St Anton gets skied out by locals. Stuben and Klosterle each have around 800 guest beds, but Stuben offers more choice of accommodation and is closest to other Arlberg ski resorts. Sonnenkopf Ski Resort Guide >
Strictly speaking, the ski resorts of
Lech-Zurs and Stuben are situated in the province of Vorarlberg, but better known as part of the Arlberg and neighbouring Austria's most celebrated ski resort, St Anton - the border between Vorarlberg and Tirol runs right past St Anton's Ulmer Hűtte mountain restaurant. The villages of Lech and Zűrs attract a mostly sophisticated cosmopolitan clientele and have many excellent 4-star and 5-star hotels. But the Arlberg is best known for great skiing and boarding, with 283km on piste and masses of challenging off-piste. Lech-Zurs Ski Resort Guide > Stuben am Arlberg Ski Resort Guide>
The Kleinwalsertal in north east Vorarlberg, close to border with Germany, has 61km of piste skiing between 920-2,037m, mostly red (33km) and blue (21km) runs on three mountains served by a total of 30 ski lifts carrying 32,830 riders per hours. Kleinwalsertal has three ski villages - Riezlern, Hirschegg and Mittelberg - and the cost of a lift pass and hotel accommodation for two people for one week is apparently cheaper in Kleinwalsertal than in other Vorarlberg ski regions.
Nearest Airports to Vorarlberg
Getting to the Vorarlberg is easy via Zurich, Friedrichshafen, Memmingen and Innsbruck. The advantages of flying via Zurich include numerous scheduled flights daily and more choice of airlines as well as good road and rail connections. Transfer distances vary depending on which Vorarlberg resort you are visiting, but distances from the airports to Bludenz in the heart of the Vorarlberg are as follows:
Friedrichshafen 90km Memmingen 131km Innsbruck 132km, Zurich 156km
Getting to Vorarlberg by rail
There are fast Inter City trains from
Zurich and Innsbruck to Bregenz (for ), Bregenzerwald Bludenz (for and Montafon ) and Brandnertal Langan am Arlberg (for , Sonnenkopf and Stuben am Arlberg ) with easy onward travel by private taxi to all destinations - ask your hotel to arrange the taxi for you. For Montafon change trains at Bludenz and catch the local Montafonerbahn railway to Schruns. Lech-Zurs
Check train times at
or SBB (Swiss Rail)> . OBB Austrian Railways>
Airport transfers to Vorarlberg ski resorts
There are fast motorway connections most of the way from all of the abovementioned airports and you can easily drive from those airports to any Vorarlberg ski resorts in approximately two hours or less. If there are two or more of you travelling it's often convenient and no more expensive to rent a car, but if you prefer not to drive there are plenty of transfer companies to choose from.