Brandnertal (Brandner Valley) in Austria’s westernmost province of Vorarlberg is home to one of Austria’s most family friendly ski resorts with 55 km well-groomed piste skiing between 890 – 2,000m and plenty of affordable accommodation.
Brandnertal is easily reached from no fewer than four airports – Friedrichshafen (95 km), Memmingen (135 km), Innsbruck (140 km) and Zurich (150 km) – which makes it an excellent choice for a short break, especially when utilizing the frequency of flights operated by Swiss.com to and from Zurich.
The winding road climbs from the Brandnertal exit on the A14/E60 motorway through attractive pine forests to Brandnertal and the quiet village of Bűrserberg (890 m) just 7 km from Bludenz, then the main resort of Brand (1,000m), a further 4 km up the valley. Both villages offer easy access to Brandnertal's ski area with 55 km of piste skiing from 2,000m down to 890m.
Brand has set out its stall as a family ski resort with impressive facilities for children both on and off mountain. With or without a family in attendance, the area will suit skiers who are more concerned with a quality mountain resort experience rather than a vibrant night scene.
Brandnertal hotel choices include several affordable 4 star hotels, followed by a good choice of cheaper hotel properties descending through the star ratings as well as cute family run pensions and plenty of self catering apartments. Some hotels have a 'Family Friendly' accreditation, and depending on the level of facilities provided will qualify for 3, 4 or 5 of the 'Kiddies' symbols.
The surrounding snow capped peaks, dominated by the Scesaplana (2,964m) to the west, and Zimba (2,634m) to the east, seem to stand back from the valley allowing a sense of space as well as stupendous panoramic views.
The well-groomed ski runs are best for beginners and intermediates, with 22km for beginners, 30 km intermediate and just 3 km designated advanced. The longest of the runs is from Loischkopf to Burserberg, at 5 km, it is one of the longest in the Vorarlberg.
Despite the relatively low altitude of the valley, the ski season generally lasts from December - April with artificial snowmaking when necessary on over 75% of the groomed ski terrain.