Sonnenkopf Ski Resort

Sonnenkopf is a small, affordable, family-friendly ski area above the villages of Wald, Danofen and Klösterle. It's also part of the huge Arlberg ski area. But whereas the other Arlberg ski resorts like St Anton, Lech and Zurs are all lift-linked, Sonnenkopf is a bus or car ride away.

Sonnenkopf is easy to like but hard to explain. Strictly speaking, it's not even a ski resort because you can not stay in Sonnenkopf: it's just the name of the lifts and pistes above the tiny villages of Wald am Arlberg, Danofen and Klösterle am Arlberg, and because Klösterle is the largest of these, the whole area is sometimes called this or Klostertal. And to make matters even more confusing, Sonnenkopf is both a ski area in its own right and a sector of a much larger ski area, the mighty Arlberg. And whilst the Arlberg is famous for being Austria largest lift-linked ski area, Sonnenkopf is not lift-linked to any of it, so the vast majority of the people staying in its larger ski resorts never visit Sonnenkopf and often don't know it even exists.

More fool them, because this forgotten outpost has a lot to recommend it. It's family-friendly, uncrowded and a great place to learn to ski or snowboard with good instructors. And whilst the local area is small, it has a good snow record and there are runs for every standard: gentle blue pistes for novices, cruisy reds with the odd testing sction for intermediates, and a black run plus some notable off-piste for advanced skiers, including three ungroomed ski routes, lots of between-the-piste freeriding in the North-facing bowl around the Glattingrad and Obermuri chair lifts, a long intinerary 'off the back' of the area's high-point, and plenty of ski touring possibilities.

But strong skiers who want to stick to the piste will run out of new runs to discover within a day or two, because Sonnenkopf has only 9 ski lifts and 15 runs (including the 3 ungroomed ski routes). And that is when the Arlberg connection is vital. From 8am to 7pm there are roughly two buses every hour between Wald, Klosterle, the Sonnenkopf base station and Stuben Am Arlberg, which is near the middle of the main Arlberg ski area, and linked by lift and piste to St Anton, St Christoph, Lech, Zurs, Warth and Schroecken.

If you can tolerate regularly taking this bus or driving (which is necessary even if you ski only at Sonnenkopf because there is hardly anywhere to stay within walking distance of the lift station) then this ski area offers excellent value. Food and drink tend to be cheaper than in the other Arlberg resorts, as is accommodation which is mainly in small family-owned hotels, B&B guesthouses and apartments. Sonnenkopf is also easy to get to, within easy reach of Innsbruck, Friedrichshafen and Memmingen airports and within 2 hours' drive of Zurich. There is also a nearby train station at Langen.

You do have to be realistic about the nightlife, however. There are only a handful of apres ski bars and restaurants in Klostertal's villages, so take the proverbial scrabble board and be prepared to entertain yourself, unless you want to drive to the fleshpots at St Anton or the quiet but smart restaurants in Stuben or Lech-Zurs. Just don't tell people where you have come from. Sonnenkopf is not only the Arlberg's least known ski area but probably it's most underrated one as well, and the families who come here regularly would like to keep it that way.

 

Sonnenkopf Rating

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Sonnenkopf Statistics

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

  • 22nd Sunny 6° -1° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 23rd Sunny 7° 2° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
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Recommended Hotels & Apartments in Klostertal Sonnenkopf

  • Hotel Klostertalerhof Klosterle am Arlberg

    The Klostertalerhof

    The 3-star Klostertalerhof is a charming traditional hotel in Klösterle, three minutes’ drive from the Sonnenkopf ski lift and 10-minutes from Stuben.

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  • Hotel Stockinger Klosterle am Arlberg

    Hotel Stockinger

    The 3-star Hotel Stockinger is just 5-minutes’ walk from the Sonnenkopf ski lift and a 10-minutes by ski bus to Stuben for lift access to Arlberg ski area.

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  • Hotel Sonnblick Wald am Arlberg

    Hotel Sonnblick

    Hotel Sonnblick in Wald is an appealing 3-star hotel offering traditional Austrian hospitality, just 5-minutes' drive from the Sonnenkopf ski lift 

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  • Apartment Barbara, Wald Am Arlberg

    Apartment Barbara

    A charming apartment house with wood panelled features. Just 5-minutes' drive to the Sonnenkopf ski lift and about 10-minutes to Stuben.

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