Sonnenkopf Ski Resort

Sonnenkopf is a small, affordable, family-friendly ski area near the Klostertal villages of Wald, Danofen, Klösterle and Langen. 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 a ski area rather than a ski resort, because you don't stay in Sonnenkopf but in the Klostertal villages stretched out in the valley below it. Wald am Arlberg and Danofen are the closest, Klösterle am Arlberg is the largest, and Langen am Arlberg has the local train station. And Sonnenkopf is both a separate ski area with its own lift pass, 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 the one part of it that is not lift-linked. In fact most people who stay in the Arlberg's other resorts never visit Sonnenkopf, and some don't even know it exists.

More fool them, because this forgotten outpost of the Arlberg has a lot to recommend it. It's family-friendly, uncrowded and a great place to learn to ski or snowboard. 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 section for intermediates, and a good black run plus some notable off-piste for advanced skiers, including three ungroomed ski routes, lots of between-the-piste freeriding in the main North-facing bowl, a long intinerary 'off the back' for which you will need a guide, and plenty of ski touring possibilities.

Good skiers who insist on sticking to the piste will run out of new runs to discover within a day or two, because Sonnenkopf only has 9 lifts and 15 runs (including the 3 ungroomed ski routes). And that is when the Arlberg ski area connection is vital, because the buses that link Wald, Danofen, Klosterle and Langen with the Sonnenkopf base station also link them with 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. There is also a train link from Langen to St Anton.

So if you don't mind taking buses and trains or driving around, Sonennkopf offers excellent value for money. Food and drink tend to be cheaper in the Klostertal villages 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 one to two hours' drive of the airports at Innsbruck, Friedrichshafen and Memmingen airports and Zurich. Or you can come by train to Langen.

You 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 other Arlberg resorts in the evening. St Anton undoubtedly has the liveliest bars, but StubenZurs and St Christoph are easier to reach and all have smart gourmet restaurants.

Sonnenkopf Pros and Cons

+ Good but small local ski area;
+ Part of the Arlberg, Austria's best ski area;
+ Uncrowded;
+ Unspoilt rural villages;
+ Good value for money.

- A lot of driving or taking buses & trains;
- No slope-side accommodation;
- Very quiet apres ski and nightlife.


Sonnenkopf Rating

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5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

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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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