Apres Ski in Damuls Mellau

The pretty villages of Damuls (1431m) and Mellau (690m) are situated 20km apart on opposite sides of Bregenzerwald’s biggest ski area. Both villages offer a wide range of affordable accommodations including ski-in, and ski-out hotels in Damuls, allegedly the snowiest villages in Austria.

Demuls-Mellau Village

Damuls-Mellau Villages

Damuls is a pretty village built around a hilltop church at over 1,400m above sea level with some good hotels in the village centre and ski-in, ski-out hotels slopeside in Upper Damuls and also higher up in the ski area.

There’s not much to see or to do in Damuls besides snowsports and winter walking, there being only a handful of shops in and around the village and not many other places of interest, and après ski outside of the hotels is practically non-existent. But it’s a pretty place and one of the most snow sure villages in Austria, with great mountain views. Ideal for families, couples and anyone else content to chill-out and relax after a day’s skiing in the comfort of your hotel.

For this reason it’s worth studying the location of the various hotels. If staying in the village then the Hotel Gasthof Adler is a charming 4-star hotel, which is traditional, tasteful throughout and in a prime location in the centre of the village. If you’re planning a holiday with young children and want to be as close as possible to the ski lifts and the ski school then check out the 3-star Walliserstube Hotel & Restaurant.

Or for ski-in, ski-out convenience try the attractive 4-star Hotel Alpenstern which is slopeside in Upper Damuls or the 3-star Walisgaden Hotel & Restaurant (and umbrella bar) high up in the middle of the ski area. Both these hotels have busy mountain restaurants and sun terraces for late afternoon après ski.

Mellau is situated on the opposite side of the ski area, about 20km from Damuls, at an altitude of 690m above sea level. Bigger than Damuls, Mellau is one of the largest communities in Bregenzerwald (yet still quite small) with 1,300 inhabitants and 1,200 guest beds. The Bregenzer Ache River runs through the village and the imposing Kanisfluh mountain towers above.

There’s a good choice of accommodation including self-catering apartments, hospitable private pensions offering bed & breakfast and a range of hotels rated 1-4 star, most impressive of which by a long way is the landmark 4-star superior Sonne Lifestyle Resort Hotel in the centre of Mellau.

The village of Mellau is peaceful day and night and there’s not much in the way of  après ski, although compared to Damuls there are few restaurants and bars for alternative eating and drinking away from your hotel or apartment.

An efficient bus service runs between Damuls-Mellau, Au-Schoppernau and Warth-Schrőcken. However, it’s easier if you have a car.

Getting to Damuls-Mellau from the nearest airports typically takes two hours or less and if you travel via Zurich airport, flight times may allow you to ski on your days of arrival and departure.

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Apres-Ski Bars & Restaurants in Damuls-Mellau

Damuls apres ski is an especially low key affair mainly in hotels and just a few bars. The majority of guests are content to chillout in their hotels, many of which are dotted around the ski area, so there’s nothing much happening late at night in Damuls.

Damuls and other Bregenzerwald ski resorts mainly appeal to families and groups of people who are comfortable relaxing with friends over drinks and dinner back at their hotel. Additionally, many skiers come from other nearby villages and return after skiing so there’s not much demand for apres ski late of the kind you’d expect to find in better known Austrian ski resorts.

With just a few apres ski bars in Damuls village and many people staying in ski-in, ski-out accommodation, there’s no real focal point for apres ski, so it’s worth splashing out that little bit extra for a hotel with good lifestyle facilities.

Other Activities in Damuls-Mellau

Besides skiing and boarding, there’s an adventurous toboggan run, cross-country skiing and winter walking throughout the ski area, but winter sports activities aside there’s not much else to do in Damuls or Mellau except chill-out and relax.


Damuls has a 3.5km natural toboggan run on Uga, which is open during the day and night times from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, Wednesday and Friday. It’s quite an adventure and strict rules apply. You can rent a toboggan from Madlener Sport and at night times you must buy an extra card to gain lift access.

There’s an 800m natural toboggan run in the centre of Mellau, which is illuminated on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and at weekends from 6pm until 9:30pm. Schmucks Rodelhüsle, at the bottom of the run, serves mulled wine and Schupfnudeln and a relaxed atmosphere. Contact Mellau tourist office to confirm opening times which will be dependent on snow conditions in the village (690m). You can rent toboggans at Sport Natter.

Cross-country skiing 

Damuls has 16km of cross-country trails, most of higher up on the mountain, and there’s 22km of groomed cross-country skiing down in the valley at Mellau including a routes of varying difficulty from beginner level to advanced cross-country skiers.

Winter walking 

Damuls has 22km of groomed winter walking trails, also used for horse drawn sleigh rides, including well-lit trails for romantic evening walks. There’s a map of winter walks which includes the locations of nearly 20 hotels and mountain restaurants most of which can be reached on foot. The walks range from 1.5km to 6.5km and typically take between 45 minutes and 3 hours to complete.

Night skiing at Faschina

There’s night skiing with music at Guggernűlli ski lift in Faschina on Thursday evenings from 6pm until 9pm in high season, free for ski pass holders.

Horse-drawn sleigh rides in Mellau

Wrap up warm and enjoy a horse drawn sleigh ride, day time or evening, with a variety of routes through snowy winter forest and the delightful winter landscape. Your sleigh drivers Raimund Dietrich (Tel: +43 (0) 5518 2164) and George Simma (Tel: +43 (0) 5518 2768) will be pleased to advise you further.

Spa & Wellness in Mellau

Not everyone can afford to stay in a luxurious 4-star superior hotel, but you might like to check out the spa facilities at Sonne Lifestyle Hotel in Mellau, which offers an extensive range of wellness treatments.

Explore Bregenzerwald

Travelling to other villages is easiest by car, but there are regular bus services running between six villages. Bregenzerwald Landbus No. 43 runs at regular intervals during the day between Damuls and Au, and from Au, bus No 40 runs regularly to Mellau, Schoppernau, Schroecken and Warth.

The villages of Au-Schoppernau are full lovely lovely traditional buildings, sometimes sympathetically modernised with expansive areas of glass as well as traditional shindeln clad wood walls. There are several good hotels with restaurants and cafés open to the public and shops selling handicrafts and local cheeses (for which Bregenzerwald is famous). For women, the Wolfurt factory outlet shop in Schoppernau (well signposted and easy to find) is significantly cheaper than retail outlets and handy for stocking up on lingerie.

Damuls and Mellau Tourist Offices

For more information contact the Tourist Office:

Damuls Faschina Tourist Office
Kirchdorf 138, A-6884 Damuls
Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg, Austria
Tel: +43 (0) 5510 620
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.damuels.at

Mellau Tourist Office
Platz 292, 6881 Mellau
Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg, Austria
Tel: +43 (0) 5518 22 03
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.mellau.at


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