St Anton — one of the most popular resorts in Austria and one of the four Austrian «giants» belonging to the club Best of the Alps. Together with the neighbouring resorts of Lech-Zürs, St. Christoph, Warth it forms a large skiing area Arlberg. St. Anton is considered the cradle of winter sports.
The Arlberg offers a unique diversity of pistes, challenging ski routes, freeride options and snow parks, as well as trendy après ski bars. The Arlberg therefore is a real multi-talent with regards to winter sports and après ski. The spacious terrain is known to be one of most reliable areas for snow in the Alps.
It offer two large areas: the souther side with St. Anton and the adjoining villages St. Christoph, St. Jakob and Stuben, and the north-western side with the resorts Zürs and Lech. However there is no connection via lifts or pistes. Very good skiers though, have the opportunity to hire a ski guide and go on a grandiose ski tour from the Valluga peak down through the Pazieltal (very steep) to Zürs, which provides a unique experience. Further there is also a great ski area at the Sonnenkopf in Klösterle.
Since winter 2013/14 the ski region Arlberg has expanded its offer through the newly built «Auenfeldjet» express lift to Lech Zürs and Warth-Schröcken. Possessors of the lift pass «SkiArlberg» can now find 337 km of piste accessible via 122 lifts. From beginner to pro, from snowboarder to freestyler, from blue to black — there is something for everyone here! Additionally there are 200 km of deep powder snow descents available.
St. Anton’s tourism dates as far back as far as the 19th century, but it wasn’t until the birth of Alpine skiing that it started to grow in reputation and stature. In 1901 St Anton created the World’s first ski club in the Arlberg Ski Club.
One of the most important figures in St. Anton’s history was Hannes Schneider, an Austrian ski instructor born in Stuben in 1890, who dedicated his life to mastering and making famous a traditional Alpine Skiing technique which he called the Arlberg Technique (Stem Skiing.) Hannes Schneider’s instant impact on the ski industry was when he created the first Alpine Ski School (the Arlberg Ski School) in 1921, which to this day is still the most prominent ski school in St. Anton.
The resort has been home to many other ski industry legends over the years. Kark Shranz who won twenty major downhills, many major giant slalom races and several major slaloms is now a hotel owner in St Anton. Getrud Gabl who won the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on home turf back in 1969 was the first Austrian woman in history to win the event, sadly Getrud Gabl died in an Avalanche in 1976, she does now has a luxury chalet in St Anton named after her. And finally the ever famous Hermann Maier won his first Cup in St. Anton back in 1998.
St. Anton has been at the forefront of Austrian skiing for over a century, and with such prolific figures still residing within the resort St Anton, it will remain as one of the most reputable ski resort in Europe for many years to come. This resort was also home to the Alpine World Ski Championships in 2001 which also helped advertise St Anton as one of the ‘must ski' resorts. In preparation for this event, the main railway was moved from running through the centre of the town to the side, allowing a park and ice rink to be landscaped.
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How to get to St Anton
There are a high number of cheap airlines such as Ryanair, Air Lingus, Easyjet and Swizz air which fly to all of the airports below. As stated below, these airports are well linked with the trains, or just a couple of hours drive away, making St Anton a very well located resort which adds to its popularity.
Travelling by car
There are 3 main airports which seem to be very popular destinations for St Anton. These are detailed in full below.
Route 1: Driving from Innsbruck (Approx 100km) to St Anton
When leaving the airport follow signs to the A12. From here follow signs to Bregenz and Arlberg but still continuing on the A12. When you see the exit to St Anton, take this and then it’s a 50 minute drive from here.
Route 2: Driving from Memmingen (Approx 170km) to St Anton
When leaving the airport, take signs towards Kempton. When you get to Junction A7, join the A96 towards Lindau and once this exit has passed follow signs for Bregenz. Keep on the motorway towards Bergenz until you get to the Arlberg tunnel and from here it is signposted to St Anton.
Route 3: Driving from Friedrichshafen (Approx 130km) to St Anton
As you leave the airport, head 500m towards the T Junction. When you left at the T Junction and then you will hit a roundabout where you will turn right following signs for Friedrichshafen. As you enter Friedrichshafen you go straight through a set of traffic and follow signs for Lindau (road number 31) which filters you off to the left. Stick on this road for about 20 km which is when you should meet the motorway (number 96) to Innsbruck. When you reach this motorway; turn left towards Bregenz which will take you to the Austrian border. There is a long tunnel under Bregenz to go through. Continue along this road as it becomes a single then back to a dual carriageway and through a couple of tunnels; before hitting a long tunnel- Arlberg tunnel- which takes you to the St Anton exit! (There is a small toll for using this tunnel.)
Route 4: Driving from Zurich (Approx 200km) to St Anton
When leaving the airport, follow signs for the A51 south which takes you onto the A1 towards Winterthur. Stay on the A1 past Winterthur and St Gallen until you reach St Margrethen which is when you start to follow signs for the A13. Once on the A13 you need to exit at Junction 3 for Holenems which will take you across the Austrian border! From here follow signs for the A14, and once on this road, there should be signposts for Innsbruck. This road turns into a single carriageway and then back to a duel carriage way before you hit a short tunnel which is called the Arlberg tunnel. Once you come out of the tunnel, take the exit for St Anton! (There is a small toll for using this tunnel.)
Trains from Innsbruck
To get to St. Anton from Innsbruck. This is one of the most convenient ways to make your way to St. Anton. The train only takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes and takes you straight to St. Anton for about 30 Euros return. The St. Anton station is about a 10 minute walk to the centre of town, but with lots of bags a taxi might be an easier choice. Taxis in St. Anton are very reasonably priced.
Trains from Zurich to St. Anton
Zurich airport is well linked to the main Zurich train line. Trains leave frequently connecting ht airport to the main train station. From here it takes about 2 ½ — 3 hours and they normally have one an hour.
Memmingen to St Anton
From Memmingen it is about 3 ½ hours to St Anton and the trains leave every ½ hour at peak times but can be as long as 2 hours between each train at non peak times.
Friedrichshafen to St Anton
This is a relatively straightforward option as it takes between 2 and 2 ½ hours however there are a couple of changes along the way. This service runs about ever hour but can be every 2 hours at non-peak times.