For some of the most spectacular terrain in the world, skiers descend on the Arlberg region. An impressive new ski area is only half the story.
Steeped in more than 100 years of skiing tradition, the Arlberg is known as The Cradle of Alpine Skiing. Recent upgrades to an already extensive network of trails, combined with a world-class culinary scene, make for a memorable vacation on and off the slopes.
On December 2, the largest connected ski area in Austria will open on the Arlberg. The new Flexenlift between Zürs and Stuben/Rauz, along with the Trittkopflifts I and II and the Albonalift II, will fully link up 190 miles of well-groomed trails and 87 lifts for a circuit that has something for every level. With an endless choice of routes, skiers can run the gamut from picturesque to challenging. The newly launched “Run of Fame,” dedicated to the stars of Arlberg skiing, lets skiers cover up to 40 breathtaking miles of the circuit, while descending 11 miles of vertical.
For those who prefer, say, hiking or soaking up local culture to careening down the mountainside, the Arlberg region has lots to offer. At St. Anton’s Kandahar Haus Museum, explore the history of skiing through interactive displays and historic films, maps and ski gear. A firehouse is home to Lech’s Walsermuseum, where historic objects tell the story of everyday life in the beautiful yet once harsh Arlberg mountains. In a farmhouse that dates back to 1590, the Huber-Hus Museum provides a glimpse of 16th-century farming.
One of the Arlberg’s most awe-inspiring features is its untamed nature. At 9,000 feet above sea level, the Valluga viewing platform offers a majestic panorama of peaks in five countries: Austria, naturally, as well as Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany. Enjoy the extraordinary ascent via three gondolas. To catch sight of the region’s wildlife—including the shy native red deer—sign up at the Lech-Zürs Tourist Office for a guided hike.