Winter holidays in the home of alpine skiing

Last updated on 17. December 2020

St. Anton am Arlberg, the birthplace of alpine skiing, is celebrating several significant anniversaries in the winter of 2020/21: 120 years of Ski Club Arlberg, 100 years of Arlberg Ski School, 30 years since the first INTERSKI Congress in the Tyrolean mountain village, while many holidaymakers and locals still have vivid memories of the Alpine Ski World Championships in 2001. When the new winter season can begin for tourists in the St. Anton am Arlberg region depends on the decisions of the Austrian federal government and the associated opening of gastronomy and accommodation establishments. The safety of our guests takes top priority this season, even more so than skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, tobogganing and winter hiking. Daily updated information on the measures and regulations can be found here. Climate-neutral and comfortable travel: those arriving by rail get off the train right in the centre of St. Anton am Arlberg.

Guided skiing with a good feeling – the focus is on a safe holiday experience both on and off the slopes of St. Anton am Arlberg/Austria in winter 2020/21 © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg/Fotograf Patrick Bätz

Events and dates in winter 2020/21

Audi FIS Ski World Cup Women – Arlberg Kandahar Race
The ladies international ski elite will be meeting in St. Anton am Arlberg on 9th and 10th January to compete in the two fastest alpine disciplines in the World Cup. Audi FIS Ski World Cup participants will be battling against the clock for some coveted World Cup points and their sporting reputation in the Downhill and Super-G disciplines – at the place where it all began. When the first race of this kind was held in St. Anton back in 1928, the fast-paced racecourse was received with much respect and excitement by the ski world.www.arlbergkandaharrennen.com

3rd Sports Summit Tyrol – 7th January 2021
Every two years, the Alpine Ski World Cup is held on the Arlberg with the traditional Kandahar Race. The third Sports Summit Tyrol – St. Anton am Arlberg will be held against this backdrop on 7th January 2021, with which industry representatives, experts and insiders will discuss under the slogan “Sport heroes without public – Top class sport in times of Corona” in different keynotes and panel discussions. Due to local Covid-19 requirements, the Sportgipfel Tirol will take place digitally and will be broadcast via Livesteam and on ORF Sport+ on TV. https://sportgipfel.tirol

New Orleans meets Snow – 2nd to 4th April 2021
Southern flair in Tyrol: when the “New Orleans meets Snow“ Festival takes place for the seventh time from 2nd to 4th April 2021, everyone feels like dancing in the streets and bars of St. Anton am Arlberg – whether up on the mountain or down in the valley, in street shoes or ski boots.  Under the musical direction of the Markus Linder Band, the ”Blues Night“ on Saturday evening (3rd April) forms the highlight of this concert extravaganza, with sounds ranging from jazz to rhythm and blues and funk that transform Rosanna River into the Mississippi. Admission to all concerts is free.

The White Thrill – 24th April 2021
The ski season in St. Anton am Arlberg traditionally ends with a spectacular race. On 24th April 2021, the legendary “White Thrill” downhill race will have participants’ muscles screaming in protest, when 555 athletes from all over the world hurtle simultaneously down nine kilometres of unprepared slopes to the valley after a mass start from the Valluga Ridge. Olympic ideals and great ambitions provide an eclectic mix here: some contenders have their sights on a medal, while others enjoy the hullabaloo at a more leisurely pace.

Ski history in St. Anton am Arlberg – anniversary year 2021
On 3rd January 1901, six friends set out from St. Anton am Arlberg to the Hotel Hospiz in St. Christoph. Their break for refreshments turned into a cheerful celebration and culminated in the founding of Ski Club Arlberg. Today the club boasts of some 9,000 members from 60 countries worldwide, who will celebrate its 120th anniversary in 2021. Hannes Schneider set a milestone in ski history in the winter of 1921, with the invention of ski courses and the foundation of Ski School Arlberg. Until then, it was unheard of for holidaymakers to be divided into groups according to their ability and taught according to established guidelines. In 2021 the ski school can look back on its 100-year history with pride. Ten years after the first ski courses, the mountain movie “Der weisse Rausch – neue Wunder des Schneeschuhs – The White Thrill“ celebrated its premiere. The legendary film with local hero Hannes Schneider and Leni Riefenstahl in the leading roles was filmed in St. Anton and, thanks to its spectacular imagery, forms the concept behind the iconic race of the same name at the end of each winter season on the Arlberg. 2021 also marks the 50th anniversary of the town twinning with the Japanese ski resort of Nozawa Onsen. INTERSKI Congress in St. Anton am Arlberg in 1991 provided a glimpse into the future of winter sports. The Tyrolean mountain village hosted the event again in 2011. With participants from all over the world, it is considered the most important meeting of the international ski scene. It was the 2001 Alpine Ski World Championships that finally put the name of St. Anton am Arlberg on everyone’s lips. Structural changes made for the World Cup accentuate the cosmopolitan culture of the holiday region with unique architecture and innovative technology.

Specials and offers

“Take the Nightjet to the snow – comfortable and eco-friendly
Austrian Rail (ÖBB) is also offering special combined tickets for guests from certain regions in winter 2020/21. Holidaymakers can travel comfortably from Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Vienna or Graz to the Arlberg without having to worry about getting caught in traffic. The Nightjet Combi-Ticket includes the train ride (return) in the ÖBB Nightjet including seat reservation, a 3-, 4-, 5- or 6-day lift pass, as well as the transfer to the desired hotel in St. Anton am Arlberg.

“Ladies First!“ – winter well-being at Arlberg
Upgrade for your skiing holiday: female winter sports lovers enjoy some very special benefits in and around St. Anton am Arlberg from 24th January to 13th February 2021. Ladies can look forward to an attractive programme with an array of special perks and discounts for spas, shopping, restaurants and on the slopes as part of the “Ladies First” weeks.  St. Anton am Arlberg tourist office has a personal “Ladies First Book” and a small welcome gift ready for every lady staying in in St. Anton, Pettneu, Flirsch or Strengen.

Mountain Media Center – ski holidays to go
Whether attached to your chest, as an extension of your arm, or mounted in classic style on your helmet: In winter 2021, winter fans will once again be able to capture their skiing fun in St. Anton am Arlberg with the latest camera models, free of charge. The pros from Mountain Media Center then slice the recorded sequences together to create a personal video memory, which is then available to download or view on YouTube. The daily “Sun & Snow Report“ also makes use of the roughly one-minute clips.

Snowman Ticket – season ticket for 10 euros
Children up to the age of 8 years, (born in 2013 or later) can ski the slopes of St. Anton am Arlberg all winter long for just 10 euros with the “Snowman Ticket”. Young skiers are able to look for hidden forest inhabitants and playfully learn the FIS skiing rules together with the ski school mascot, Hoppl the Hare, along the Hoppelweg Trail. Despite its sporting reputation, the holiday region with 132 kilometres of blue runs and many designated nursery slopes, is also well geared up for younger skiers: It is with good reason that kids who have learnt to ski on the slopes of St. Anton am Arlberg are considered to be particularly confident downhill skiers.

Skiing and alternatives

Alpine wellness on winter hiking trails
Crunching snow under your feet, a pleasant mountain climate and altitude training all rolled into one: the choice of winter walking trails has now grown to over 80 kilometres in and around St. Anton am Arlberg. There are various options, such as the Verwall recreation area, Almfrieden Mountain Guesthouse (1,530 metres) above Pettneu or between the mountain stations of the Galzig and St. Christopher cableways. Those who fancy the inimitable experience of a rustic snowshoe hike through snow-covered landscapes, should take advantage of the services of a trained guide.

Winter via ferrate climbing trail at Rendl – not suitable for inexperienced alpine enthusiasts
Jump off the lift and strap your skis to your back: the entrance to one of Tyrol’s most beautiful winter via ferrates can be found next to the top terminal of the Riffel II chairlift (2,645 metres) in the Rendl region, high above St. Anton. Secured in its entirety by steel rope, ski-touring fans can start the 850-metre-long high alpine ridge crossing from here. Views extend over the entire Verwallgruppe Mountain Range and Lechtal Alps – sometimes even as far as South Tyrol on clear days. The heart of every ski enthusiast will skip a beat once they arrive at the Rossfallscharte Ridge (2,732 metres), where the downhill run through backcountry terrain beckons. Guided tours and equipment can be booked at St. Anton am Arlberg ski schools.

More variants with the new Schindlergratbahn Cable Car
Thanks to the Schindlergratbahn cable car, choices offered by the St. Anton am Arlberg ski area have grown since the winter of 2019/20. The ingenious thing about it: guests decide before they go up whether they want to get into a cabin for “experts” or “families” in the ultra-modern gondola lift with unique panoramic views. While the doors open for experienced skiers at the height of the former top station, those who remain seated will reach the new terminus 420 meters further northeast, where downhill runs such as Schindlerkar, Mattun or Valfagehr await. Thanks to this ground-breaking innovation in the birthplace of alpine skiing, winter sports lovers gain not only piste diversity, but also enhanced comfort.

Run of Fame ski circuit – in memory of the Arlberg legends
St. Anton, together with St. Christoph, Stuben, Lech, Zürs, Warth and Schröcken form Austria’s largest inter-linked ski area and the fifth largest in the world. Holidaymakers can discover Arlberg’s incredible skiing dimensions along the spectacular “Run of Fame” ski circuit. No matter where you access this ski tour – information boards and signposts that honour local skiing legends inform skiers about this 85-kilometre-long route and its 18,000 metres in altitude difference. The mountain station of Flexen cable car between Stuben/Rauz and Zürs also houses a “Hall of Fame”, where visitors can experience historical moments and Arlberg ski stars in a free exhibition.

Places and possibilities

Wagner Hut – meeting point in the Verwall Valley
The new Wagner Hut looks forward to receiving visitors in the Verwall valley near the village centre of St. Anton am Arlberg. The inviting inn is a popular meeting point for locals and visitors in St. Anton am Arlberg, who explore the local recreation area of Verwall on snowshoes or cross-country skis. In addition to two dining lounges, a winter garden and terrace, the Wagner Hut has seminar and conference rooms.  Opening hours in winter: daily from 10 to 17 hrs.

arl.rock and arl.park – indoor sports centre in St. Anton am Arlberg
Tennis, squash, bowling, climbing, bouldering: Active holidaymakers can let off steam all year round at the ultra-modern ”arl.rock“ sport and climbing centre in St. Anton am Arlberg. Highlights include the many climbing possibilities in varying levels of difficulty, while climbing fans can also look forward to 80 square metres of indoor bouldering facilities and 70 climbing routes. Since 2019, arl.park Trampoline Hall has extended its facilities and now covers a total area of 1,000 square metres with 13 jump fields, bagjump airbags and airtrack floor jumping mats. www.arlrock.at

arl.flow – new home for the yoga community
The yoga community in St. Anton am Arlberg has grown significantly in recent years, thanks not only to the international Mountain Yoga Festival. Now with arl.flow, local and vacationing yogis have their very own room in the Karl Schranz Stadium for yoga sessions. In addition to courses for beginners and advanced students in various styles, the programme also includes children’s yoga, meditation and relaxation sessions. The current programme can be found under www.arlflow.at

Arlberg WellCom and Co. – relax with views of the peaks
Peace-seeking holidaymakers can relax tired muscles and regenerate in the soothing waters of the ultra-modern ARLBERG-well.com, Centre for Wellness and Communication in St. Anton am Arlberg. The complex is also used regularly as a venue for sporting and international events. Wellnesspark Arlberg Stanzertal in Pettneu also opens its doors for the winter season. Moreover, numerous hotels in the Tyrolean holiday region offer guests wellness and therapeutic treatments. www.arlberg-wellcom.at, www.wellnesspark-arlberg.at

Escape room “Vanished” – solve the mystery in the stable
Search, think and communicate: holidaymakers can put their detective skills to the test in the only escape room in the St. Anton am Arlberg holiday region. “Vanished” is located in a converted stable in Pettneu. The fictive case is based on the unexplained disappearance of four people in a highly political plot, packed full of conspiracies.  Opening hours in winter: daily from 17 to 22 hrs (registration required). arlbergescapes.com

Environment and service

Environmental protection in practice in St. Anton am Arlberg
Ecological measures and projects – from alternative energy generation to waste disposal and nature-friendly ski-slope maintenance – are an integral part of St. Anton am Arlberg’s commitment to environmental protection. The holiday region also endeavours to participate in the KLAR! support programme (Climate Change Adaptation Model Regions). The recently constructed local heat distribution network will also go into operation in autumn 2020, which will save no less than 5,000 tonnes of heating oil in its initial phase.

Chemical-free artificial snow – cleaner than nature
A total of 88 percent of the slopes in St. Anton am Arlberg have artificial snow-making facilities. The snow crystals that cannons blow into the ski area are even cleaner than natural snow, because they consist only of drinking quality water and air. These strict regulations, which forbid the use of any chemicals in snow-making operations, apply to the whole of Tyrol. When melt water from the artificial snow then flows into streams and rivers in spring, it simply returns to its natural origins. The stream water in turn supports energy production down in the valley, which is used again the following winter, for example in snow-making operations – a perpetual environmentally friendly cycle.

Lake Kartellsee – Arlberg electricity makes St. Anton autonomous
The independent power supply in St. Anton am Arlberg is a unique project in the ski world. In 2005, the Kartell power plant was expanded and put into operation together with its eponymous lake, which holds around eight million cubic metres of water and generates around 33 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The same capacity is also used to supply the Rosanna power plant, making St. Anton am Arlberg autonomous in terms of power supply since 2006. Moreover, the municipality operates a wood chip fired biomass heating plant, which is designed to supply up to 80 residential units. The plant is also connected to a solar system for the heating of warm water.

Leave your car at home – take the train straight to the village centre.
St. Anton am Arlberg in Tyrol is a Railjet station, with seven direct connections a day from Vienna and Zurich. Together with the ÖBB Austrian Federal Railways, St. Anton am Arlberg Tourist Board operates the local railway station counter. In addition to classic ticket sales, the station also functions as an additional tourist office with guest advisory or agency services.  Thanks to the cooperation with ÖBB, the Tourism Association is able to provide even more professional and personal service to those arriving. Holidaymakers don’t actually need a car throughout the entire holiday region: regular buses shuttle to and from all districts and surrounding regions in the Stanzertal Valley. Those staying directly in St. Anton am Arlberg can make the most of the convenient location and access everything on foot.

Safety measures for winter 2020/21
A special focus is placed on the safety of our guests, not only on the slopes, but during their entire stay from arrival to departure. Above all St. Anton am Arlberg is in close contact with Prof. Cornelia Lass-Flörl, Director of the Section for Hygiene and Medical Microbiology at the Medical University of Innsbruck. “Dr. Lass-Flörl has been accompanying us with her expertise for several months now, and her knowledge sharpens our understanding of the overall situation”, says tourism director Martin Ebster. “With this support, additional safety measures such as compulsory masks in buses and mountain railroads, visitor flow diversion in waiting areas, compulsory registration in restaurants, safety concepts in the accommodation establishments and ski schools as well as intensively trained staff, we can start the winter season 2020/21 with excitement, dependent on the decisions of the Austrian federal.” Current information on safety measures can be found at www.stantonamarlberg.com.

Overview of the preliminary winter dates 2020/21:

07.01.2021 3rd Sport Summit Tirol – St. Anton am Arlberg
09.-10.01.2021    Audi FIS Ski World Cup Women – Arlberg Kandahar Race
24.01-13.02.2021    “Ladies First” Feel-Good Weeks
30.01.-06.02.2021 Ski-Club Arlberg Week
02.-04.04.2021    ”New Orleans meets Snow“
24.04.2021 “The White Thrill”
25.04.2021 End of the Winter Season

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