Austria's flagship resort, St. Anton has a central place in the history of alpine skiing. It was here, on the slopes of the Arlberg massif, that Hannes Schneider, the son of a local cheese-maker, pioneered the development of modern skiing techniques in the early years of the 20th century, and here that the first downhill ski races were held, including the inaugural Kandahar race in 1928. Today, St. Anton ranks among the top few ski resorts in the world.
St Anton is better suited to intermediate or advanced skiers rather than beginners, and is known for its challenging on-and-off-piste terrain. The Arlberg region, of which St. Anton forms an integral part, is famous for its good snow reliability and offers over 160 miles of runs in total. If that's not enough, experts can hire a mountain guide and enjoy some renowned off-piste descents. Snowboarders are also well provided for with an excellent fun park, and there are permanent racecourses for those who want to test themselves against the clock.
The resort itself is compact, with a pedestrianised main street, and boasts arguably the best après-ski scene in the Alps. This draws a young crowd that likes to ski hard and party harder, and the glühwein flows into the small hours at the resort's dozens of lively bars.
By contrast, nearby St. Christoph is a small, peaceful alpine village that makes a good alternative for families or those seeking quieter surroundings. At 5,900ft, St. Christoph is one of the highest resorts in the Alps, which more or less ensures decent snow conditions. Beginners can take lessons at the excellent ski school, and the resort links into the same huge Arlberg ski area as St. Anton, Lech and Zürs.
|St Anton & St Christoph|