• Hiking in front of the scenic Patteriol mountain
      Arlberg in 3 Days

    Discover the highlights of Arlberg, Austria's Elite Alpine Resort, and its five remarkable villages

    • About the Arlberg region

      • The region: 5 villages St. Anton, Lech, Zürs, St. Christoph, and Stuben
      • Provinces: Tirol/Vorarlberg
      • Elevation: 4,278 ft (1,304 m) to 5,882 ft (1,793 m)
      • Nearest airport: Zurich (ZRH)
    • Trip Highlights

      • Visit the Valluga, the Arlberg's highest mountain summit
      • Explore the mythical Verwalltal valley
      • Learn about the history of skiing at Skimuseum St. Anton am Arlberg
      • Watch the sunset at Lech's stunning Skyspace-Lech installation

    Day 1 at Arlberg


    Begin your day in the heart of cosy St. Anton with breakfast at Das Anton. Assemble your preferred combination of eggs, fresh bread, and pastries, or choose from one of their indulgent spreads that will give you lots of energy for the day.

    The Arlberg is all about its mountains. There's no better place to start exploring than the region's highest peak: the Valluga. You can, of course, climb the 9,215 feet (2,809 m) of craggy rock, but there is an easier way. Hop on the Galzigbahn cable car down in St. Anton and take it to the Vallugabahn I cable car. After a quick look around, zip further up the mountain to 8,694 feet (2,650 m) and hop on your final cable car: Vallugabahn II takes you to the panoramic summit. From the top of the Valluga, the Alps look like a vast ocean of limestone peaks. The 360-degree platform offers breathtaking views all the way to Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. 

    Take a minute or two to linger on the summit or grab a coffee at Valluga View, the restaurant at the top of Vallugabahn I. A seat by the window will offer the best glimpses of the Alps' fantastic mountain backs.

    If you're not one for lofty heights, an alternative attraction just recently opened under St. Anton's storied ground. The old ore mines in Gand were discovered by a hobby archaeologist and are now restored to their former glory. Enter into the world of 15th-century ore miners and explore 750 metres (2,460 ft) of walkable tunnels. This adventure is great for families and travellers who want to see St. Anton off the beaten path. Book a guided tour for the most memorable experience.


    Head to Hotel Alte Post, one of the most famous hotels/restaurants in the heart of St. Anton, for a relaxing lunch. Order from a traditional Austrian menu with specialities like Käsespätzle, Gulasch, or fluffy Kaiserschmarren. 


    Just south of St. Anton's bustling town centre lies the mystical Verwalltal valley. It's not just a breathtaking nature retreat with babbling brooks and thick fir forests but a hub for outdoor adventure. Take bus No. 6 from St. Anton into Verwall and discover EldoRADo Bikepark. Choose between dirt bikes or e-bikes to complete the different courses.

    The next stop is the Aerial Forest Park, with its suspended platforms, ladders, and zip lines high up in the trees. Eight bridges form an "aerial trail" throughout the forest that lets you test your balance and agility by working your way from platform to platform. The kids' climbing area is perfect for families who want to discover the Verwalltal together.

    After you've tired yourself out on the ropes, head to Verwallsee lake for a little breather. A gentle walk around the clear blue water is the perfect way to end your day in the valley.

    If you prefer a more comfortable and relaxing day at the Arlberg, we recommend spending the afternoon at Wagner hut in Verwalltal. This storied mountain hut has been open for a century and treats guests to an incredible selection of Austrian specialities. Home-made strudel and apple pie, together with the views of St. Anton's mountain range, are an irresistible combination.


    Hotel Gletscherblick welcomes you into its "Alpin Gourmet Stube" – or Alpine gourmet pallor – where chef Paul Markovics gets creative with local flavours. Taste Mediterranean and Asian-influenced dishes along with Tirolean bacon or veal Schnitzel.

    Day 2 at Arlberg


    The Arlberg region incorporates five picturesque villages: St. Anton, Lech, Zürs, St. Christoph, and Stuben. Stuben is the region’s smallest hamlet, with just 80 inhabitants and a truly dreamy atmosphere. 

    Begin your second morning at restaurant Fuxbau with a breakfast of farm-fresh eggs, muesli, and homemade bread. Thanks to its modest size, the easiest way to explore Stuben is by walking through its sloped, winding streets. On your walkabout, you will encounter a selection of vintage photographs of the Arlberg. This open-air exhibition of 19th-century images takes you back to the Arlberg’s beginnings: Learn how the region quickly evolved from a secluded mountain refuge to Austria’s largest ski resort. 

    Take a 10-minute drive east to St. Christoph, where you can experience more of the region’s history. In the 14th century, a local swineherd opened an inn in St. Christoph for travellers seeking refuge from the sometimes rough mountain weather – a crucial part in opening the Arlberg to international visitors. This inn still exists today and became the elegant Arlberg 1800 Resort, forming the heart of the village.


    Back in St. Anton, head to Sennhütte for a rustic lunch with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. From there, take a walk along the Senn’s WonderWalkingWay and the adjoining herb garden for perfect Alpine bliss.


    Did you know Alpine skiing as we know it was invented at the Arlberg? St. Anton local Hannes Schneider was the first to use his skis for characteristic turns (as opposed to sliding straight down the slopes). Learn more about this impressive story at the Skimuseum St. Anton am Arlberg, which takes you back over 100 years to when the Arlberg inhabitants were a relatively isolated mountain community. Get to know the icons of modern skiing and the iconic downhills where they practised – maybe this will get you in the mood for a return visit in the winter months.


    Appropriately, the Restaurant Museum is located in a nostalgic mansion near the heart of St. Anton. The restaurant creates a cosy, old-world atmosphere through its unique setting and traditional menu.

    Day 3 at Arlberg


    Make your way across the province borders and explore the fourth of the Arlberg villages: Lech. The town lies on the Vorarlberg side of the region, and together with the neighbouring village Zürs, it is best known as an elegant winter resort. During the summer, the area transforms into a paradise for hikers, with bright green mountainsides and rustic huts inviting you to a snack break. One of its hiking trails leads to Formarinsee lake, which was voted Austria’s most beautiful place in 2015.

    Start in Lech and follow the Lechweg trail southwest towards Zug. From there, it’s a straight shot along the Lech river, with an altitude gain of 1,692 feet (516 meters). After about 4-5 hours of walking, you will hit the lake, which gleams emerald green in a dramatic mountain basin. Soak in the views and snap some photos before taking a well-deserved break at Freiburger hut. This Alpine refuge offers hearty Alpine cooking and lodging for adventurous travellers who bring a sleeping bag.

    Once you’ve taken in the views, the atmosphere, and some local snacks, it’s time to get back into civilization. And don’t worry; you don’t need to hike back the 4-hour trail to Lech. A hiking bus will bring you directly from Formarinsee back into the village and gives you a chance to properly digest all the speck, fresh bread, and local cheese.
    Note: if you are not up for a hike, take the bus from Lech to Formarinsee lake and back. The views will be just as impressive. 


    The village of Lech itself is gorgeous. Think of wood-panelled farmhouses perched between towering Alpine peaks. On a stroll down the village’s main street, you will find numerous boutiques and stores offering a mix of high-end design and traditional handcrafted pieces that dominate the Arlberg fashion. Start exploring the shops Sagmeister and Strolz, two true local institutions that combine modern taste with Austrian Alpine charm.

    To round off your retail therapy with wholesome self-care, look into the new LechErleben programme, which offers mindful activities like pilates on the mountain, sunrise hikes and cooking classes in the village. Chateau Madloch spring hikes and forest yoga are just as relaxing as they sound.


    Get ready for an early dinner at Bodenalpe, a 400-year-old traditional hut renowned for great local food. The restaurant is just a short drive from Lech and has a small menu with high-quality meats and Alpine specialities. 


    One of Arlberg’s cultural highlights is Skyspace-Lech by American artist James Turrell. The circular structure sits above the last houses of Oberlech and opens to the sky. During sunrise and sunset, the changing light conditions create a spectacle of colour inside the domed building. “My works are not about light; they are light,” says the artist, whose oeuvre is displayed at museums like the Met and the Guggenheim. At the Arlberg, the partly spherical construction reaches into the ground, uniting the structure with its natural surroundings. Sit back, look up, and watch as the sky fades from aquamarine to dove grey to black.

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