The Austrian Alps are at once both nurturing and hostile: velvety snow softens the bottom of the valleys, where streams make their eternal descent towards sluggish rivers, while sharp, jagged peaks jut into the sky, their precipitous slopes not for the faint of heart. In the summer, these green hills are reminiscent of The Sound of Music, bejewelled with edelweiss; come winter, they are a formidable playground for thrillseekers and Alpine adventurers.
With this guide on where to go in the Austrian Alps, you can discover the pleasant towns of Lech and St Anton, their ski areas, and some of the luxury holiday homes that we offer in each. Follow us down the slopes of two of our favourite luxury holiday destinations.
Where to go in the Austrian Alps
Lech: the most charming of Austria's ski resorts
Lech-Zürs is nestled in all its beauty in the vast Arlberg ski area, which boasts up to 548km of skiable area, making it easily the biggest ski area in Austria. Lech is a quaint village with the much-loved aura of a traditional Alpine wonderland; wooden chalets that bulge with fresh snow on their rooftops are pooled in the valley, an onion-dome church steeple presiding over the gentle hum of daily life. Zürs, further up the vale, is more of a purpose-built resort town with hotels and apartment buildings.
The town itself is understatedly lavishing, with restaurants, bars, and luxury shops discretely lining the village's streets. The variety of food on offer will keep gastronomy fundis occupied for great lengths of time. Head to Rote Wand Chef's Table for one of Lech's finest dining experiences, as the flair of Chef Max Natmessnig is on full display. While the nightlife in Lech doesn't quite rival that of its neighbour, St Anton, there are still some trendy places to enjoy delectable cocktails. For a pre-dinner drink, head to Fux Bar, where the extensive wine list will intrigue the most seasoned oenologists.
Lech shares its extensive ski area with Warth-Schröcken and St Anton. The area sits at an altitude ranging from 1450-2450m and is famed for its exceptional snowfall. Lech is best for intermediate and advanced skiers, but there is still plenty of fun to be had for beginners. In recent years, there has been a growing number of mountain restaurants worth visiting. In the summer, there are hiking and biking trails aplenty.
Chalech 4: A Beautiful Alpine Chalet
This modern chalet is a cosy and sleek home away from home, where you can return to rest tired limbs after a day of traversing the mountainside. Put your feet up alongside the roaring fire whilst breakfast is being prepared - a veritable spread to sustain you for a day of activity. At the end of a long day, sink into the deep bath as heavy snowflakes drift slowly past the window. Everything you need, including the slopes, is within walking distance.
Enjoy the Beautiful Views from Chalech S:
Having warmed up in the sauna, sink into the weightlessness of the indoor swimming pool, allowing weary muscles to unwind in preparation for another day on the hill tomorrow. Chalech S is an opulent yet homely 12-guest chalet in downtown Lech. From the warm embrace of Chalech S, you are free to explore the magical town that is Lech.
On the slopes of St Anton's formidable mountain range
St Anton-am-Alberg in western Austria is the larger, more spirited sibling of Lech-am-Alberg, where aprés-ski has a reputation for pulsating long into the night; this is a ski resort for the young and the young-at-heart. The village is charming and lively, exhibiting fine examples of Alpine architecture that stretch down the valley. In the evenings, the valley floor appears like a twinkling stream that winds its way beneath the gaze of the lofty peaks.
Known as the "cradle of alpine skiing", high-octane skiing dominates the agenda. However, as St Anton has recently been opened up to the shared ski area with Lech-Zürs, there is still a bounty of gentler, more loping and looping runs that wend down tree-lined tracks. There are 127km of pistes in the St Anton ski area and 340km in the greater Alberg ski area. There is roughly another 200km of skiable area all covered under the same ski pass. It is one of the top ski resorts in the world for expert skiers. The snow capped mountain is littered with an array of restaurants that cater to everyone, whether you wish to dine in luxury or grab a quick warming bite.
St Anton town is more laid back than Lech, but it hasn't lost its luxurious touch, with high-end restaurants as well as less pretentious fare available. But it's the nightlife that stands out. Kick off the evening, boots strapped tightly, by dancing on the tables of Krazy Kanguruh or Moosewirt before heading to Picadilly Live Music Bar for some cheesy tunes.
Villa Villekula: A Stone's Throw from the Cable Car and Endless Skiing:
For those looking to spend the entirety of their holiday making the most of the spectacular skiing, Villa Villekula is the ideal chalet thanks to its location and ski-in access. However, it will be undoubtedly difficult to peel yourself away from the plushness of this chalet. The villa flaunts outdoor baths as well as a sauna - the ideal panaceas for a tired body.
A Dreamy Austrian Alps Ski Holiday in Appartement Soline:
Appartement Soline is an attractively old-fashioned ski chalet with all the modern trappings. Its time-worn exposed wooden beams and traditional decor are balanced perfectly by the sauna and the steam room. It's one of the cosiest of our Austrian chalets and, set in the heart of the town, is the ideal place to explore the picturesque town and the daring slopes of St Anton.
With Le Collectionist, you are free to discover more ideas on where to go in the Austrian Alps. Begin by finding the perfect chalet for your family ski holidays in the Austrian Alps.