WINTER IN VORARLBERG 2009/10
Lech/Arlberg, the „Gipslöcher“ in the background, photo: Petra Schneider/Lech Zürs Tourismus
DEAR READERS, People in Vorarlberg love dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s. They are downright fond of designing and of
LAND OF PIONEERS VORARLBERG LIES IN THE VERY WEST OF AUSTRIA, NESTLING BETWEEN LAKE
looking for new solutions. This accounts for the start-
CONSTANCE AND THE ARLBERG, SILVRETTA AND RAETIKON MASSIFS. VORARL-
ling number of pioneers found here across a most
BERG IS THE CRADLE OF ALPINE SKIING AND HAS KEPT SETTING STANDARDS TO
diverse range of fields. However, the work of pioneers is not always appreciated right from the start – often, people will think they are “out of their minds”.
THIS VERY DAY. SOME OF VORARLBERG’S SKI AREAS ARE AMONG THE FINEST IN THE WORLD, WITH LECH-ZÜRS AM ARLBERG AS THE PREMIER RESORT. INNOVATIONS FROM VORARLBERG HAVE GRABBED INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION TIME AND
Take the first skiers who explored the mountains of Vorarlberg in the early 20th century as an example.
AGAIN. RECENT EXAMPLES FROM THE WINTER SPORTS SCENE ARE HEATABLE
On their unbelievably long skis, they certainly were a
CHAIR LIFTS, AND LIFT STATIONS AND MOUNTAIN LODGES IN THE CONTEMPORARY
sight to behold. With passion and ceaseless refine-
STYLE TYPICAL OF VORARLBERG’S NEW ARCHITECTURE.
ment of their technique, however, they soon managed to inspire widespread enthusiasm for skiing. In their wake, resourceful individuals and companies designed skis, lifts, perfected the grooming of slopes, and built hotels.
Exceptional achievements spur excellence in other
PIONEERING SPIRIT INNOVATIVE & BOLD: SKIING PAST AND PRESENT
BREAKING NEW GROUND FOOTLOOSE & FANCY FREE: SKIING VIRGIN TRAILS
areas as well. The people in Vorarlberg have long become experts in endowing their living environment both with beauty and purpose, visibly and tangibly, for locals and visitors alike.
Vorarlberg is a showcase of modern architecture. The
TRAILBLAZING HIKING & TOBOGGANING: ACTIVE WINTER IDEAS OFF THE BEATEN TRACKS
SPACE OF ENCOUNTER
A CULTURAL KALEIDOSCOPE
MODERN & STYLISH: ARCHITECTURE AND ACCOMMODATION
number of award-winning restaurants exceeds the Austrian average. And the standard of accommodation, from hotels to private guesthouses, is superior as well.
A TASTE OF BLISS CREATIVE & REGIONAL: AWARD-WINNING VORARLBERG CUISINE
FIERY & INSPIRING: ALL THERE IS TO SEE AND HEAR
On the following pages you will find inspiration and suggestions for your winter holidays in Vorarlberg. We look forward to your visit!
SUMMER PREVIEW FOR CULTURE VULTURES & SPORTS ADDICTS
Christian Schützinger Managing Director Vorarlberg State Tourist Board
Silvretta Montafon Nova/Montafon ski area, photo Paco/young mountain marketing gmbh
PIONEERING SPIRIT WHAT AN UNTAMED WORLD, THOSE HIGH MOUNTAIN REACHES, SO BEAUTIFUL AND MYSTERIOUS. VIRTUALLY INACCESSIBLE IN THE WINTER IN FORMER TIMES, UNTIL SKIING WAS INVENTED. More than 100 years ago, bold and ingenious people from Vorarlberg discovered skiing. They found out how much easier it was to reach remote mountain villages and to head up the mountains on a pair of skis. Besides, this new form of locomotion was fun and offered scope for refinement. Which skiing technique was best suited for alpine terrain?
Vorarlberg is also a pioneer of modern architecture in the alpine region. Clear lines, glass and timber from local woods are the hallmark of the new buildings. And they are downright energy-savers, to boot. Not only ski shelters, but also lift terminals present themselves in this new, contemporary design: Light-flooded and welcoming, using subdued – or even extravagant – colours as counterpoint to the white of winter.
How could mounting uphill be made easier? How to design a ski area that is in tune with nature? In the course of decades, these and many other questions were solved by individuals and companies in Vorarlberg. The first ski course for visitors on the Arlberg was held in 1906. In 1907, Vorarlberg’s first mechanical ski lift was built at the Bödele near Dornbirn. The first electrically operated drag lift went into operation in Zürs in 1938, designed and constructed by the Vorarlberg-based Doppelmayer company, today a world market leader in the construction of aerial ropeways. Snow-making equipment and skis all over the world come from Vorarlberg.
Kriegerhornbahn valley station in Lech/Arlberg, photo Roman Horner
Civic centre Blons/ Grosses Walsertal biosphere park, photo Bruno Klomfar
Flexenspitze looking towards Zürser Täli, photo Mallaun/Lech Zürs Tourismus
BREAKING NEW GROUND WHAT A SIGHT! A BEAUTIFUL SLOPE, PRISTINE SNOW, DEEP POWDER. SILENCE AND CONCENTRATION IN THE VERY LAST MOMENTS BEFORE HEADING DOWN, A THRILL OF ANTICIPATION. ONE ENERGETIC PUSH AND THEN: TOTAL ABANDONMENT, SWINGING AND SWAYING, FINDING YOUR RHYTHM, ETCHING YOUR OWN TRAIL, BECOMING ONE WITH THE SKIS, THE SNOW AND THE SLOPE, FEELING AS CLOSE TO NATURE AS YOU’LL EVER GET. WHAT AN OVERWHELMING SENSATION! Whoever has tried free-riding, or its more leisurely variant, off-trail skiing, has become addicted. You take the lift up the mountain, climb a little higher perhaps, and then etch your own trail on virgin snow, either on skis or a snow board. Vorarlberg has ideal conditions for free-riding and off-trail skiing. Owing to its geographic location on the northern rim of the alps, the snow cover is usually more than abundant. Ski school instructors and mountain guides always know where to find the finest slopes. They also offer courses for beginners. The better you master the technique of riding in deep-snow, the greater the fun. Experienced skiers might enjoy a guided tour.
The advantages of being guided by a professional who is familiar with the local terrain are obvious: If you want to move in backcountry without exposing yourself to hazards, you must know how to interpret the language of snow. And that requires experience and knowing which run is best negotiable at which time of the day and at which angle of the sun. Not least out of consideration for nature, the expert company of a guide who knows the terrain is always recommended. What else do free-riders need? An avalanche beacon, a probe, and a shovel, all available from the ski rental outlets. At the ski schools, you will learn to properly use the gear.
Where are the best spots for free-riding? Lech-Zürs am Arlberg heads the list of topOff-piste run in the Diedamskopf/Bregenzerwald ski area, photo Peter Mathis
rated areas. Here, the ski schools have specialised for many years on exploring the extensive terrain with experienced skiers, or inspiring a passion for off-piste riding in newcomers.
Another fine free-riding area with superb powder trails is the Sonnenkopf in Klostertal. At the Hochjoch near Schruns and in the
Sebi Geiger, kicker in the Diedamskopf/Bregenzerwald ski area, photo young mountain marketing gmbh
St. Gallenkirch/Gaschurn ski areas, four checkpoints have been opened where freeriders can get information about the current avalanche situation and have their equipment checked.
The ski areas in the Bregenzerwald, notably Warth-Schröcken
offer off-trail skiing courses and packages.
If you are into ski touring, check out the Bregenzerwald, which has a good offer of guided tours and packages, for experienced skiers
Mounting Falzer Kopf (Zitterklapfen in the background), photo Peter Mathis
and beginners alike. The most popular spots for ski touring professionals is the Silvretta.
Nature reserves your respect! “Respect Your Limits“ is an awarenessraising initiative that draws attention to the vulnerable habitat of fauna and flora worth of protection. Find out more about appropriate outdoor behaviour, especially in open terrain, at www.respektiere-deine-grenzen.at.
Ski guide Werner Geiger, photo Peter Mathis
On R端fikopf, photo Hans Wiesenhofer/Lech Z端rs Tourismus
TRAILBLAZING CRISP MOUNTAIN AIR, GLITTERING SNOW, SOOTHING SILENCE. OFF THE BEATEN TRACKS, WINTER DEVELOPS A QUALITY OF ITS OWN, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE HIKING THE MOUNTAINS. AS THE LANDSCAPE UNFOLDS, EVERY STEP SHARPENS THE SENSES. AT LAST, THERE IS TIME AND
Exploring winter wonderland off the popular ski runs is most enjoyable with a like-minded person or small group for company, as sharing the myriad of sensory impressions doubles the fun. Holiday-makers in Vorarlberg are spoilt for choice. In all regions, there are sign-posted winter hiking trails across snow-covered pastures, forests, or along mountain brooks. They head for the most beautiful lookouts, mountain inns and sun terraces. Many resorts and hosts offer guided tours, including torch- or lantern-lit walks at night time.
LEISURE TO SURRENDER TO NATURE'S MAGIC. Have you ever tried snow shoe rambling? An experience not to miss out on! The technique is easy to learn, most
tours run cross-country so that non-skiers as well can enjoy the feel of deep powder, with the added bonus that those handy snow shoes will not let you sink in. Visitors who prefer progressing at a faster pace opt for crosscountry skiing or tobogganing. Virtually everywhere there are cross-country trails and tobogganing runs. Many are flood-lit and can also be used at night. A fun-filled pastime which not only the little ones will become fond of. Whether you just draw a quick breath of fresh air or set out for an extended tour, the effect is always soothingly recreational and stimulating at the same time. Ample scientific evidence has been collected to prove that exercise in the mountains at moderate altitudes has a recuperative effect.
Sporthotel Steffisalp in Warth, photo Alex Bayer, Sporthotel Steffisalp
SPACE OF ENCOUNTER DOING IT “THEIR” WAY IS WHAT CHARACTERISES THE PEOPLE OF VORARLBERG – AND MANIFESTS ITSELF IN THE MODERN ARCHITECTURE ONE WILL FIND HERE. NEW BUILDINGS OPEN UP NEW VISIONS, IDEALLY COMBINING AESTHETIC AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGN IN A CONSTANT INTERPLAY WITH THE NATURAL SURROUNDINGS. Unpretentious Elegance “The appeal of architecture in Vorarlberg lies in the fact that it never comes across as plain, despite its unpretentiousness”, says renowned Vorarlberg architect Hermann Kaufmann. Vorarlberg has been setting trends in contemporary architecture in Austria and has gained credence all over Europe. Travelling through Vorarlberg these days, you come across substantially fewer buildings that fit the hackneyed alpine cliché. The new buildings, including many hotels, blend perfectly into their natural surroundings. Clear lines, sober facades and the materials used speak for themselves. Timber, which has been used in this region since time immemorial, is left largely untreated. Lacking the typical alpine heaviness, the balconies are eye-catchers placed nonchalantly onto the facades.
photo Andrea Forlani
USEFUL HINT: The folder “Architektur Land Vorarlberg and Modern Hospitality“ presents exceptional architectural sites and hotels (available free of charge from the Vorarlberg State Tourist Board). Spoilt for Choice Vorarlberg offers accommodations in all categories, catering to different likings, modern or traditional, elegant or rustic, romantic or homely. Most have been family-run for generations. Many hotels offer signature programmes to dote on your wellbeing: spacious, light-flooded spas with a splendid natural panorama. Others dedicate themselves to creating a perfect holiday experience for families. Also, there are specialists for culturally inspired, sports-minded or romantic holiday-makers.
photo Adolf Bereuter
For detailed information on accommodation in Vorarlberg, ask for the holiday brochures of the regions or consult the different special-theme catalogues which we will readily send you free of charge. You may also view and download folders at www.vorarlberg.travel.
Bregenzerleben – Maurachbund Bregenz, photo Marcel Zechang
A TASTE OF BLISS PEOPLE IN VORARLBERG HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR FINE DINING IN REFINED SETTINGS, ACCOMPANIED BY EXQUISITE DRINKS. IN AN ALL-AUSTRIAN COMPARISON, AND MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF INHABITANTS, VORARLBERG BOASTS THE LARGEST NUMBER OF AWARD-WINNING RESTAURANTS AND INNS LISTED IN GOURMET GUIDES. Creative and Regional For many years, chefs in Vorarlberg have been cooperating closely with local farmers. Whenever possible, they use regional and seasonal produce for their culinary creations, concocting savoury staples or light innovative fare. Initiatives such as the Bregenzerwald Cheese Road, “bewusstmontafon”, and events staged in the Grosses Walsertal biosphere park, forge cooperation between restaurants and farmers. Toques, Stars and Crowns Gourmets appreciate Vorarlberg’s cuisine. After all, there are more award-winning restaurants and inns here than in any other Austrian province, compared to the number of inhabitants. In its 2009 edition, the renowned Guide Michelin gourmet
photo walser-image.com/Happy Austria
guide rated eight restaurants in Vorarlberg with a star. The 1,400-inhabitants town of Lech alone boasts four restaurants featuring a Michelin star. And the 2009 GaultMillau edition rated 53 restaurants in Vorarlberg with one to three toques. Austria’s A-la-Carte gourmet guide has awarded one to three crowns to 53 restaurants and inns. It Takes All Kinds ...To Make A "Cheese" World Cheese is Vorarlberg’s best-known culinary speciality, particularly the spicy Bergkäse, a hard mountain cheese. It is manufactured in many small dairy farms, in the summer sometimes also on high-lying alps. Other delicacies include the somewhat milder alp cheese, Emmental and savoury soft cheese made from cow, sheep or goat milk. The range of cheese varieties manufactured in Vorarlberg also includes rich and creamy camemberts.
photo Adolf Bereuter
"VORARLBERG ISST …" "Vorarlberg isst …." is one of the most wide-ranging culinary initiatives in Austria. Back in 2005, more than 3,000 restaurants and hotels joined forces to launch a quality campaign. For information on special restaurants and inns, special-theme weeks, concert dates, as well as recipes, visit www.vorarlberg-isst.at. Vorarlberg’s first culinary guide, which offers a listing of the region’s best addresses all cut out to enjoy the pleasures of life, is available at booksellers, from all Raiffeisenbank outlets in Vorarlberg, and at www.vorarlberg-isst.at.
Schwarzenberg/Bregenzerwald, photo Peter Mathis
A CULTURAL KALEIDOSCOPE ADVENT MARKETS CAST A MAGIC SPELL ON THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES, THE BREGENZ FESTIVAL GOES WINTER, HOTELS DOUBLE AS MUSIC SALONS, MUSEUMS OPEN UP NEW HORIZONS, AND FLARING BONFIRES BID A WELCOME TO SPRING. Lanterns and Blazing Fires Advent markets sell fancy arts & crafts and culinary titbits. They are held in the major towns – such as the medieval old town of Feldkirch, on the huge market square in Dornbirn, the romantic old town of Bregenz, and in many villages. Readings and concerts throughout December all set the tone for Christmas. The blazing culmination of carnival is the traditional Funkenabbrennen on the Saturday and Sunday following carnival Sunday. This is a pagan custom where metre-high bonfires or artfully arranged wooden towers are set aflame across the whole country to dispel winter, accompanied by music and titbits such as Funken Küchle (sinfully delectable doughnuts with a sugar and cinnamon topping), and hot drinks.
Eye-Opening and Mind-Boggling Museums are a good choice for a cultural intermezzo. And Vorarlberg has a number of rarities waiting to be discovered. The Kunsthaus Bregenz ranks among Europe’s leading exhibition halls for contemporary art. The building alone is a must-see: designed by renowned architect Peter Zumthor, the glass cube construction has won several major architectural awards. Taking the little ones to a museum? Then the inatura nature museum in Dornbirn is a perfect choice. Here, many attractions can be discovered hands on, also at the new Science Centre that has recently opened. The Werkraum depot in Schwarzenberg in the Bregenzerwald houses an exhibition of furniture and textile design. Werkraum is a project bringing some 100 innovative craftspeople together. Always worth a visit are the Jewish Museum in Hohenems, the Bergschau exhibition on geology, nature and culture, and the winter sports exhibition in the Kleinwalsertal, as well as smaller museums in the Montafon on the history of tourism, which all hold countless treasures. Austria’s only women’s museum in Hittisau stages noteworthy exhibitions on the world, past and present, as seen through the eyes of women.
Opera Goes Snow and Salon Music In January, the Bregenz Festival moves to Lech for outdoor opera performances in the snow, an event that is certainly not without charm. In the Bregenzerwald as well as in other regions, hotels open their doors for salon music, reviving the good old tradition of 5o’clock tea, when you would end a day of skiing in an ambience of refined sophistication. The spectrum is wide: different-style ensembles play music from classics to jazz.
For a preview on the major cultural events and current dates, please consult the information folder and the internet at www.vorarlberg.travel.
Kunsthaus Bregenz, Jean-Marc Bustamente, gilles conan, photo Markus Tretter
Bregenz Festival goes snow in Lech/Arlberg, photo Norbert Freudenthaler/Lech Zürs Tourismus
YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION ON VORARLBERG?
For information please contact Vorarlberg Tourismus, P.O.Box 99, 6890 Dornbirn, Austria, phone +43 (0)5572/ 377033-0 (Mon-Sat from 8 a.m. -6 p.m.), fax +43 (0)5572/ 377033-5, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vorarlberg.travel or the destinations, your travel agent and the holiday service of your nearest Austrian National Tourist Office (www.austria.info) Vorarlberg Room Information Our room information service will look for suitable holiday offers tailored to your wishes (dates, type of accommodation, facilities…). You may then book the offer of your choice directly with the hotel. Your hotline: +43 (0)5572/ 377033-0 (Mon-Sat from 8 a.m. -6 p.m.) Accommodation in Vorarlberg on the Internet From 5-star hotels to holiday apartments – you may look for and conveniently book accommodation and packages on-line on our website: www.vorarlberg.travel
SUMMER IN VORARLBERG Summer in Vorarlberg holds a spell of inspiration for culture lovers as well as travellers of a more active bent. For detailed information on the summer of culture, from the Bregenz Festival to the Schubertiade festival, a wealth of hiking suggestions, wellness and family programmes, etc. consult the Summer Journal, available in early 2010. We will be happy to send you your personal copy free of charge.
Hochtannberg, Looking from Höferspitze to Widderstein and Biberkopf, photo Peter Mathis
THE INFORMATION FOLDER CONTAINS NUTS-AND-BOLTS INFORMATION ON WINTER IN VORARLBERG. SIMPLE TO ORDER: WE WILL READILY SEND YOU BROCHURES ON ACCOMMODATION, INFORMATION ON SPECIAL THEMES, OR FOLDERS COMPILED BY THE HOLIDAY REGIONS FREE OF CHARGE.
KUNSTHAUS BREGENZ GOES MOUNTAIN
Gormley Horizon Field, test installation in Lech (July 2009) for the planned Horizon Field project, photo Markus Tretter / copyright: Antony Gormley, Kunsthaus Bregenz
Publisher’s statement Publisher: Vorarlberg Tourismus, Poststraße 11, 6850 Dornbirn. Concept: Silberball Bregenz GmbH Text: Kinz Kommunikation/Wien. Translation: Michaela Ott-Spracklin. Map: © Freytag-Berndt and Artaria, 1230 Vienna. All information is based material provided to us. No liability can be accepted for the correctness or completeness of the information given. Print: Vorarlberger Verlagsanstalt, Dornbirn. Printed in Austria. Data as of Jul. 2009
Bregenz Festival, “Aida“, photo Karl Forster
Starting in the summer of 2010 (to last until 2011), Kunsthaus Bregenz is planning the Horizon Field art project in Vorarlberg’s mountain world in cooperation with the British sculptor Antony Gormley. Horizon Field consists of 100 life-sized iron casts of a human body, spread all over the mountains in Vorarlberg to form a continuous horizontal plane at 2039m altitude. The sculptures are placed in a landscape which stands for beauty and idyll, and at the same time for sensitivity and vulnerability. Horizon Field explores the long-standing relation between mankind and alpine landscape.
Photo Peter Mathis
VORARLBERG TOURISMUS Vorarlberg State Tourist Board P.O.Box 99, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria phone +43 (0)5572/ 377033-0, fax +43 (0)5572/ 377033-5 email@example.com, www.vorarlberg.travel