Discover Germany, Issue 57, December 2017

Page 70

Cottages at the Arlberg. Photo: © Stuben Tourismus, Wilfried Graf

Legendary Arlberg:

The cradle of Alpine skiing As soon as the first snowfall hits the Arlberg, there is no stopping for winter sports fans from all over the world. Every year, around nine metres of new snow can be expected. The Arlberg, with its resorts of St. Anton, St. Christoph, Stuben, Zürs and Lech, has become Austria’s largest connected ski region with 305 kilometres of marked slopes, 200 kilometres of virgin territory, and 88 ski lifts. Many great events await visitors and it is no surprise that St. Anton and Lech are members of ‘Best of the Alps’, the association of the top 12 destinations in the Alps. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

The Arlberg, which is the area at the border of the Tyrol and Vorarlberg, is a true gem. The whole region is known as one of the Alps’ snowiest, and the locals have always faced the challenges that these long winters bring. Back in the day, they had to become inventive. In 1906, Victor Sohm organised the first ski course in Zürs. Here, the potential of the new sport was recog70  |  Issue 57  |  December 2017

nised much earlier than anywhere else. In that sense these poor farming communities invented skiing holidays out of the necessity to survive, and today the area has the legendary reputation of being the cradle of Alpine skiing. In 1921, local pioneer Hannes Schneider opened Austria’s first ski school. As

he also acted in many films, he put the Arlberg area into the limelight. Many locals followed in Schneider’s footsteps and the region has continuously been used for international winter sports events ever since. The Arlberg’s versatility attracts guests from over 50 nations every month. But whether you seek a sporty challenge, exuberant après-ski parties, or a romantic getaway, this area simply has it all. True highlights are the events at the start of the season in early December, such as the ‘Stanton Ski Open’ or the Fantastic Gondolas in Lech. The ski region officially welcomes the winter season and celebrates its arrival with top musical guests