Winter in Montafon: ski, things to do and where to stay
The sound of snow crushing under my feet. The wind blowing on my face. And the well-deserved glass of wine after a day in the mountains. This is a brief summary of our trip to Montafon, a charming valley in Vorarlberg, Austria. Travel to Montafon in winter was an experience like no other, and we are thrilled to share it with you. Montafon ski resorts are perfect for couples, families, and groups of friends who are looking for stunning nature, top-notch winter sports facilities, and unique experiences.
Keep in mind that skiing is only one of the fantastic things to do in Montafon. Its mountains offer activities to keep any traveler busy for days. From relaxing afternoons by the mountain hut to expeditions and rides that will make the adrenaline pump in your veins, our holiday in Montafon had everything: stunning nature, first-time experiences, traditions, and family feeling.
If you’re not sure about traveling to Montafon in the winter, keep reading this blog post. I’m sure our list of what to do in Montafon, ski maps, accommodation and transportation guides will help you make up your mind.
Where to stay in Montafon, Austria
Before we talk about the hotels in Montafon, let me explain about the valley and what you need to know before booking your accommodation there.
Montafon is a 39 km long valley with 11 little towns or villages in it. Most of them are close to a ski area, some have slopes for skiing and snowboarding, while others have cross-country skiing or winter hikes. The good thing about it is that public transportation in Montafon works very well, and you can reach all ski stations, lifts and towns just using the local buses.
It doesn’t matter where you book your hotel in Montafon, because ski lifts and pistes are reachable within minutes. We’re gonna talk a bit more about how to travel to Montafon and how to get around at the end of the post. Keep reading!
The main towns in Montafon are Schruns and Tschagguns, with plenty of accommodation options. Staying in Schruns or Tschagguns means that you will be right in the middle of Montafon.
We spent three nights at the Montafoner Hof Hotel and we loved it. No doubt it is one of the best hotels in Montafon, and you can feel the welcoming vibe as soon as you step in. Remember when I mentioned the family feeling we felt in Montafon? The hotel service and the team are the best examples of it. We felt like part of the family. They welcomed us with big smiles, flawless service and an explanation about the history of the property and how they are proud of being a family business focused on traditions, local products, and guests that keep coming back year after year.
Our suite at the Montafoner Hof Hotel was spacious and comfy, and it had beautiful views of the mountains, with enough space to throw an apres-ski party. Check all the details and rates of our room at the Montafoner Hof Hotel here.
But this hotel offers more than a beautiful and comfy room: you can enjoy saunas, jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor heated pools, bar, lounge with fireplace, entertainment room for kids, gym, and also the delicious food. And speaking of food, you can book your room with half board service and eat like a Queen or King for breakfast, afternoon snack, and dinner.
Breakfast is a buffet with fruit, salad, cold cuts, eggs, cereals, pastries, and everything you need to start the day full of energy. If you are back at the hotel by 3 PM, you can enjoy a gourmet afternoon snack also included on the half board rate. Plan for staying in the hotel on a Sunday night so you can enjoy a cultural activity followed by the fantastic open kitchen tour. You’ll have the opportunity to taste the yummy little dishes paired with wine that they and serve in the heart of the kitchen. My advice, though, is to not eat too much during this tour, as dinner will be served right after.
For us, Montafoner Hof dinner was the star of the show. We started with some fresh salad from the buffet, followed by a 5-course menu finished with heavenly desserts and a buffet of local types of cheese. Bear in mind it’s not only a dinner but a gourmet experience prepared with local ingredients and traditional recipes with a bit of a modern twist, not mentioning the impeccable presentation. Don’t forget to pair your dinner with local wine. If you are a newbie on Austrian wines, ask for the chef’s recommendation.
For a historic stay in Tschagguns, book your room at Loewen, a traditional guesthouse with more than 500 years of history. Click here to check the hotel details and book your room at Loewen Guesthouse.
Are you still looking for the perfect hotel in Montafon? There are other options of hotels in Schruns or Tschagguns on Booking.com. Click here to check the list.
Other towns and villages where you can stay in Montafon:
- Silbertal: this is a great village for families, cross-country skiing, and winter hikes. We spent a day there and had a delicious apfelstrudel, a gigantic cheesecake and some hot chocolate at Panoramagasthof Kristberg. This lovely guesthouse and restaurant is right on the slopes and near the Kristberg cable car stop.
- Gargellen: the highest mountain village in Montafon has thrilling slopes and stories to entertain you. From there you can access the Gargellen ski area with blue, red and black pistes for skiing and snowboarding.
- Vandans and Sankt Anton im Montafon: these two family-friendly villages are close to the Golm ski area. You will find blue and red slopes there, and also sledding pistes, special areas for kids and hiking trails.
- Sankt Gallenkirch and Gortipohl: these two villages are right in the heart of Montafon ski area. The impressive Grasjoch Bahn gondola travels 3.961 meters to connect Hochjoch to Silvretta Montafon ski area, turning this ski complex into one of the largest ski resorts in Austria. Curious to experience it?
- Gaschurn and Partenen: these two villages in South Montafon offer different stays, one in the valley and another one in the mountains. Both villages offer hotels and guesthouses for travelers that want to experience the glaciers, visit the lakes and dams, travel through a tunnel through the mountains to reach the slopes and have a close look at the Piz Buin peak 3.312 meters high. We visited Silvretta-Bielerhöhe and fell completely in love with the views, food, and location of Berggasthof Piz Buin Hotel.
And did you know you can rent a house, a chalet, or an apartment in Montafon via Airbnb? Sign up here and get a discount on your first booking!
Top things to do in Montafon: ski and much more
It’s time to talk about Montafon ski tradition and how this gorgeous valley is important for skiing history. The first winter sports club in Schruns and Tschagguns dates 110 years back. In the 40s Montafon built its first chairlift in Vorarlberg, establishing the successful future of Montafon ski.
Montafon is formed by 3 mountain chains, with glaciers and peaks over 3000m. Add to this stunning landscape and 295 km of pistes for ski and snowboard, from beginners to professionals. And also add some freeriding spots, well-marked winter hike trails, kilometers of track for country-skiing, and snowparks. Yes, there are tons of things to do in Montafon apart from downhill skiing. So let me share the activities we did there and how Montafon winter sports tradition led us to some incredible first-time experiences.
Montafon ski and snowboard
Our list of what to do in Montafon in winter must start with skiing and snowboarding. The 295 kilometers of pistes are spread over 5 ski resorts, including the Hochjoch Totale at Silvretta Montafon – the longest downhill piste in Vorarlberg with 12 km. Be ready for endless hours of downhill, carving and curves. With the cable cars and chair lifts connecting the slopes, you can quickly start your ski adventure in one point of Montafon and end it in another spot. All the information about the ski resorts in Montafon, ski pass, cable cars, and snow report you can find here on Montafon’s website.
Snowboarders will have fun at Snowpark Montafon at Grasjoch, a well-designed park with over 40 elements like rails and kickers, plus an 800m long freeride. Another unmissable spot is the Golm-X-Cross, a 350-meter long ski area prepared for snowboarders and skiers who are looking for tricks and heaps of adrenaline.
Besides a simple ride on the slopes, another incredible thing to do in Montafon is to be the first one to come down on a freshly groomed piste during sunrise, all this followed by a traditional breakfast at a mountain hut. You can do the descend on the Hochjoch Totale and Nova Exclusive, just click on the names for more info.
Cross-Country Ski in Montafon – Kristberg Ski area
Cross-country ski is an incredible first-time experience we had in Montafon. Rob had already tried it on our trip to Liberec, Czech Republic. But I have never touched those long and thin skis before. To my surprise, I was able to learn, have fun, and fall in love with cross-country ski.
I’m a snowboarder in progress. Before November 2019, I used to say that winter sports and I would never work together. This was until I had the guts to book a trip to a snowboard camp. After a hundred falls, sore muscles, bruises, and tears, I decided that fear wouldn’t stop me anymore. The fear of getting hurt and the speed of the slopes wouldn’t stop me from having fun. Decision made.
The tables are now turned. Now I’m trying everything, taking all the lessons, falling more than ever but also feeling alive and happy for doing things I have dreamed of. The feeling of overcoming my fears and my lack of skills while skiing in Montafon is something I will surely never forget. If you want to learn or improve your cross-country skills, you must travel to Montafon.
We had our cross-country ski lessons with Patrick from Schneesportschule in Sibertal, located at the Kristberg cable car station in Silbertal. No words to thank him for his patience, his teaching, and the great laughs. Can you believe we did a 10km trail? We had a couple of falls, of course, but we had the opportunity to admire the stunning area and stroll around the Kirstberg ski area. After the cross-country lesson, we had a delicious apfelstrudel at Panoramagasthof Kristberg, a very well-deserved reward.
There are 33 cross-country ski trails in Montafon, 72.5 km of classical trails, and 29.0 km for skating. If cross-country ski is your thing, you will have plenty of places to practice.
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance!
We use World Nomads and SafetyWing. Click on the name of the company and book your insurance now. If you need more information, read our Travel Insurance Guide here.
If you know a thing or two about skiing, you can join a one-day ski tour and see a different side of Montafon ski resorts. The cross-board ski tour around the impressive Madrisa is technically easy, and this is the option where you can go to Switzerland and back in one day. We got more info about this ski tour experience here. Explore the Silvretta glacier, it is another excellent ski tour in Montafon, so check it here.
For those who don’t want to ski in Montafon, or maybe wouldn’t mind having a break from the slopes, here are a few things to do in Montafon that will keep you busy.
Snowshoe hiking in Montafon
This is one of the activities in Montafon that we’ll never forget. Here is why:
1st – it was our first time doing snowshoe hiking.
2nd – it was snowing a lot, visibility was horrible, and nature showed us its real power.
3rd – to get to the starting point, we got a cable car followed by a minibus that drove through narrow tunnels under the peaks to reach an altitude of 2.032 meters.
These three reasons are enough to make this snowshoe hike to Silvrettassee Mountain Lake a lifetime adventure. But don’t forget to add to it a 4-kilometer long walk on fresh snow, and brief but stunning views of the mountains, including Piz Buin. And also a look at Silvretta lake with some storytelling about the region, the dams and hydropower system that exists at the top of the mountain. To wrap up the adventure, we had a lovely meal at the Berggasthof Piz Buin Hotel.
Sleep in an igloo on the top of the mountain
You don’t need to ski to reach the top of a mountain and sleep under the stars. Get the cable car at Valisera and be ready for a night of some delicious food and a perfect sky. The experience includes dinner, torchlight hike to the igloo, mulled wine, a night at 2000 meters over sea level, and breakfast. We didn’t sleep in the igloo, but that’s just one more reason to go back to Montafon next winter. Check the info about this winter experience here.
Llama trekking in Montafon
If you like llamas or if you are traveling with kids, you must add this activity to your list of what to do in Montafon. The llama trekking starts near Kristberg and it lasts around 4 hours, but it takes only 1 and a half hours of real hiking. Book your Llama trekking here.
Snow hiking and Winter walks in Montafon
You will find marked trails for winter walks in every Montafon ski resort. Depending on the weather and snowfall, you might need some equipment, like walking sticks or snowshoes. Your level of knowledge about winter hikes and the region doesn’t really matter, because even if you’re an expert it’s always better to visit Montafon tourist information office, talk with people from the ski resorts or hire a guide before venturing yourself.
To experience snow hiking with safety and fun, you can join one of the hiking tours that happens in Montafon. Find more information about the snow hike and picnic in Kristberg here.
Sledding and tobogganing in Montafon
The fun going down the slopes on a sled is for everyone. It can be a romantic activity for couples, or great fun for friends traveling together. There are many groomed sledding routes, and natural toboggans runs in Montafon, just choose your favorite and ride them day and night.
Montafon ski pass – how it works
The good thing about Montafon ski resorts is that you can enjoy all the facilities with one ski pass. You can choose from one day pass to a specific resort or the multi-day Montafon ski pass.
Staying for one or two days at the same ski resort? Then you can buy the one day or 2 days ski pass to that specific area. You can find the price list of single day ski pass here. You can go directly to the cable car facilities to purchase the pass.
Are staying in Montafon for more than 2 days? Then the best deal is to buy the multi-day ski pass Montafon Brandnertal. This ski pass gives you access to all ski resorts in Montafon and all ski resorts in Brandnertal (other stunning skiing sites are in Vorarlberg). The Montafon Brandnertal ski pass gives you access to 79 lifts and 287 pistes spread over seven winter resorts. Check the prices for the multi-day ski pass Montafon Brandnertal here. You can go directly to the cable car facilities to purchase the pass. For more info, contact Montafon Tourism office online or in the town you are staying in.
Renting skis in Montafon, Vorarlberg
Need a pair of skis? Thinking of learning a new winter sport and don’t have the gear? Lost your gloves on the slopes? No need to panic! Everything you need for skiing in Montafon or practicing any winter sports you can find in the shops around the towns. You will find a shop selling and renting everything you might need close to almost every cable car station.
In some of the shops, you can rent the equipment in one store (let’s say in Partenen) and give it back a few days later in another branch (in Schruns, for example). It’s quite convenient for people who want to split their winter holiday in different ski resorts within Montafon valley. The ski schools are also a good place to ask for equipment as many of them have the gear to rent for lessons.
How to get to Montafon and get around
Traveling to Montafon is easy. The region is connected by trains, buses, international highways and close to a few airports.
These are the closest airports to Montafon: Friedrichshafen Airport (100 km – 1 hour), Altenrhein Airport (75 km – 1 hour), Innsbruck airport (140 km – 1.5 hours), Memmingen Airport (140 km – 1.5 hours), Zurich-Kloten Airport (150 km – 2 hours) and Munich Airport (280 km – 2.5 hours).
Search for the best flights to the airports near Montafon using Skyscanner and Kiwi.com.
From the airport, you can take a train or bus to Montafon, or rent a car. Check the best prices for rentals here.
If you are coming from another region in Austria or one of the Vorarlberg bordering countries as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Germany, you can easily drive to Montafon. Another option is to travel by train to Montafon, as most cities and countries nearby will have a connection to Bludenz. From there you can go to Schruns or Tschagguns by train and to the other towns nearby by bus.
We traveled from Turin in Italy to Bludenz by train and it was a lovely ride. No need to worry about airport security, baggage weight, and we even enjoyed a lovely meal with wine onboard. That’s why we are big fans of traveling by train, read our guide to travel with Eurail pass in Europe here.
Depending on where you’re coming from, buses can be another good option. Usually, they are considerably cheaper, but surely not as comfortable as trains.
Are you ready to enjoy an unforgettable winter holiday in Montafon, Vorarlberg? Read our other guides to Austria and start planning your trip now. If you need any other travel tips, drop a comment below.
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Thanks Vorarlberg Tourismus for organizing this trip.