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The Aficionados of ski with a side serving of weighty tradition will love Montafon. Spreading out almost 40 km into the west of Austria, Montafon, visible from Switzerland, reaches from Bludenz to the glaciers of the Silvretta. Its iconic marker is Piz Buin, the highest mountain in Vorarlberg alongside the chains of mountains that ring the valley, pocketed by pretty villages and towns, notably, Schruns and the smaller municipalities of Vandans and Bartholomäberg.
There’s something that feels a little hidden and secret about skiing or snowboarding here. Perhaps it’s the high quota of locals that come by, whizzing down the slopes, whooping with joy that they live in this corner of Alpine paradise. Or perhaps it’s the opportunity for activities that are a little bit out of the ordinary – reflecting the Montafon peeps’ desire to enjoy their doorstep nature and make the most of it.
As well as skiing and hiking the Silvretta glacier at 3,000 metres, winter hikes are popular as are snowshoe tours and cross-country skiing. The region has over 74 cable cars and lifts that connect the 297 kilometres of ski slopes, perfectly designed to ensure speedy runs and perfect days on powder. There is a beautiful sunrise run – the HochjochTotale – which starts at the Alpilagrat at the highest point in Silvretta Montafon, then shoots down into the valley to Schruns over 1,700 metres below, quite the way to kickstart your day.
Come evening, why come down the mountain at all? Instead, experience the ultimate thrill of a night in a specially crafted igloo, lined with soft sheepskins and lit by candlelight, with an open fire under the stars to keep you toasty.
All this time in fresh air will certainly give you an appetite and Montafon’s cuisine reflects the locals fondness for hearty food – to top up the energy levels for life enjoying the mountains. Try the tart sour-milk cheese called Sura Kees, typically served spread on bread. It also makes the most delicious dumplings. Regional produce is showcased with pride from mountain ham, speck, Alpine butter – trust us it all tastes wonderful – wholesome, healthy and part of the mountain culture we love to be a part of when in Montafon.
Constructed in 2021 by Alpstein, architects Lukas Schädler and Florian Häusler creatively pushed the boundaries of the design concept to naturally gravitate towards being thoroughly contemporary and yet nostalgic in style. In tribute to the once commonly used girl's name, Amrai, the hotel harnesses the region's essence digging deep into Montafon's cultural heritage.