Battle of the ski resorts: Montafon

snow corduroy in ski resort

It’s small and relatively unknown, but how does the Montafon Valley measure up in our Battle of the Ski Resorts

Nominated by Mary

Ease of access 6/10

The nearest main airport is Friedrichshafen, 1hr 15mins away, but you’ll find better flight connections to Zurich or Innsbruck, both a two-hour slog. The road trip from Calais takes minimum nine hours with no stops.

Sense of scale and epicness 8/10

You’re right up against the Swiss border here, with epic views once you get above the tree-line. Gargellen feels especially out there with the Madrisa mountain towering above the resort. But it’s the sense of remoteness that impresses, rather than the dramatic mountain scenery.

Variety and quality of the pistes 8.5/10

The Montafon has just about everything you could want across its often-empty 219km of pistes. Blues, reds and blacks are well distributed between each area and snowmaking is plentiful. Silvretta Nova’s park is one of the biggest in Austria, complete with a 120m halfpipe. We’re deducting a point for the slightly fragmented set up; there are four main areas, only connected via road.


Off-piste potential 9/10

This is a hidden gem for freeriders. Montafon’s mountains are riddled with ski routes and long hike and ride itineraries. Forests, gnarly spines and high alpine powder fields all make an appearance here. The freeride terrain at Nidla, Gargellen, is a must-visit.

Lapability 8/10

Some of the areas, such as Gargellen and Golm, are so petite you can’t help but lap them. Not that it matters, you’ll find enough variations and challenges to keep you happy for days, especially when fresh snow rolls in from Switzerland. Plus short lift queues mean you can pack a lot of mileage in.

On-hill grub 8/10

Lots of hearty Austrian fare at gemütlich hut after gemütlich hut. Kesslhütte in Gargellen deserves a special mention thanks to its sun-soaked terrace and alpine atmosphere. Eating out is on the cheaper end of the scale; this is still a local’s valley at heart.

Après scene 7/10

Tame, but only by Austrian standards. You still don’t have to look too far for rowdy bars pumping out Schlager hits but they have nothing on nearby Ischgl or St Anton.

Base suitability 9/10

This is THE ideal base for a ski safari. Stay in central Schruns and then tick off a new area each day. Touring is both excellent and extensive. One of the best routes is the Madrisa Rundtour, a day tour which loops around into the Swiss resort of Klösters.

Family friendly? 7/10

All the villages are family-friendly, though visiting different areas is tricky if you’re with the brood. Your best bet is to base yourself close to Hochjoch for easy access to Dreamland, Montafon’s biggest children’s area; 5,800m of supervised fun on and off the snow for €7 per hour.

TOTAL: 70.5
RANK: 1/29