Nestled between the Bregenzerwald, Lechtal and Allgäu Alps, Warth is a tiny village, with a population of just 160, set to become the next big destination in the world of Austrian skiing.
Since a cable car began to connect the village with Lech and the popular Arlberg ski area in 2013, Warth has steadily grown as a resort for serious skiers. Here, you can enjoy some of the best powder in Europe, with around 80% of the mountains north-facing, meaning the snow is fluffy and light. With an annual snowfall of 11m, Warth now also has a reputation of being the snowiest resort in the Alps.
The resort itself is still small, with two ski schools, but even these are world-class, the ranks stacked with former Austrian team skiers. Offering 68km of pistes, Warth is great for some easy cruising, but there is also access by lift to run after run of off-piste, meaning this is also a great destination for freeriders. Lined with fir trees, the mountains surrounding Warth also promise some great views, with the Warther Horn dominating much of the skyline as you look up from below.
Though the climate here is cold, the hospitality is warm, and though the resort is quiet by night (don’t go expecting raucous parties), there are a number of reasonably priced mountain restaurants, each offering basic, hearty and local food, perfect for rounding off a tiring day on the slopes.
If you’re looking to hit the slopes in Warth before the crowds do, Bentleys House in nearby Lech is the perfect boutique hotel base for your skiing getaway. Boasting a Finnish sauna, steam, bath, ice room and rain showers, Bentleys House offers everything you need to recharge your batteries, featuring a spectacular backdrop of the surrounding mountains.
Image: Bohringer Friedrich, available under Creative Commons