Get your lift ticket (skiarlberg.at; day ski pass $70) early: a sprawling ski area unfolds with 80 lifts linking numerous resort towns. Start with some of the superb long runs above St Anton, then head over to St Christoph and hit the Valluga cable car to enjoy a series of high-altitude reds. By lunchtime, make sure you're on the terrace of Sports Hotel (arlberg-stuben.at; $28) in Stuben village for a humongous schnitzel. In the afternoon, return across the mountain on an entirely different set of lifts. Check out the once-weekly evening Ski Show (stantonamarlberg.com; free), an endearingly amateur take on ski styles through history, before exploring the town's legendary clubbing scene, starting at Kandahar (kandaharbar.com; $14 curry and beer). Settle into Tyrolean charm at Hotel Alkira (alkira.at; from $140 including breakfast, Wi-Fi and ski depot), run by a welcoming Aussie-Austrian couple.
EASY DOES IT
Grab your lift ticket (skiarlberg.at; day ski pass $70) and ease into the day by taking Nasserein gondola to gentle slopes, then take Kapall chairlift to the mountaintop for a swoop down Fasch and Plattiwald pistes. Ride Galzig cablecar and lunch on the sun terrace at Hospiz Alm (arlberghospiz.at; $50). Enjoy St Christoph ski area before returning to St Anton down Happy Valley. Stop off at infamous apres-ski Mooserwirt Bar (mooserwirt.at; $10) for beer and table-top boogying. Dine at lovely Restaurant Museum (museum-restaurant.at; $53) on wonderfully peculiar hay soup and spicy, boiled-beef tafelspitz. Walk just downhill for a last drink at eccentric Underground Bar, run by a 70-something Aussie doyenne with a liking for blues music. Stay at Skihotel Galzig (skihotelgalzig.at; from $263) which combines tradition with a modern twist right by the slopes.
Strap on your skis, get your pass (skiarlberg.at; day ski pass $70) and prepare for powder on the Schindler and Valluga, from which magnificent runs could bring you all the way to Zurs village. Lunch on the slopes above Zurs at Seekopf (ski-zuers.at/restaurant; $24), where roast sausages followed by kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes with plum compote) will set you up for the afternoon. Just returning from this area will take most of the afternoon. Head to Arlberg Well (wellness.arlberg-well.com; $15) for a full-body Swedish massage ($68) before sinking into the heated, outdoor pool. Have a pre-dinner cheese plate and red wine at Plangger Delikatessen (plangger.net; $16) and stay out of town at famed, family-run Arlberg Hospiz Hotel in St Christoph (arlberghospiz.at; from $282), draped in carved wood and artworks, where you can also dine on hearty Tyrolean fine fare ($100).
The writer travelled courtesy the Austrian National Tourist Office.