St Anton, located in the Tyrolean Alps, has long been considered right up there among Austria's most desirable ski resorts. Both famous and infamous for being challenging to ski and board, as part of the Arlberg ski area it boats over 300km of pistes, with a further 200km of marked off-piste areas. Admittedly one of the Alps' more expensive resorts, St Anton earns its keep thanks to good snow coverage and frequent investment in new infrastructure, including lifts. Off the slopes, it's also a great ski town, with good hotels, a lively nightlife and some stunning restaurants, as well as excellent transport links to major cities in Austria.
Let's get one thing cleared up quickly: this is not a resort for beginners. St Anton's difficulty and snow sure reputation have earned it some serious respect among advanced skiers and boarders; made up of predominantly black and red runs, even the blue runs here are on the more demanding side. Endless ungroomed off-piste runs only add to the attraction, with these broken down into "normal"and "extreme" categories, although it is worth noting that even those feeling supremely confident would be wise to approach this latter category with a local guide in tow. For snowboarders some of the walk-outs after these routes can be annoyingly long, but it's one of the few places where it's totally worth it.
Still a fairly small village, St Anton has all the sloping roofs and fairy lights that you'd expect of an Alpine ski resort, and maintains a friendly village feel, despite its huge popularity. When it comes to refuelling after a long day of exertion, you'll find cosy Tyrolean eateries next to sleek and spacious restaurants, as well as a plethora of clubs and bars for afterwards. If you're feeling confident about boogieing in ski boots then don't miss Mooserwirt, a slope-side bar with legendary status, where the shutters close at 3pm and the dance floor opens.
Unusually, St Anton has a train station very close to the village and so is very easy to get to from other cities in Austria, and even accessible for a skiing or boarding day trip. Direct trains to Innsbruck, where the nearest airport is located take just over an hour, and to Salzburg just under three.