The Brandnertal is a narrow valley in Vorarlberg, just across the border with Germany and next to the border where three countries meet: Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The Brandnertal consists of three villages: Bürs, Bürserberg and a little further on the small town of Brand. The latter is also the largest and nicest place with the most amenities. I went on a winter sports holiday in the Brandnertal at the invitation of Landal and Visit Vorarlberg. In this article I’ll tell you all about my visit to the Brandnertal in Austria.
Learning to ski in Brandnertal
They sometimes say that once you can ski, you will never forget how to do it. I don’t believe this is the case with me. I’ve been on a skiing holiday regularly and have also had regular lessons, but I always have a fall or something that makes me have to drop out after an injury. I however can do most of the blue runs without problems, unless it gets icy or very busy.
In Brand me and my travel companions Tikva and Saskia get a skiing lesson by fellow Dutchie Rick who first takes us to the practice slope just outside the village. It may sound a bit dull, but I think it’s great to go through the basics again so that I can hopefully learn to ski properly this time without injuries. After a few exercises on this slope it is time to go up into the mountains with the cable car. Here we do two blue runs but at the end of the last slope the fatigue strikes me. I have been on the my skis for four hours and by now my legs no longer do what I want them to do. After I ski into our instructor I think it’s better to leave it for the day and enjoy a beer and a hot bath.
About the Brandnertal skiing area
The Brandnertal ski area consists of two parts: the Brand ski area and the Bürserberg ski area. Both areas are connected with each other via the Panorama cable car and a blue slope that sends you above the area from Bürserberg to Brand. Look here for the plan with the ski slopes in the Brandnertal. The majority of the slopes are red, but there are also countless blue runs. There are hardly any black runs in the Brandnertal.
The ski pass for the Brandnertal costs around € 50 per person / day. Children up to the age of 18 pay half the price. I was in the Brandnertal in mid-January and it is good to know that there was no snow on arrival in the valley and on the lower slopes. On top of the mountain there was enough snow to be able to ski well, but since most of the slopes are on the south side, it became relatively icy in the afternoon. The days after we got lots of snow and it got better!
Is Brandnertal good for first time skiers?
I think so, but I only skied for 1 day so I can’t say for sure. The blue runs that I did were occasionally challenging enough for me as a beginner, so I had a good time there. In addition, it is a relatively quiet skiing area, so there was virtually no waiting time at the lifts and the runs were often almost empty, which I found very pleasant as a beginner.
More information about the skiing area can be found here.
Winter hiking in Brandnertal
The great thing about the Brandnertal is that there is also a lot to do if you don’t want to ski. There are various toboggan runs, cross-country trails (if there is enough snow) and numerous hiking trails that are prepared for winter hiking. For me, that was awesome since I like skiing for one or two days, but after that I just want to put my hiking boots back on. As I was only here for two days, I decided to ski one day and hike for a day.
The winter walk that I did was the Natursprünge-Weg from the mountain in Bürserberg to the ski area of Brand. This walk is 4.6 kilometers long and is best started at the top station of the Panorama cable car. From here it is first a short climb, after which the path descends slowly towards the mountain station of the cable car of Brand. The last part goes down relatively steeply, but was not difficult at all.
It is useful to bear in mind that you mostly share this trail with skiers. Although traffic coming from behind should make themself known, this did not always happen. So don’t forget to check your back regularly so that you are not surprised by skiers coming your way.
Along the way you have beautiful views of the surrounding mountain peaks and the ski area of Brand. You pass a few mountain huts (which were closed during my visit) and eventually you cross a few ski slopes. The walk is technically easy, but deep snow can cause you to sink a lot. You don’t necessarily need snowshoes, but it can be easier in case there is huge snowfall. I just made this walk on my regular hiking boots and that went great!
A winter vacation in Brandnertal: where to stay?
I spent the night during my stay at Landal Chalet Matin. This small apartment complex is completely different from other Landal parks. For example, apart from a table tennis table there are no real facilities for children and there is no restaurant (a pizzeria is a few meters away). This makes it a wonderfully peaceful accommodation for travelers who love silence and nature. The apartment where I stayed was modernly furnished with a bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen and free wifi. In addition, we had a beautiful balcony, beds made on arrival and all the comfort you could wish for.
If you want more facilities, you can opt for a stay in Landal Brandertal. This resort is a ten-minute drive from Landal Chalet Matin higher up the mountain, at the foot of the Bürserberg ski area. Here you will find all the facilities that you can expect from a Landal Park, including families with children. Landal Chalet Matin was therefore perfect for me, because I don’t have any children of my own and I like to experience a lot of peace and quiet!
If you prefer to spend the night in a hotel, there are numerous guesthouses and hotels in Brand, from simple to four-star. Check the options here.
Waar to eat in Brandnertal
I visited various restaurants in the Brandnertal. I had lunch on the ski slope and on the mountain at Restaurant Frööd, a beautiful panorama restaurant at the mountain station of the Panoramabahn. You can have dinner at the pizzeria next to Landal Chalet Matin or at Restaurant Unicorn of Landal Brandnertal. The cheese fondue at Rufana Alm is also nice: this a mountain hut about a 10-minute walk along the slopes from Landal Brandnertal. Here they have a fondue evening every Friday evening: you can opt for regular fondue or cheese fondue.
What else to know about your visit to Brandnertal
In Bürserberg you will find little entertainment and apart from a handful of restaurants there are few facilities. If you want more entertainment, you better stay in Brand. Here are numerous restaurants, a mini-supermarket, a bank and various apres-ski bars.
If you want to take a break from skiing, a visit to the city of Bregenz just outside the Brandnertal is also a great suggestion.
Conclusion and disclaimer
Hopefully you found this article about winter activities in the Brandnertal useful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. I made this trip at the invitation of Visit Vorarlberg and Landal. All opinions given are of course only my own.
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