Latest Travel Update (May/2021): Brandnertal and all Vorarlberg region will be open for European tourists as of May 19th. So if you are planning to visit this incredible region, click here to read the official information about safety measures, who can travel to Austria, what is open, and how you can have fun.
What would be your winter dream destination? Mine would surely be visiting a tiny village covered in snow and surrounded by impressive mountains in the Austrian Alps. I have always dreamed of a place where I could hit the slopes, have fun, relax, and recharge my batteries with great food and spectacular views. This winter, my dream came true. Rob and I traveled to Brandnertal in Vorarlberg and it was just like a snowy fairytale. Brandnertal ski area is a winter wonderland, a place that I would go back in a blink of an eye. It is most definitely a destination you must add to your bucket list.
Can you picture yourself in a lovely hotel room watching the snow falling over the trees while sipping a freshly brewed coffee as you get ready for a day in the mountains? If your answer is yes, just keep reading. It’s time to talk about things to do in Brandnertal, activities, where to stay and what to eat. After lovely days there, we are excited to share the best of Brandnertal in winter, our best travel tips, and our recommendations.
Brandnertal is formed by three towns: Brandnertal Bürs, Bürserberg, and Brand. This travel guide focuses on what to do in Brand and Bürserberg. These neighboring towns are connected by the ski area, making it an excellent place for winter sports. Brandnertal is a destination for everyone, skiers, non-skiers, families, and friends. And if you choose the right hotel, it can be a super romantic destination as well.
Where to stay in Brandnertal: hotels in Brand and Bürserberg
Planning a trip to Brandnertal starts by booking your hotel. Brand was our main choice, as the town offers plenty of places to stay near the slopes and cable cars. There are many hotels in Brand, from very alpine-style properties to cozy guesthouses and family apartments.
We loved our stay at Sarotla Hotel in Brand. The hotel has everything you need and want, not to mention its perfect location, right in front of the Dorfbahn cable car. Sarotla Hotel enchanted us because of its style and service. The property has a new wing that mixes modern lines with traditional materials. It has a gorgeous design, but it is yet a comfy, cozy, – and I would dare to say – a sexy place to stay.
We stayed at the Double Room Sarotla Garden, and as the name says, we had our own 16m² private garden that made us feel like part of that breathtaking nature. The room is spacious with a huge comfy bed, seating area, coffee machine, and a divine rain shower. Sarotla Hotel has the vibe we expected from a stylish 4-star hotel. It’s modern luxurious, it offers perfect services in a friendly way, serving delicious food in lovely common areas. Sarotla has that cozy feeling that makes you want to stay there forever.
More than a perfect room, Sarotla hotel in Brand also offers a well-equipped gym, a wellness center with saunas, a relaxing area, and a pool to die for. If you want to have the pool just for you, get up early and have an invigorating swim before 8 am.
When booking your room at Sarotla half board, you’ll have yummy breakfast served in a beautiful buffet with fresh salad, fruit, bread, eggs, local cheese and cold cuts, many types of tea, and coffee. An afternoon snack is also included in the package plus a delicious 5-course dinner with gourmet food paired with Austrian wine. As I’m not a connoisseur of Austrian wine, the lovely staff from Sarotla restaurant took the time to explain the different grapes, regions, they also let us try a few sips until we found the perfect glass for our dining experience.
Looking for something different and checking other options for hotels in Brand? My suggestion is to click here and search on Booking.com, this website has the best selection of hotels in Brandnertal.
We didn’t stay in Bürserberg, but as we are talking about things to do in the Brandnertal area, you might want to have a look at accommodation there. Brand and Bürserberg are connected by ski pistes, cable cars and buses, so you can stay in one of the towns and enjoy the two sides of the ski resort. You can search for the best hotels in Bürserberg clicking here. We researched and found that Landal Brandnertal (click here to see the details) is a good option for travelers looking for apartments in Brandnertal. The complex is located right on the slopes in Bürserberg.
Did you know you can rent a house, a chalet, or an apartment in Brandnertal via Airbnb? Sign up here and get a discount on your first booking!
Now that you know where to stay in Brandnertal, let’s talk about what to do there. It’s time for our tips about Brandnertal ski, fun, and food.
The best things to do in Brandnertal: ski, fun and food
Snowboarding and skiing in Brandnertal
I fell in love with snowboarding and cross-country skiing this winter. I know they are entirely different winter sports, and I’m still learning both of them, so I can’t tell yet which one I like best. While I had my dose of cross-country skiing in Montafon, snowboarding in Brandnertal was beyond amazing.
Brandnertal ski resort has 64.4 km of pistes, from blue to black slopes, making it ideal for everyone, from beginners or pros, skiers, and snowboarders. Bergbahnen Brandnertal complex has 2 gondola cable cars and 14 lifts, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Travelers spending more than a day in the valley can buy the Montafon Brandnertal card and have access to both ski areas, which means a total of 287 pistes spread over 7 ski resorts with 79 lifts, all reachable by local bus and/or cable cars. This means endless possibilities for skiing and access to one of the best ski areas in Austria. We’re gonna talk a bit more about Montafon Brandnertal ski pass later on.
For travelers that are still improving their skiing or snowboarding skills, the ski schools in Brandnertal offer private and group lessons. I was lucky enough to have two hours of snowboarding lessons with Saaar from Schischule Brandnertal, and I can say that she’s the one who rocks! She not only flies with the board, but she is fun and patient. When she discovered that I like music and dance, she turned our lessons into a big party. The slopes were our dance floor and holding hands we danced, sang, and finally, I learned how to do turns with the snowboard. Saaar, thank you so much!
Snowboarders can’t miss the Backyard Snowpark, the longest fun park in Vorarlberg. The park has 30 obstacles and they are layout differently every year, making it an extraordinary experience.
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance before going on your ski holiday!
Ride the Panorama Brandnertal
You can’t miss a ride on the Panorama Brandnertal cable car, even if you are afraid of heights. This aerial tramway, also called Panoramabahn Brandnertal, is made all in glass and connects Brand to Bürserberg offering stunning views. You don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder to ride it, anyone can have access to the Panorama Brandnertal as long as they purchase the right pass at the cable car desk.
Why is it so spectacular? Well, the Panoramabahn Brandnertal cable car gives you views from an ascent from 1390 to almost 1700 meters, passing over a deep gorge covered in trees and snow. And the most beautiful peaks in the Brandnertal ski area will be surrounding you.
We rode the Panoramabahn Brandnertal cable car twice. The first one was on our first day in Brand when the weather was gloomy with no visibility, and then on our second day we did it again when the sun was shining giving us perfect visibility of the whole site. One of the best memories I have from our trip to Brandnertal is the views from the cable car ride and from the top station 1680 meters over sea level. Seriously, don’t miss it.
To get to Panoramabahn Brandnertal cable car you won’t need much, it’s quite easy. First, you need to get the Dorfbahn gondola in Brand town. Then you get to the upper station, called Parpfienz, on your right side you will see the entrance for the Panoramabahn Brandnertal. If you are a non-skier, keep in mind to check the last cable car descend, otherwise, you will be stuck on the top and will need to walk all the way back to Bürserberg town.
Walk the Natursprünge Path
This is another cool thing to do in Brandnertal for skiers and non-skiers. Natursprünge Path is one of the most beautiful walking trails in Brandnertal. It connects Dorfbahn upper station to Panoramabahn upper station. You can walk uphill and come down with the cable car, or do the opposite way.
It’s a nice easy winter walk. The Natursprünge Path open during winter covers a distance of 4,6 km with 9 meters of elevation gain, which can be done in 2 hours. The only issue is that the trail can be closed due to snowfall or weather conditions. We planned to do the Natursprünge Path on our first day in Brand, but the weather wasn’t on our side. The staff from the Bergbahnen Brandnertal ski area advised us not to do so, as the path wasn’t adequately groomed, and the visibility was low. So here is an important recommendation: never start any winter walk without checking the weather and asking for information about the conditions of the trail.
Have lunch at Frööd Restaurant
You’ll be starving after walking the Natursprünge Path or skiing on Brandernal slopes, and I know it because it is just what happened to us. So find your way to Frööd, one of the best restaurants in Brandnertal. To get there is easy. It sits at 1680 meters above sea level, beside the Panoramabahn cable car upper station. You can go there even if you don’t ski, so no excuses to miss it.
But why should you eat at Frööd? Because the restaurant serves delicious food prepared with local ingredients, which is ok, but in an inventive way, which is more than just ok. Everything is fresh and yummy, the portions are HUGE, and the views are fantastic. The word Frööd means joy, and that’s what you will find there, joy for food, for sharing moments, and joy for being surrounded by stunning nature.
And Frööd won extra points for being a sustainable restaurant. Not only due to its food and cooking choices but because the restaurant produces all the energy it needs from renewable sources. How cool is that?
Go for a sunset snowshoe hike
More walking, more incredible views, and more food! In Brandnertal, you can do snowshoe hiking during sunset, which makes it even more special and unforgettable. We met Peter at our hotel at around 4 PM, and after a quick car ride from Brand to Bürserberg, we were ready to start the adventure.
Before I talk about the snowshoe hiking in Brandnertal, let me tell you about Peter from BergAKTIV. He is an excellent guide, passionate about nature, and is such an adventurous spirit, as well as a great storyteller. This made me realize that all guides, hotel staff, and people we meet in Vorarlberg gave us the impression of doing what they love. They are proud of their home and eager to share it with travelers.
Now back to our snowshoe hiking. The walking adventure lasted for 1h 20 min, and we covered 3 km. I can say it was a reasonably easy walk. We passed by stunning mountains, walked in the woods, and were surprised by a husky sled running through the snow. Not to mention the strategic stop for a Jägermeister shot to warm us up on the last half of the trail.
Seeing the colors of the sky changing was terrific. We ended our walk with views from the lighted up valley and a well deserved Käsespätzle at the Rufana Alp hut, the traditional Austrian dish made of pasta, cheese, and crispy onions. It was everything we needed to wrap up the day.
Looking for more snowshoe hiking adventure? Then read here our blog post about winter in Montafon. Ski, hikes and cross country-ski a few minutes from Brandnertal.
More winter walks in Brandnertal
You don’t need to go up the mountains to enjoy winter walks in Brandnertal. There are many trails you can follow from Brand and Bürserberg towns. They are usually well marked, and you can always double-check the routes on the Brandnertal maps.
Rob and I discovered a real winter wonderland at the back of our hotel. From our room, we could see a path covered in snow following a river and leading to the woods. We grabbed the Brandnertal ski map and went for a walk. We did it twice. One was at the end of the day under the snow and it was magical. The other one was early in the morning, with no one around, and the sun rising from the back of the mountains.
This place is so beautiful that Rob got inspired and went for a run even under snow. He is training for the Ironman 70.3 Graz in Austria, so he didn’t miss the opportunity to discover the trails in Brand while getting ready for his next sports adventure in Austria.
We end our list of what to do in Brandnertal Valley with two more activities that are perfect for everybody.
Sledding or tobogganing day and night
There are a few tracks for sliding and tobogganing in Brandernetal that you can reach on foot or with lifts. Be ready for vertical drops and thrilling curves. Go to the Brandnertal tourist office and ask about the night tobogganing in Brand and Bürserberg.
Relax at the hotel wellness center
There are no better things than a warm swim pool, a sauna, and a jacuzzi to recover from a day on the slopes. Make sure to book a hotel in Brandnertal that offers a wellness center, or check which one you can go to as a visitor. The important thing is that you deserve to relax after an adventurous day in Brandnertal.
Now that you know the best things to do in Brandnertal, let’s move on to practical tips. Next thing to do is show you all the info you need to plan your winter holiday in Brandnertal.
Brandnertal card and Brandnertal ski pass – you need both
You need to have two cards to get the most out of the Brandnertal ski area and nearby slopes. The first card you need is the Brandnertal Card that is free for travelers who booked a hotel in Brandnertal ski resort for more than one night. You should get your Brandnertal Guest Card at the reception of the hotel you will be staying in.
The Brandnertal Card has lots of perks, like free transportation around Brandnertal (ski bus and shuttles), free bus and train transportation to most towns in Vorarlberg. And there are also some discounts with the card on activities, such as skiing classes, snowshoe hikes and more. It’s worth having a look at the booklet you will receive with the card.
The other card you need is the Brandnertal ski pass. This one you can buy at the cable car desk and you may choose the one that suits your interest, from a few options. Are you skiing only in Brandnertal? Then you can buy the Brandnertal ski pass for one or two days. This ski pass will give you access to the lifts and pistes located in Bergbahnen Brandnertal.
Another option is the Montafon Brandnertal ski pass, which will give you access to the whole Brandnertal ski area plus the Montafon ski area. This is the perfect ski pass for travelers who are staying for more than two days and want to experience different parts of Vorarlberg.
You can check the Brandnertal ski pass and Montafon Brandnertal ski pass prices here.
Although Montafon and Brandnertal are two different ski resorts offering different types of pistes and winter activities, they are close to each other. Getting to and from Montafon/Brandnertal is easy and free if you have the Brandnertal Guest Card.
How to rent snowboard and skis in Brandnertal
If you, like us, don’t have any winter sports gear, you’ll need a shop to rent your snowboard or pair of skis. Many shops are selling and renting sports equipment in Brandnertal. We got our snowboard boots, boards, and helmets from Bertel Sport shop, in the same building where the Dorfbahn cable car is, which is pretty convenient. Our winter trip in Brandnertal couldn’t be more relaxed: we got our gear, ski pass and were ready to hit the slopes in less than 20 minutes.
How to get to Brandnertal and get around
The only information missing on our guide to Brandnertal, Vorarlberg, is how to get there and around. You can travel to Brandnertal by car or a combination of flights, trains, and buses. It sounds like a long journey, but it’s not. And even if you spend a couple of hours on the trip, it is totally worth it.
Travel to Brandnertal by car is easy, especially if you are coming from another region in Austria or from one of the neighboring countries.
Are you traveling from far? Then the best option is to fly to one of the airports near Brandnertal. The nearby airports are Altenrhein Airport (65 km), Friedrichshafen Airport (98 km), Memmingen Airport (138 km), Innsbruck Airport (143 km), and Zürich Airport (160 km). You can rent a car and drive from the airport to Brandnertal (check the rental prices here) or get a train/bus to Brandnertal.
Trains and buses are good options to travel to Brandnertal. You will probably need to book a train or a bus to Bludenz and, from there, you may get a local bus to Brand or Bürserberg. Depending on where you are coming from, you won’t have direct train or bus lines to Bludenz. So my suggestion would be to check routes to other bigger towns in Vorarlberg, such as Feldkirch, Dornbirn or Bregenz and then get a bus/train to Brandnertal from there.
Getting around Brandnertal is easy. As I mentioned, with the Brandnertal Card you can use the ski bus and local buses that connect the towns in Brandnertal to Montafon and other parts of Vorarlberg. You can find all the information about the Brandnertal ski bus and buses here.
That’s a wrap! Now you know everything about Brandnertal, things to do, where to stay, and how to get there. It’s time to start booking the flights and hotel rooms for your perfect dream winter holiday in Brandnertal, just like ours. Drop a comment below if you still have doubts about Brandnertal in winter.
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Thanks Vorarlberg Tourismus for organizing this trip.