Resort Guides

Ski Resorts Guide – Damüls, Austria

A little gem with big bragging rights

Let’s get some tasty context here. At 2000m, the average snowfall for resorts across The Alps, per season, lands between 5m and 8m in the north, and 3.5m and 5.5m to the south. And that’s enough to see you through that long-awaited powder pilgrimage, and the big deep stoke-massaging carves, you’ve been dreaming of all summer, right?

What if we were to tell you that there was an under-the-radar resort in The Alps where the season snowfall averages at a massive *punches numbers into calculator meaningfully* 10 metres? Where idea of fresh pow mornings isn’t a roll of the dice, but a pretty solid certainty, and that puts even Avoriaz and it’s now meagre-looking average of 7.5m a season to shame? No, we’re not talking about long-hauling it to the Japanese Alps. We’re talking the pretty untouchable snow record of the Vorarlberg resort of Damüls, in Austria’s westernmost province.

  • Highest Point: 2,050m
  • Descent: 1,136
  • No. lifts: 27

With a relatively easy two-hour drive standing in the way between you landing at Zürich airport and Damüls’ snow-dumping microclimate (or, for the Covid-aware of us, an 11-hour drive from Calais), this little gem is far better connected than you might imagine. Couple this with some huge trophies on its mantlepiece – including the title of ‘Snow-Richest Village In The World’ for 2007 – and the fact this Austrian snow magnet, with its 109km of pistes and crazy-quite lifts in the week, isn’t yet a mainstream destination, is somewhat surprising. And extremely enticing.

If you’re liking what you’re reading then get a load of this shotgun guide to Damüls, which will help convince you to get out and shred around one of the snowiest villages in the world…

Photo: Lukas Holland – Damüls Faschina Tourismus

What’s new for 2021/22

Put bluntly, not much. And can you blame them? With bragging rights to a snow record that’s almost untouchable, an already modern lift system (28 in total) and a whole bunch of ski-in ski-out accommodation options to choose from, Damüls is all set by any primo resort standard.

If we were to really dig deep for some changes? Well, a couple of pistes have been optimized for even sweeter riding, and a handful of hotels and lodgings have been spruced up a little. But aside from that, a trip to Damüls this season means very little construction is going down to interrupt your experience and scenic views in this picture-perfect Alpine village.

The Parks – 4/5

For a resort that, on paper, looks geared up nicely for beginners and families, you might be surprised to learn that Damüls has a big reputation when it comes to freestyle park riding. The reason? Oh, only the longest and largest snowpark in the Bregenzerwald area. A quick eye on or the park’s dedicated Instagram profile will give you a taste of what to expect, with an extensive list of features that has been 21 years in the making, and is geared up for all levels to attack.

Snowpark Damüls (Photo: Thomas Alton – Damüls Faschina Tourismus)

It’s worth checking out the park’s roster of upcoming events, even more so if you fancy getting up there but the knees need a little break. There’s plenty going on, including BBQs, takeovers from park sponsor Volcom, and day-shreds geared up for ankle-high rippers too.

“For a resort that, on paper, looks geared up nicely for beginners and families, you might be surprised to learn that Damüls has a big reputation when it comes to freestyle park riding.


Photo: Lukas Holland - Damüls Faschina Tourismus

The Powder – 5/5

And here it is, the category in which Damüls dishes out the knock-out sucker punches left, right and centre to would-be contenders to take home the heavyweight belt. We did already mention the 10m average snowfall per season, right? Just checking.

What we like most about this huge bragging right is that, when coupled with the resort’s relative silence during the week, given how much white stuff Damüls gets the numerous safe powder snow stashes for freeriding won’t be totally torn up by the super keeno early birds come 10am – there will still be plenty left for the Weissbier-fuelled night owls among us too. The fact that such a huge percentage of the accommodation is right on the slopes and is ski-in ski-out means no matter if you’re waking up to a pre-dawn alarm clock or with a self-inflicted fuzzy brain, getting out there to enjoy it couldn’t be much easier.

The Pistes – 4/5

With 109km of groomed runs, the interconnected ski area of Damüls, Mellau and Fashina ranks amongst the largest winter sports area in the Vorarlberg – the westernmost province in Austria – and is definitely the biggest in Bregenzerwald and Grosses Walsertal (with Damüls also the highest village in this region). What’s more, the domain is served by a free local and ski bus, meaning getting around is easy, green, and won’t put a dent your schnitzel fund.

  • Opens: 4th December 2021
  • Closes: 18th April 2022
  • 1 Day: €50.50
  • 2.5 Days: €126

With everything from gentle terrain for beginners to big descents for the more daring rider, and plenty of deep snow for freeriding (as well as the offer of backcountry guides to help you find that dream line), riding in Damüls is far from boring. The area really does kick things up a gear for the more advanced rider when those famous snow days arrive, but even your average sesh promises plenty to explore, including features like ski tunnels – such as the 120-metre-long Erlebnis Skitunnel just down from the Gipfelbahn mountain station – as well as speed runs, ski cross and night riding in proper spectacular surroundings to add to your schedule.

Now for the money talk – how does all that and more for €55,50 per adult per day sound? Yeah? We thought so too.

“The area really does kick things up a gear for the more advanced rider when those famous snow days arrive”

The Parties – 3/5

Round-the-clock après ragers aren’t exactly the order of the day here in Damüls. What with the resort’s relatively low-key profile amongst foreign riders, the weekday vibe is certainly on the calmer side.

That said, the arrival of the locals at the weekend sees a marked change in mood. Fuelled up on the famous gotta-try Bregenzerwald mountain cheese, the atmosphere is good light-hearted fun in the quaint slopeside huts, cosy restaurants and chilled-out après bars. But evenings of drunken debauchery? St Anton or Mayrhofen this is not.

How To Get There

Situated way out to the west of Austria, Damüls is well served by Zurich in Switzerland (2hrs), and Memmingen (1.45hrs) and Friedrichshafen (90mins) in Germany. You do have the option of flying into Innsbruck if, for whatever reason, you want to cut out the border-jumping altogether and keep it strictly Austrian, but you’ll be in the car for a touch longer.

What would we do? Book a flight to Zurich (from £74 with Swiss Air, taking off from London with the added bonus of free ski-bag carriage). That way, if the gods of aviation look favourably on us that day, we should be dumping our bags in our hotel by lunchtime. Or, alternatively, go totally car-free and catch the train from Zurich airport to Bregenz, which takes only 1hr 25mins, before getting a taxi for the last hour by road. Again, time it right, and we’d be laying down a couple of laps before the end of the day.

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