Home WinterResorts Damüls, the most snow rich village in the world

Damüls, the most snow rich village in the world

by Adam Attew

Ski Facts

LOCAL AREA: Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg

CONNECTED AREA: Damüls & Mellau are connected 

SEASON START & END: beginning of December until middle of April

SKI ALTITUDE IN METRES: 1423 –  2051 metres (Mellau 670 metres) 

PISTES:  89 km slopes: 10 km difficult, 50 km middle, 29 km difficult 

LIFTS: 19 (2 Gondola, 13 Chair lifts, 1 drag lift, 3 beginner lifts and magic carpets) 

SNOW: 170 snow machines  


CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: 45 km of trails in Damüls and Mellau


AIRPORT: St. Gallen-Altenrhein 50 km / Friedrichshafen 70 km / Zürich 150 km / Innsbruck 180 km

TRAIN: Dornbirn & Bregenz for Mellau & Bludenz for Damüls 


-Biggest and longest Snowpark in the Bregenzerwald with Main-Park, Uga-Park, the All-Mountain-Line as well as a Kids-Park and the Ragaz-Pro Line. See online.

– Speed runs at the Hohes Licht and Suttis chairlifts and a parallel slalom at the Furka lift

– Steepest slope with 73% gradient on ski route 2 at the Sunnegg chairlift

– FIS ski museum by slope 6 near to the church 

– 14 individual mountain restaurants on the pistes

– Free parking spaces in Damüls and Mellau


Damüls Town

Damüls is not so much a bustling town but rather a collection of gorgeous Walser-style buildings clinging to the road as it snakes its way up the mountain from Damüls to Oberdamüls. These Walser buildings are unique to the region and can be seen in other resorts of the Vorarlberg like Brand, originating from the Valais of Switzerland the Walser people populated the area around 1313 and brought their architectural style with them. Go and check out the church built in 1392 with its outstanding frescos.

Most of the buildings are south-facing, so it seems that every building in the Damüls region receives sun all day long, with their terraces acting like little suntraps. Also, most of these properties are very closely situated to the pistes. However, Damüls claims the title of the ‘snowiest village in the world’, with an average of 9.39 metres of snow per winter season due to its position on the northern edge of the Alps so weather fronts from the north and north-west are forced to precipitate on these mountains, with the local Lake Constance (Bodensee in German) adding to the precipitation. 

We stayed at the 4-star superior Damülserhof Hotel, a typically classic Austrian hotel, with very spacious modern rooms with a fantastic spa and swimming area. The restaurant is cosy and serves great gourmet cuisine with locally sourced produce creating a menu that changes with seasonal availability. Just a 4-minute walk to the piste this is the perfect place to stay.

Skimuseum Damuels

Damüls Skiing

Damüls and Mellau combine to make the biggest ski region within the Bregenzerwald and Grosses Walsertal area. Damüls is like a huge south-facing bowl whilst Mellau is on the north side, so they offer very different experiences. We loved the selection of pistes around Damüls with a huge variety of sweeping red and blue pistes.

Heading over to Mellau, the Black 23a is steep and tough but short as an entry to the other side, but the Red 23b is another easier entry point. Once again this area is like a bowl and mostly north-facing so the snow tends to stay in good condition. 

For restaurants on the mountain you are spoilt for choice, we recommend Alpenstern with its sun terrace and outstanding menu, the beautifully designed Walisgaden is a great spot for lunch too. The Elsenalpstube with its views over Damüls is another restaurant certainly worth checking out.

We found that the weekend was a little busy, so get up early and enjoyed quiet pistes with the first lifts and then around 10 am headed over to the Mellau side, but like most ski resorts weekdays are usually the quietest.


There are a couple of nursery learning areas, but the next step for beginners is up the mountain where the blues are a lot longer, so make sure little ones are ready. The Hohes Licht chair serves blue 3 and 3a, which are wide and rolling, great for carving. Be prepared as some of the blue pistes on the mountain have short sections that are a little steeper.

Damüls has a great collection of pistes for the intermediate skier, but be prepared as some of the red pistes are a little harder at times (red 12 and 18) and some of the blues may be a little steeper than the normal cruising gentle blues found in other resorts. The Ragas chair serves blue 15 a lively and long piste with high altitude 360 views and great carving, but beware it does lead to a steep red piste 18 which is a bottleneck fed by 4 pistes.

For a collection of black pistes head over to Mellau to pistes 32, 33 and 34. There seem to be many itinerary routes around the ski resort. Itinerary 8 was closed when we visited, but it looked like an amazing run, a good reason to go back.


Ecology & Sustainability Facts

-The resort has installed many photovoltaic systems around the mountain

-Snow cannons and chair lifts have been electrically optimised to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption

-Snow Grooming machines are fitted with snow depth gauges enabling the drivers to spread snow efficiently and make it last longer

-Reduced pumping capacity because of water reservoirs at “altitude” utilising gravity; snowmelt is captured for future snow production

-Free ski bus for ski guests of the Bregenzerwald to Dornbirn, Bregenz and to the Großes Walsertal reducing the need for cars

-Great selection of local produce supplying local businesses such as restaurants





  • Adam Attew

    Ski is life and life is ski, but when Adam is not skiing he is an accomplished Alpine Landscape artist specialising in winter scenes and has exhibited in London, Austria and beyond. With over 40 years of skiing experience from ski touring to Giant Slalom, Adam is a BASI-qualified Ski and Telemark instructor and is also a member of the prestigious Kandahar Ski Club. Despite his love of G&Ts; health and nutrition are a way of life for Adam who has lived Paleo or 'eating like a caveman' for over 20 years.

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