Firnwochen im Brandnertal

5 good reasons why a trip to the Brandnertal in March is worth it

Advertising: Contribution in cooperation with the Alpine Region Bludenz

The Brandnertal in southern Vorarlberg is something of an insider tip. “Around the corner” to Switzerland, easily accessible and appeals to families and active nature lovers alike. And somehow the sky in Brandnertal seems to be bluer than elsewhere. A look at the blog archive confirms this. If the postcard weather of the following pictures makes you want to go skiing in spring – I have good news for you. In the coming weeks, the Brandnertal will attract visitors with preferential prices and an active supporting programme.

Firn weeks in the Brandnertal

We made our way to the Brandnertal in mid-February and spent two days scouting out the winter activities in the valley. And even though the actual firn weeks don’t start until the beginning of March, it almost felt like spring skiing for me in view of the wonderful weather. Only in the afternoon in March you should be able to enjoy the sun on the sun terrace of the Valavier active resort much longer than during our “test run”, where it said goodbye at 5:00 p.m. behind the jagged peaks of the Rätikon.

If you stay overnight in one of the partner establishments between 5 March and 27 March, you will benefit from discounted ski pass prices. But this is not the only good reason for a detour to the Brandnertal:

1. the opportunity to try out new winter sports activities

As you know, snowshoeing is one of my favorite winter activities. There is hardly anything better than trudging step by step through the snow-covered landscape. In addition to ski touring routes and winter hiking trails, there are also marked snowshoe trails in the Brandnertal. Alternatively, you can let hiking guide Peter Schuler guide you on detours – so that you can enjoy the lead tracks – to the most beautiful vantage points. As part of the weekly programme, the BergAKTIV Brandnertal team around Peter Schuler offers various guided snowshoe tours – including material (snowshoes and poles). If you’ve never snowshoeed before, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Peter Schuler showed us the route of the snowshoe taster tour on the Bürserberg. This leads over the plateau of the Tschengla and, in addition to a magnificent alpine panorama from the Great Walser Valley to the Rätikon, also offers a deep view of the mystical Neolithic stone circles, the meaning of which has not yet been fully deciphered.

Bürserberg Snowshoeing
Bürserberg Stone Circles

There are also cross-country ski trails, winter hiking trails, toboggan runs and trails specially designed for husky sleigh rides. For all dog fans, a workshop at Husky Toni is an unforgettable experience. And those of you who want to improve your avalanche search skills can “let off steam” at the brand-new PIEPS station right next to the hikers’ car park. The avalanche transceiver training facility can be used free of charge.

Husky Toni Brandnertal

2. stopping at the hut when the sun is shining is twice as much fun

With the warming sun, the snow becomes heavier hour by hour and the “trudging” more strenuous. It’s high time for a stop at a mountain hut. Peter Schuler guides us purposefully to the Rufana Alp and knows a lot of exciting things about the region to tell along the way. “This is supposed to be the best Kaiserschmarren in the region,” we were told as a tip. And yes, we weren’t promised too much. But you can also eat really well here.

Bürserberg Schneeschuhtouren
Rufana Alp Bürserberg
Kaiserschmarrn Rufana Alp

The Rufana Alp has been extended for this season. In the basement of the mountain restaurant, the “Alpsuite” has been added. The chalet-style apartment offers space for up to eight people with four double rooms and is a real eye-catcher. Kitchenette, sauna and ski-in/ski-out included.

During the firn weeks, various restaurant operators in the valley offer other special dishes from Vorarlberg in addition to the usual dishes. In the Frööd restaurant at the mountain station of the Panoramabahn, for example, you can enjoy baked Surakäs patties. Alternatively, you can also order Vorarlberger Riebel here on request. The traditional Eastern Swiss dish was also one of the most nutritious dishes here in the Brandnertal for centuries and is still eaten by the locals.

3. discounted ski tickets that are easy on the wallet

No, there is no shortage of great places to stop for refreshments along the approximately 65 kilometres of slopes in the Brandnertal ski area. And who knows – maybe you’ll be able to stop for a bite to eat thanks to the discounted ski tickets in March. The discount is approximately 20% on the current season rate – not only for ski tickets, but also for pedestrian tickets (day ticket 19.50 euros instead of 24 euros). You can find an overview of the offers here: March Advantage Weeks

Pisten Brandnertal

I was back on skis in Brandnertal for the first time since February 2020 and was pleasantly surprised. Despite a wonderful Sunday in the middle of the high season, the crowds were limited and the skiers were very well distributed on the various slopes. The runs are suitable for beginners as well as advanced skiers. There is a black slope – the rest of the slopes are easy to intermediate runs (blue and red). The connecting route from Bürserberg to Brand (No. 25) is particularly promising.

Brandnertal Aussicht
Brandnertal Skipisten

4. Craftsmanship and culture are part of the supporting programme

Just a few decades ago, the entire Brander Valley was dominated by agriculture. Even though tourism has now developed into a much more important sector of the economy, agriculture still forms an important foundation. Be it in the production of regional products, the continuation of traditions or the sustainable management and care of cultivated land.

There are also some pioneers among the farmers. Like Tanja Moser, who took over her parents’ Hummelhof and developed it further in accordance with her understanding of values. The result: a dairy farm with mother-bonded calf rearing, a cheeky herd of mohair goats whose valuable hair is processed into colorful yarn and their (sparse) milk into soap, and a mealworm farm.

Mohair Ziegen

Tanja Moser’s products and numerous other regional specialties can be purchased during the firn weeks at the weekly craft and farmers’ market. It is also an ideal opportunity to learn more about their products in direct contact with the producers.

Even more background information on the eventful history of the valley can be found in the exhibitions “Ridge+BorderandAgricultural Work in the Mountains” in the old school building Brand at the so-called “Walser Ensemble”. The two exhibitions will be open from 5 to 27 March from Wednesday to Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

5. Relaxation is not neglected after a sporty day

Despite all the sportiness – enjoyment and relaxation are not neglected in the Brandnertal. Especially not when you check in at the Valavier Active Resort in the middle of the village centre of Brand. The family-run business has many regular guests. And after the first exploration tour through the hotel, I know why: To find my way around the nested, grown hotel structure, one stay is hardly enough.

Behind every door hides a new surprise. An indoor and an outdoor pool, five relaxation rooms, a veritable children’s paradise including a huge indoor sandpit, a cosy bar, various parlours and the “Wunderkammer” called Meyers Speis, where you will find a lovingly compiled range of homemade products and regional specialities. These are also used for the multi-course menu every evening.

Valavier Kräuter
Valavier Aktivresort Essen

The Valavier is a grab bag. And even though we didn’t have the time to fully explore the extensive wellness area during our short stay, we can definitely recommend the hotel as a base for your Brandnertal holiday.

Practical tips for the firn weeks in the Brandnertal

  • A practical tip and at the same time another good reason is the quick and convenient accessibility of the Brandnertal by public transport. The journey by train/bus from Zurich to Brand (stop Dorfbahn) takes exactly 2:23 h including one change in Bludenz (from the Railjet to bus no. 81 in the direction of Brand). Best of all, the guest card includes free use of all public transport in Vorarlberg from/to the border stops in Buchs and St. Margarethen.
  • As a guest in the Brandnertal, you will receive the guest card from the first overnight stay. In addition to the free use of public transport, you benefit from various discounts on the mountain railways as well as other inclusive services.
  • The Aktivresort Valavier is a Firnwochen partner hotel. The accommodation prices start from 155 euros per person/night (incl. breakfast).
  • You can find the regular winter prices of the Brandertal cable cars here: Prices & Tickets
  • The weekly program during the firn weeks includes many different hikes and walks – including a village hike through Brand and Bürserberg 1x per week. Participation is worthwhile for all those who would like to learn more about the history of the valley shaped by the Walsers.
  • All information about the Firn Week (preferential prices/weekly program etc.) can be found here: Firn Weeks Brandnertal
  • You can find more regional tips in my blog post about the Alpine town of Bludenz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *