We’ve been on a mission to explore some of the smallest countries in the world. It’s what recently brought us to Luxembourg and took us through Swaziland last year. On our grand tour of the Alps, we visited Austria and Switzerland so it only made a chance to stop by the country sandwiched right in between the two.
So what else would we do in Liechtenstein than to enjoy some winter activities? Snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding? Yup, you can do all that in one of the smallest countries in the world. The small ski village of Malbun holds all the answers to your ultimate winter vacation in Liechtenstein.
These are some of our favorite things to do in Malbun.
Ski or Snowboard in Malbun
We were due for a few days of snowboarding in Malbun, but after a freak winter storm hit us in nearby Austria we had to cut a day short in Liechtenstein. When we finally made it out of Austria and to Malbun we were up and at it early. That way we were some of the first people on the pistes.
It was a Wednesday afternoon in late January, and by noon we came to realize that maybe this resort town doesn’t get so crowded. The runs were nearly empty, we never once stood for more than five seconds in line, and the runs were peaceful. We had free reign of the resort.
Although Malbun is a small resort, it is still very much in the Alps, and the mountains are stunning. Beginners are more than welcome at Malbun as there are many blue runs, hills aren’t steep, and there are only three chairlifts. So it’s almost impossible to get separated from your ski group as you will all eventually catch up to each other at the bottom.
On the other hand, intermediate riders can still have a good time here. There are a number of areas to ride off-piste, a few black runs, and even a small snow park. All in all, fun can be had here for any level and skill at any age!
For your info: Malbun ski resort has five lifts in total (three chairlifts), and classifies their runs as 60% intermediate; 30% beginner; 10% expert. Lift tickets are CHF 48 per day.
Trek with llamas
I know nothing about llamas, besides the fact that they are just a bit odd looking. When we found out that we could actually go trekking with them through the forests near Malbun we knew we just had to try.
Lama- & Alpaca of Triesenberg offers adults and children alike the opportunity to get close to nature with the comfort of a furry alpaca or llama nearby. Liechtenstein native, Marc, runs tours right from his farm, taking visitors up high into the forests of Liechtenstein providing incredible views over the whole valley.
All the while you are guiding (or being guided by) a llama. Both Cameron and I made friends with our llamas, Tully and Balloo during our short gentle hike. There are also options to do multi-day hikes with the llamas, and fondue treks!
Speaking of fondue, did you know that you can get your cheese kicks on in Malbun? Fondue is a Swiss dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot. Back home in the States, we’ve commercialized it a bit and now you can throw anything from vegetables to shrimp into a pot of gooey cheese. But here in the Alps, the traditional way to eat it is with good old bread!
Since Liechtenstein is close to Switzerland shares a similar culture you can bet your butt they have fondue in the little village of Malbun. A good place to go to have fondue is Alp Sucka. After your fondue experience, you can sled right back down into Malbun! Talk about working off your dinner calories! Have we mentioned we love to sled?
If you want a slower paced activity than skiing or snowboarding down a mountain I would recommend snowshoeing in Malbun. Immerse yourself in nature with a pair of snowshoes and explore the snowy forests! We’ve done this a few times when we want to give our bodies a rest from snowboarding and always have an enjoyable time. Snowshoeing through the forests provides a serene mountain atmosphere that is impossible to beat.
There is two toboggan runs near Malbun. One I previously mentioned, leading down from Berggasthause Sucka hut in Steg and the other run is right in Malbun. Both runs are about 1km in length and are maintained very well so that all can enjoy. We try to go tobogganing at every winter resort we visit as we’ve found that tobogganing can be as adventurous or as tame as you want.
The small center of Malbun holds a new ice skating rink. It’s perfect for families, a game of ice hockey, or “Eisstockschiessen” (a game similar to curling).
The rink is open from 10 am to 9 pm so if you’re looking for something to do at night in the winter head here. We also found an iglu nearby for a round of drinks afterward!
Things to know about Liechtenstein
- Liechtenstein is a double-landlocked country. That means that both the countries that border it, Switzerland and Austria, are also landlocked.
- Liechtensteiners speak German, and most villages have their own dialect.
- The Swiss Franc is the national currency of Liechtenstein, although we were able to pay with Euro notes in many places.
- Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world!
- Liechtenstein is a member of the Schengen agreement.
- There are no airports in Liechtenstein. The easiest way arrive is via plane through Zurich International Airport.
- Liechtenstein has an extensive bus and rail network and any Swiss Travel Pass works here as well. Malbun is easily connected to the rest of Liechtenstein via bus.
- Expect the costs of things in Liechtenstein to be on par with those in Switzerland (i.e. not cheap).
- Liechtenstein is one of the richest countries in the world (GDP per capita).
- If you plan on skiing in Malbun, make sure that you pack well. This is a great ski and snowboard packing list.
- If you’re taking part in activities on the mountain, it’s best to travel with travel insurance with World Nomads. World Nomads offers great prices and coverage
- Adaptor: Remember that Luxembourg uses Type J electrical plugs (same as nearby Switzerland). Our universal plug fit just fine!
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