A Town In This Less-Visited European Country Is A Scenic Winter Getaway Without Crowds

When the snow begins to fall, travelers from across the map often find themselves looking forward to putting together a picture-perfect European travel itinerary. More often than not, the goal is to find a vacation destination that emphasizes the continent's best winter wonderland scenery, slopes, and cold-weather fun. While cities across France, Austria, and Switzerland showcase luxury ski resorts, those in Germany and Belgium bring holiday scenery and markets to life in fairytale style. Each destination has undeniable appeal, but travelers who are looking to avoid the crowds this winter (and elevate their view) won't want to overlook the less-visited, yet equally inviting town of Steg.

Located in the European country of Liechtenstein, Steg is an off-the-beaten-path destination nestled within the Alps. It's a small village on the map, but a stunningly beautiful one to experience for yourself. In total, Steg's home country of Liechtenstein covers no more than 62 square miles of terrain across the Rhine Valley. It's located directly between bustling Switzerland and Austria, and while it may only be home to just over 39,700 residents according to Worldometer, Liechtenstein is home to 92 impressive mountain peaks to discover.

Heading to Steg is an opportunity to enjoy a remote and tranquil winter getaway in Europe. Here, you're free to be fully immersed in small mountain-town charm. The first paved road leading into Steg was only completed in 1867 and today, there's still a sense that Steg sits in a world apart from the rest.

Outdoor adventures for everyone to enjoy

In the summer, a trip to Steg would typically revolve around time spent at Gänglesee Lake. It's a popular place to swim and picnic in the warm-weather months. But in the winter, it's just as worth your while to check out. When the snow falls in Steg, the frozen lake reflects the wintery surroundings, creating a stunning scene for visitors. Landscape photographers will find it's a prime place to capture snowy moments on camera.

Travelers excited to get into nature will want to be sure to add a snowshoeing outing to their winter itinerary. At nearly 4,000 feet above sea level, Steg hosts a dedicated snowshoeing and cross-country ski trail in the Valünatal area to explore. It's open from December through March and is clearly marked, making it easy to navigate as you take an afternoon to enjoy exploring at your own pace. Those who want to trek their way to even more magnificent mountain views can consider snowshoeing the trail that runs from Steg to Silum. It showcases both sides of the mountain ridge and is adorned with lush forests and meadows, too.

If you're heading here with the entire family, a great winter activity to try is tobogganing. There's a well-maintained toboggan run in Steg that's just over half a mile long and doesn't cost a thing to enjoy. It's even floodlit at night so you can stay on the slopes long after the sun goes down.

Track wildlife, shop, and dine your way to winter fun

For Steg-bound travelers with kids who are interested in learning more about local wildlife in the wintertime, there are opportunities to join up with a seasonal animal tracking group at the Malbun Center. Located about 2 miles from Steg, the Malbun Center is the departure point for guide-led outings with a focus on finding tracks in the snow that originated from deer, ibex, snow hares, and beyond. It's a two-hour winter excursion for a group of six children at a time, designed to foster an appreciation for wildlife as well as an understanding of how creatures move through the winter terrain across Steg.

After you've had time to explore the great outdoors, make time to check out the many charming shops that are found in the center of Steg. You'll primarily enjoy access to specialty shops where it's easy to find custom souvenirs to commemorate your winter getaway. If that retail therapy leaves you with an appetite, Restaurant Seeblick is where you'll want to go. It's a fan-favorite eatery in Steg where you can enjoy traditional dishes like goulash in a cozy setting and count on a side of friendly service included in the experience. Even if your plans have you  country-hopping throughout Europe this winter, Steg is a quiet and beautiful destination to enjoy that might inevitably beckon you back year after year.