Lech am Arlberg is a beautiful mountain village and an exclusive ski resort situated on the banks of the river Lech. In recent years Lech has grown to become one of the world's premier luxury ski destinations and the home to a number of world and Olympic ski champions and is a popular destination for royals and the Hollywood set. Lech boasts some of the Alps best ski conditions.
This old farming village developed into a ski resort in the early years of the 20th century and its amazing snow record means that it is always a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The village is very pretty and the centre is quite compact, with the main lifts to Zurs and to Oberlech easily accessible.
Lech and the neighbouring village of Zurs are found at the top of the high Flexen Valley and until the roads were built in the late 19th century, were cut off from the rest of the world. Lech is the larger village and is built along the banks of the river Lech, and it was originally known as Tannberg am Lech. Walser migrants who came over the mountains from Wallis in Switzerland founded the village in the 14th century.
Lech is perfect for the fair-weather skier who enjoys the après ski and the chic feel of the resort as much as the time actually spent on the snow. It is a firm favourite with the wealthy and celebrities, and for that reason prices may be higher than in other resorts.
The lift infrastructure and network of slopes on offer is of the highest order though, and most skiers and boarders will find something to suit. Whilst it is difficult to fault the skiing, the car traffic in the centre of resort seems out of place and does slightly detract from the otherwise picture-postcard appeal. Make no mistake though, Lech is beautiful and rightfully takes its place in the elite ‘Best of the Alps’ club of ski resorts. The chocolate box architecture and stunning views will take your breath away.
If you're looking for un-crowded slopes and stunning scenery look no further than Lech & Zurs. With 270km of piste & ski routes between Lech and its neighbour Zurs there are plenty of well-prepared runs of all standards, and the lift system is well planned and efficient. Many of the newer chairlifts even have heated seats, in keeping with the chic image of the resort. Snowfall levels are amongst the highest in Austria and this reliability makes this a firm favourite with people from all over Europe.
Altitude (Lech) 1450m
Skiable Range 1,075 – 2,650m
Longest Run: 6.5km - Falken-Schroecken valley run
Ski terrain (International)
Blue 42%, Red 42%, Black 16%
*skiing with a qualified mountain guide advised
From the top of Rüfikopf the Schwarzewand descent is incredible, with stunning views over Lech. The whole of the Warth ski area is also worth exploring with a guide, and Zurs offers plenty; try Himmelegg.
One of the most famous runs into Lech is the off-piste route over from neighbouring St Anton. This is the only lift-assisted on-snow link between the two resorts and is only for experienced skiers with a professional guide. The Valluga Nord, one of the Alps’ great off-piste descents starts from the top of Valluga II, the small gondola that carries sightseers and skiers to the observation platform at the Valluga summit at 2,811m. For safety sake only those accompanied by a qualified guide are allowed to take their skis or board to the summit. The first section, which is not for the faint-hearted, is a very steep descent followed by a traverse across the north-facing ridge. The reward is then the endless banks of powder on offer on the long route down the Paziel valley into Zurs.
Start off in the area around the Flühen lift in Lech; the slopes here are ideal before you’re ready for the blue pistes
Weibermahd in Oberlech is good for progression from the nursery slopes, or Familienabfahrt on the Zurs side
The Madloch-Zurg red piste at 5km long is always a popular choice for intermediate skiers
Südhang (40) is notorious for steep and challenging moguls – this is considered an ‘extreme’ ski route. Juppenspitze (36) is very steep, and unlisted - great for those who like a challenge
Beginners are well catered for with excellent nursery slopes in Oberlech, but the blue runs back to the village may be too steep for the more nervous novices. The blues in this area are also immaculately groomed and perfect for showy turns. Advanced skiers won’t find many black runs, but can hire a guide to show them the varied off-piste in the area. Another option is to explore the more challenging slopes of neighbouring St Anton, just a short drive away.
Ski the famous White Ring Circuit which links the resorts of Lech, Zurs, Zug and Oberlech and which goes in a clockwise direction from Rüfikopf cable car at 2,360m. This 23km circuit celebrates the first lifts that linked the area which were started in 1940’s. It is also now the route of an annual ski race, which was until 2006 the longest ski race in the world (the title is now held by a 25km race in Carinthia).
In Lech if you like skiing moguls check out the bumps on the 'extreme ski routes' Kriegerhorn Südhang (40), Nordhang (41) and Liezen (44) or for steep and deep there is the Langer Zug Rüfikopf to Lech (37). For off-piste descents in Lech with a mountain guide there is the steep and challenging Schwarzewand descent off Rüfikopf with terrific views of Lech.
The Warth ski area beyond Lech, which was only linked in 2013, has extended the ski area by nearly 50%. It’s accessible to good skiers, but good route finding is essential as the journey must be made by ski or board in both directions as the road link between Warth and Lech is closed in winter.
In Zürs there is plenty of steep and deep off-piste on Madloch Steilhang, Stierloch, Stierfall or dropping off the back of Trittkopf into the Paziel-Tal. Off-piste routes in Zürs to be skied with a local guide include the medium-steep Gamsroute, the steep and challenging Himmelegg from Trittkopf down to Stuben, and the medium Erzburg accessed via Muggengrat and Zurser Tali.
If you've missed your egg Benedict or would love to recharge the batteries with a cup of freshly brewed Italian coffee – Baristo is a perfect place to complete this mission. There are always fresh smoothies and granolas and home-made cakes, which are a perfect solution before jumping into Rüfikopf lift and continuing the big day on the slopes.
For a gift or a new trendy skiing suit then the best place to go is Strolz or Sagmeister. And if you're in the market for new ski boots, then the custom made Strolz boots will have you in seventh heaven.
Balmalp is a fantastic place for an amazing lunch with a view. It's a top spot to dance or rest when 70% of the legendary “White Ring” run has been completed.
Don't forget to take a panoramic picture with the BMW xDrive camera at the Krigerhorn lift mountain station and than just ski down for a glass of champagne in the apres ski in the downtown of the resort.
For the ultimate traditional gourmet experience the place to go is the oldest in town Hüs Nr.8 (first mentioned in 1760). Stylish cooking and especially the stone fondue or raclette will leave you with unforgettable memories about this place. You do need to book well in advance as it's very popular.
For a modern and no-fuss cuisine head to the Skihütte Schneggarei which serves the best pizza in a friendly atmosphere where fun is included.
Where Bollinger Champagne flows smoothly into crystal glasses and everybody is ready to see the first stars blinking above their heads and maybe even forget the skies (just till tomorrow comes)..then head for the Ice Bar at Krone Hotel.
Everyone should try the Run of Fame – “White Ring” – a stunning 22km ski circuit which is a total inspiration. It starts at the Rüfikopf and goes down to Zürs and than Zug and finally brings you back to Lech.
Traditionally, Lech has very few luxury, fully-catered chalets and so they sell out very quickly. So once you find the perfect one, you need to keep it a secret 'til you've booked the next holiday with the family.
In the lovely Chalet Laurus the amazing team look after you so well that every stay becomes a wonderful memory. The team here offer genuine hospitality that comes from the hear. And they do care and so create these special moments that make the difference.
Book everything in advance. It is one of the keys to successful stay without disappointment. Lech is a fairly small resort and everybody wants to head to the most desirably places and the capacity is limited. The solution is to be the first.
In Lech there is a covered ice-rink in Hotel Monzabon.
There is a long and well maintained cross-country run that will bring you to one of the most special and remote huts (älpele) to eat an apple strudel.
The best and most useful app is Ski Arlberg which will allow you to track the total number of kilometres skied, find your friends on slopes or even locate exactly where you are when all the names of ski-lifts suddenly become confusing.
The hotels dominate the restaurant scene in Lech, although there are great mountain huts serving simple fare on the mountains for lunch stops. However the standard is high and you will find a great choice with everything from Italian, traditional Austrian and Asian-Fusion to fine dining. As a general rule you’ll find the mountain stops over in the Schrocken-Warth area are more rustic but also great value.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Part of the hotel in Oberlech, this is a great spot to stop for a good lunch. There are two restaurants at lunchtime – the Berggrill terrace, which serves delicious, grilled meats and the Dirndlstübli, which specializes in traditional Austrian cuisine. There is a third gastronomic restaurant, the Johnannesstübli which is only open in the evenings, and easily possible to visit as the cable car link to Lech works until 1am. The food in this restaurant is quite traditional, but with a twist. Be sure to try the desserts including "Three ways with Tahiti Vanilla". The Gault Millau Guide is a fan: the Goldener Berg scored an impressive 15/20 points.
This lovely restaurant in Lech is perfect for a special night out. Fux (or Fox) actually comprises of two restaurants – a steakhouse and an Asian Fusion restaurant. Both come highly recommended. In fact in the celebrated Gault Millau Guide the restaurant scores 15/20, which is no mean feat. The red Thai curry is delicious and the desserts are wonderful European classics with an Asian twist such as Crème Brulee with passion fruit and waffles with mango and coconut. There is also a fabulous wine list. Booking is recommended.
The hotel, which is in Oberlech, has a small restaurant, the Griggeler Stuba, which is considered to be the star of the resort. Under chef, Thorsten Probost, Gault Millau gave the restaurant a score 18 points only one below the top score (20 is the holy grail, and nobody gets that); the guide has also chosen Probost as its Austrian Chef of the Year. His menus make great use of local herbs and his food is incredibly light and for true gourmets this would probably be perfection. Booking is essential and the restaurant is open from 19 -21.30h and is closed on Saturdays. The cable car from the centre of Lech to Oberlech stays open until 1am.
Its kitchen does a classic, straightforward job: excellent ingredients well cooked and simply presented. The hotel offers a serious gastronomic experience under chef Markus Wanger (who scored 17/20 in the latest Gault Millau Guide) or you can enjoy more simple fare at lunchtime on the sunny terrace.
Hûs Nr.8 is in a beautiful.300 year-old barn that has been restored to its original condition. It serves traditional dishes from old Walser recipes, tempting delicacies of Austrian cuisine; meat and cheese fondue as well as raclette, hot stone, and roasted duckling. There is also a weekly speciality menu and the restaurant is open daily.
The ”original“ mountain hut right on the Schlegelkopf above Lech, with beautiful views of the surrounding snow covered mountains. Serving traditional Austrian dishes for lunch on the terrace tor visit in the evening for a romantic candlelit dinner in the cosy, old wooden rooms. This is traditional Austrian hospitality at its best.
A chocolate box pretty alpine hut built in the Tannberg Walser style. Good food with lots of Austrian specialities and very good home cooking. The service is very friendly and welcoming and whatever you do don’t miss the chance to order the best kaiserschmarren in the resort.
This rather modern chalet serves good food and has a sunny terrace as well as inside tables. It is open every day from 9-17h and serves good food in a lively atmosphere. It is at the top of the Zug lift and so a perfect stop for lunch if you’re skiing the White ring circuit – our recommendation is pizza and the ribs.
This small hotel is perfect for lunch if you’re skiing in the newly linked Warth area. Inaccessible by road in the winter, this is a truly relaxed, hidden gem. It serves lunch from 11.30 – 14.15 and is located in the Warth-Schroken by the Sonnencruiser chair.
A sunny terrace or a rustic dining room with a welcoming tiled stove, this mountain hut serves simple, good food at prices noticeably cheaper than the Lech side. Situated at the bottom of the Sonnenjet chair.
Situated near the bottom of the Hochalpbahn chair down from Saloberkopf, this pretty mountain hut on the Warth side is charming, rustic, serves good food and gives you a very warm welcome at 2,000m.
Finally if you’re craving pizza and great pasta, then head for Lech’s only Italian run restaurant. Not gastro and not fancy, but it serves great pizza. Open from 11am to 11pm you can enjoy a taste of Italy in the mountains. Situated in the centre of the resort you can be assured of a warm welcome.
Many of the hotels have what is known as ‘umbrella bars’ that serve drinks after skiing – usually on the terrace with a lively atmosphere often with musical accompaniment. In Oberlech the hotels Montana and Berg have popular bars whilst in Lech centre you should head for Tannbergerhop and Krone hotels that usually have street side ice-bars. After dinner head for the K-Club in the Krone Hotel or the Fux Jazzbar for some mellow evening entertainment.
Lech is certainly not just a ski purists resort, the frequent visits of Royals and celebreties lays testament to this. There are plenty of activities to keep the non-skiers happy - and for those who just love being in the Alps, ski resorts don't come much more picturesque.
The Huber-Hus Museum is on the Schlosskopfplatz. The traditional old wooden Walserhaus built in 1590 has a fascinating exhibition about the life and work of farmers who lived in the area long before the advent of skiing. The museum opens on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 3pm to 6pm
Feel liberated as soon as you take off, floating feely, only joined to the wing by a couple of cords, feeling the strength of the air currents amid the beautiful countryside. Forget everyday life and enjoy being totally on your own. This feeling is never stronger than when you are flying and you can experience it here by trying tandem paragliding. As well as sensational paragliding flights, there are also spectacular thermal flights and fascinating panoramic flights on offer.
Wild animals, particularly the native red deer, are shy forest dwellers and you don’t very often catch sight of them in the wild. However, during the hard winter months when food becomes scarce, deer venture very close to populated areas and almost forget they are afraid of people. This means you can watch majestic deer feeding at dusk at close range. Experience this unusual natural spectacle from the shelter of a hide. Twice a week - on Wednesday and Friday – there are guided hikes to watch the wildlife. Further information and reservations at Lech Zürs Tourist Information Office.
The sports centre, which is just out of the centre of the village, along the river offers fitness class, gym, indoor tennis, climbing wall, 10-pin bowling and wellness facilities.
It is open every day except Monday and is on the Line 5 bus route.
There is a brilliant floodlit sledge run down from Oberlech, which is 1.2 km long. Sledges can be hired at the Oberlech cable car or in most sports shops. The toboggan run is open every day from 9am until 10pm.
Enjoy seeing the charming village and stunning countryside from a horse-drawn sleigh. Rides are available from the stand at the Tannberg Bridge. A round trip from Lech to Zug church and back is around €70 for a family or four friends.
Rent some snowshoes and hire a guide and venture off into the snowy countryside to explore the area. This can be quite strenuous but it is a wonderful opportunity to explore off the beaten track and to see the local flora and fauna. The Tourist Office also offers a 2h night snowshoe tour.
There are over 40km of winter hiking trails around Lech Zürs, which take you through a unique winter landscape. Enjoy the clear, fresh winter air, crisp snow and a breath taking view over the surrounding peaks. There is a great online map showing the trails and particular viewpoints and lunch stops as well as a reduced price Sonnenabo ticket for travelling up the mountains and down into the valleys for walkers.
There are 2 ice rinks in the Lech-Zurs area – one in each resort. In Zurs the open-air rink is behind the Hotel Arlberhaus and is open daily for skating with equipment hire available. In Lech the rink is indoors and is part of the hotel Jagdhaus Monzabon. The rink is 300m2 and is open to the public from Friday to Wednesday and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 6pm the rink is open for curling.
With its extremely well prepared cross-country ski trails and skating routes, Lech Zürs am Arlberg offers cross-country skiers everything their hearts desire. Guaranteed snow and 27 kilometres of varied cross-country trails will delight both casual and professional sportspeople. The cross-country trails can be found amidst the fascinating Alpine mountain landscape and can be used free during the whole season. The Tourist Office can provide trail maps and suggested routes, with lunch stops marked on the map. Cross-country ski hire is from around
€18 per day.
For such a stylish and wealthy resort, there are surprisingly few shops. This is said to be because in spite of the high ‘fur coat quota’, this is very much a skier’s resort rather than just a place to come and be seen. That said if you’re in the market for ski clothing or equipment you will be spoilt for choice.
Strolz is world renowned for it handmade ski boots – they are custom made by craftsmen and it is said that once you have a pair of Strolz boots, you are a customer for life. Ambros Strolz started the company in 1921 making handcrafted leather ski boots, a tradition continued by Martin Stolz when he took over the company. Martin, himself a World Champion racer, brought orthopaedic expertise to the company. Now in the 3rd generation, it is still a family business and in addition to ski boots and hand made skis, there are 6 floors of ski equipment, ski wear and fashion to tempt you. In the centre of Lech the store is open every day and the branch in Zürs is opposite the Hotel Alpenrose. There is even a champagne bar in-store to make the experience even more pleasurable.
Waldhart is a new fashion boutique offering high-end fashion brands such as Anne Fontaine, Avoca, Daddy’s Daughter and Just Eve. While SportAlpand The North Face are two of the excellent ski shops that are on the main street in Lech.
If you are looking for souvenirs then perhaps the Swarovski shop or the numerous fine jewellery shops will be more your thing. In addition there is an excellent perfumery and there are some excellent local produce shops selling the fantastic dried and cured meats as well as Austrian wine and liquors.
If you’re a non-skier, or looking to take a break from the slopes for a day and rest the legs there are lots of options to choose from in Lech.
The Arlberg region has lots to offer and the bus ride across from Lech to St Anton is a great way to spend an afternoon of exploring ‘sans’ ski boots. The bus takes about 30 minutes and will drop you in the centre of St Anton where you will find a good selection of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.
As the capital of the Tyrol region, and only 1h 45m from Lech, this city is well worth a visit during your stay. There are many wonderful sites and historical, medieval buildings, and it’s charming to just wander through the cobbled streets and painted buildings with the Nordkette mountain range creating a wonderful backdrop.
There are many boutiques in the arched passageways of the old town, and it is well worth climbing the steps of the City Tower for the views it affords over the city and towards the famous Golden Roof, which is just meters away. Visit Helbling House, an original 15th century Gothic mansion, and the Cathedral.
If you have time, to the east of the Old Town you will find the magnificent ‘Hofburg’ imperial palace where tours are available, and if you don’t have time for a full tour you can pop into the ‘Hofkirche’ (imperial church) next door, which houses the empty tomb of Emperor Maximilllian I and the bronze figures known as the ‘Schwarze Mander’ (black men). There are also fantastic little cafés and restaurants along the cobbled streets for a culinary taste of the city
This is an historic, medieval city on the border of Liechtenstein, which is only 1h 30m by bus and train from Lech. The highlight is the Schattenburg castle, and the city is said to be the best preserved and scenic of Voralberg’s cities. Whilst here you should visit the St Nikolaus Cathedral; original foundations date to the 13th century, but after fires it was re-built in the Gothic style in 1478. Several of the city’s gates and defensive towers dating from the Medieval era are well preserved and can be viewed, including ‘Chuer Tor’, and ‘Wasserturm’.
We recommend flying with our partner airline Swiss,
who will carry your ski gear for no extra charge.
Innsbruck (INN): 1h 30m/ 112km
Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH): 2h 30m / 180km
Friedrichshafen, Germany (FDH): 1h 30m / 121km
SkiBoutique works with a number of taxi firms to provide shared, private and luxury road transfers from the airport of your choice to Lech. If you prefer to arrive by helicopter then of course we can arrange that too.
One option is to take a flight to Zurich and then travel by train to Langen am Arlberg, which is 15 km from Lech. The journey time from Zurich is 2h 30m. It is possible to get a train from the UK but this would involve a number of changes – the most direct route would be Eurostar from London to Paris, then Paris to Zurich and then Zurich to Langen am Arlberg where a taxi would be waiting for the transfer to your accommodation. Total journey time would be approximately 12 hours with a change of station in Paris.
If you choose to drive to Lech and Zurs from the UK it is a straightforward 861 km journey from Calais, on average taking approximately 11 hours including some stops en route. Lech Centre co-ordinates for your satellite navigation system are:
*Please be aware that Sat Navs are not always accurate and particularly in winter they will not show Alpine road closures so please check the route chosen
Bronze - EUR 220
You like discover the mountain with equipment that’s safe
and easy to use.
Silver - EUR 270
You prefer to ski with comfortable high-performance equipment which allows you to take full advantage of the ski area on offer.
Gold - EUR 315
You only ski with the newest and best equipment
each season, for enjoyable high performance skiing.
Arlberg 6 day adult pass - EUR 289
With our partner Exclusive Mountain Guiding
Private full day - EUR 330
Private full day off-piste - EUR 350
Bottle of Veurve Clicquot EUR 110
Small beer EUR 3.50
Bottle of house wine EUR 37
Vin chaud/Gluwein EUR 3.50
Hot chocolate EUR 4.50
Cup of coffee EUR 3.50
Glass of coke EUR 4
Pizza EUR 15