Lech and Zürs am Arlberg

Ski Resort in Austria

Introduction

Lech am Arlberg is a mountain village and an exclusive ski resort in the Bludenz district in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg on the banks of the river Lech. In terms of both geography and history, Lech belongs to the Tannberg district. In tourist terms, however, it is part of the Arlberg region.Lech is administered together with the neighbouring villages of Zürs, Zug, Oberlech and Stubenbach. The municipality is an internationally known winter sports resort on the mountain range Arlberg.

Perfect for families and couples, the twin resorts of Lech and Zürs share an uncompromising commitment to quality. The predominantly wealthy clientele can enjoy refined high life but there’s also good quality 2- and 3- star accommodation in this quiet corner of Austria’s best ski region.

Though geographically in Vorarlberg, the exclusive ski resorts of Lech (1,450 m/4,757 ft) and Zürs (1,716 m/5,630 ft) are now connected via the Flexenbahn and Auenfeldjet lifts to Stuben, St Christoph, St Anton, Warth and Schroecken. Together with Klosterle’s Sonnenkopf ski area (which is just a bus ride away), these collectively form the huge Arlberg ski domain.

Excellent snow-sure skiing and abundant top quality hotels, including great ski-in ski-out accommodation at Oberlech (1,660 m), ensures that around 70% of guests return year after year.

Known as one of the classic ski resorts, Lech is part of the ‘Best of the Alps’ group. Also crowned 2004’s Prettiest Village in Europe, it oozes traditional alpine charm with the bonus of a world-class ski area and some of the best snow in the Alps. The resort’s superior status in the skiing world has made it a favourite of the rich and Royal for decades – Princess Di used to ski here and sharing a chairlift with Tom Cruise or Vladimir Putin is a real possibility... The uber-posh town has an exclusive feel, glittering with 5 star hotels, high end stores, piano bars and acclaimed restaurants.

Lech sits in a sunny position high up in a striking valley, surrounded by the Lechtal Alps. A little river runs through the centre with pistes and authentic architecture either side of it. A striking onion-domed church peers over all and the atmosphere is intimate and upmarket.

A fantastic ski lift system transports 44,600 snow lovers every hour to a legendary ski area where you’re pretty much guaranteed to find amazing snow. Every level of skier and snowboarder are catered for superbly - particularly intermediates - and you’ll also find some of the best off-piste around.

Lech is connected to the higher resort Zurs by ski lifts, pistes and a bus which is why the resorts are usually paired together and referred to Lech-Zurs. Together they’re part of a legendary ski area of over 280km - the Arlberg area, where ski lifts connect Lech and Zurs to après legend St. Anton and the smaller villages of St Christoph and Stuben. You can ski the entire region with the Arlberg pass.

Lech info card

Resort Altitude1450m
Highest Lift2450m
Total Piste276km
Longest Run5km
Directions of SlopesN, S, E, W
Uphill Capacity123600
Total Lifts85
Gondolas/Cable cars10
Chairlifts39
Drag Lifts36
Snow Parks2


Best time to visit Lech

With its snow history claiming some of the best conditions in Austria and the tourist office boasting guaranteed snow, you can usually ski on fantastic conditions throughout the season. Thanks to a shared ski area with higher resort Zurs, with altitudes up to 2450m, slopes facing all directions and the opportunity of heli-skiing, you’re likely to find some decent skiing throughout the season. One of the great things about this resort is that it has fantastic connections to the Alberg Ski area which means you can always ski further afield if you fancy. As with any ski resort the venue gets busier around peak weeks such as Christmas and half term although you probably won’t notice it on the slopes - the resort’s modern lift technology is very efficient at keeping queues to a minimum.


Skiing in Lech

This is famously the setting of the hilarious skiing scene in ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’, although you won’t have any Bridget-like disasters on the piste if you take advantage of the excellent instruction and beginner slopes on offer. You’ll find some lovely nursery slopes behind the village church (you can’t miss it) and up around Oberlech to practice on until you feel confident enough to take the Schlegelkpof and explore some brilliant gentle terrain for skiers and snowboarders.

With oodles of intermediate pistes and extensive off-piste, this is a terrific place if you're confident on the white stuff. If you fancy a bit of a challenge, head to the Rüfikopf area just opposite Oberlech and zoom down some serious steeps. The conditions here are ideal for powder seekers and the Arlberg area has 180km of un-groomed terrain for some incredible deep powder freeriding. Get a guide and discover more amazing runs up around Zurs or better still, organise a guided heli-drop on the Schneetäli at 2450m or even higher on the Mehlsack at 2652 for some unforgettable descents.

An absolute must for experts here is the Weisser Ring (or White Ring) challenge, which has been a bucket-list route for over 50 years. This legendary 22km circuit offers some serious thigh-burning over Lech, Zürs, Zug and Oberlech including the demanding 5km Madloch downhill and a whopping 5500m difference in altitude.

If this isn’t enough, you’ll also find one of the nation’s freestyling hotspots nearby – the massive Lech Snowpark in the middle of Schlegelkopf is a populat spot for pro’s and has super obstacles for everyone from complete beginners to seasoned shredders.


Lech Snow Conditions

Lech is located in one of the most consistent snowfall areas in Europe, let alone Austria. Warth-Schroecken to the north east has a claimed annual snowfall average of 11m, St Anton to the south east has 7m and Damuls to the northwest has 10m. You do the maths! The base altitude at Lech is a respectable 1450m, higher then St Anton. The Ski Arlberg region has some of the better snow quality, for longer periods of time, than comparable elevation areas in Austria.


Lech Apres Ski

Jägertee (rum, black tea and spices) is the local’s drink of choice, making it a must-try when you’re back from the slopes. Most of the nightlife here reflects Lech’s status as a first class resort, with venues emitting high-end and exclusive feel. While it doesn’t have the same legendary reputation as the après in neighbouring St Anton, you can still find a brilliant variety of venues offering a mix of the traditional and contemporary – chop and change between traditional tea dances and late night clubbing in Lech’s various bars and nightclubs.

Probably Lech’s most popular venue, Eisbar in the Tannbergerhof is worth experiencing for drinks and dancing every afternoon. Anyone wanting to extend the après into the early hours should head to the trendy K Club for fantastic drinks and an equally fantastic dance floor...

For eating out, Hagen's Dorfmetzgerei und Imbiss is a super restaurant dishing up traditional Austrian cuisine and it’s well worth reserving a table at Gasthof Post which also serves local dishes in generous portions.

Lech has some good non-ski activities if you fancy something without being strapped to a plank... There's no shortage of wellness facilities and you’ll find a sports centre as well as Europe’s first and only ice-rink with air con. Winter walkers can dip between snowshoe treks and 15km of hiking trails. For a real adventure, try icefall climbing. There’s also a natural toboggan run and you can extend the winter charm on a horse drawn sleigh ride.


Families in Lech

Staying somewhere that’s ski in / ski out can make skiing as a family much easier, so pick somewhere like Hotel Arlberg which offers doorstep skiing, about a minute from the nearest lift and 3 minutes from the nursery slopes. Chalet Alpenland is another ski in / ski out option in the nearby village Zug. If you’re a family of experienced skiers, this is ideal as the skiable access is via intermediate terrain. The property works for less confident skiers too, who can hop on the regular bus which takes you to Lech in only 5 minutes.

Hotels can be a terrific choice for families – ask us about family rooms, adjoining rooms or hotels with childcare services if these will make your stay easier. Chalets offer a more intimate accommodation where you can enjoy quality time together in an authentic alpine setting. Both provide the meals for you – so you won’t have to lift a finger in the kitchen during your week away and can spend more time as a family instead.

The resort and ski area cater for families really well. Little ones learning to ski will enjoy a fun and safe environment at the Kinderclub, where ski lessons are combined with fun in the snow like snowman building and indoor activities including arts and crafts. Older children can be booked into group lessons with others of similar age and ability or you can all learn together with a private instructor. Experienced families can have a go at freestyling in one of Austria’s best snowparks or hire a mountain guide for a tour of the best powder.


Group Holidays Lech

Right in the middle of the village, the popular Hotel Tannbergerhof is a perfect place to stay for groups looking to party – Eisbar (arguably the best après ski in town) is right outside. If you’re a large group, have a look at Chalet Alpenland. It’s a little further away in Zug but the ski in / ski out location and possibility of sole occupancy make it well worth staying a bit further out. Zurs has its own good selection of bars and restaurants including the Rote Wand and you can access Lech really easily via a 5 minute bus ride or on the piste. Book one of our luxury properties and enjoy evenings relaxing together in on-site piano bars and wellness facilities.

The ski area has something for all tastes and abilities – book into a private group lesson if you want to learn and improve together or hire a mountain guide for a tour of the best powder. Non-skiers won’t be at a loss to do with wellness and sports facilities as well as various outdoor excursions that don’t require being strapped to a plank. However everyone chooses to spend the daylight hours, you can all join together for a warming Jägertee in one of Lech’s mountain huts, bars or nightclubs.

Get everyone booked up and on the mountains with one of our accommodation, flights and transfers packages. Select an airport that suits everyone best below to view the most convenient holidays. Self-drive packages are also available if you’re all planning to drive and if it’s proving too difficult to find a mode of transport that suits everyone, book accommodation-only.

Transportation - Get In

Travel to Lech from overseas is best via the major international gateway airports of Zurich or Munich. The comparatively minor international airports at Innsbruck and Friedrichshafen are great for those travelling to Lech from European or UK destinations. Zurich and Innsbruck provide the most convenient train transfer connections to Lech.


Flights to Lech - Zurich Airport

The Zurich international airport in Switzerland services a range of worldwide destinations including those from the Europe, UK, Scandinavia, USA, Canada, Asia, Africa and the Middle East (plus Australia and New Zealand via Singapore or the Middle East). The airport is a short 10min train ride from central Zurich, where train connections to the rest of Europe are available.


Flights to Lech - Munich Airport

Munich international airport is rated as one of the world’s best. It receives a vast number of flights every day from worldwide destinations.

Munich airport is well served by efficient train transport which link quickly with train services to ski hubs like Innsbruck. Take the S8 line from the main terminal (trains every 10min) to the major Ostbahnhof for trains direct to Innsbruck and then toward Lech. Travel time is less than 5hr.

A total of 8 major car rental companies are available at Munich airport, however the vehicles may not be set up for winter driving (i.e. snow tyres, chains), and one may be better served hiring a car closer to the ski destination. Driving time to Innsbruck is around 2.5hr


Flights to Lech - Innsbruck Airport

Innsbruck airport is serviced by flights from mainland Europe, Scandinavia and the UK. Flights numbers and options increase during the winter season. The airport is conveniently located close to the centre of Innsbruck. The Innsbruck city centre and central train station is a 20min bus ride from the airport via the Route F bus at the terminal. Taxis offer an alternative.

If you are wanting to stay overnight near the Innsbruck airport try the Hotel Penz West.


Train Transport to Lech Ski Resort

Train connections from all airports are possible to Lech's closest train station called Langen am Arlberg. The Langen am Arlberg train station is 17km from Lech. Taxis are available at the train station to get you to your Lech accommodation. For train schedules and tickets, click below.


Private Transport to Lech

Private taxis and airport shuttles are readily available. For direct airport transfers, use GroundLink.


Driving to Lech 

If hiring a car to travel to Lech am Arlberg, then plan your trip well. The roads can become congested particularly on the weekends between about 10am and 2pm. Where possible avoid the sections of Feldkirch-Lech and Imst-Lech during these times. Car rental is available form all airports and major city centres.

By road, Lech is about 2.5hr from Zurich via the A1 or A3 and only 1hr35min from Innsbruck via the A12. Most Lech hotels provide parking spaces (many underground) and there are also public parking areas on the outskirts of the villages.

Transportation - Get Around

Lech and Zurs are only 5km away from each other, but there are various options to get around and between the villages if you don’t have a car. The ski bus travels between the villages of Lech, Oberlech, Zug and Zurs during the day and there is a James bus service in the evenings. Of course it’s possible to ski and snowboard around the villages during the day, or alternatively there are plenty of taxis waiting for a fare.

If staying in Oberlech, there is a bus service that runs all day (until 7pm) every 15 minutes between Oberlech Schlossle and Lech Rufiplatz. The Bergbahn cable car is open from 7am to 1am.

Accommodation & Hotels


Property Location: With a stay at Burg Vital Resort in Lech am Arlberg, you'll be near ski lifts and minutes from Lech-Oberlech Gondola. This 5-star hotel is within the vicinity of Mittagspitze and Warth Schrocken Ski Resort.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 56 guestrooms featuring minibars and DVD players. Rooms have private balconies. Cable television is provided for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature designer toiletries and hair dryers.

Amenities: Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. You're sure to appreciate the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features an indoor pool and a sauna. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and supervised childcare/activities.

Dining: Grab a bite at one of the hotel's 2 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a 24-hour front desk and an elevator (lift).

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Nice building
    • Spacious rooms
  • BURG VITAL RESORT SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 98, this hotel is one of the top 3% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and food.


Property Location: With a stay at Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat in Lech am Arlberg, you'll be near ski lifts and close to Lech-Oberlech Gondola and Mittagspitze. This 5-star resort is within the vicinity of Warth Schrocken Ski Resort and Valluga.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 10 air-conditioned rooms featuring fireplaces and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private balconies or patios. Cable programming and tablet computers are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Conveniences include safes and desks, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Amenities: Don't miss out on the many recreational opportunities, including a 24-hour health club, an indoor pool, and a sauna. Additional amenities at this resort include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and ski storage. The complimentary ski shuttle makes getting to the slopes a breeze.

Dining: Grab a bite to eat at the resort's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast is served daily.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Guests may use a train station pick-up service for a surcharge, and free valet parking is available onsite.

 


This elegant design hotel enjoys a scenic location right next to the ski lifts of Lech. It offers panoramic mountain views, a spa area, and an award-winning restaurant.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Beds need improvement
    • Friendly service
  • ALPEN SPORT RESORT ROTE WAND SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 94. Guests highly recommend it because of its food, service and location.


Located in the centre of Lech, Hotel Garni Sursilva is directly opposite the Oberlech Cable Car. It features a spa area, a winter garden, a sunny terrace, and free WiFi.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Impressive bathroom
    • Clean rooms
    • Good management
    • Comfortable beds
  • HOTEL GARNI SURSILVA SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 93. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and breakfast.


Property Location: When you stay at Aurelio in Lech am Arlberg, you'll be in the mountains and within the vicinity of Mittagspitze and Warth Schrocken Ski Resort. This 5-star hotel is within the vicinity of Valluga and Arlberg Pass.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 19 individually decorated guestrooms, featuring minibars and DVD players. Rooms have private balconies. Flat-screen televisions with first-run movies are provided, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Private bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers feature deep soaking bathtubs and complimentary toiletries.

Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities: Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials. You're sure to appreciate the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features a health club and an indoor pool. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare.

Dining: Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of Aurelio. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, a computer station, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Free valet parking is available onsite.

 

 


Property Location: With a stay at Hotel Knappaboda in Lech am Arlberg, you'll be minutes from Rüfikopf 1 and DSB Schlegelkopf 1. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Schlegelkopf 2 and Bergbahn Oberlech. Rooms Stay in one of 22 guestrooms featuring flat-screen televisions.

Rooms: have private balconies or patios. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers.

Amenities: Take time to pamper yourself with a visit to the full-service spa. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and ski storage.

Dining: Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Breakfast is available for a fee.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby and luggage storage. Free self parking is available onsite.

 


Ideally located in the prime touristic area of Lech Town Center, Hotel Plattenhof promises a relaxing and wonderful visit. Both business travelers and tourists can enjoy the hotel's facilities and services. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, luggage storage, Wi-Fi in public areas, car park, room service are just some of the facilities on offer. All rooms are designed and decorated to make guests feel right at home, and some rooms come with television LCD/plasma screen, slippers, smoke detector, internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary). Recuperate from a full day of sightseeing in the comfort of your room or take advantage of the hotel's recreational facilities, including fitness center, sauna, indoor pool, spa, massage. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Lech, Hotel Plattenhof will make you feel instantly at home.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this as a wellness hotel
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Well-maintained rooms
    • Nice sauna
    • Friendly atmosphere
  • HOTEL PLATTENHOF SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 89. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, food and service.


Property Location: With a stay at Hinterwies in Lech am Arlberg, you'll be near ski lifts and minutes from Lech-Oberlech Gondola. This 4.5-star hotel is within the vicinity of Mittagspitze and Warth Schrocken Ski Resort.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 30 guestrooms featuring DVD players. Your pillowtop bed comes with down comforters. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature deep soaking bathtubs and complimentary toiletries.

Amenities: Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. You're sure to appreciate the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features a health club and a spa tub. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, babysitting/childcare, and ski storage. Getting to nearby attractions is a breeze with the area shuttle (surcharge).

Dining: Satisfy your appetite at the hotel's restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a business center, dry cleaning/laundry services, and multilingual staff. For a surcharge, guests may use a roundtrip airport shuttle (available on request) and a train station pick-up service.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Great reception
    • Beds need improvement
    • Winter sports facilities are close
  • HINTERWIES SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 89. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and food.


Property Location: When you stay at Anthonys Alpin Hotel in Lech am Arlberg, you'll be minutes from Lech-Oberlech Gondola. This ski hotel is within the vicinity of Mittagspitze and Warth Schrocken Ski Resort.

Rooms: Treat yourself to a stay in one of the 8 guestrooms, featuring fireplaces and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Conveniences include safes and separate sitting areas, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features bicycles to rent. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and ski storage.

Dining: Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served daily.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, luggage storage, and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Free self parking is available onsite.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Spacious rooms
    • Friendly service
  • ANTHONY´S ALPIN HOTEL SUMMARY
    • This hotel has a very good TrustScore of 84. Guests recommend it because of its rooms, location and comfort.


The low-key simplicity and charm of Kristiania Lech has attracted the skiing glitterati for 40 years. In the heart of bustling Lech, surrounded by world renowned ski country, its rustic yet contemporary design is splashed with thoughtful artworks, each room a personal gallery, easy on the eye and as warm and comfortable as home. Proud of its unassuming, inviting mood, customer privacy is considered paramount and the daily running boasts an old-world charm. The hotel restaurant serves imaginative Austrian dishes with a staggering choice of5 00 labels from the wine cellar. Positioned to make the most of first-rate Alpine slopes, it is perfect for all things ski and apres-ski. The cheerful and friendly hotel bar fills each night, where festive snow lovers keep warm with an admirable selection of single malts. The Kristiania Lech is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
  • KRISTIANIA SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 90. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and Vibe.

Ski Area

Lech-Zürs offers excellent skiing for all levels from beginner to expert including ungroomed but marked ski routes and high alpine touring runs.

Lech and Zurs account for about a third of the 305 kms of pistes and 200km of deep powder runs in the whole of the Arlberg ski region. There are over 70 official runs here, of which most are blues and red pistes, but there are nearly 30 ungroomed trails marked by red diamond signs, five of which are currently classified as Extreme Routes. There is currently only one black run, the Sonnenberg piste in Zurs.

The groomed pistes are maintained immaculately and fan out in all directions, so in good weather you can follow the sun around the mountains. Of the two villages Zürs probably has the edge for beginners while the Lech and Oberlech area are more appealing to intermediates, but beginner skiers and boarders are well catered for by ski schools in Lech, Oberlech and Zürs.

Although the Arlberg's more obviously tough terrain is mostly high above St Anton and Stuben, Lech-Zürs is no pushover for those in the know and because proportionately there are generally fewer advanced skiers and boarders, the off-piste does not get tracked so quickly. Lech’s grass meadows also need less snow cover than the rockier slopes around St Anton and so often have better conditions. Strong skiers and boarders are spoiled for choice off-piste in the Arlberg and conditions permitting there's even heli-skiing available, but to find the best slopes you will need a guide.

The villages Lech, Oberlech, Zürs, and Zug are well-connected by an efficient lift system, so queues are rare. There are even heated seats on some chairlifts and most of the major multi-storey lift stations have internal lifts so you don’t have to trudge up and down the stairs carrying your skis. The pistes tend to be uncrowded too, although locals avoid the slopes down to Zurs from the Trittkopfbahn lifts between 10am and 12 noon when they can be overrun with day trippers from St Anton.

The White Ring ("Der Weisse Ring") route is a deservedly famous 14 mile (22 km) clockwise-only circuit of mostly red and blue runs, that links the entire Lech-Zürs area.. It's well groomed for most of the way with blue and red options for confident beginners and intermediate skiers although there is one unavoidable (but enjoyable, and not very steep) ungroomed section from Madloch Joch down to Zug.  There are not too many 'flats' so its snowboarder friendly as well. Experts can take several steeper variants off to the side and still meet their less confident friends at the bottom of the next lift. The steep couloir and itinerary run off the main Madloch Joch to Zug trail is one example of this; another is the ungroomed trail from Rufikopf to Schuttboden which descends between the main red and blue pistes.  There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments along the way, especially between Zug and Lech. The restaurants and sun terraces of Oberlech are another popular venue. lunch.

For those wanting to take full advantage of the Arlberg ski pass, the Auenfeldjet 10 person gondola above Oberlech is the essential link into the Warth-Schroecken ski area. Warth is reputed to be Europe’s snowiest village, and has North facing slopes to suit all standards, including groomed black runs (which Lech doesn’t have). If instead you turn left, you can ski all the way into Schroecken instead.

Even more skiing, and even tougher challenges, are available over the Flexen pass in St Anton. Although a bus service from Lech and Zurs still operates (and can still be the fastest way to get from one end of the Arlberg ski area to the other) most skiers use the impressive Flexenbahn ten-person bubble which takes you from the Trittkopfbahn mid station above Zurs all the way to Alpe Rauz. The Valfagehr chairlift then ascends into the heart of the St Anton ski area.

Alternatively, from Alpe Rauz you can take the Albonabahn II lift which gives you direct access to the excellent north facing slopes of the Albonagrat (2,400m) above Stuben. This is renowned as a mecca for off-piste skiers and boarders, and is also the starting point for several famous itineraries.

And if all the connected lifts and slopes in and around Lech, Zurs, Stuben and St Anton weren’t enough, there are still more available just a short bus ride away from Zurs at Klosterle where the relatively quiet and unknown Sonnenkopf ski area is also covered by the Arlberg ski pass.


Lech-Zurs Beginner Skiing

The Flühen lift in Lech is ideal beginner terrain for skiers and snowboarders.

Best in Lech is the Flühen lift next to the old church where there is T-bar and ideal beginner terrain for skiers and snowboarders. After a couple of days here, beginners in ski school then progress to Oberlech and easy blue runs like Weibermahd. In Zürs the nursery slopes have improved with increased snow-making; beginners can ride the baby lifts near the main car park before accessing blue runs higher up on either side of the valley via Hexenboden and Seekopf chairlifts.


Lech-Zurs Intermediate Skiing

The ski areas of Lech and Zürs are perfectly suited to intermediates, especially the circuit known as ‘The White Ring’. The Auenfeldjet and Flexenbahn lifts also connect Lech and Zurs to the wider Arlberg ski area with over 300kms of marked runs.

Around 50% of the marked runs in Lech and Zurs are designated intermediate. Their ski areas inter-connect to form a circuit known as 'The White Ring', which also attracts day visitors from nearby St Anton. Recommended is the 5km long ski route (170) from the top of Madlochjoch down to Zug. Speed freaks will also find a speed trap skier's right of the Weibermahd run in Lech; anything above 70 km (43 miles) is an achievement.

There are also about 30 ungroomed but marked trails. Only five or six of these are classified as Extreme – the rest should be well within the capabilities of the best intermediates.

The White Ring Ski Circuit

  1. From the main car park in Zurs ride the Ubungshang chairlift, exit left at top and follow blue run 123 crossing via  the bridge over the road to the other side of the valley to the Zursersee chairlift.
  2. From the top of Zursersee go straight ahead and ski a short descent to ride the Madloch chairlift to Madloch-Joch.
  3. From the top of Madloch chair (2,450m) heading away from Zurs, follow the 5km long red 170 ski route to Zug (720m vertical). Alternatively you can turn right and go straight to Lech, but that means missing out Zug and a lot of good skiing.
  4. Ride the Zugerberg chair at the base of red 33a to the Balmalp restaurant with the option to enjoy quick pit stop.
  5. A handy tow rope leads to blue 200 around Kriegerhorn and into the main Lech ski area or turn left and take the 220  to Steinmahder and ride up to Zuger Hochlift (2377m)_.
  6. Stay high and explore before skiing into Oberlech which is a favourite place for lunch with numerous good restaurants and sun terraces.
  7. From Oberlech descend to Lech, cross the road and take the Rufikopf cable car. This will take you back to Zurs via red 181 or blue 180  then Schuttboden lift and blue 185.
  8. Finally ascend Trittalp then follow the blue run 123 back to the car park in Zurs.

Time permitting, ride the Trittkopfbahn gondola (stages 1 and 2) or the Hexenboden 6-person chair cable to end a great day’s skiing. And if you still want more, cross over to the far side and explore Muggengrat, where there are North and South facing slopes and plenty of off-piste.

The White Ring Race

And next time you're skiing the White Ring imagine what it would be like to race it and how long it might take you to complete the 21.6km long circuit including time taken to ascend the half a dozen or so ski lifts en route?

In the White Ring Race, hundreds of competitors from all over Europe do exactly that and the fastest ones complete the circuit in under 45 minutes.

The Arlberg beyond Lech and Zurs

If staying in Lech-Zürs, at least one day trip to St. Anton via the Flexenbahn lift is a must. For a really special experience break for lunch at Hospiz Alm in St Christoph – pricey but always memorable, if only for the slide down the stairs to the toilets.  And don’t forget the Rendl area on the far side of St Anton. It’s mostly West facing so ideal for afternoon skiing and almost all the slopes are aimed at intermediates. The Valluga, Kapall and Schindler Spitz also have a lot to offer.

Stuben and the Albonagrad is another favourite destination for confident intermediates who can manage red pistes. Often the best snow in the whole region is to be found on these North-facing slopes, but there are a couple of sunny, south-facing ones too.

In the other direction, the Auenfeldjet 10 person bubble accesses the slopes of Warth Schroecken. The runs down to Warth, and to the base stations of the Jageralp Express and Salober-Jet chairs usually have good snow (they are North facing) and except for a few clearly marked ungroomed trails, they are all regularly piste-bashed, so good intermediates should be able to ski almost all of them, including the blacks. (Groomed black runs are the one thing Lech and Zurs lacks – there is only one of them – so the 10 or so Black runs in Warth Schroeken add some welcome variety.) Take care with the black run 283, however: one section of it is seriously steep.

Lastly if you want to get away from the luxury of Lech and Zurs, there is a much quieter and more rural experience available on the Sonnenkopf slopes at Klosterle. Almost all the pistes are aimed at intermediates and it is easily reached by bus or car/taxi from Zurs,


Lech-Zurs Advanced & Extreme Skiing

Both Lech and Zürs have plenty of off-piste opportunities and even reasonably priced heliskiing. For those who prefer marked trails, there are nearly 30 ungroomed routes, and five of these are classified as Extreme. The Flexenbahn lift also provides easy access to even tougher challenges in Stuben and St Anton.

In Lech if you like skiing moguls check out the bumps on the ungroomed routes off Kriegerhorn – towards Lech there are Südhang (202), Osthang (203) and Nordhang (204); and towards Zug there are Liezen (221) Furkawang (222) and Gipsloch (230).  Some of these are classified as Extreme Routes. If you want to keep going into Zug, there are two marked trails which descend all the way down from here, one of which is an extreme route (Zuppert) but you will need good snow conditions as they are South-facing. Alternatively, go higher and there are more ungroomed trails from the top of the Steinmahder and Rotschrofen lifts,

For steep and deep there is the Langer Zug from Rüfikopf to Lech (215 and 216)). A mountain guide can show you the more challenging Schwarzewand descent off here with terrific views of Lech.

In Zürs there is plenty of steep and deep off-piste on Madloch, including a famous couloir off the ungroomed trail leading down to Zug – it’s the one with the rock in the middle of the entrance into it, so be prepared to side-slip and side-step around this. There are also ungroomed trails and easily accessed off-pitse arround Steilhang, Stierloch, Stierfall Muggengrat and 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. You can also go into St Anton and return to Zurs via the North face of the Valluga. For this a guide is absolutely essential – you won’t even be allowed into the Valluga II lift if you don’t have one.

The Warth-Schroeken ski area beyond Lech is easily accessible via the two-way Auenfeldjet bubble, You can descend to this lift by both a normal ungroomed ski route and an Extreme ski route that peel off the Mohnenmahder piste. Some experts though might prefer to reach Schroeken the old fashioned way – via an off-piste run off Mohnenfluh with a guide. However you get there, when you reach the Warth-Schroecken area you will find about a dozen black runs and ungroomed trails, plus several offpiste opportunities. Most of the steepest marked routes are near the Jageralp Express lift..There are even tougher challenges however in St Anton and on the Albonagrad above Stuben. For more information on these, go to St Anton Off-Piste.

Heliskiing

Heliskiing for good 'expert' rated skiers is possible Monday - Friday with Wucher heli-flights from Abflugplatz Flexenpass to ski the 5.5 km (3.4 miles) long 1,200 m (3,937 ft) vertical from Mehlsack (2,652 m/8,701 ft). The cost is reasonable (around 330 Euros for 4-persons) though you must factor in the extra cost of a guide as well. This impressive run includes one of the longest north facing runs in the Arlberg and often provides excellent snow conditions. Advance booking is essential.


Lech-Zurs Boarding & Freestyle

Lech-Zurs is good for boarders, especially those skilled enough to venture off piste.

Lech-Zurs is good for boarders, especially those skilled enough to venture off piste in Zurs where there is often powder to be found by making a short hike from the top of the Muggengrat chair, or on the Zurs side of the top of Madlochjoch. Over in Lech on Schlegelkopf there is the Swatch Boarderland course with Boardercross, air park, half-pipe, quarter pipe, 360-degree steep-curve, waveride, and funpark with fun boxes, slides, pro-jump, jump, and inverted jump. Advanced boarders should make a day trip to Stuben (watch out for cat tracks mid-station) and the steep slopes of Valluga and Schindler in St Anton.

Ski lifts & pass

The Lech-Zürs lift system has a limit on the number of day passes to prevent over-crowding and queuing.

The efficient Lech-Zürs lift system carries 48,000 skiers per hour. A 14,000 limit on the number of day passes is strictly enforced in order to prevent over-crowding and queuing. The ski lifts are mostly modern; the newest 8-person and 6-person chairlifts on Kriegerhorn, Steinmahder, Hasensprung, Petersboden, Hexenboden and Schlegekopf have padded seating. The lift table shows over 80 ski lifts for the Arlberg as a whole approximately 50% of which are in the St Anton area.

A single 'hands-free' lift pass covers the entire Arlberg ski area, including St Anton, St Christoph, Stuben, Lech, Zurs Warth and Schroecken - all of which are linked by modern lifts - and Sonnenkopf which can be reached by car or taxi.  As well as use of the the ski lifts, the pass also covers free ski busses which run between Lech and Zurs. There is an additional scheduled paid-for bus service, that after Zurs goes onto Alpe Rauz (the gateway to Stuben), St Christophe and St Anton. Journey times by bus are approximately as follows: Lech - Zürs (15 mins), Lech - St Christoph (30 mins) and Lech - St Anton (40 mins).


LIFT TICKET PRICES

1 day adult - €53
1 day youth - €48
1 day child - €32
5 days adult - €275
5 days child - €237
5 days youth - €164

Activities & Things to do

As one of Austria's largest ski resorts Lech offers a high quality skiing experience. Queuing might happen during ski school starting hours but normally you don't queue for more than 5 minutes anywhere. There are a number of high level ski schools available for all types of skiers. The Arlberg is the birthplace of the ski schools. There is ski terrain for everybody, from the beginner to the alpine tourer. Best skiing though is in Zurs, (lift linked, but a sleepy place to stay).

Lech-Zurs hosts the world's longest ski race known as "Der Weisse Ringe" (The White Ring) crossing over 22 km of pistes. Any well acquainted skier can try the run out for themselves. Though it may be started in any of the three towns (Lech, Zurs or Zug), most start in Lech at the Rufikopfbahn which connects over to Zurs. The run is very popular and well illustrated maps can be found just about anywhere.

During the Summer months the area is a very popular hiking and wellness destination. It is not unusual to stumble across fossils and other interesting geological finds whilst hiking. The "Sea of Stone" hike in particular has plenty of fossil finds as you are literally walking over an ancient coral reef. For those more interested in a trekking-type vacation, one may hike atop the peaks from hut to hut (with cheap dorm-style accommodation and delicious traditional Vorarlberger/Tyrolean dishes). Rock climbing, canyoning, repelling, mountain biking, etc. are all available. In Lech, these activities are all available to children during their day camps.


Events

There are numerous events happening in Lech.

  • The white ring (DE: weißer Ring) is the longest ski race in the world, according to Guinness Book of Records. 5.500 meters of altitude, 22 km of ski runs. Skipionier Sepp Bildstein is the inventor of the White Ring, the ski resort that has been connecting the villages of Lech, Zürs, Zug and Oberlech for over 50 years. In 1940, the first ski lift was built on the White Ring, thus laying the foundations for a legendary skiing holiday. In addition to 22 km of ski runs, the Wintersporters have a unique mountain backdrop, which invites visitors to the sightseeingtour thanks to viewing platforms and art installations. The race at the White Ring was held in 2006 for the 50th anniversary of the ski resort. The track record has been maintained since the beginning of the former ski racer Patrick Ortlieb with a time of 44:35:07 minutes.
  • Medicinicum Lech: A public health event that deals with topics related to health and nutrition.
  • Arlberg Classic Car Rally: In 2017, for the 8th time, 120 classic cars from 1908 to 1973 are on tour between Arlberg and Zugspitze for three days as a rolling museum. In memory of the great achievements of the former road builders, the beginning of the really leads from Lech down through the Flexenpassgalerie to Stuben and finally to Wald am Arlberg. The route between Lech and Zürs was opened in 1897 and is regarded as a technical masterpiece.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Lech has more award-winning restaurants than any other village in Austria, mostly in smart 4-star and 5-star hotels.


Lech

Most hotel restaurants open to non-residents with table d'hote as well as a la carte options and with so many 4- and 5-star hotels offering gourmet standard cuisine, it is no surprise that Lech has more Gourmio hat awards than any other village in Austria.

The trendy Fux Restaurant & Bar in Lech is a stylish alternative to the many hotel restaurants and is a popular late night cigar bar with open fireplace and dancing. The modern building houses an American bar steakhouse downstairs serving exotic steak dishes - ostrich, crocodile, alligator and shark - as well as traditional prime cuts, while upstairs there is a Euro-Asian restaurant and cosy jazz bar serving cocktails and an extensive selection of malt whiskies and top cigars.

Haus Nr 8 on the main road is a characterful 300 year-old barn restaurant rich in atmosphere as well as good food and the restaurant at Gasthof Rote Wand (Gault Milau 15 points) is worth visiting for dinner (or lunch), as is Restaurant Klosterlie - once a small monastry - which serves great fondue specialities in an historic setting.

If staying in bed and breakfast accommodation your budget should allow for that fact that gastronomy in Lech-Zurs is hardly an inexpensive pastime. Cheaper eating options include pizza or pasta at Restaurant Italiener next to the Rüfikopf cable car station or Charley's Cantina for Mexican and Gashof Omesburg for Austrian fare.

Later in the evening the Archiv Bar in the Amrosiuspassage in Lech is popular with a younger crowd for cocktails and late night drinks to 2.00am; try also s'Pfefferkorn, Tannbergerhof and Side Step nightclub in Hotel Krone for dancing to 60's and 70's tunes.


Zurs

Over in Zurs, the Albona Nova is well regarded by top food critics and the restaurants at the Edelweiss, Zurserhof, Lorunser and Hirlanda Hotels are all dependable for good dining experiences.

For drinks the bar at the Hirlanda Hotel in Zurs is popular with locals. Vernissage at the Robinson Club Alpenrose is both a popular cocktail bar and the liveliest disco in the area and Zürserl at the Hotel Edelweiss is a more sophisticated lounge bar night club where the Champagne flows for a well-heeled 35 age group.


Lech-Zurs Apres-Ski

With 9 bars in Lech and 7 in Zurs, apres-ski opportunities are limited but of good quality.

The ice bar outside the Hotel Tanbergerhof is a popular spot, especially later in the season when it is a fun place for people-watching, and the hotel's disco is popular at happy hour as well as late in the evening; s'Pfefferkörndl has a relaxed atmosphere and is popular with locals, but could usefully update its music selection (unless you particularly like random 70s and 80s pop). Après-ski is lively from late afternoon until early in the evening, but by late afternoon as the sun begins to set, most guests have already made their way back to their hotels to be ready for dinner; between 7-9pm village life outside the hotels is quiet.


Lech-Zurs Mountain Restaurants

The best mountain restaurants are at Oberlech, complete with sun-terraces for topping up your tan.

The best mountain restaurants are at Oberlech, complete with sun-terraces for topping up your tan. Highly recommended are the sun terraces at Goldenerberg, Burg Hotel and Burg Vital in Oberlech close to the base of the Peterboden chairlift; the Mohenfluh, higher up the mountain is also good.

Other options include the new Rud Alpe and Kriegeralpe huts or the PalmenAlpe at the top of the Zugerberg chairlift. Alternatively, when the weather is bad, or for a change of scene, take a taxi to the Rote Wand in Zug or the Klösterle Restaurant.

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