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.
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.