Lech is one of the most exclusive ski resorts in the world (once claiming kings were guests and guests were kings) with a determination to give its customers the best at all times. Located in the Austrian Arlberg region, it is probably the most exclusive resort in the Alps - in every sense of the word.
The local Lech-Zürs ski area on its own has some fantastic skiing with plenty of interesting runs to entertain you. However, recent investment in new ski infrastructure means the whole of the Arlberg area (including St.Anton, Zürs, Warth and Schröcken) is now connected via a series of fast gondolas. Until recently the only way to get to St. Anton from Lech was via a bus, so this has dramatically changed the area and increased the skiing potential. The Arlberg ski area now has 305km of runs making it the biggest ski region in Austria and roughly the same size as the vast Espace Killy (Tignes and Val D’Isere) area in France. Situated in what in winter is usually a dead-end valley, Lech is a pretty and compact village where development has been carefully planned and monitored over the years.
Two hundred metres above Lech itself is the satellite of Oberlech. This is a car-free area which comprises a cluster of large four-star hotels. It is reached by a cable car from Lech, which runs till 1am. Oberlech is an ideal choice for families with young children as it has its own ski kindergarten
Resort Altitude: 1,450m
Resort Skiing: 2,811m
Blue Runs: 133km
Red Runs: 135km
Black Runs: 37km
Cross Country: 23km
Travel date 17/03/2019
Booked by: James Eliot
Travel date 10/02/2019
Booked by: James Eliot
Travel date 02/02/2019
Booked by: Paul McCaffrey
Travel date 02/03/2019
Booked by: Clare Roberts
A key reason for Lech’s astounding popularity is its snow record. It has its own micro-climate which means it gets more snow than almost anywhere else in Austria and can boast one of the best snow reliability records in the Alps. The season here runs from the beginning of December to the end of April.
The piste terrain is best suited to good intermediates. Advanced skiers can make good use of the great off-piste skiing; heli-skiing is also offered in Lech for those looking for an adrenaline rush. There are good nursery slopes for beginners and young children, making it a good option for families. With the Flexenbahn gondola now in operation, you can ski across to St. Anton without having to get a bus.
An ideal choice: this is one of Europe's great boarding centres. Facilities for boarders include an 80-metre half-pipe, a fun park and a boarder-cross course full of tricky obstacles. Experts will enjoy the off-piste terrain, especially the powder, however, it is strongly recommended that boarders hire a guide as the off-piste can be difficult to navigate.
There are a range of lessons available in Lech, from beginner group lessons right through to private advanced sessions. Decades of established teaching is sure to leave every skier impressed, and expertly trained ski instructors can cater to almost any request.
The Lech region is not short of good quality, atmospheric restaurants both on and off the mountain. Most restaurants are within, or connected to, hotels in the resort. One exception is Hus Nr 8, a tiny wooden building that is simple, comfortable and serves traditional food with a modern twist for very good value. The Burg Hotel's Lechtaler Stube is renowned for its Mediterranean cuisine, Austrian dishes and extensive salad bar whereas Griggeler Stuba is an award-winning and extremely high-end spot for a feast - it has three Gault Millau toques.
The best spot in town for après has got to be The Eisbar (outside Hotel Tannbergerhof) - grab a gluhwein and you may even hear some live music if you're lucky. Later on in the evening, there's Archiv Bar, a slightly more lively venue in the village. A more sophisticated evening can be had in Fux Jazz Bar, a lovely spot on the riverside where you can enjoy drinks and socialising until late in the evening.
Non-skiers will find they are in good company in Lech: many of the resort’s winter visitors just come here to soak up the clean mountain air and the beautiful scenery. This means the resort remains fairly lively during the daytime. There are some pretty walks along the valley floor and great shopping. It is easy to get up the mountain for a lunch-time rendezvous with skiers in Oberlech.