Lay of the Land
With its small-town charm and hospitable locals, Lech is one of Europe’s friendliest ski towns. Its remote location lends an air of exclusivity, an element further enhanced by the posh hotels and well-heeled visitors and families that frequent the resort. Many travelers hide out in Lech for a week or more, luxuriating in the serene natural landscape and fine dining and shopping outlets. Unlike many of the surrounding mountain towns, Lech does not boast a big après party scene, so it is perfect for families looking for a quiet getaway with great outdoor activities.
Lech is located in Austria’s westernmost province, Vorarlberg, which borders Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. At 4,724 feet, the town and those neighboring it (Zurs, St. Anton, St. Christof and Stuben) form the Arlberg, a world-famous ski region with hundreds of miles of connected runs. Lech itself is comprised of four regions—Lech, Oberlech, Stubenbach and Zug—but most visitors stay in Lech or Oberlech. Everything within Lech town is easily walkable, but the tiny village of Oberlech, which is nestled at the top of the mountain, must be accessed via car or cable car.
Getting to Lech requires some driving time. The most popular option is to fly to Zurich and then drive two hours east. The drive itself is fairly easy, until the final stretch, which is very windy. The other option is to fly to Innsbruck, and then drive one-and-a-half hours west. To break it up, consider spending a night in the imperial city before driving to Lech.
Indagare Tip: Because Lech is so remote, visitors often get snowed in or out during the winter months, so it’s wise to plan accordingly for travel on both sides of a Lech trip.