Lech was formerly an agricultural area with just a small village at its heart and until a road was constructed in the latter part of the 19th century it could spend months at a time cut off from the rest of the world when the weather was bad. It is now a thriving tourist area, with plenty of hotels and skiing facilities for visitors of all abilities.
The area is very picturesque and traditional in style with Lech at an even point between two valleys. The town is located in the Bludenz district of Austria and sits on the river of the same name. The skiing season at Lech runs from December to April. The resort is popular with royalty and the rich and famous but it is still a very down to earth place to spend a skiing holiday.
As Lech gets one of the highest snowfalls in all of Austria, it has secured its place as a successful ski resort.
Accommodation and Entertainment
Zug is the ideal destination in the Lech area for those who are on a budget as the accommodation there is mainly bed and breakfast. The hotels in all parts of the resort are mainly chalet-style buildings. Oberlech is a great place to stay for those with a family although it is one of the more expensive areas of the resort. However, it is very convenient for all the skiing facilities. It is not often that a last minute deal is available to hotels and instruction in Lech, so those who want to visit need to be prepared to plan in advance.
Most of the bars and restaurants are part of a hotel so those you meet there are generally skiers. Cuisines served in the restaurants are typically Austrian although there are dishes available from other cultures including Italian and French. Some of the bars do have live entertainment on occasion.
The ski lifts and runs are limited in terms of skier numbers each day. This is when the ticket sales for the lifts have reached 14,000. The signage in the town and on the motorways approaching the area will warn visitors when this number has been reached. This policy of limiting sales has not harmed the popularity of the resort. The aim of the policy is to maximise the comfort of the guests, so people are not jostling for space on the slopes.
There are plenty of lifts and runs to Zurs from Lech as well as a bus service that is free of charge to visitors in the area who want to get access to the slopes higher up. Alternatively there are regular buses to St Christoph and St Anton. The runs at Klosterle can be reached by the ski-bus and these are mainly for intermediate skiers. The slopes in the area are generally quite high and have a good snow record so visitors will not be disappointed.
Alternatively there are slopes in the tiny sector of Oberlech. The pistes run into the street and the cable car station and the hotels are all linked by an underground tunnel system which is used to move luggage around and can be used by visitors when the weather is bad. The cable car from there will run until 1 am to give visitors access to the nightlife in other areas of the resort.
There are plenty of off-piste slopes for those who are more experienced but those who are not may want to try one of the area’s ski schools. These are located at all points in the resort including Zurs and Lech and there are English-speaking instructors at all of them. There are group lessons available and with 9 different levels of ability for tuition, guests can be slotted into just the right group for them.
Those who want to spend some time shopping will need to head to other towns as Lech is mainly a ski resort. Oberlech has a kid’s club and the supervisors speak English. The town is just as pretty during the summer months but has far fewer visitors at that time. There are plenty of summer activities available there to suit many tastes. Hiking is a popular summer pastime and as summer temperatures are much higher than in the winter it is a pleasant way to spend the time. It is also much easier to explore the local area at that time of year.
Visitors can call in at the Church of St Nicholas which dates back to the 14th century and underwent renovation just 25 years ago. This is a great place for those who are interested in the history of the region. Huber House is a museum which dates back to the 16th century and shows visitors what life used to be like in the region before the advent of tourism.