Lech/Zürs ski resort is located close to the German border in the region of Vorarlberg and is accessible from the airports of Innsbruck, Zürich, Friedrichshafen and Munich. Trains and/or buses run from these airports to the resorts. Driving or taking the train from the UK is also popular.
Innsbruck Airport is the closest provincial airport; from there, it takes only about two hours by train and bus to reach the resort. Munich and Zürich receive regular budget carriers, however, and are by far the more popular option. Zürich Airport is serviced by the Skibus which will take you to either resort on Fridays and weekends and is the most practical option.
By car, the route to Lech/Zürs from Calais is 1,030kms and involves over a day of driving along tolled motorways. The 593-kilometre journey from Vienna will take about six hours and follows the A-1, A-8 and A-12. From here, follow the E-60 to the B-197 turn-off, then get on the B-198. From Zürich International Airport, the main motorways to follow are the A-1, A-14 and E-60 east before turning on to the B-197/8 north.
Trains from Innsbruck to Langen take, on average, 1 hour, 30 minutes; trains from Zürich take between 2 hours, 40 minutes and 4 hours; trains from Friedrichshafen, between 2 hours, 30 minutes and 3 hours; and trains from Munich to Langen, between 3 and 5 hours, depending on the connections.
Eurostar trains leave London Waterloo daily at 17:09 and arrive in Paris, Nord, at 20:59. From here, there is an overnighter to Zürich, arriving at 06:20 the next day. A daytime option is to take the London Eurostar at 10:29, with a change in Paris to a high-speed TGV, leaving from gare de Lyon. Trains go all day from Zürich to Langen, from where buses and taxis go to Lech/Zürs.
SKI AND SNOWBOARDING INFORMATION FOR LECH / ZÜRS, AUSTRIA
Lech, at the centre of the Arlberg ski area, is one of the most exclusive ski venues in Austria. Along with its neighbour, Zürs, this is where high society goes for a winter break in beautiful surroundings on well groomed slopes.
Both Lech (1,450m) and Zürs (1,720m) are host to a collection of extremely expensive hotels, shops and top-rated eateries. Tourists far outnumber the year round population of Lech, which is only 1,000, and Zürs, just 100. There are over 8,000 beds in all, ranging from five-star to two-star as well as private accommodation.
Lech/Zürs has a total of 55 runs encompassing 180kms of pistes with a longest section of five kilometres. Beginners have 27 per cent of the slopes; 49 per cent for intermediate; and 24 per cent for advanced. Eighty-three lifts and four gondolas transport over 44,600 skiers per hour. There are 120kms of off-piste runs, and two cross-country trails – one 15kms and the other 4kms. In addition, there is a Fun Park for snowboarders.
After-hours and away from the slopes, activities and facilities include: 15kms of winter hiking trails; a natural toboggan run, floodlit in the evenings; horse-drawn sleigh rides; curling; helicopter skiing; ice-skating (natural); indoor tennis; paragliding; winter golf (indoor driving range); squash; and a sports centre. Nightly entertainment boasts 36 bars, including 20 ice bars and five discos.
The Lech/Zürs ski season starts at the end of November (possibly later) and runs until late April, with the best conditions towards the end of February and the cheapest rates the week before December 19 and late March onwards.
You can fly, drive or take the train, or use a combination of these methods to reach the resort. There are four airports with connections to the resorts, with Zürich being the most convenient. The Skibus runs from Zürich Airport to Lech/Zürs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday; on other days, trains go to Langen where buses and taxis await.
LECH / ZÜRS SKI AND SNOWBOARD RESORT, AUSTRIA
The exclusive ski resorts of Lech and Zürs are located in the centre of the Arlberg ski area of Austria close to the German border, with Innsbruck to the east and Zürich to the west. The ‘St Moritz of Austria’ without the glitz, Lech shares its skiing area with Zürs, offering arguably the best skiing in Austria.
The atmospheric 14th century village of Lech lies widely scattered over grassy slopes cut by sharp ravines and presents a picture-postcard image set in a beautiful wooded valley, while elegant and sophisticated Zürs consists of 1.5 kilometres of typical white stucco Vorarlberger buildings with carved wood balconies.
Accommodation is available in every category, but always of the same high standard, and there are endless wellness facilities to ensure guests’ comfort. Restaurants, open-air snow bars, indoor bars and dancing provide entertainment after a day on the slopes. The après-ski is lively, but tends to cater for the chic, older crowd, which thrives in Lech. There is a kids’ school (ages 4 to 12) and a nursery available.
Lech caters for beginner skiers, but is more than capable of challenging advanced adventurers in its off-piste runs. All of its ski pistes, open slopes and ski routes are found between 1,450m and 2,800m. Cable cars, chairlifts and draglifts transport winter guests up to the breathtaking slopes. Boasting 83 cable cars and lifts, 120kms of off-piste runs and 180kms of groomed runs, skiers of all abilities are presented with plenty of variety.
The landscape is dotted with several villages featuring elagantly painted Tyrolean houses. One of the smaller villages and winter resorts, Stuben is near to Lech and can be reached by bus, but a more romantic way to arrive, however, is by horse-drawn sleigh. Stuben is not as picturesque as Zürs but costs more reasonable and it is in a good location. The many big sun terrace eateries in Oberlach make for a superb place to dine on a sunny day.
The ski season runs from late November or early December until late April, and the cheapest times are usually the week before December 19 and the last month of the season. The cheapest and most convenient way of getting to the resorts is to fly to Zürich with a budget carrier and take the Skibus to Lech/Zürs; buses run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.