Surrounded by the stunning Arlberg mountain range and famous for being drenched in both snow and sunshine, it’s not hard to figure out why Lech is one of the hottest winter ski destinations in Austria.
Lech lies in the Arlberg region of the Austrian Alps, just over an hour from Innsbruck and a couple of hours from Zurich and is an Alpine village of unquestionable taste, style, heritage and enviable snowfall.
The Ski Club Arlberg is recognised as one of the oldest and most influential ski clubs in the world. Its members have collected 54 Olympic and world championship medals since the club was founded.
It is also a sensational ski resort comprising five charming and uniquely different alpine villages with 84 cable cars and chairlifts providing access to 280 kilometres of marked ski slopes and 180 kilometres of deep-snow runs.
Highlight has to be theWhite Ring - a sporting challenge with about 22 km of skiing pistes, 5,500 m of difference in altitude and a sightseeing tour with viewing platforms.
It is home to natural beauty, royals, celebs, groomed slopes - with enviable snowfall and even pampers visitors with heated seats on the chair lifts. Lech is as much about furs, cashmere and old-timer Bentleys, as it is for fondue and delicious Apfelstrudel.
The snow decked streets, wooden chalets and traditional feel give the village an air of romance – perhaps why Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy holidayed in the film Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason and where the late Diana, Princess of Wales, came to ski and stayed at the fabulously chic, Hotel Arlberg.
In recent years Lech has also grown to become one of the world's premier ski destinations and the home of a number of world and Olympic ski champions.
Lech is best known for its skiing (both on-piste and off-piste), and when you include the other Arlberg resorts of St. Anton, St. Christof, Warth-Schröcken and Stuben, which can be reached by Lech-Zürs, there are 340 km of piste and 190 km of off-piste, accessed by 94 lifts.
Lech is also the starting and finishing point for "Der Weisse Ring" ("The White Ring"), a circle of runs and lifts that is a popular tour and the scene of an annual race involving both experts and enthusiasts.
In addition, off-piste opportunities are numerous and these are the only resorts in Austria that offer heli-skiing.
Skiing holidays in Lech also provides sophisticated après-ski, including several outdoor ice bars serving Champagne. Non-skiers can browse exclusive boutiques, enjoy the extensive walking trails in the valley or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride from the picturesque village into the romantic Zug Valley.
Where to stay - right in the heart of Lech, at the family owned Hotel Arlberg Lech – an elegant grown-up residence of expected luxury, set to the familiar Alpine rhythms of chic ski chalet meets rustic hunting lodge.
The Hotel Arlberg Lech also boosts several acclaimed restaurants, a real buzzing bar around the fireplace and the fabulous Senses Spa with pool, gym and no less than four sauna experiences – perfect to sooth those aching bodies.
Images © Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH & Sepp Mallaun, Austria