Lech Am Arlberg is a ski resort area in the Austrian Alps popular for its world-class winter sports and luxury all-inclusive winter lodges.
This adventure park is a family-friendly canopy walk between mountain ridges, with stunning views of the landscape.
These small hills are perfect for beginner ski students who can take lessons from instructors here through their resort hotels.
Go back in time at this museum, which tells the history and show recreations of village life in Lech.
This river affords many fly fishing and hiking opportunities in the summer months.
Rock climbers can take advantage of this mountain's sparse vegetation and challenging cliff faces.
Amongst Lech's numerous winter events, nothing compares to the festivities and excitement surrounding the White Ring, "the longest ski race in the world," held every January in this area known as the "cradle of Alpine skiing". The race has a cult status reputation with up to 1,000 participants - racers, amateurs and pros alike - racing almost 15 miles of pistes with nearly 18,000 feet of varying altitudes. Yet it's not so much a race - except for the hotshot pros - as it is a jaw-dropping sightseeing expedition. Combining superbly groomed slopes with the gorgeous scenery of the Vorarlberg Alps, leisurely skiers can take in the panorama from viewing platforms along the circuit, and still easily complete the trek in about a half day.
Tourism in the farming region dates to the 19th century, but it wasn't until Hannes Schneider, the son of a cheese maker, observed skiing for the first time that Lech and the Arlberg region's future held more than grassy mountain cattle grazing. The museum in nearby St. Anton provides a detailed overview of the history of Arlberg skiing, including the formation of the world's first ski club in 1901, the development of Schneider's Arlberg technique, the famous Arlberg ski school, as well as old maps, films, winning skis, interactive media and portraits of the great downhill racers.
Settled by Walser emigrants from Switzerland in the 1300s, Lech's heritage as a hardscrabble, livestock-raising community is preserved and celebrated at the Museum Huber House, originally built in 1590. The permanent exhibition includes excerpts of the original stone floor kitchen and living conditions of a 16th century home among many other artifacts and insights into rural living and culture.
Horizon Fields was a 2010 art installation by British artist Anthony Gormley of 100 life-size, cast-iron, human sculptures spread across 60 miles of majestic mountain scenery. The works form a horizontal line 6,690 feet above sea level. Some of the sculptures can still be seen gazing at the horizon.
With Romanesque frescoes still visible on the church walls, Lech's graceful, onion-domed St. Nicholas Church dates back to the late 14th century when the area was first settled. Its classic Rococo interior dates from 1791.
The best time to visit is in the winter between December and March when the mountains fill with snow, affording some of the best slopes in Europe for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.
The closest airport is the Innsbruck Airport (INN) 55 miles away from Lech Am Arlberg. Visitors will then have to transfer by private car to the Austrian Alps.
Langen am Arlberg railway station is the closest train station around 9.3 miles from the main resort center. A one-way ticket from Innsbruck costs EUR26 and takes 1.5 - 3 hours, depending on weather conditions.
Take the A12 74 miles west from Innsbruck to reach Lech Am Arlberg in 1.5 hours' driving time.
Arlberg Express offers direct transfers to Arlberg and Lech from Zurich airport. The journey takes around three hours and costs EUR50.
Kristiania Lech is a deluxe ski resort right on the main street with access to the most popular mountain skiing routes. Located just a bit farther up the slopes is Hotel Sonnenburg with refurbished rooms and modern decor.
Lech - this area in the downtown features several small tourist shops, restaurants, and hotels away from the main ski resorts.
Valluga - the cable car from Lech will take you to the top of Valluga Mountain, which crosses the states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg in Austria.
Lech Zürs - this area of the mountain ranges hosts the world's longest ski race every year.
There are several snow lifts and shuttles operated by the Arlberg ski resorts, which are free for those staying at the hotels. Otherwise, there is no public transportation around Lech Am Arlberg.
Taxi tariffs start at EUR4 and cost around EUR50 for a trip between lodges and downtown Lech.
Rental cars around Arlberg are hard to find, and oftentimes the roads around the city can become closed down due to snow. Instead, try renting a car in Innsbruck on your way into the city for around EUR20 a day.
Strolz department store sells upscale items like fine jewelry and haute fashion and is known as the "Harrods" of the region. The only other major stores are located within each resort, where visitors can buy snow gear, food, and other souvenir trinkets.
Spar is the main food store in Lech Am Arlberg. A dozen eggs costs EUR4.
Most resort hotels offer a half board of breakfast and dinner. However, Fux Restaurant+Bar+Kultur in downtown Lech is a 4.5-star establishment with an extensive wine menu. A meal here costs EUR150.