Lech am Arlberg is a mountain village and an exclusive ski resort in the Bludenz district in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg on the banks of the river Lech. In terms of both geography and history, Lech belongs to the Tannberg district. In tourist terms, however, it is part of the Arlberg region. Lech is administered together with the neighbouring villages of Zurs, Zug, Oberlech and Stubenbach.
Lech is an old farming village set in a high valley that spent long periods of winter cut off from the outside world until the Flexen Pass road through Zurs was constructed at the end of the 19th century. Even now, the road can be closed for days on end after an exceptional snowfall.
Not far from the centre is the cable car up to Oberlech: a small, traffic-free area of 4-star hotels set on the piste. Zug is a hamlet 3km from Lech, with a lift into the Lech slopes. It's not ideal for sampling Lech's nightlife, but there is an evening bus service.
Lech is linked by lifts and runs to higher Zurs (described at the end of this chapter) to the south, and from 2013/14 is due to be linked by a new gondola (but not by piste) to Warth and Schrocken to the north (read the feature panel later in this chapter) - adding 50% more pistes.
There is a free and regular - but often very crowded - ski-bus service between Lech and Zurs but the road to Warth and Schrocken is closed in winter because of avalanche danger. Free buses (also crowded) go to Alpe Rauz for the St Anton ski area, which is also covered by the Arlberg pass. There's also a (less crowded but not free) post bus which runs to St Anton, St Christoph and Stuben.
Lech is busiest in winter, but visit in more affordable summer to savour its pastures and peaks at their uncrowded best.