Apres Ski in Lech-Zurs
The Villages of Lech and Zurs
Lech is the biggest and prettiest of the villages in Lechtal and in our view a more interesting place to stay than purpose-built Zürs.
The township of Lech-Zürs includes Lech, the surrounding satellite villages of Zug, Oberlech and Stubenbach (not to be confused with Stuben) and purpose-built Zürs. The original inhabitants of Lechtal bred cattle for dairy products until construction of the Flexen pass (1895-1900) and the formation of The Ski Club Arlberg (1901) (one of the world’s first ski clubs) heralded the beginning of ski tourism, pioneered by Stuben ski-legend Hannes Schneider, who devised the ‘Arlberg-technique’ and the stem-turn that contributed so significantly to the development of skiing as a sport. The first ski-lift in the area was constructed in Zürs in 1937.
Lech, which owes its name to the river flowing through its middle, is biggest and prettiest of the villages, and in our view a more interesting place to stay than Zürs, where there is less to do beyond the confines of your hotel besides skiing.
Apres-Ski Bars & Nightlife in Lech-Zurs
With 9 bars in Lech and 7 in Zurs, apres-ski opportunities are limited but of good quality.
The ice bar outside the Hotel Tanbergerhof is a popular spot, especially later in the season when it is a fun place for people-watching, and the hotel’s disco is popular at happy hour as well as late in the evening; s’Pfefferkörndl has a relaxed atmosphere and is popular with locals, but could usefully update its music selection (unless you particularly like random 70s and 80s pop). Après-ski is lively from late afternoon until early in the evening, but by late afternoon as the sun begins to set, most guests have already made their way back to their hotels to be ready for dinner; between 7-9pm village life outside the hotels is quiet.
Restaurants in Lech
Lech has more award-winning restaurants than any other village in Austria, mostly in smart 4-star and 5-star hotels.
Most hotel restaurants open to non-residents with table d’hote as well as a la carte options and with so many 4- and 5-star hotels offering gourmet standard cuisine, it is no surprise that Lech has more Gourmio hat awards than any other village in Austria.
The trendy Fux Restaurant & Bar in Lech is a stylish alternative to the many hotel restaurants and is a popular late night cigar bar with open fireplace and dancing. The modern building houses an American bar steakhouse downstairs serving exotic steak dishes – ostrich, crocodile, alligator and shark – as well as traditional prime cuts, while upstairs there is a Euro-Asian restaurant and cosy jazz bar serving cocktails and an extensive selection of malt whiskies and top cigars.
Haus Nr 8 on the main road is a characterful 300 year-old barn restaurant rich in atmosphere as well as good food and the restaurant at Gasthof Rote Wand (Gault Milau 15 points) is worth visiting for dinner (or lunch), as is Restaurant Klosterlie – once a small monastry – which serves great fondue specialities in an historic setting.
If staying in bed and breakfast accommodation your budget should allow for that fact that gastronomy in Lech-Zurs is hardly an inexpensive pastime. Cheaper eating options include pizza or pasta at Restaurant Italiener next to the Rüfikopf cable car station or Charley’s Cantina for Mexican and Gashof Omesburg for Austrian fare.
Later in the evening the Archiv Bar in the Amrosiuspassage in Lech is popular with a younger crowd for cocktails and late night drinks to 2.00am; try also s’Pfefferkorn, Tannbergerhof and Side Step nightclub in Hotel Krone for dancing to 60’s and 70’s tunes.
Restaurants in Zurs
Over in Zurs, the Albona Nova is well regarded by top food critics and the restaurants at the Edelweiss, Zurserhof, Lorunser and Hirlanda Hotels are all dependable for good dining experiences.
For drinks the bar at the Hirlanda Hotel in Zurs is popular with locals. Vernissage at the Robinson Club Alpenrose is both a popular cocktail bar and the liveliest disco in the area and Zürserl at the Hotel Edelweiss is a more sophisticated lounge bar night club where the Champagne flows for a well-heeled 35 age group.
Other Activities in Lech-Zurs
Alternatives to skiing abound in Lech and Zürs, but opportunities for shopping are less than one might expect with such a well-heeled clientele.
A copy of ‘Alternatives to Skiing’ available at the Tourist Office provides information about other activities including
- 1.2 km toboggan run from Oberlech to Lech (9:00am – 10:00pm),
- good cross-country ski routes between Lech – Zug – Alpele and
- 9 winter footpaths all of which are marked on a map.
Also a paragliding school (Tel: Simon Penz 0664 1415166), ice climbing at the Alpin Center, ice-skating and curling at the Hotel Jagdhaus Monzabon, horse drawn sleigh rides as well as swimming, tennis and squash.
Opportunities for shopping in Lech and Zurs are considerably less than might be expected, but the excellent Strolz department store is a tour de force (you can even be measured up and fitted with a pair of handcrafted Strolz ski boots) and is well worth a visit.
Lech-Zurs Tourist Office
Phone: +43 (0) 5583 2161-0Fax: +43 (0) 5583 3155