If you want to ski in Europe but are not quite sure where to go, then consider heading to the Austrian Alps. Not only does Austria offer great snow, often well into the spring, it also has what some argue is the best glühwein in the Alps.
My family and I went skiing in Lech in Austria last winter, and the combination of great skiing, cozy accommodations and charming European ski village made it a great choice for our ski vacation.
Lech is a Five-Star Ski Resort
Lech is a picturesque alpine village with traditional chalet style buildings and lush pine forests. Formerly a poor farming village, Lech is now a five-star ski resort, and a popular haunt for a rich and famous clientele.
Skiing Provides Family Fun
Lech has 68 miles of runs, and 34 lifts that connect with its neighboring ski resort Zür. Though Lech gets twice as much snow as other nearby resorts, the runs are more suited for intermediate level skiers. For those looking for more challenging runs, a pass which can be used at other area resorts such as St. Anton and Rauz, that are accessible via a free ski bus.
My children attended ski school where the instructors spoke English, and though many of the other children in the school did not, they managed to make friends despite the language barriers and most importantly, they improved their skiing.
Non-Skiing Activities Abound
Lech also has a number of non-skiing options, including approximately 12.5 miles of foot paths along the ski trails, horse drawn sleigh rides, and a 1 mile long toboggan run, which is pretty insane. You’re taken up the slope on a drag rope then fly down the run in an inner tube while loud music thumps in the background.
Family Friendly Accommodations
Though there are a number of ski-in, ski-out lodgings in Lech, our hotel, Kristiana Lech, was not. Located near the city center, it was just a 5 minute walk to the lifts. However, a town bus stops right in front of the hotel, which we used once or twice to prevent being late for ski school.
Hotel Kristiana Lech also has wonderful panoramic views of the mountains. The hotel’s elegant restaurant, a la Carte Kristiana, offers a culinary experience that rivals any found in Michelin starred restaurants. They will also happily prepare more child-friendly options, if your child is not interested in the gourmet menu. The hotel’s other restaurant, Kaminzimmer, is a more casual setting where you can enjoy fondue, which, if your skiing in the Alps, you must.