Do a Google image search for Lech and all you will see is snow! One of Austria’s best known ski resorts, this cosy alpine village is famous for it’s slopes. But visit in summer and you’ll see a very different picture. The snow is gone, and left behind are green hills, dark pine forests, and meadows of wildflowers.
There are so many reasons to visit Lech in summer. From spectacular scenery to all kinds of ways to get active, there’s plenty to keep you busy. And outside of the busy ski season, hotels tend to be quieter – so there are more bargains to be had. Better still, lots of the things to do around Lech are free if you have a Lech Card – which is free if you stay in town for longer than three nights. More info on that at the end of this post.
For now, here are my top things to do in Lech during summer…
Hiking in Lech
If you’re used to seeing the hills around Lech covered in snow drifts and ski slopes, you might be surprised by how it all looks in summer. The white slopes are green and lush, and dotted with wildflowers. Lech use snow machines to ensure there’s always a thick layer of snow on the slopes in winter, which protects what’s underneath ready for summer.
Grab a Worlds of Hiking brochure free from the tourist office and hit one of the many trails around Lech. There’s something to suit all fitness levels, so you have no excuse! For those in search of adventure, the Green Ring is a three-day circular hiking trail passing mountain lakes, hidden caves, and waterfalls.
Relax with Mountain Yoga
Head for the hills in search of relaxation and wellness with Arlberg Alpin. Their Mountain Yoga Trail is a great way to connect with nature and unwind. With fresh mountain air on your skin, cool grass beneath your feet, and stunning mountain views all around you – could there be any better setting for a yoga session.
Guide Annalisa will lead you up into the mountains on a gentle hiking trail, ending with an empowering yoga session that is all about experiencing nature and connecting with the earth around you.
Read more: Want to explore the rest of the region too? Check out my Vorarlberg Summer Guide for loads more tips and information.
Rüfikopf Cable Car
During summer, all the local cable cars are free of charge with the Lech Card. Hop on the Rüfikopfbahn and within a few minutes, you’ll be at a height of 2,350m. The views are Rüfikopf are some of the best in the area, and on a clear day you can see for miles in all directions from the 360° viewing platform.
At the top, the Panoramarestaurant Rüfikopf is great if you want to sit, eat, and enjoy the view. Go early for mountain breakfast, or enjoy a fondue at sunset every Friday during July and August! If you want to burn off all that food, Rüfikopf is also the starting point of numerous hiking trails – including the Geoweg Trail which focuses on the 200 million year history oft he local geology.
Discover the Local Herbs
Every Tuesday during summer, local expert Veronika runs a guided “herb hike” through the valley around Lech. It’s one of a couple of themed hikes which are included free of charge with your Lech Card.
Explore the nature of the surrounding countryside, and learn all about the local herbs. Certified herbs teacher Veronika can share the properties and uses of all the alpine herbs. Especially which ones can be used in schnapps! It’s a great way to connect with nature and discover a whole knew side to Lech.
Explore the Huber Hus Museum
One of the most iconic things in alpine villages are the traditional alpine chalets. So why not discover how they look on the inside? The Huber Hus was built in 1590 and has been perfectly restored to resemble a 16th century alpine house. Discover how life used to be in the mountains, and get a glimpse back in time. The knowledgeable guides are excellent, and upstairs there are temporary exhibits which offer a further glimpse into Lech’s history.
Visit the Lakes
This is something I didn’t get a chance to do on my visit, and I’m gutted about that because these scenic spots close to Lech look absolutely amazing. There are two large lakes not far from Lech, Spullersee and Formarinsee, and both can be reached easily on the local buses.
Lake Formarin (Formarinsee) was once voted the most beautiful place in Austria, so it’s definitely worth a visit. Known for its intense blue and idyllic mountain scenery this really is a beautiful spot. But both lakes are worth a visit, and both offer some gorgeous hiking trails. You can even take a dip in the icy, snow-melt waters, if you’re brave enough!
Where to Stay
I stayed at Hotel Omesberg, which sits overlooking the town and has some fab views from its balconies. There’s a lovely spa and a great restaurant, and rooms are huge and really comfy. I’d definitely be happy to recommend it. Plus, the location is excellent and you’re less than ten minutes walk from the centre of town.
About the Lech Card
If you stay in Lech for two nights or more over summer, you can purchase a Lech Card. It starts at 24€ for three days and includes a great range of benefits. From free use of all the cable cars in Lech and Warth, as well as all local buses, to free entry to various local attractions. There are the themed hikes mentioned above, and discounts on selected summer events. In short, it’s a great way to get the very best out of your trip to Lech. I used one on my trip and it made life so easy – especially when it came to using the public transport.
My trip to Lech was part of a press trip organised by Visit Austria and Vorarlberg State Tourist Board. As always, all words and opinions are mine and unbiased.