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The neighbouring ski resorts of Lech and Zürs are pretty, traditional and very posh - attracting old money and blue bloods by the limo-load...
Fortunately, they're not beyond the reach of mere mortals either, which is just as well, because the super-snowy microclimate is much too good to ignore. Zürs averages more than 10m of snow a year, which is more than any other A-list resort in the Alps. However, Lech is by far the more rounded of the two ski resorts - big, but not overbearing, and rigorously traditional in style.
Between them, Lech and Zürs offer just under 120km of pistes. That rises to 276km when you add in the slopes over in St Anton, which is on the other side of the Flexen Pass, and is reached by riding a cheap shuttle bus. Everyone should go over there for at least one day, if only to have a beer or two in the Mooserwirt (probably the world's most famous après-ski bar). But chances are, unless you're a really good skier or snowboarder, you'll come back thinking you've got the better deal in Lech - St Anton's pistes are on the steep side, and are often very crowded. Where you are, the scene is quieter, and gentler, and altogether less frenetic.
One thing that everyone tries to do in Lech is ski the circuit that takes you up to Zürs and back again. Only the more accomplished kind of intermediate should do it, because one of the legs of the route - down into the village of Zug - is not technically a piste and gets very bumpy if there hasn't been much snow. More nervous or inexperienced skiers would be better off sticking to the easier skiing on either side of Zürs, or above Oberlech.
Innsbruck airport is closest, with the transfer taking a couple of hours...
The drive to Friedrichshafen or Munich airports will take about half an hour longer.
With its fantastic snow conditions, Lech is best suited to intermediate or advanced skiers and snowboarders...
If you know you way around a snowboard or a pair of skis, you'll enjoy exploring the ski area of Lech and Zürs, as well as the slopes around the resort of St Anton (accessible by shuttle bus). The chances of skiing powder in these resorts are also higher than most other ski areas in Europe, making them popular with off-piste enthusiasts. Strangely, despite its high-falutin' image, Lech is also home to an excellent terrain park.
Lech and Zürs are not the place to go for crazy après-ski, but they do boast some lovely low-key bars and fantastic restaurants...
If you imagine that Lech or Zürs shares St Anton's cosmopolitan twentysomething scene, you'd be sadly mistaken. Lech is the busier of the two after the lifts shut, with the bars of the Hotel Tannenberghof lively, but not exactly rocking, as people come off the ski slopes.
Afterwards, everybody disperses back to their hotels (most of them eat there), and the resort can be very quiet from then on.
If you're looking to break out of this rhythm, the best place to go is Fux, a chic and contemporary cocktail bar, fusion restaurant and steakhouse, which is a refreshing change after the traditional style of the rest of the resort. For a blow-out meal, book a table at the multi-award winning Griggeler Stuba, in the Burg Vital Hotel in Oberlech.
There are lots of non-skiers holidaying in both Lech and Zürs, but they tend not to exert themselves too hard. This is a place to sample a range of activities before sinking gratefully back into the embrace of your luxury hotel - rather than throwing yourself whole-heartedly into a new sport. You can take your pick from snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, and ice-skating.
This is not a budget-traveller's resort. Lech has more mid-priced accommodation options than Zürs, including some immaculate little guest houses which aren't too expensive. The problem is, they don't offer dinner, and the meals out every night will quickly add up.
Lech really looks the part: almost always snowy, and full of beautifully-kept and traditionally-styled houses and hotels. When non-skiers close their eyes and try to imagine what a ski resort looks like, they probably see something like this.