Having done Andora and Baquera Beret skiing last year, this year we decided to try Austria. We chose Lech-Zurs ski resort, in the Arlberg region of Austria. It’s famous for its skiing – backcountry and off-piste and its Olympic champions. The easiest way we found to get to Arlberg from Madrid was to fly into Zurich, then take the train to Langen am Arlberg station (roughly 3-4 hours).
We stayed in Zurs at a great little Airbnb apartment located in a hotel. We had the use of the hotel bar and restaurant, ski facilities such as the drying room and storage and the spa. Also, it was nice having a kitchen and our own space – I highly recommend it. You can ski from Zurs to Lech and take in quite a few little villages around and in between. There is also a courtesy bus that runs between the main ski resorts. There is no supermarket in Zurs (just a small convenience store). The main shops are located in Lech which you can drive to or jump on the courtesy bus.
The facilities on the mountains are excellent and there are a great number of restaurants to choose from, both on top and at the base of the various resorts. We were lucky in that it snowed heavily for three days just as we arrived, giving us a good base. The runs are quite steep and the difficulty levels can be high on some runs, also there didn’t appear to be many beginners slopes. Perhaps there are more green areas than we noticed, but if you have beginners I would recommend checking this aspect.
Lift passes are reasonably priced and like anywhere, better value to buy a few days worth rather than day by day and a note here, half-day passes really aren’t any cheaper – better to go a full day. The chair lifts are numerous as are the gondolas. I can’t recall seeing any T-bars (perhaps one…?) but there were a few pommels dotted about. Also, there seemed to be a lot of flat bits where we had to “skate” with our skis, particularly between lifts and on some particular runs. Off piste is popular here and we did a bit of that, although, I have to admit, now I seem to prefer the groomed runs. We hired a guide for a day which was fabulous! Whilst he worked us hard, it was a great way to learn the resorts and the different slopes, giving us a good appreciation of the mountain. We went for six and half hours with two fifteen minutes breaks – so not for the faint hearted!
All in all, we enjoyed our stay. Apart from my twisted knee on the final day, we had a great week of skiing – another recommendation.