The journey from Switzerland to Lech in Austria by train is a beautiful trip. We are on the way to do some hiking in Lech and the surrounding mountains. Its summer, the sun is shining and it’s warm. A few days ago it was cold and there was even snow right down to Lech.
For winter sport enthusiasts Lech is a very popular place. During the winter season, more than 7’000 beds are available. During the summer season it is a bit more quiet in Lech. However, in recent years the number of guests in the summer months has increased thanks to the ever-growing variety of activities. Lech is becoming more popular for summer activities. Golfing, mountain biking, hiking or relaxing, Lech has something to offer for everyone.
We take the train from eastern Switzerland via Buchs and Bludenz to Langen am Arlberg. From Langen there is a bus over the Flexenpass to Lech where we check into the Hotel Berghof. We only have a few minutes to get ready for hiking in Lech.
At one o’clock we meet Susanne at the Ruefikopf cable car station. She will be our hiking guide for the hike along the Green Ring. The trailhead is at the mountain station of the Rüfikopfbahn. With the cable car we float into the air and overcome the 900 meters of height difference. On our way up the landscape changes dramatically. The green meadows give way to a rocky landscape covered with snow. In no time we reach the altitude of 2’350 meters. At the mountain station, we are amazed. The air is much colder up here and the whole landscape is covered with 10 centimeters of snow.
The Geoweg on the Ruefikopf in Lech
Fortunately, the sun shines through the clouds and the temperature is very pleasant for hiking. Just outside the Ruefikopf cable car station is a big info board with detailed information about the geologically interesting area. We are standing in the middle of an ancient ocean. The tectonic plates on the Ruefikopf are witnesses of millions of years of history. Fossils of sea creatures such as Nautilus, squid or mussels provide evidence.
There are many interesting sites scattered around this ancient ocean on top of the Ruefikopf. Walk along the Geoweg and you will see all the attractions combined in a 3.4 kilometer long circular trail through the time history of the Ruefikopf plateau. Along the Geoweg you will find markers that indicate the geological features. You will get the most out of it if you get the brochure about the Geoweg with photos, graphics and information about the history of this ancient ocean.
The first leg of the Green Ring from the Ruefikopf to Zuers
Our plan is to walk the first leg of the Green Ring today so we will skip the Geoweg for now. The Green Ring is a three-day hike through the beautiful alpine landscape around Lech. The walk leads over mountains ridges, through valleys, along small rivers and mountain lakes. On the three sections of the hike you can enjoy the landscape and be surprised by attractions along the way. The first section from the Ruefikopf to Zuers is 7.2 kilometers long and takes about three hours.
The Green Ring follows the footsteps of the legendary ski circuit White Ring through the mountains of Lech. The White Ring is a famous ski circuit of a total of 21.7 kilometers on eight ski lifts, cable cars and five ski runs. Once a year a ski race along the White Ring takes place with a maximum number of 1’000 participants. On January 21th, 2017 will be the next race.
There are many legends and myths about the area around the Ruefikopf. Susanne brought a little book called “A Samurai on the Kriegerhorn – Legends for reading and hiking”. The stories are entertaining and we learn a lot about the history of this area. The little green book complements the hike perfectly and you can take time for short breaks with mythical creatures and legends.
On the Ruefikopf at 2’300 meters there is still quite a lot of snow. A few days ago it snowed again, even in the valley and Lech became a few snowflakes too. The trail is barely visible and we have to be careful that we do not slip in the wet snow.
At Lake Monzabon we discover one of the attractions of the Geoweg.
A fossil of a very special kind can be admired here. It’s a petrified Nautilus. For over 500 million years the Nautilus already lives in the depths of the oceans.
There is also a small cottage at Lake Monzabon where you can take a break. Sit down, relax and breath in the fresh mountain air. If you like you can write a postcard to a friend. Free postcards are provided and there is a letter box that will be emptied once a year. Of course there is also a story about the lake in the book. Let yourself be surprised…
A little further and the snow is getting less and less. Lush green meadows start to replace the snow covered rocks. The glissade is over and it is getting very pleasant to hike along the track. The contrast of colors is beautiful and we enjoy every second of the hike.
At the Alpe Monzabon we stop and enjoy a break with a fantastic view. In the hotel we got a lunchbox and now we can enjoy our sandwiches surrounded by the beautiful mountain landscape.
Along the way in a small wooden hut, we find another surprise. What was used as a storage room for hay is now a tiny library with a small but excellent selection of books. You can take a book, sit in the grass and relax while reading.
We are progressing rapidly and already see the first houses of the village Zuers.
Shortly before we reach Zuers Susanne reads us another amusing legend about the witches of the Hexenboden.
In Zuers we are waiting for the hiker’s bus. Thanks to the Lech Card we can ride back from Zuers to Lech for free. We liked the scenery on the hike along the Green Ring a lot and we want to see more of the beautiful alpine landscape around Lech. We would also like to walk the two subsequent sections of the Green Ring. But for this time we have no time, because tomorrow we will hike from Lech to Lake Formarin and the Red Wall.
Alpine summer in Lech
Hiking: In the brochure “Worlds of hiking” by Lech tourism you can find great information about hiking in the region and detailed directions for walks of varying lengths and difficulty levels. The free brochure is available at the tourist office. www.lech-zuers.at
Mountain Biking: The mountains around Lech are perfect for Mountain Bike riders. The downhill bike route “Burgwald Trail” covers an altitude difference of 488 meters over a length of 4.1 kilometers. If you do not bring your own bike you can also rent one. Bike rental (also e-bikes), repairs and bike tours are offered by Strolz. www.strolz.at
Lech Golf Club: In June 2016, the highest golf course in Austria was officially opened. The 9-hole course in the Zugertal close to Lech is nestled in the beautiful high alpine mountain landscape. 18-hole green fee: EUR 82, 9-hole green fee EUR 56, Children up to 18 years 50% discount. www.golf-arlberg.at
Arlberg Alpin offers a whole range of outdoor activities in and around Lech. Depending on your fitness level, you can choose from the following activities: hiking / summit tour, climbing, via ferrata, canyoning, yoga hiking, archery, stand up paddling, geocaching tour, scuba diving, children adventure camp and family downhill biking. The activities can be booked at Arlberg Alpin on www.arlbergalpin.at.
More information about Lech Zuers
The alpine summer in Lech is in full swing between 24 June to 3 October in 2016. During this time most of the hotels and restaurants are open and you can choose from a huge variety of activities. There are also different events that will take place during this time and there is always something happening in Lech. This afternoon, for example, the Lecher Dorffest is taking place on the Ruefikopfplatz just outside our hotel. Of course, we are taking part in this event.
You can easily reach Lech by car or by public transport. Take a train via Feldkirch and Bludenz to Langen am Arlberg. From there take a bus via the Flexenpass to Lech.
You will get the Lech Card from your hotel if you stay for at least one day. The Lech card is free and you can profit from a lot of advantages. You can ride on the bus, as well as all open cable cars and chairlifts for free. You will have access to the forest swimming pool, tennis and volleyball courts, the running and walking trails. The child care in the Kids Active Club, a day ticket for the Lech Golf Academy and much more is included. This year, the Lech Card is free. Next year there will be a small fee to cover the costs.
In the office of Lech tourism you can get a lot of information. There are free brochures and maps of the surrounding area and the nice staff is always happy to help you. The office is located at the Lech main street near the Rüfikopfplatz. In summer the tourist office is open daily from 8:00 to 18:00 and on Sundays from 8:00 to 12:00 and 15:00 to 17:00. The official website is: www.lech-zuers.at.
Accommodation tip in Lech
We stayed at Hotel Berghof. We enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and our comfortable room in the hotel. The dinner was excellent and the breakfast buffet extensive. The location is very central and we can highly recommend this hotel
Have you been hiking in Lech or Vorarlberg? Or do you know the skiing area of Lech? Drop us a comment with your tips for this region.
We were invited to this trip by Österreich Werbung and Lech Zurs Tourism. Thank you for the invitation. We promise our readers that we write what we think and our opinion is not influenced by this invitation.