Top 20 resorts: Lech

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The Independent Travel
Everyone who has read about Lech knows that it is one of the 'smartest' resorts in the Alps, and probably the most fashionable in Austria, attracting a lot of German money (as well as some slightly royal British money).

The point that perhaps we scribblers get across less reliably is that the resort wears its affluence lightly, so that poor relations feel quite at home. In some ways it is even more discreet than Gstaad: the afternoon bar outside the Tannbergerhof may be a touch vulgar, but conspicuously exclusive shops are few. It's an attractive chalet-style village, dominated by the Omeshorn. In winter, the way down the valley towards the Danube is closed; you get in and out over the avalanche-prone Flexen Pass with the (slight) attendant risk of isolation from the world.

The skiing, linked with Zurs, suits everyone from the beginner to the off-piste expert, with the possible exception of the black-run mogul freak. It is not queue-free, largely because the Lech-Zurs circuit cannot be skied anti-clockwise. By Austrian standards it is high, and by any standards pretty snowsure. A surprising weakness is the lack of appealing mountain restaurants; I always seem to end up at the hamlet of Oberlech, 300m above the village.

CHRIS GILL'S VERDICT: One of the few Austrian resorts that will feature in this series - but one I am always happy to return to for its good skiing in charming surroundings. And St Anton is just around the corner - but that's another story.

(Photograph omitted)