Travel: Skiing: Lech - best resort to be marooned in

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The Independent Travel
LECH is in a part of Austria that is renowned for heavy snowfalls - the Arlberg, located at the western end of the Tyrol. It is reached by a high, avalanche-prone road over the 1,774-metre (one mile) Flexenpass. Before the road was built, the village was cut off all winter, and even now it is not uncommon for heavy snowfalls to make the road impassable for days on end.

The charming village, which consists of upmarket chalet-style hotels spread around a small valley basin, makes a comfortable place to be isolated, at least until the beer runs out - more so than Zurs, in a bleak setting up near the summit of the pass.

Plus points: Pretty village and ski area. Fair-sized, varied ski area linked with Zurs. Excellent beginners' area at Oberlech. Plenty of intermediate and easy pistes. Good off-piste potential.

Minus points: Not much challenging piste skiing. High prices and swanky clientele. Tricky road access. Long airport transfers (for an Austrian resort). Surprisingly poor mountain restaurants (for a smart Austrian resort).

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