The Lechweg (Lech River Trail) is a 125 km long-distance hiking path along with one of the last near-natural alpine river valleys of Austria and Germany. The trail follows the course of the River Lech from its source at the Formarinsee in Vorarlberg, through the Lechtal Nature Park in Tirol and ends at the Lech Falls by Füssen in the Allgäu, Bavaria. It is the first cross-border long-distance path to be awarded “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe” status by the European Ramblers Association.
This shorter version of the tour you will start in the pretty village of Steeg. Walk alongside beautiful turquoise alpine streams and rivers. Enjoy the varied scenery from the Arlberg Alps down to the floodplains around the alpine foothills. The 6-day walking holiday is relatively easy to accomplish as it runs more or less constantly downhill past colonies of alpine ibex, through the unique botanical landscapes of the Lechtal Valley and over a spectacular 200-metre suspension bridge at Holzgau.
A longer version of the tour (The Complete Lechweg Trail) is available here.
- Hike through one of Europe‘s last wild river landscapes
- The traditional mountain villages
- The Holzgau Suspension Bridge
- The High Castle in Füssen
Day 1: Arrival at Steeg/Surroundings
Individual arrival at the village of Steeg.
- Accommodation: Kräuterhotel Stern (Steeg) or similar
Day 2: Steeg/Surroundings to Elbigenalp
Reach the village of Holzgau, mainly known for its houses with painted facades. The highlight of today’s walk is crossing the spectacular Holzgauer bridge – Austria’s highest and longest freely accessible pedestrian suspension bridge – 200 m in length and 110 m above the ground. Cross the dramatic Höhenbach gorge and continue over alpine pastures to Bach, from where it is a leisurely walk along the banks of the river to the heart of the Lech valley – Elbigenalp – which also has a long and proud tradition of woodcarving.
- Accommodation: Hotel Stern (Elbigenalp) or similar
- Walking for the day: 5 hours, 18 km ↑380 m ↓400 m
Day 3: Elbigenalp to Stanzach
Continue walking alongside the Lech river. Just before reaching Köglen, you will get to a small pond, where you may want to stop for a short break. The route then leads along forest and woodland paths to a section with stunning views, before reaching Häselgehr. Pass the beautiful Doser waterfall. Every year the waterfall dries up on St. Martin’s Day (11 November) and springs back into life on St. George’s Day (23 April). The trail then leads to Vorderhornbach, known for its warm climate. If you have time, make a stop at the “Badino” outdoor adventure pool, shortly after you will reach the idyllic village of Stanzach.
- Accommodation: Hotel Föhrenhof (Stanzach) or similar
- Walking for the day: 5.5 hours, 20 km ↑400 m ↓550 m
Day 4: Stanzach to Höfen/Surroundings
Birdwatchers are recommended to stay a little longer on this section of the Lech river. The gravel embankments offer the best conditions for spotting many species of breeding birds, including the sandpiper and the little ringed plover. Nature-lovers should not miss the area from Forchach to Weißenbach am Lech as it is a place of special ecological importance with an array of dryland and wetland areas. The wide-open meadows and pastures at the foot of the slope are the perfect habitat for ground-nesting birds, such as the whinchat and skylark. Overnight in the quiet little village of Höfen.
- Accommodation: Hotel Lilie (Höfen) or similar
- Walking for the day: 5 hours, 19 km ↑50 m ↓150 m
Day 5: Höfen/Surroundings to Füssen
Pass the glistening Lake Frauensee and proceed into the Pflacher Au. Enjoy an impressive panoramic view onto the wetlands near the river from the 20-meter high wooden bird tower. Walkthrough meadows and forests uphill across the border all the way to Bavaria. Soon the impressive Lechfall-waterfall finally marks the end of the Lechweg-path.
- Accommodation: Hotel Hirsch (Füssen) or similar
- Walking for the day: 5.5 hours, 16 km ↑400 m ↓450 m
Day 6: Departure
Return home or individual stay extension.
Accommodation is in nice 3/4-star hotels and inns, in private en-suite rooms (single, twin or double). A double bed may consist of twins pushed or joined together. Requests for twin rooms (completely separate single beds) will be accepted; however, they cannot be guaranteed – you will have separate linen however which is a standard practice in Austria. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Picnic lunches are optional at an additional charge and can be ordered locally. You can have dinner at your hotel or the restaurants in the villages.
- By train to St. Anton am Arlberg form Innsbruck (approx. 2 hrs) and by bus via Lech Schlosskopf to Steeg (approx. 50 min) – for more information and tickets, please visit SBB and Lech Zürs.
- Car parking: a limited number of hotel parking spaces available free of charge, no reservation possible. Public covered car park near the hotel cost approx. EUR 20 per week, payable on the spot.
- Return journey from Füssen to Lech am Arlberg by bus, approx. 3 hours (one bus change).
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers (up to 20 kg per person) on walking days are included in your package.
We strongly recommend protecting the cost of your trip and other non-refundable travel expenses with travel insurance. Our Signature Travel Insurance allows you to insure all of your expenses. While a Signature Travel Insurance policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options, including a Cancel for Any Reason coverage. For complete peace of mind, we also recommend enrolling with Global Rescue, the worldwide leader in field rescue, evacuation and security extraction services.
- Language: German. In bigger towns, you will have no problems finding English speaking service in hotels or restaurants. However, we suggest carrying a dictionary or a phrasebook with you. Please be aware that only a few restaurants offer multi-lingual menus.
- Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs.
- Currency: The currency in Germany and Austria is the Euro (€). We strongly advise taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit.
- 112 enables anyone to call emergency services from anywhere in the European Union.
- Up-to-date travel advice on Austria is available here. Up-to-date travel advice on Germany is available here. Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate
You walk on easy, well-maintained hiking paths, forest paths and partially also on forest- and gravel roads. For all daily tours a good basic fitness level is required. You always have the option to comfortably cut longer tours short by taking the bus any time. In some parts of the tours some surefootedness is necessary, if required the spectacular suspension bridges can be easily bypassed (read more about difficulty grades).
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
Daily departures from the end of mid-May till late September.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots with ankle support
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket / Goretex jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat for sun protection
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
- Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack and GPS tracks
- 5 overnight stays with breakfast in nice 3 and 4-star hotels and inns
- Welcome briefing
- Luggage transfer on all walking days (one piece of luggage per person, max 20 kg)
- Guest cards for all hiking days of the holiday (reduced entrances, free bus rides etc.)
- Original Lechweg cheese tasting, provided by the organic dairy Sojer in Steeg
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Single room supplement: available at an extra cost
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; there is a solo traveller supplement as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners not mentioned in the itinerary, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
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