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The Complete Lechweg Trail

The Complete Lechweg Trail

Overview

The Lechweg (Lech River Trail) is a 125 km long-distance hiking path along 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.

Walk alongside beautiful turquoise alpine streams and rivers. Enjoy the varied scenery from the Arlberg Alps down to the floodplains around the alpine foothills. This 10-day walking holiday is relatively easy to accomplish. It runs more or less 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. 

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lech am Arlberg

Individual arrival in Lech am Arlberg. The Lech River Trail begins in the middle of the Arlberg mountain range in Eastern Austria. Fly into Innsbruck or Zurich and then take a train to Langen am Arlberg (1.5-2h), then a bus to Lech (25 min).

Day 2: Circular Walk Lake Formarinsee | 14 km

After breakfast, a short bus ride takes you to the idyllic Lake Formarinsee with its majestic views, where the Lechweg trail starts at an altitude of about 1793 metres. The path then leads along the Formarinbach river banks, past various vantage points and on to Lech am Arlberg.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Lärchenhof (Lech am Arlberg) or similar
  • Walking for the day: 4.5 hours, 14 km, ↑50 m ↓500 m

Day 3: Lech am Arlberg to Warth/Surroundings | 11 km

Start the day by walking through idyllic farmland and across lush mountain meadows. This stage leads from Lech into fascinating wild river landscapes. Between Lech and Warth, the trail takes you just above the Lechschlucht gorge to the Grenztobel gorge, the border between the two villages. Finish your day in Warth with a visit to the local cheese factory for a tasting.

Day 4: Warth/Surroundings to Steeg/Surroundings | 15 km

This stage leads down a long winding trail. The panorama trail takes you past spectacular vistas and offers many photo opportunities of Lech, as the magical turquoise of the river flashes from far below. Enjoy this idyllic route over meadows and a succession of small bridges. Continue downhill, passing little hamlets all the way to the pretty village of Steeg.

  • Accommodation: Kräuterhotel Stern (Steeg) or similar
  • Walking for the day: 4.5 hours, 15 km, ↑200 m ↓600 m

Day 5: Steeg/Surroundings to Elbigenalp | 18 km

Reach the village of Holzgau, 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 Lech valley’s heart – 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 6: Elbigenalp to Stanzach | 20 km

Continue walking alongside the Lech river. 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 7: Stanzach to Höfen/Surroundings | 19 km

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 breeding birds species, 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 slope’s foot 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 8: Höfen/Surroundings to Pflach | 11 km

Highlights on this stage of the Lech River Trail from Wängle to Pflach include the tranquil Frauensee lake and the wild nature of the Lech river, and the vibrant market town Reutte. This section has something for everyone – from incredible vistas to wildlife watching and spa luxury.

  • Accommodation: Hotel zum Schwanen (Pflach) or similar
  • Walking for the day: 4 hours, 11 km, ↑300 m ↓300 m

Day 9: Pflach to Füssen | 15 km

Today, you leave the Lech river banks and walk along forest paths to Sternschanze (a star-shaped entrenchment and the remains of an upstream fortification for Ehrenberg Castle). Shortly before the Alpsee lake, you leave Austria and enter Germany. The Lech River Trail then leads along the “Alpenrose Trail” towards Kalvarienberg and on to Füssen.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Hirsch (Füssen) or similar
  • Walking for the day: 5 hours, 15 km, ↑400 m ↓450 m

Day 10: Departure

Return home or individual stay extension.

What to Expect

Accommodation

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. 

Click to view default hotels

Hotel Lärchenhof (Lech am Arlberg), Boutique Hotel Lechtalerhof (Warth), Kräuterhotel Stern (Steeg), Hotel Stern (Elbigenalp), Hotel Föhrenhof (Stanzach), Hotel Lilie (Höfen), Hotel zum Schwanen (Pflach), Hotel Hirsch (Füssen)

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Accommodation is on a bed & breakfast basis. Picnic lunches are optional at an extra charge and can be ordered locally, or you can buy products for picnics in the villages where you’ll be staying. On some days, you have the option of having your lunch in a restaurant along the way. You can have dinner at your hotel or nearby restaurants.

Difficulty & terrain

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 places some surefootedness is necessary; if required the otherwise 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 mid-June till late September. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this holiday are Innsbruck, Zürich or Munich.

By train or bus
  • By train to St. Anton am Arlberg form Innsbruck (approx. 2 hrs) and by bus to Lech am Arlberg (approx. 30 min) – for more information and tickets, please visit SBB.
  • Car parking: limited number of hotel parking spaces is available free of charge, no reservation possible. Public covered car park near the hotel, cost approx. EUR 20 per week, payable on spot.
  • Return journey from Füssen to Lech am Arlberg by bus, approx. 3 hours (one bus change).

Inclusions

Included

  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack and GPS tracks
  • 9 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)
  • Lech Card (reductions for cable cars, entrance fees etc.)
  • Original Lechweg cheese tasting, provided by the organic dairy Sojer in Steeg
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • 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

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)

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