The Lechweg trail – a long-distance hiking trail in eight stages connecting two countries
Hiking trail on the Arlberg: through one of Europe's last remaining wild river landscapes
The Lechweg trail connecting two countries has been awarded as the first "Leading Quality Trail - Best of Europe" by the European Hiking Association and is therefore considered to be a model for long-distance hiking trails throughout Europe. It leads through one of Europe's last remaining wild river landscapes and incorporates both the diverse natural landscapes and cultural landscapes of the three regions with their special histories and traditions into the route.
Just like the history and culture of the towns that it runs through, the Lech river has always shaped its surrounding area's rich in species flora and fauna.
With its numerous breeding bird species, wild growing orchids and one of Europe's largest wild alpine ibex colonies, the Lech's wild river landscape is deemed to be one of the richest in species in Central Europe.
The Lechweg trail's course and stages
The Lechweg trail leads hikers and ramblers from high mountains down to the low lying Alpine foothills. While the trail runs slightly downhill most of the time, some smaller climbs and now and again steeper sections of the trail also have to be overcome.
The Lech – from a mountain stream to a wide river
This variety-packed and captivating hiking route starts at Formarinsee lake, where the Lech's spring is situated close to the little village of Lech am Arlberg. The mountain lake at roughly 1,800 metres altitude is a sparkling reservoir for numerous wild streams that fall down into it from the surrounding rock faces and it was chosen as Austria's most beautiful spot in 2015. From here, hikers and ramblers on the Lechweg trail accompany the course of the Lech River and can observe how it swells from a little stream to a wide river along the route.
Quaint villages along the trail
You head downhill from Formarinsee lake over alpine pastures and mountain forests to Lech am Arlberg – to the finish of the hiking route's first stage. Anyone setting off from there is embarking on a hike surrounded by a breathtaking panorama framed by the Allgäu Alps on the left and the Lech Valley Alps on the right through the picturesque villages of Warth, Lechleiten and Steeg. Holzgau particularly stands out due to its magnificent Baroque painted houses and with its numerous saint figures embodies the typical Lechtal style that emerged roughly 200 years ago during the village's heyday.
Austria's longest pedestrian suspension bridge
The next section of the trail impresses with one real highlight: the country's longest and probably at the same time most spectacular pedestrian suspension bridge at 200 m long and more than 100 metres high. You cross the Höhenbachschlucht gorge near Holzgau on this and even experienced hikers can reckon with an adrenaline rush. Anyone finding this a bit too daunting can choose an alternative route through the gorge to get to the other side of the suspension bridge. From there, the hiking trail leads over the flowery slopes of the Schigge to Elbigenalp, the village of the Geierwally, a Tyrolean fictional character. The Lech river's course gets continuously wider from now on. The turquoise blue river winds through the gravel banks of the Lech riverbed to the Lechfall waterfall near Füssen in Allgäu. The Bavarian royal castles are a magnificent end to the Lech hiking trail.
Pension Daniel, your stage finish
Pension Daniel in Lech should be one stage finish to your long-distance hike. Another version might be to stay at Pension Daniel on the Arlberg and hike individual sections of the Lechweg trail or other tours every day or try out other outdoor activities such as mountain biking. Send us your non-binding enquiry and reserve your room at Pension Daniel for the dates you want.