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Founded in the 14th century by émigrés from the Valais district of Switzerland, Lech still has its original Pfarrkirche (parish church) from that era. This archetype of a snug alpine ski village is practically joined to Oberlech, a satellite resort a little farther up the mountain. Lech stands at 1,440m (4,724 ft.); Oberlech is at 1,710m (5,610 ft.).

Zürs is more fashionable, but Lech has its own claim to fame: It played host to Prince Charles and his future wife, Princess Diana. Despite its reputation as a ski resort, Lech offers some great warm-weather activities, too. In summer, visitors come here to tour the Upper Lech Valley, which stretches for 56km (35 miles) to a scenic valley between the Lechtal and the Allgäu Alps.

Regardless of which resort you stay in, we suggest that you go to Oberlech on a sunny day and find yourself a spot in one of the big sun-terrace restaurants.