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Bregenzerwald & Großes Walsertal

Bregenzerwald Region

Scenic Bregenzerwald at the heart of Vorarlberg is the biggest region of Austria's westernmost province, stretching almost from the shores of Lake Constance in the west to the Tirolean border in the east. The entire area offers a huge variety of landscapes and fabulous mountainscape, ranging from gently rolling Alpine foothills to high Alpine terrain - Bregenzerwald has it all. Therefore it's not surprising that this region ranks among the country's most popular living areas and activity spots.

Facts

    • Inhabitants
    • 30,104
    • Villages
    • 22
    • Surface
    • 479 km²
    • Alpine Dairies
    • 28
    • Alpine Pasturelands
    • 90

About 30,000 people in 22 villages live in the Bregenzerwald Region. The locals from Bregenzerwald have always focused on creating and promoting their rural cultural landscape in the most effective way. Many little villages show quite surprising combinations of old and new (wooden) architecture, coupled with authentic local handicrafts. Both architects and local craftsmen have developed a characteristic style in building houses by centering also on top-quality materials. A high level of aesthetic sense and ecology-friendly factors influence also other disciplines.

Visiting the Bregenzerwald Region you will soon notice the very special ambiance created by local craftsmen ...
... If you stay in one of the recently refurbished hotels, guesthouses or apartments combining the old and new with love to the detail.
... If you enjoy excellent food in the traditional inns, hotels and restaurants. An absolute culinary must-try are the popular Bregenzerwald cheese specialties, e.g. mountain cheese and pastureland cheese. In several stages, the unrivaled Bregenzerwald CheeseRoad gives an insight into the deeply rooted history of cheese in our country.
... If you like cultural events and exhibitions, be it classic or modern, in close touch with the surrounding nature. One of the yearly highlights in the music calendar is the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg. Additionally, the "Werkraum Haus" in Andelsbuch stands for innovative crafts work.

Still today the major part of the Bregenzerwald region centers on agriculture. A cultivation plan in 3 steps helps to maintain and preserve the varied forms of Alpine meadows (valley - Alpine foothills - high Alpine area). The landscape has been added to Austria's UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages! Walking and theme hiking trails are the best way to explore the splendid region.

Over the last years some 450 km of mountain bike routes have been waymarked. A detailed mountain bike trail map including also 15 top routes for beginners, advanced and real experts is available at the Damuels Faschina tourist office. Several outdoor sport schools offer adventurous tours for passionate nature explorers.

Grosses Walsertal Region

The Großes Walsertal, a high Alpine valley stretching from the east towards the west in the center of Vorarlberg, ranks among the country's most sparsely populated regions. It was first settled by the Walser who came from Switzerland's Canton of Valais in the 13th century. A true natural gem that was awarded UNESCO Biosphere Park in 2000, a model area strongly focusing on sustainable life, work and agriculture in tune with nature.

Facts

    • Inhabitants
    • 3,400
    • Villages
    • 6
    • Surface
    • 192 m²
    • Cultivated Pasturelands
    • 47
    • Highest Mountain
    • Rote Wand 2,704 m

The secluded mountain valley still has some areas almost untouched by men. Only 18 inhabitants per square kilometer live on the region's steep slopes. A truly genuine mountain world where smoking industrial chimneys and traffic noise are literally unknown. Grazing brown cattle on the Alpine pasturelands welcome you instead: cattle breeding has been the most important economic sector since the 13th and 14th century. The Walser people are widely known for their genuine life in close touch with nature and the awesome natural beauty of their landscapes - a fact that has become increasing importance in the tourism industry.

From 1313 onwards, settlers from the eastern part of the area came to the valley and Damuels. The former "Obergericht" region (Damuels and Fontanella) was independent, only in case of a war its inhabitants were commanded by the Earls of Haus Montfort and had to serve them with "shield and lance". The entire Grosses Walsertal is encircled by the majestic Walserkamm ridge and the mighty Lechtal Alps, boasting an infinite number of gorges, ravines, rushing mountain waters, lush green meadows, dense forests and an unrivaled variety of Alpine fauna and flora.

Special theme trails and networks give an insight into the fascinating life of the local fauns: admire marmots soaking up the sun on the shores of little ponds, tiny salamanders next to ice cold glacier brooks, Alpine ibexes towering high above the valley, barded vultures floating silently in the air, mighty eagles on glacier-topped peaks. This wonderful nature paradise makes a real heaven for activity holidays in touch with nature.

Thanks to a varied hiking program certified hiking and trekking guides from Grosses Walsertal and Damuels take guests to the area's most secluded spots from May through October. Choose from incredible 230 km of hiking trails which are perfectly signposted and maintained according to Vorarlberg's hiking trail quality seal, 40 mountain peaks and 47 serviced mountain inns spread all over the giant Grosses Walsertal Biosphere Park. Both active hikers and those who prefer a more leisurely pace will find their favorite activity.

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