Germany’s Schwäbisch-Allgäu hiking trail leads you through the sparsely populated, picturesque areas between Augsburg and the Alps, but also to cultural gems and exciting, historic places. At the end, you’ll stand high above Sonthofen, with a wide view over the Illertal valley and to the highest peaks of the Allgäu Alps – this hike could hardly have a more beautiful end.
Heading south, you can see the Alps from the hills along the way again and again: at first they are only faintly visible on the horizon, then they slowly become sharper and larger, until on the last stage you walk right into the mountains.
Between wooded mountain ranges, river valleys and peaceful lakes, you move through a magnificent landscape. The paths are mostly wide and easy to walk, and only occasionally do you have to cross a road. Some of the stages suggested here are quite long, but the elevation gain is always kept to a manageable level.
There’s also plenty of culture along the walk: chapels, churches and monasteries, farms and alpine huts are worth a closer look. The route can be extended with detours to the historic towns nearby – including Mindelheim and Kaufbeuren.
There are plenty of accommodation options along the way, which allow for flexible planning of the route. On some sections, however, they are somewhat scarce; it’s always worth booking in advance. Beer gardens, inns and alpine huts provide welcome refreshment along the way.
With the start in the foothills around Augsburg and the finish in the Sonthofen district of Berghofen, getting there and back is easy to organise using public transport. There is a railway station in both towns, each with bus connections near the hiking trail.
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Last updated: September 21, 2022
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The Schwäbisch-Allgäu hiking trail begins southwest of Augsburg in Leitershofen, which is located directly at the Western Forests Nature Park. After the first few hundred meters you dive into the nature reserve, where you mainly walk on forest roads that day.
The stage is characterized by forest and water…
The second stage continues above the Wertach through the Western Forests Nature Park. Towards the end of this section you are already entering Unterallgäu soil. After the first few kilometers between trees, you hike in the direction of Schwabegg across meadows and fields.
Behind the village you can explore…
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At the southern end of the Western Forests Nature Park, you cross the nature reserve on this stage from east to west and then leave it completely. This also means that the forest will soon no longer be a permanent part of the immediate surroundings and your gaze can wander further.
In the morning of the fourth stage you hike over the hump of the Wörishofen forest. On the other hand, if the view is clear, you can see as far as the Alps and thus also to your hiking destination. It continues picturesquely across meadows and through forests to Irsee.
In Irsee you can expect a bathing…
The fifth stage also takes you further through the idyllic foothills of the Alps. The path runs through the less populated areas of the Wertach Valley, which is well built up at this altitude.
There is a first taste of the higher mountains at the beginning of this section: a relatively longer, but still…
On this day, the scenery changes slowly: After you have hiked a lot through forest and across meadows, today you also go through the lovely river valley of the Wertach and finally to the edge of the Alps. But on the first section you still have time to say goodbye to the usual mixture of forest and meadows…
On the last stage you hike uphill between the mountains without many meters of altitude. You follow the back of the Ellegghöhe for a while and then cross a country road to take the flattest path to Sonthofen along mountain streams.
To your right rises the Grünten, the so-called guardian of the Allgäu…
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