Find the snow! Winter hiking in Vorarlberg and on the Arlberg in Austria
TVB St. Anton am Arlberg/Fotograf Josef Mallaun
The tip of your nose is icy cold, your cheeks turn red, you exhale and your breath forms clouds before you, you inhale the cold, fresh air deep into your lungs – it’s finally time for winter hiking again. Where could be better for walks through a picturesque winter wonderland than Vorarlberg, the westernmost state of Austria? In this Collection, we’ve put together 10 varied Tours through the Montafon valley, Bregenz Forest, Kleinwalsertal valley and the regions of Lech-Zürs and St. Anton am Arlberg. The five regions have one thing in common – they are perfect for active winter holidays.
As you explore the snowy mountain landscape, you leave your everyday stress behind you. There’s a unique silence in the landscape. With only the sound of the snow crunching beneath your feet, you can completely switch off. The spectacular mountain scenery in the Voralberg is the finishing touch. You hike along well-maintained hiking trails through the Bregenz Forest, Montafon, Kleinwalsertal and Tyrolean Alps. Great highlights and rustic restaurants will greet you on the way – what could be better than a mug of hot chocolate or steaming Kaiserschmarrn pancakes after a hike through the snow?
Depending on how much snow there is, you may want to pack your hiking poles. A thermos flask with hot tea and a seat mat are definitely worth bringing too so that you can enjoy the beautiful viewpoints even more. Don’t forget to wear sun cream in sunny weather – the winter sun in the mountains can be surprisingly powerful.
Travelling to Vorarlberg is easy with the train. ÖBB trains depart from Zurich HB main station to Austria every two hours between 6.40am and 6.40pm. There are good connections to the winter regions from many stations too. With an SBB GA or Half-Fare Card, you can also travel for less in the neighbouring country with a 15% discount on the Austrian part of the route. For more information, timetables and reservations, see: to.austria.info/sbbchoesterreich.
Put on your winter boots and your hat and set off to the enchanting winter world in Vorarlberg. Here, you will find more information (in German) about the regions presented in this Collection:
St. Anton am Arlberg: to.austria.info/stantonwinterwandern
Picturesque winter landscapes and magnificent views - this ten-kilometer hike offers you a lot of winter wonderland. It starts on the sunny balcony of the Montafon, in Bartholomäberg. And so that you get really warm right away, the path climbs nicely.You continue to hike uphill and enjoy beautiful views of Bartholomäberg and the surrounding Montafon Alps along the way. After almost four kilometers, you have more than earned the challenging part of the tour and a long break in the cozy Alpine inn Rellseck.At the height you continue to hike to the idyllic Fritzensee. On the way you will come across seating in the form of a chair lift with a panoramic hood, which invites you to take a break. After you have passed the Fritzensee, the path leads you relaxed downhill again to Bartholomäberg. On your way there you have a wonderful view of the snow-covered peaks of the Rätikon - pure alpine idyll.
This three-kilometer tour is perfect for a nice walk around wintry Gaschurn. The varied path runs partly in the forest, partly on the heights above Gaschurn, incidentally the southernmost municipality in Vorarlberg. So you always have a great view of the snow-covered place and the surrounding mountain peaks. The round starts in the center of Gaschurn.You turn one more arc through the village and then soon walk gently up the mountain through the Kilknerwald. After a short break with a wonderful view of Gaschurn, it goes downhill again and in a small arc to the Ill. You cross the river and walk comfortably towards the center.Before you get back to the town center, you cross the Ill again and shortly afterwards pass the Maria Schnee chapel. A nice place to pause for a moment. Back in the center of Gaschurn you can find a cozy stop and warm up with tea or hot chocolate.
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The Hochtannbergpass separates the Allgäu Alps from the Lechquellen Mountains and is ideal for winter hikes. On this five-kilometer round you hike on well-groomed hiking trails through the magical winter landscape to the Körbersee and back again. In a gentle up and down, you walk through the wonderful landscape and let the impressive alpine panorama affect you. It starts at the parking lot at the Saloberkopfbahn on the Hochtannbergpass.You will soon reach Kalbelesee, which nestles in the beautiful landscape at an altitude of 1,653 meters. Around the Falkenkopf it goes on to the Körbersee. In the local restaurant you can take a break and warm up. How about a lap around the beautiful mountain lake?Then you go back on the same route until the path turns off to the right after about three and a half kilometers and brings you back to the starting point on the other side of the Kalbelesees. On the way you will be accompanied by a magical alpine panorama - this is how winter hiking is a lot of fun!
On this almost six kilometer long tour, a beautiful and promising high path awaits you, which leads you on mostly groomed hiking trails through the winter landscape around Sulzberg. It all starts at the Vitalhotel Linde in the Schönenbühl district.From the parking lot you hike on the snow-covered hiking trail (or if there is little snow on a goods path) to the mountain farms of Unterköhler. The path to Sulzberg climbs slowly and leads you over snow-covered meadows and through forests through the picturesque winter world. Arrived in Sulzberg, you can fortify yourself at a stop in a cozy restaurant.Then it goes back full of prospects. From Sulzberg you can already enjoy wonderful views of the Bregenzerwald. More magical panoramas over the Rhine Valley to the Swiss mountains accompany you on your way back to Hotel Linde.
Magnificent views, exciting paths and lots of wintry idyll - this three-kilometer winter hike offers you just that. The route starts at the Au sports field near Hirschegg. Bus line 3 of the Walser bus takes you to the start in a relaxed manner.You hike on a flat stretch to the Schwarzwasserbach. The path leads you past the picturesque natural bridge, which in winter only serves as a photo motif - but an enchantingly beautiful one. The bridge is closed in snow and ice. It continues through the quiet forest over the Kesselschwand on the Mahdtalweg. In the distance you can see the high mountains rising into the sky.You avoid Egg and soon meet the rushing Breitach. A rope suspension bridge spans the river, so crossing it is particularly fun (be careful if the bridge is iced over). Now it is not far until you have reached Riezlern, your destination, and can choose a cozy place to stop for a break. From the “Kanzelwandbahn” stop, bus line 3 takes you back to Hirschegg.You can find information about the bus timetable here: kleinwalsertal.com/de/Aktuelles-Service/Service/Walserbus-und-Allgau-Walser-Card.
This six-kilometer hike shows you one of the most beautiful side valleys of the Kleinwalsertal, the Wildental. On the way, you have magnificent views of the high sheep alpine heads and the deep Wildental. The round starts in the center of Mittelberg at the music pavilion.You leave the place, cross the Breitach and walk gently uphill. In the distance you can already see the three Sheep Alpine Heads rising up - a fantastic photo opportunity on your winter hike. If you want to warm up in between, you can take a short break in the Inner Wiesalpe. By the way, once you have reached the rustic hut, the altitude meters for today have already been mastered.It continues in a picturesque way: you hike along a beautiful path along the upper edge of the Wildental valley and always have fantastic views of the romantic valley. Look forward to winter idyll par excellence! You will reach civilization again faster than you would like. You walk through Höfle, cross the Breitach again and you'll soon be back in Mittelberg.
Do you feel like peace and quiet today, far from the hustle and bustle of winter sports? Then this ten-kilometer winter hike in the snow-covered Zugertal is perfect for you. It starts at Gasthaus Älpele, where you can fortify yourself for the way with a hot chocolate. If you arrive by bus, the lines 91 or 92 from St. Anton or Lech Zürs will bring you to the starting point.The winter hiking trail leads you from the inn to the Tannlägeralpe. You wander through a breathtaking winter wonderland that will make you forget your everyday stress. The snow crunches under your feet, you are surrounded by the unique silence of a snow-covered landscape and have plenty of time to enjoy. You hike through the Spullerwald and on to the open area to the Lech.After you have crossed the river, you will soon reach Zug, where you can make yourself comfortable in one of the dining rooms. You can then take the bus back to St. Anton or Lech Zürs.
Would you like to discover the Lech mountain world today? Then this almost three-kilometer loop is the perfect winter walk for you. The leisurely hiking trail leads you over a high plateau to the Flexenpass at 1,773 meters above sea level. The starting point is at the Trittkopfbahn in the tranquil village of Zürs am Arlberg.You leave the Zürs and make your way along the Zürserbach towards the Flexenpass. Since the path is south-facing, you can make yourself comfortable on a bench on the way and stretch your nose into the warming mountain sun. When you arrive at the pass, the rustic Flexenhäusl awaits you with delicious dishes. How about a fondue, for example? The Rhine-Danube watershed, which is part of the main European watershed, runs over the Flexenpass.You then hike back to Zürs through the snowy mountain landscape. Since you walk slightly downhill, you have a nice view of the place, which nestles perfectly against the high mountains that surround it.
This leisurely winter hike takes you through the valley of the Upper Rosanna, also called Verwalltal, to the artificially dammed Verwallsee. The Verwall extends south of St. Anton am Arlberg and offers the perfect mountain backdrop for your winter tour. The tour starts a little outside of St. Anton, at the “Verwall junction” stop.The path meanders through the picturesque Verwall Valley and takes you on a fairly flat stretch to the Verwallsee. This serves to regulate the Rosanna and is also used to generate energy. It is also of course a popular destination for hikers. You walk along the shore and cross the Rosanna at the salt hut. Then it goes back on the other side of the lake.In the Gasthaus Verwall you can enjoy a Kaiserschmarrn before you hike back to St. Anton on the familiar path.
This almost eight kilometer long winter hiking trail leads you from Pettneu am Arlberg to the scenic Nessleralm. On the way you can look forward to fantastic mountain panoramas, idyllic forest paths and a cozy stop in the alpine hut. The tour starts in the center of Pettneu.To warm up, the next four kilometers are steadily uphill. The path meanders leisurely up the mountain, sometimes through snow-covered forests, sometimes over sugary alpine meadows with a fantastic panorama. When you arrive at the Nessleralm, you have more than earned a break in the warm restaurant.Enjoy the wonderful view from up here: You look over the summits of the Verwall group and the middle Stanzertal with the Eisenspitze in the background. When you've had your fill, it's the same way back down. The postcard-perfect mountain scenery accompanies you a long way on your way to Pettneu.