Enjoy a wonderful holiday with us in the Kleinwalsertal – a valley that offers guests a variety of possibilities in summer and winter – regardless of whether you prefer peace and quiet or heaps of action.
The Kleinwalsertal valley
The Kleinwalsertal valley is a high mountain valley featuring three delightful villages (Riezlern, Hirschegg and Mittelberg) at an altitude of 1,100 m to 1,250 m. In the east and southeast, the valley is bordered by the Lechtaler Alps and to the north and west the Vorarlberg and the Swabian Alpine foothills open up. The Grosser Widderstein mountain, with its peak height of 2,536 m, closes the valley to the Bregenzerwald and Hochtannberg areas to the south. Two parallel valleys, the Breitach valley in which there are settlements, and the Schwarzwasserbach, a purely skiing and Alpine valley, cover an area of 97 square kilometres. The valley itself is 3 to 4 km wide and 16 km long.
In the last third of the 13th century, Valais farmers who had fled from the Goms area, the upper part of the canton of Valais in Switzerland, to the high valleys of Vorarlberg, reclaimed the Kleinwalsertal valley, which up until that point was an uninhabited hunting ground. Swabian noble families owned the valley. In 1451, Duke Sigmund of Tyrol conquered Tannberg, the centre of the Walser settlements and place of jurisdiction. Until then, the Walser had free jurisdiction. In 1891, however, the Customs Treaty came into force (which is still in effect today), which connected the Kleinwalsertal economically to Germany, but left the Austrian sovereign rights intact.
Worth knowing about the Kleinwalsertal
Pleasure Region Kleinwalsertal
Kleinwalsertal Game and Beef was recognised by Genuss Region Austria in 2013. Here in the Kleinwalsertal, the emphasis is on regionalism, seasonality and close cooperation between farmers, hunters, producers and gastronomy. You can buy high-quality beef products, veal and game meat in the farm shops or at the Walser weekly market, which takes place every Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Walserhaus in Hirschegg.
Tradition and culture
The geographical location and the eventful history of the Kleinwalsertal have contributed much to the fact that the region’s inhabitants can boast of having very independent traditions and culture. The best way to experience – or rather stroll through – Walser history is during village walks in Mittelberg, Rietzlern and Hirschegg. The entire calendar year is filled with events and celebrations, concerts, homeland evenings, and ceremonies to celebrate cattle herding to various elevations (Alpabtrieb). Small wonder the local motto is: Kleinwalsertal – Experience authenticity!
Sights worth seeing in Kleinwalsertal
Those who want to take it easy for a day and leave the skis or hiking boots on the shelf, can still experience a lot in the Kleinwalsertal: Numerous museums, such as the Bergschau 1122 or the Ski Museum, invite you to delve deeper into this fascinating cultural region. Impressive waterfalls, the Breitenbach gorge or the Kessellöcher geologic formations are welcoming natural spectacles to be discovered.