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Trip to Bregenzerwald in Austria, between modernity and tradition

If, when we talk to you about the Austrian Alps, you immediately come to the sumptuous landscapes of the film Sissi with Romy Schneider… You will not be disappointed by your stay in the Vorarlberg land. The only difference is that you will not be in the Tyrol region but in Bregenzerwald. In the very west of Austria, on the border of Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein near Lake Constance. In addition to an ideal geographical location, discover the natural beauty and cultural richness of the place.

Sports destination par excellence

(c) Alex Kaiser – Bregenzerwald Tourism

By conquering peaks or in complete tranquility on panoramic paths, the 1,500 km of hiking trails in the region will captivate both sporty and less sporty people. In addition to their beneficial virtues, they allow you to discover the Bregenzerwald from different perspectives. For example, you can do the Braunarlspitze hike to reach the highest peak. Or, for families, take a hike with a stroller, especially at Körbersee.

You can also try a total change of scenery by hiking from refuge to high mountain refuge with stages of 4 to 6 hours. The ideal way to discover breathtaking views of the mountain world of Bregenzerwald and the surrounding alpine pastures. But that’s not all, with more than 460 km of mountain bike trails, it is also the meeting place for cycling lovers thanks to the relief of the region which will encourage the most experienced to surpass themselves.

Gourmet meeting

(c) Johannes Fink – Bregenzerwald Tourism

The Bregenzerwald is also famous for its good restaurants. The reason ? Tasty regional products often given pride of place in the various establishments. If we had to name just one, it would surely be mountain cheese! Or rather, “the” cheeses, because there are more than one… to discover them but also to understand the different manufacturing methods, often ancestral, head for the cheese route – it is not a a point A to a point B, but from a set of places distributed in the region. It brings together many farms and cheese dairies, inns set up in typical houses.

Among the methods to discover, do not miss the nomadic process which has survived the centuries and which has been classified since 2011 as a UNESCO intangible heritage. Indeed, the management of agrarian land is unique and follows three stages. After winter, the cows are taken to the valley to graze. A little later in the year, they then go to medium altitude (“Vorsäss”). Finally, in the middle of summer, they are taken to graze the grass and the plants of the mountains, at higher altitudes. Then, when autumn returns, they first return to graze at medium altitude and then in the valley, before returning to their barn for a sheltered winter.

Architectural Heritage

(c) Johannes Fink – Bregenzerwald Tourism

If in Bregenzerwald nature is queen, the architecture is not left out. And for good reason, the inhabitants have been able to draw the best from the region’s natural resources, such as wood, to build magnificent residences. Centuries-old houses built according to traditional wooden architecture sit side by side with modern wooden dwellings with huge windows. And for good reason, the craftsmen of the region are also passionate about glass, which has brought a more futuristic look to their constructions. A clever mix between tradition and modernity, therefore.

Private homes, museums and schools all have one thing in common: they are built of wood, most often fir or spruce, elm or beech, and always with attention to detail. And especially with wood from the region. Result: the buildings do not distort the landscape, but, on the contrary, blend into the decor. Among the leading architects of the region, we discover Georg Bechter de Hittisau, who himself grew up in the Bregenzerwald and whose work can easily be admired while walking around. Or the work of the famous Swiss architect Peter Zumthor with his Werkraumhaus (House of Crafts) in Andelsbuch. A true showcase of craftsmanship and creation from the region.

Festivals not to be missed

(c) Christoph Lingg – Bregenzerwald Tourism

The Bregenzerwald may be a rural region, but its cultural calendar is full. It is also the meeting place for all well-informed music lovers, notably with the unmissable and internationally renowned festival: the Schubertiade. During this event, which takes place during the summer period, 50 musical events are offered, including chamber music concerts, evenings dedicated to Lieder and pian concerts. The ultimate? Attend a performance in the Angelika Kauffmann hall, from where you have a breathtaking view of the meadows and mountains of the Bregenzerwald.

You can also take advantage of the region’s proximity to Bregenz, to go to the Bregenz Festival on Lake Constance, an unforgettable and unique musical experience. Its festival, created in 1946, includes spectacular operas on a floating stage on the lake, concerts by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, plays and events around contemporary art.

A taste of the many other marvels that Austria has in store, especially during the summer… For more information and ideas for getaways in town or in the mountains, not to be missed, do not hesitate to contact go to the Bregenzerwald site.

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