Activities

Family

Have fun with Schmuggi Luggi on the Schafbergplateau.

High above on the Schafbergplateu near Schafberghuesli, mascot Schmuggi Luggi in the Schmugglerland – a game and adventure parcours for young and old – is waiting for you to take the old smuggler’s path (name giver for this circular route) and thus to get a feeling of the adventures experienced long time ago. It takes half a day for a family to experience and to complete stages named “Schleichpfad” (secret path), “Gäßscherm” (shelter for goats and hay), “Fernblick” (distant view), “Auf der Flucht” (on the run). Half a day full of diversity: starting from experiencing and feeling the barefoot path, via goat shed and observing red deer, ibex and chamois at the opposite mountains with binocular. And always beautiful walking trails with views and diverse nature of the very best.

The crowning touch to the day is an extensive break in a deckchair on the sunny terrace of Schafberghüsli enjoying ice cream, coffee or a cold drink. While parents are relaxing, children can indulge their desire for play on the adventure playground with a big birds nest swing, rope winches and climbing walls. Altogether a perfect entrance into varied mountain holidays in all exciting and recreational facets!

An enchanting tour in its literal sense

Roswitha, Gargellen’s walking guide and so called “Valzifenzerwiebli“ (Valzifenzer wife) guides the participants of the fairy tale and legend tour starting on the Schafbergplateau, walking along Gandasee reservoir, downhill through forests, over meadows and wild brooks and always telling G’schichten (typical stories) of Gargellen and the Montafon valley. Roswitha simply knows every G’schicht, fairy tale or myth surrounding Gargellen or the Montafon valley.

Tips for families in the Vorarlberg

This is actually more than one single tip. The Montafon valley in the Vorarlberg abounds with varied op-portunities for families during summer holidays. And even though it seems not fair to emphasize one tip or another, this should be given as special proposition: Golmi’s Forschungspfad nature trail that combines different interests at the same time: walking, action and adventure but also learning about things worth knowing.

Marmot “Golmi” takes you through its habitat on a 3.5km trail and explains to young and old walkers interesting aspects of the flora and fauna in the mountains. The main principle is to explore nature actively and through playing. How does a marmot live and which plants are useful, or which animal is hiding behind the bush… Answers are given on more than twenty stations. Turn, push, pull – even adults are surprised to learn more about nature in an amusing way.

Climbing & Hiking

A natural paradise of primary rock and limestone for sports enthusiasts and epicures!

As a base for walking and climbing tours in the surroundings but also for one and multi day treks into the mountain world of the Montafon valley, Gargellen has its special appeal not only due to the exposed position to neighbouring Switzerland but also because of the neighbouring rock massif that forms special geological formations. Limestone and crystalline rocks collide and thus create an exciting panoramic view for trekking tours of different levels of difficulties and requirements.

Another starting point to be recommended once again is Schafberghüsli on Schafbergplateau. Here on the Schafberg the new via ferrata klettersteig “Gargellner Köpfe” with two demanding climbing routes has recently been installed. They offer everything that makes passionate climbers’ heart beat faster: coherent routes, outstanding views, a short access and a lot of mountain adventure and excitement.

A 4 ½ hour mountain trip leads up to the Madrisa peak starting from Schafbergplateau (Note: never without mountain guide). Other trips take you into Switzerland. A two or three day trekking tour around the Madrisa includes a large section that runs into Switzerland. On this cross border walking pleasure one has to calculate with daily stages of approximately 6 hours per day. Less exhausting walking tours such as Schmugglerpfad up to 2450m, via Gafier Joch (2415m) and Riedkopf (2552m) or up to the reservoirs (2000–2200m) start on Schafbergplateau and offer varied and attractive routes with different impressions. As guided tours we recommend tours on issues such as “Mit dem Wanderhut zur Kochhaube” (With the hiking hat to the toque), “Bergknappen, Säumer und Veltliner Wein“ (Mountain miners, muleteers and Veltin Wine). Gradual descents down into Gargellen valley, along the Gandasee reservoir and crystalclear Suggadin, a short detour to Valzifenz Alp or walking along the “Gargellner Fenster” with Rongg waterfall or Röbibachschlucht ensure a particular relaxing way of hiking….

Do you fancy rock giants, marmots, alpenrose and co.?

Detailed information, bookings as well as other useful addresses can be taken from:

GARGELLEN TOURISMUS
Haus Valisera 28 a
A-6787 Gargellen/ Montafon
Österreich
Tel +43 5557 6303
Fax +43 5557 6690
gargellen@hochmontafon.eu

One valley, three mighty mountain ranges and umpteen opportunities.

The Montafon valley, located in the south of the Vorarlberg and in the south-westernmost end of Austria is bordering the limestones of Rätikon Alps in the northwest, the partly glaciated Silvretta Alps in the south and the Verwall group in the northeast. Thus it is an ideal and wonderful starting point for various mountain experiences. It is therefore no coincidence that Montafon was awarded third price in category Austria when voting for walking destinations of season 2007/08.

500 km of marked walking trails lead past idyllic alpine pastures and rustic huts, over green meadows, through forests, over sunny heights and ridges to the peaks of the Montafon mountain ranges of Rätikon and Silvretta Alps (Piz Buin 3312m) and Verwalltal. Spoilt for choice: Aquastiege (water steps), guided hiking tours, Europatreppe (4,000 steps), hut to hut walks, llama trekking – what to recommend at first?

Since individual needs and requirements are too varying and the leisure programme of the Montafon valley being too manifold, the best tip is: Take all the time you need to explore this magnificent spot – the Montafon valley! Be surprised about all the options and be rewarded with new impressions, experiences and adventures that will remain in your thoughts for a long time. Impressions of sunny summer walking holidays being created by sudden snow obstacles in a shady sink, a panoramic view of the very best at the end of an obviously never ending ascent or a delightful rest on one of the rustic and welcoming huts. It is this special mixture of thoughtfully and gently transcending boundaries, that immediate vicinity to splendid nature and deepest impressions that will be remembered for a long time. Rushing crystal-clear mountain brooks, fine mountain herbs, inviting bright green-blue reservoirs and tarns, overwhelming colourful mountain flora, rugged rocks, weather-beaten huts, blazing sun and the hearty mountain cheese that leaves a gentle flavour on your tongue…! Is there anything more to be desired?

For more detailed information, please contact the Monfafon tourist office in Schruns. See also links as indicated below.

MONTAFON TOURISMUS GMBH
Montafonerstr. 21
A-6780 Schruns
Tel. +43 (0)5556 72253-0
Fax +43 (0)5556 74856
info@montafon.at
www.montafon.at

Mirror worlds formed by nature millennia ago or dammed up by human hand.

Mountain lakes – they seem to be the soul of the mountains. Often times being crystal clear and deep so as to create unique and magical enchantment. No wonder that myths and legends have grown up around formation, appeal and existence. Mountain peaks are mirrored silver shining, interplays of colour and form like a Rohrschachtest, and that allows your gaze to be captivated and brought back into the observer’s soul. One may easily be carried away by the charming mountain lakes unless one is prepared to delve into the lake’s enchantment. Only in rare cases that might fail. They remain a real eye opener even when viewed superficially. One should however not fall for the majestic view and inviting allure – or if so, only the hard-boiled should. Since mountain lakes are colder as they seem: often only a few degrees above zero. Even in the hottest summer months the mountain lakes are still as cold as ice and are not really inviting even for those looking for the exceptional. Mountain lakes are always stunningly beautiful – no matter how big, how deep or what shade of turquoise-blue. We really recommend mountain lakes in Vorarlberg, especially Lünersee and Silvretta Stausee reservoirs.

Lünersee

Even those who are free from giddiness will be left breathless on their ascent by Lünerseebahn. This cable car is a very special event and simply a must. More will not be told for now – be surprised! Hikers not free from giddiness will prefer the undemanding walk over the dam. Both possibilities take you directly to Lünersee reservoir (1979m). The magnificent mountain scenery that surrounds Lünersee is a paradise for hikers and climbers. Lünersee lures with its intense colour. Depending on lighting conditions the water colour changes between intense turquoise and petrol blue and sometimes it feels like standing on the cliffs of the Adriatic. Even fishers will feel right at home – day tickets for fishing can be achieved at the mountain station. An undemanding lake circuit makes this trip a pleasant walk at leisure for views and sights. The Lünersee Alm is situated midway and invites for a mug of fresh self-made buttermilk or a rustic Brotjause. Although an easy walk, a pause is always a good idea before returning to the dam.

Silvretta reservoir

The only possibility to reach Silvretta reservoir from the Montafon valley is to take the most beautiful bends and curves of the Vorarlberg – the Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse toll road, also known as “Traumstraße für Genießer”(Dream road for epicures). It is one of the most popular and beautiful mountain roads of the Alps. The splendid mountain scenery of the Silvretta Alps and the two reservoirs Vermuntsee and Silvretta Stausee that lie close to the Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse fascinate many visitors day by day in summer. Large numbers of visitors, motorized and often in vintage cabriolets or even bikers pushing the pedals are attracted by that beautiful road. All those who are not going to be discouraged by the busy side of the Silvretta will be rewarded with less commotion at the lake away from the landing stage. Another attraction of the superlatives is the fact that Silvretta Stausee has Europe’s highest motor boat traffic, the motor boat Silvrettasee, at 2000m. Among the marvellous mountain scenery of Silvretta, a boat trip is a relaxing and rewarding experience for children and adults. Tip: Take the motor boat to the landing stage “Silvretta Beach”, the sandy beach of Silvrettasee shore. From this place a stunning view is gained and hiking possibilities are offered leading to the Piz Buin, the highest peak in Vorarlberg at 3312m – Attention superlative! Three superlatives on one single day trip – What more could you want?

Leisure

Refreshment is provided

A hot summer without cool water – unimaginable. As already described in climbing and hiking tips, mountain lakes are water reservoirs or serve for energy generation. For this reason it is not allowed to swim – what could not be recommended anyway due to their temperature of partly 10° Celsius below zero. Nobody has nevertheless to do without swimming fun in this region. The beautiful beaches of Lake Constance can be reached in one hour drive. This is not necessary since there is a variety of swimming possibilities right in front of the door. Let us introduce two swimming facilities that lie very close especially for tourists and habitants of Gargellen:

The Mountain Beach Recreation Park Gaschurn

You have always been dreaming of swimming in a crystal clear mountain pool? With beautiful fresh mountain spring water of superior quality – without red eyes caused by chlorinated water? Surrounded by nature and facing the Montafon mountain scenery? The innovative Mountain Beach Recreation Park offers precisely this combination of swimming and recreation area. With its area of about 27,000 square meters, including 6,300 square meters water area, it is Austria’s biggest and unique nature experience park. Besides a variety of attractions, Mountain Beach is distinguished by its special design as natural pool. Two natural pools were built which can do without chlorate due to their planted regeneration zones. One can say that pools almost have a self-cleaning function. A variety of plants, bushes and trees were planted in order to keep the biological balance. Pools filled with fresh mountain spring water from Gaschurn community were built on two different levels and are connected by a rafting brook. Additional attractions such as diving towers, beach volleyball ground, hanging bridge, a raft, a cable railway for children, terraces, recreation zones and adjacent biking and hiking paths, and last but not least the Mountain Beach restaurant offer an all-inclusive swimming experience that is without equal.

All-weather Swimming Pool Aquarena (St. Gallenkirch-Gortipohl)

This classical all-weather swimming pool with interior and exterior areas is, due to or better thanks to its relatively small size an absolute tip for families. It also serves as bad weather alternative and is full of variety: family pool with small swimming hall, cascade, counter current, whirl-lounger, massage jet, swimming and experience pool with water sitting facilities, big climbing net, four-lane broad slide, parents-children area with baby pool, large sunbathing lawn, volleyball ground, restaurant with terrace and kiosk…. Nothing is missing actually. Although rather small but very modern, this swimming pool full of variety stands up to comparison with its larger ‘rivals’.

From Lake Constance as far as the Crystal Worlds

Variety is good. Visitors even during their summer holidays in the mountains need some diversification beside climbing and hiking activities. Be it for relaxation reasons or only to collect some new impressions for the senses! There are plenty of possibilities for both.

Always worth an excursion and just one hour away from Gargellen: the northernmost border of Vorarlberg – the Lake Constance, with its wonderful water, its almost Mediterranean flair and idyllic towns. Constance, Lindau, Bregenz each of it is worth visiting. Be it a pleasant city walk, sight seeing and visit of historical monuments, strolling along the lake or simply enjoying one of the various boat trips on the lake. Lake Constance provides uncountable and various leisure activities.

To whom Lake Constance might even be too far away for a pleasant city trip, we recommend Feldkirch that is located less than midway between Gargellen and Lake Constance. There are many places worth visiting: the idyllic centre of the town, Schattenburg castle – town’s symbol – with its Heimat Museum.

Comparably beautiful and also worth wile for a stroll: the medieval alpine town of Bludenz. Bludenz is a very popular destination for a day trip: shopping in the old town under romantic arcades or take the cable car that gives acces to the ‘sunny balcony’ Muttersberg (1401m) with its vantage point Hoher Frassen.

Markably further away and much greater: Innsbruck, the capital of the federal state of Tyrol. Innsbruck offers two attractions at the same time. The first one is its wonderful old town with many historical houses and lots of attractions: the town’s symbol Goldenes Dachl (golden roof), Helblinghaus, Emperial Hofburg, Landestheater, Ottoburg, Ambras Castle, Historical Town Hall etc. Innsbruck is surrounded by a fascinating mountain scenery attracts around 2 million tourists every year. Innsbruck provides the unique combination of culture, nature and sports.

Another point of attraction, situated a bit outside of Innsbruck but also worth visiting on a day trip from Gargellen: Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal worlds). Built in 1995 on the occasion of the 100th founding anniversary of Swarovski, Swarovski crystal worlds conceived by André Heller, the famous Austrian artist, is a place full of crystalline magical worlds with poetical and sensual impressions, transformed by various contemporanean artists. Always multifaceted and brought into the right light: Crystal of highest brilliance. A magical place for dreaming. A place for fantasy and sensuality.  At the end of the experience walk, be inebriated by the somewhat trivial and busy life of the sales exhibition room. Here, in this glittering shopping world, the biggest Swarovski shop, friends of Swarovski will surely make a find in a product selection being unique and perfectly presented. But note: It is expressively stated that Swarovski is nothing for small holiday budgets.

Events

Here’s something going on

Gargellen offers cultural, musical, sportive and culinary events even during summer season. To be recommended:

An alpine breakfast at Schafberghüsli at 2130m – a culinary, rich and delightful experience including view of a unique mountain scenery. Sausage, cheese, Sura Kees, herb curd, jam, honey, chocolate spread, Brösl, fruit salad, eggs, fried potatoes, cereals, coffee, juice, bread rolls, croissants, different kinds of bread, cake, pan cake etc. etc.
Alpine breakfast is served each Tuesday between 8.30 and 11.00 am (from June to September) and at any weather! Bookings until Monday night: Phone 0043 (0)5557/6310-400.

Every year again a worth wile highlight in its literal sense: Berge in Flammen (Mountains in flame) – Mid-summer festival
A midsummer festival – according to tradition of pre-Christian practice, with mountain fires lighted on the surrounding peaks after nightfall. First, however, you will be enjoying a precious solstice buffet at Schafberghüsli with musical entertainment and fine and friendly atmosphere. Midsummer Festival is taking place whatever the weather! The precise date can be taken from related links. Tickets are limited and to be achieved by prior reservation, phone 0043 (0)5557 6303.

No historical Schmugglerparadies (smuggler’s paradise) without Smuggler’s market on the Schafberg.
This market offers traditional and regional delicacies of the Schafberghüsli and takes place whatever weather on selected Mondays. Precise information can be taken from related links.