Datum: 8 September 2020
The mixed forests glow in hues of red and yellow. With a bit of luck, the autumn sky is brilliant blue. The views are sweeping and temperatures are hiker-friendly. You can mount either on foot, or ride up by cable car. Most lifts operate until mid/end October.
If you are in a leisurely vein, why not stroll under the chestnut trees in Bregenz along the shores of Lake Constance. Further up, at the Pfänder lookout, you can opt for a 2.5 hour panorama hike. Take the ride up on Pfänderbahn, which operates daily until 1 November. Lovely views over Lake Constance and the awe-inspiring mountains in the south are your reward from the mountain ridge at 1,000 metres altitude. An easy, four-hour walk from Kristberg across the Wasserstuben valley to Silbertal in Montafon is lined by springs, sources and the Wildried high-altitude moor. Take the Kristbergbahn cable car, which operates daily until 1 November, to the point of departure.
The almost four-hour walk to Winterstaude at 1,877 metres in Bregenzerwald affords breath-taking panoramic views. Start at the Baumgarten mountain station, which you can reach on the cable car in Bezau, in operation daily until 8 November. On a clear day, you can take in the views from the “Niedere” mountain ridge right to Lake Constance.
Several packages combine hiking and culinary treats. On 25 September and on 2 October you can set out for a culinary autumn hike. Accompanied by a hiking guide, the tour starts with breakfast, followed by lunch at an alpine lodge and before continuing to your dessert. The pleasure hike Brandnertal stops at one alp and two mountain-top restaurants and can be booked until 31 October. Walking time is approximately three and a half hours. In Bregenzerwald, there is a choice of five different themed culinary hikes until 31 October. The tour includes breakfast, lunch and the dessert, served at three different locations. One outing in Montafon combines e-biking and hiking: on Thursdays until 29 October, the tour heads to Alpe Nova, where participants can find out more about Montafon “Sura Kees”, a spicy low-fat signature cheese.
The taste of autumn
From 12 September to 4 October, Vorarlberg‘s “GenussRegionen” Kleinwalsertal, Bregenzerwald and Biosphärenpark Großes Walsertal as well as Klostertal celebrate regional specialties such as game, alp and mountain cheese. Under the motto of “Herbst.Genuss.Zeit” (autumn a time for enjoyment) they treat visitors to seasonal fare, hikes and farmhouse visits.
In addition, food events typical of the season are themed game weeks and “Schlachtpartien” (butcher’s feasts) at restaurants and inns all across Vorarlberg. Specialities to be savoured from a hearty butcher’s platter include, mainly, black pudding and liver sausage, served with dumplings and sauerkraut.
Small, exquisite cultural events
From 1-7 October 2020, the Schubertiade Festival in Hohenems stages concerts for a small audience, featuring pianists Igor Levit and Till Fellner as well as clarinettist Sabine Meyer as this year’s performers. Fledgling talents perform classical music at the the :alpenarte festival in Schwarzenberg in Bregenzerwald from 8-11 October. Starting 14 October, the “Bregenz im Herbst” dance festival presents five international dance companies. The overall theme of the Montforter Zwischentöne festival from 11 November to 9 December in Feldkirch is “receiving – sending”.
Strolling through cities and exploring Lake Constance
City walks are ideal to explore the architecture, culture and history of a place. For hints and suggestions how best to explore the towns of Bregenz, Dornbirn, Hohenems, Feldkirch and Bludenz on your own, see www.vorarlberg.travel/en/city-trips. During autumn, visitors will find rich pickings at the weekly markets, especially culinary souvenirs. Up until 18 October, you can head for destinations around the international Lake Constance on scheduled boat trips, all starting from the harbour in Bregenz. Themed cruises – from gourmet cruises to the “Captain’s Brunch” and advent outings – are run late into December.
Autumn is a good moment to get yourself fit for winter. Vorarlberg’s wellness hotels offer signature packages. Hotel Post by Susanne Kaufmann in Bezau specialises on detox retreats. The motto at Hotel Goldener Berg in Lech am Arlberg until 11 October is “Boost your health & happiness“. At Biohotel Schwanen in Bizau you can book a fasting regime according to Hildegard von Bingen from 17–24 October. Several day spas at the wellness hotels are a perfect way to take time out, shed your daily routines and re-energize body and mind.