travel guide

A Picturesque Region of Mountains, Farms, Meadows and Wooded Hills

Vorarlberg covers the area from the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee) and the Rhine Valley in the west. It borders three countries: Germany ( Bavaria and Baden-Wurtemmberg via the above named Lake Constance), Switzerland (Grisons and St. Gallen) and Leichtenstein.   Voraarlberg is primarily a mountaineous region with a third of its surface also being covered in forest. The terrain rises gently at first to the hills of the Bregenzerwald.  This is a picturesque region of farms, meadows, and wooded hills – and then rapidly, the Vorarloberg changes to mountains.

Mt. Piz Buin is in the beautiful Silvretta mountains and  like neighbouring Tyrol, it is both a wintersports and a summer holiday region. Bregenz, Vorarlberg’s lakeside capital, is an excellent centre for excursions on Lake Constance and into the mountains, particularly to the enchanting Bregenzerwald. From the town itself, a cable-car goes to Pfander Mountain, with magnificent views from its 3,490 ft summit. The main charm of Bregenz lies in the quiet Old Town but it is best known for the annual festival of music and ballet in July and August, when performances are given on a stage floating on the lake.

Part of the festival is shared with Feldkirch, 23 m. away. A very old and attractive walled town on the eastern side of the Rhine Valley and backed by mountains, it is noted for its arcaded streets and many fine, old buildings, not least being the 12 th century Schattenburg Castle, now a museum. On the main road over the Arlberg Pass, close to the boundary with the province of Vorarlberg, is the large and very popular resorts of St Anton am Arlberg,  Lech and Zurs with the nearby resort of St Christoph for those who seek a more tranquil location.
 About 12 miles. east of Feldkirch is Bludenz, the focal point of several valleys, the Gross , Walsertal, Klostertal (leading to Arlberg), Montafon Valley leading to the beautiful Silvretta mountain road, and Brandnertal. All have splendid  scenery, delightful villages, and winter sports; the resorts of Stuben, Ziirs, and Lech, on the Arlberg, are internationally famous. 

Vorarlberg is the only state in all of Austria which does not have an Austro-Bavarian local dialect. Instead the people speak with an Alemannic dialect that has more in common with German speaking peoples. Indeed, around 86% of residents are of Austrian-Germanic heritage with a cultural connection with Germany to the north and Switzerland and Leichtenstein to the west. A large proportion of the population’s ancestors came from the Swiss canton of Valais in migrations during the 19th century.