This little-visited corner of Austria is a true hidden gem. Tucked in the west of the Voralberg region, close to Lake Constance on the Swiss/German/Austrian border, Bregenzer Wald is our top secret skiing spot – because despite its decent slopes, it is never busy, due to the lack of parking. In summer, it’s all about conquering those peaks, whether on foot on the numerous hiking trails, or by gliding up to Diedamskopf in the cable car – head up for sunset and you won't be disappointed.
Then there are the little towns, including historical Schwarzenberg, crammed with old shingle-covered houses. King Max II of Bavaria holidayed here, in the famous Gasthaus Hirschen. Run today by the Fetz family, the rooms are carefully renovated while the restaurant is known as one of the best in the region. Just opposite is the Theresia Hirschbühl shop, offering beautiful textiles, bags, kitchen items and famous Käthe Kruse dolls for the kids. Another experience not to be missed is a ride on the steam-operated train Wälderbähnle from Bezau to Schwarzenberg.
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Why is Bregenzerwald perfect for families?
Hiking in Bregenzer Wald in the summer months is perfect for holidays with children as the variety of terrain is so wide. There are easy strolls for little legs and tougher hikes for teens, but all are rewarded with gorgeous views. Our favourites include the walk along the Bolgenach river in Hittisau, ending at the overhanging cliffs of Engenloch gorge, and the gentle hike from Bödele to the Lustenauer hut. Be sure to stop for lunch at Alpe Meierei, and stock up on some of their delicious homemade cheese.
Many of the hiking trails are appropriate for pushchairs and buggies, such as along the Mellenbach stream zum Vorsäß Dös, which is dotted with lovely wild swimming spots. You can find a family-friendly selection of hiking trails here. Our top tip for hot days? A day trip to Bregenzerach, a gin-clear river with various pools and little dams that are just made for a cooling dip. The region is also known for its adventure parks and playgrounds, such as the Aqua Hochseilgarten which spans over the Bregenzerach gorge, an exciting activity for older kids. The swimming pool at Mellau am Mellenbach is perfect for all ages.
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Where to stay in Bregenzerwald?
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