Allgäu is located in southern Germany, primarily in Bavaria, but it extends into the neighbouring state of Baden-Württemberg. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, including the Bavarian Alps, rolling hills, and beautiful lakes. It is an excellent tourist destination offering outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and cycling.

Known for its charming villages, traditional Bavarian culture, and delicious regional cuisine, including cheese and dairy products.

Is Allgäu worth visiting?

The region is characterized by a diverse topography, which includes a combination of mountains, valleys, and plateaus. It is primarily situated in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, so you can find both lowland areas and mountainous terrain. Its diverse topography makes it a popular destination for nature lovers, offering various landscapes and outdoor activities.

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More about the region

It covers an area of approximately 3,500 square kilometres (1,362 square miles). The population varies across its cities, towns, and villages. It was estimated to be around 660,000 people. The major city of Kempten is a transportation hub with good rail connections to other cities. The area is well-connected by road and rail.

Locals are proud of their rich cultural heritage with strong traditions, including folk music, festivals, and artisan crafts. The region has its distinct Bavarian dialect, Allgäuerisch, spoken alongside standard German.

The southern part is dominated by the Bavarian Alps, which consist of numerous mountain peaks, including the Allgäu Alps and the Lechtal Alps. These mountains offer excellent opportunities for skiing, hiking, MTB, and other outdoor activities. The highest peak is the Hochfrottspitze, which stands at 2,649 meters (8,691 feet) above sea level.

The Iller Valley and the Ostrach Valley are nestled between the mountain ranges and are known for their scenic beauty and fertile farmland. Besides the mountains and valleys, the area has some high plateaus and rolling hills. These plateaus are often covered in meadows and forests, contrasting the rugged mountain landscapes. Several nature reserves and protected areas to conserve its biodiversity and natural landscapes.

The climate can vary from mild in the valleys to alpine in the higher mountains. Winters are cold with snowfall, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
The region's economy is diverse, with sectors including agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and services. Dairy farming is significant, given the region's reputation for cheese and dairy products.

Allgäu Alps (Allgäuer Alpen)

The Allgäu Alps are a sub-group of the Bavarian Alps located within the region here, in southern Germany. While they are a significant part of the Allgäu's mountainous terrain, they don't cover the entire region. Instead, they primarily encompass the southern part. It is known for its rugged beauty: high peaks, glaciers, and pristine alpine landscapes. Some notable peaks include the Nebelhorn, the Hochvogel, and the Großer Krottenkopf.

So, while the region includes various topographical features such as valleys, plateaus, and mountains, the Allgäu Alps refer to the mountainous areas within the Allgäu.


The region is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and numerous natural attractions. Here are some of the top natural attractions:

  • Neuschwanstein Castle: One of Germany's most famous castles, perched atop a hill with panoramic views of the region.
  • Hohenschwangau Castle: Located near Füssen, this castle is surrounded by lush greenery and offers breathtaking landscape views.
  • Alpsee: A picturesque lake surrounded by mountains, perfect for swimming, boating, and hiking around its shores.
  • Schrecksee: A stunning high-altitude mountain lake in the Alps, accessible via a hiking trail.
  • Breitachklamm: Germany's deepest gorge, located near Oberstdorf. It features dramatic limestone formations and a wooden walkway for visitors to explore.
  • Tegelberg: A popular mountain for paragliding and hiking, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape.
  • Grünten: Known as the "Guardian of the Allgäu," this mountain is a favourite for hikers and offers sweeping views of the region.
  • Grüntensee: A picturesque lake surrounded by forests and hills, great for swimming and picnicking.
  • Eistobel: A scenic natural gorge with waterfalls and a well-maintained hiking trail.
  • Forggensee: A large reservoir lake near Füssen, perfect for water sports, sailing, and enjoying the views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Bärenfalle Waterfall: A beautiful waterfall offering a peaceful natural setting.
  • Hornbachtal: A tranquil valley known for its stunning meadows, wildflowers, and hiking trails.
  • Scheidegger Wasserfälle: A series of waterfalls near Scheidegg, with walking paths that provide excellent views of the falls.
  • Buchenegger Waterfall: A hidden gem with a lovely hiking trail near Oberstaufen.
Neuschwanstein (1), Buchenegger waterfall (2), Eistobel (3-4), Breitachklamm (5), Freibergsee (6)


The region comprises numerous cities, towns, and villages, each with unique charm and character. Some of the notable cities, towns, and villages include:

  • Kempten: the largest city, known for its historical sites, including the Romanesque St. Lorenz Basilica.
  • Memmingen: A picturesque town with well-preserved medieval architecture, including the town hall and city gates.
  • Kaufbeuren: Famous for its historic old town and the Fünfknopfturm (Five-Knob Tower).
Kempten is the capital of the region. 

Towns and Villages

  • Füssen: One of the most popular towns in the region is Füssen, which serves as the gate to some castles in the area. An ideal choice if you are looking for accommodation. Famous for the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle.
  • Oberstdorf: A popular tourist destination and a gateway to the Alps, known for its hiking and winter sports opportunities.
  • Lindau: A charming island town located on Lake Constance (Bodensee), known for its harbour and historic buildings.
  • Immenstadt: A small town surrounded by picturesque landscapes, including the Alpsee Lake and the Grünten mountain.
  • Oberstaufen: Spa town with a lovely old town centre and various wellness and relaxation options.
  • Sonthofen: A town known for its beautiful surroundings and outdoor activities, including skiing and hiking.
  • Nesselwang: A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for skiing and hiking in the nearby mountains.
  • Wangen im Allgäu: A historic town with well-preserved medieval architecture and a charming old town.
  • Isny im Allgäu: Known for its well-preserved medieval buildings and the Neues Schloss (New Castle).

These are just a few examples, and there are many more cities, towns, and villages in the region, each offering unique attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy.

Hiking Trails

Many hiking trails cater to hikers of all skill levels, from easy strolls to challenging alpine hikes. While I can't provide an exact number of all the hiking trails in the region, I can certainly mention some well-known and popular ones:

  • E5 European Long-Distance Path: This long-distance trail crosses the area and connects Lake Constance to the Italian Dolomites. It's one of the most famous hiking routes in the region and offers breathtaking mountain scenery.
  • Tegelberg Panorama Trail: Located near Füssen, this trail provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The Tegelbergbahn cable car can take you to the starting point.
  • Nebelhorn Hiking Trail: The Nebelhorn mountain near Oberstdorf offers a variety of hiking options, from easy walks to challenging ascents. The views from the summit are fantastic.
  • Breitachklamm Trail: While not a long hike, the wooden walkways and bridges in Germany's deepest gorge provide a unique and thrilling hiking experience near Oberstdorf.
  • Freibergsee Loop: A picturesque hike around Freibergsee Lake near Oberstdorf, offering beautiful views and a tranquil setting.
  • Schrecksee Trail: A more challenging hike that takes you to the stunning Schrecksee Lake in the Alps. The scenery is truly breathtaking.
  • Eistobel Nature Reserve: This area near Isny im Allgäu features hiking trails along a scenic gorge with waterfalls and lush vegetation.
  • Alpsee Circular Trail: A leisurely walk around Alpsee Lake, near the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, offering lovely views and photo opportunities.
  • Hiking in the Allgäu Moorlands: Explore the unique moorlands in the region, such as the Naturschutzgebiet Taubenberg or the Allgäuer Moorlandschaft.
  • Hornbachtal Hike: A peaceful hike through the picturesque Hornbachtal Valley, known for its meadows and wildflowers.

These are just a few examples, but there are many more hiking trails throughout the area. The variety of trails ensures that there are options for hikers of different fitness levels and preferences, whether you're interested in gentle walks, panoramic vistas, or challenging mountain hikes.

Local Foods

The region in Germany has its delicious local cuisine, and you should try several traditional dishes and specialities when visiting. Here are some local food items to consider:

  • Allgäuer Käsespätzle: This is a quintessential dish of the region and consists of homemade egg noodles (Spätzle) layered with melted cheese and onions and often topped with crispy fried onions. It's a hearty and cheesy comfort food.
  • Allgäuer Rindfleischsuppe: A traditional beef soup often served with dumplings and vegetables. It's a warming dish, perfect for colder weather.
  • Hörnle: These are small pasta shapes similar to Spätzle, typically served with various toppings, such as creamy sauces or gravies.
  • Allgäuer Sauerbraten: A regional variation of the classic German pot roast, it features marinated and slow-cooked beef served with a tangy sauce and traditional side dishes.
  • Allgäuer Sennereiprodukte: The region is renowned for its dairy products, especially cheese. You can try various types of cheese, including Emmental, Bergkäse, and Weißlacker.
  • Kartoffelsalat: Potato salad is a common side dish here, often served with a flavorful vinaigrette dressing.
  • Zwiebelrostbraten: This dish features a juicy roast beef steak topped with fried onions and delicious gravy. It's a meat lover's delight.
  • Weißwurst: While Weißwurst (white sausage) is more associated with Bavaria, you can still find it in the region. It's a traditional breakfast sausage served with sweet mustard and pretzels.
  • Kässpatzen: Similar to Käsespätzle, Kässpatzen are smaller versions of the dish, often served in a skillet with cheese and onions.
  • Apfelstrudel: For dessert, indulge in a classic Apfelstrudel, a pastry filled with sweet apple slices and cinnamon.

The region is known for its locally brewed beers, so try some local beer varieties to complement your meal. Enjoy exploring the culinary delights during your visit!

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