Vorarlberg is the westernmost province of Austria. The fabulous countryside has a total of 2,600 km² area. You will find an extraordinary number of mountains and lakes - and a ski resort here in winter. The range is recommended for those who like hiking, climbing and exploring. The province is less well-known and visited as Styria or Salzburg; however, many consider it the most beautiful province.

The province of Vorarlberg is the icing on the Austrian cake. It is a new scene of the Alpine life, where mountains cross your way everywhere you go. The mountains are higher, the pastures are getting greener, and the forests are richer.

The province lies where Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany meet Austria. It borders the largest lake in the area, Bodensee - Lake Constance.

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Vorarlberg Details
Country Astria
Capital Bregenz
Distance from Vienna 7 hours / 600 km
Area 2 600 km2
Population 397,094 people
Regions Bregenz, Dornbirn, Feldkirch, Bludenz
Highest point Piz Buin (3 312 m)


Hiking in Vorarlberg
There are thousands of hiking trails in the region

Map - Where is Vorarlberg?

Vorarlberg borders Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein, as well as the province of Tyrol. The Eastern and Western Alps meet here. You can reach Bregenz (the region's seat) in 7 hours without stopping from Vienna.

  • Distance from Vienna: 7 hours / 600 km
Bregenz map

What is the seat of Vorarlberg?

The seat of Vorarlberg is Bregenz, which you can find next to Lake Constance at the foot of the Pfander mountain. In the past, the city belonged to both France and Germany. In terms of territorial division, we distinguish Lower and Upper Bregenz.

Regions of Vorarlberg

The province is divided into 4 larger territorial units. These are:

  • Bregenz
  • Bludenz (this is the biggest)
  • Feldkirch
  • Dornbirn
A typical town in Vorarlberg

Geography and topography

Looking at the topography of Vorarlberg, you will find mainly mountains and valleys.

  • Mountains: several mountain ranges pass through the region. These are Silvretta, Ratikon, Verwall and Arlberg. The highest point is Piz Buin (3,312 m).
  • Rivers: the main rivers are Ill, the Montafon, the Rhine, the Bregenzer and the Dornbirner.
  • Lakes: Bodensee - also known as Lake Constance, is the largest lake in the province. The Lüner, the Silvretta reserve, the Vermunt and the Spuller lake are important waters.

#1 Bregenz, the seat of the province

No matter how many days you have, it is worth visiting the capital for a day. A pleasant walk in the city or on the shores of Lake Constance is guaranteed to recharge your batteries.

Bregenz, the center of Vorarlberg

#2 Burg Hohenbregenz Castle

When visiting Bregenz, admire the 11th-century Hohenbregenz Castle, which was built on the 598 m high Gebhardsberg rock. Today, the castle can only be seen in its ruined state. Only a part of the castle wall, the fortress, and some parts of the palace are standing.

  • Address: Hohenbregenz, Gemeinde, Bregenz, Austria

#3 Bodensee (Lake Constance)

You could easily spend a week at Lake Constance. You can walk on the beach, take a hike, and swim in the lake. Behind Lake Balaton (Hungary) and Lake Geneva is the 3rd largest lake in Central Europe. The lake also borders Bavaria on the German side.

  • Its width is 14 km
  • Its length is 63 km
  • Its average depth is 90 m

#4 Pfänder (1,064 m) mountain

Pfänder is a low mountain above Lake Constance and near Bregenz. The cable car takes you up the mountain to enjoy the most beautiful panorama of the area.

Pfander, Bregenz

The lifts run daily except for annual maintenance, usually towards the end of the year. You will find several hiking routes, restaurants and parks on the mountain — an ideal one-day program with children.

#5 Piz Buin (3,255 m) mountain

Located in the Silvretta mountain range, Piz Buin lies on the border of Austria and Switzerland.

Piz Buin

The top of the highest mountain in the province is rocky, while the trail leading there promises a real alpine feeling. If you like hiking and climbing mountains - and have the fitness and experience- this is a must-see destination on your bucket list.

  • Hike's duration: 7 - 9 hours
  • Trail: multiple options
  • Level difference: approx. 1,000 meters

#6 Alpe Silvretta

Silvretta is a mountain range of the Eastern Central Alps in Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Switzerland. Most of its peaks are around 3,000 meters high, and most of them are covered with glaciers. This is why it got the nickname "Blue Silvretta".

A typical hiking paradise. If you are going to Vorarlberg and want to relax actively, you should not miss the Silvretta reserve or one of the other popular tourist routes.

#7 Silvretta Stausee Reserve

The reserve is located in the Silvretta mountain group at an altitude of about 2,030 meters. Above it, you will find the Bielerhöhe pass, which rises to 2037 meters.

Bieleröhe Pass and Silvretta Stausee map
Silvretta Stausee

The reserve itself only covers an area of ​​1.3 km² so that you can walk around it on a pleasant route. The interesting thing about the reserve is that it lies on the border of Vorarlberg and Tyrol.

#8 Bielerhöhe pass

The 2 37-meter high Bielerhöhe pass is the famous link connecting Montafon valley (in Vorarlberg) with the Tyrolean Panzaun valley.


The pass itself lies in the territory of the province of Vorarlberg - located in the Silvretta mountains, next to the Silvretta reserve. From here, you can see the Piz Buin, the summit of the Bielerspitze (2,545 m), the Hohes Rad (2,934 m) and the Lobspitzen (2,873 m).

#9 Bregenzerwald forest

You will find the Bergenzerwald forest between Bodensee and the Arlberg. The huge area was once 100% forest, but now, settlements, dairy farms and fields dot the landscape. But even so, it hides one of Austria's most densely interwoven hiking networks.


Compared to all areas of Vorarlberg, this is the rainiest area, so its vegetation is lush, which the cows grazing here are also very happy about. In winter, the area is transformed into a ski paradise to pamper the lovers of sliding. Major cities are Bezau, the centre of the area; Egg, Alberschwende

The area can be divided into two large units:

  • Hinterwald (higher mountains, average 2,000 meters)
  • Vorderwald (a more sloping part closer to the Rhine valley)
Did you know? Bregenzerwald overlaps but does not match the mountains of the Bregenz Forest (Bregenzerwaldgebirge), which belong to the Northern Limestone Alps.

#10 Bregenzerwaldgebirge mountains

The mountain range in the Northern Limestone Alps lies entirely in the province of Vorarlberg, in the northern part of the province.


The mountain range was named after the seat, Bregenz. Part of its area is the same as the previously presented Bergen Forest (Bregenzerwald). The forest and the mountains together make up the Bregenz landscape. Its highest point is the 2,134-meter Glatthorn peak. The neighbouring mountain ranges are:

  • the picturesque Lechquellen
  • Allgau Alps
  • Ratikon
  • Appenzell Alps

#11 Lünersee lake

The Alpine gem Lünersee is located in the Ratikon Mountains at an altitude of 1,970 meters. The turquoise lake is a natural formation, but its depth increased with a dam.

Lünersee lake

A real hiking paradise and a popular tourist destination. The total area is 112 hectares, the length of the lake is 1.5 km, and its width is 750 m.

You can't swim in the lake but can hike its shore. You might even see local fishermen or Alpine horn players who have come here to practice if you're lucky.

#12 Ratikon Mountains

The Ratikon is a limestone mountain in the southern part of Vorarlberg, on the border with Switzerland. It is a geographical boundary between the Eastern and Western Alps.

It is bordered on the east by the already mentioned Silvretta mountain range. The highest peak is Schesaplana (2,964 m), and the most visited point is the Lünersee.

#13 Lechquellen group

The Lechquellengebirge is a small mountain group in the Vorarlberg area, which is also part of the Northern Limestone Alps.

Lechquellen mountains

The mountain group got its name from the nearby river Lech. The 3 highest peaks:

  • Untere Wildgrubenspitze (2,753 m)
  • Rote Wand (2,704 m)
  • Grosser Grätlisgrat (2,702 m)

#14 Karhorn mountain (2,416 m)

Karhorn is a 2,416 m high mountain in the Lechquellen mountain group. Although the mountain is not in the top 10 highest peaks, it is a very popular hiking and via Ferrata destination.


It shows its most beautiful form from the south. Because of its unique appearance, more experienced hikers visit the mountain to conquer it. The summit can be reached:

  • from the Auenfelder Pass via a UIAA I difficulty climb
  • or on a moderately difficult via Ferrata route, the Karhorn

#15 Kleinwalser valley

Kleinwalsertal is a quiet, peaceful little valley in the north of Vorarlberg. The area close to the German border is notable for being accessible by car only from Germany (highway 201).


The most beautiful settlements are Mittelberg, Hirschegg and Baad. If you want to disappear from the eyes of the world, we can recommend this hidden gem.

Tip: Exploring the valley is ideal by bicycle.

#16 Hoher Ifen (2 230 m)

The 2,230 m high Hoher Ifen is located next to the Kleinwalsertal valley. The interestingly shaped mountain is part of the Allgäu Alps.

Hoher Ifen

The mountain lies on the border of Germany and Austria. Together with the Ifen Plateau, it is a true hiking paradise.

#17 Kanzelwandbahn cable car

The Kanzelwandbahn is a cable car on Fellhorn mountain in the Kleinwalser valley. You can take a hike or relax when you reach the top station. The lift starts at 1,087 meters and takes passengers up to 1,957 meters, covering 870 meters.

Fellhorn cable car

#18 Wasserfall am Schwarzwasserbach

Once you are in the Kleinwalsertal valley, visit the 20 meters high Schwarzwasserbach waterfall. You can find the waterfall roughly halfway between Riezlern and Hirschegg. You can reach the waterfall on foot or by bike.

Kleinwalsertal valley waterfall - Wasserfall am Schwarzwasserbachs

#19 inatura - Erlebnis Naturschau Dornbirn

You can find an interactive natural history museum in Dornbirn. The museum was built in 2003 on an old factory building site.

Source: inatura museum
  • Address: Jahngasse 9, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria
  • Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00, every da
  • Admission: 12 euros / adult

#20 Alplochschlucht gorge

You will find the Alplochschlucht behind the more famous Rappenloch gorge in the Dornbirn region. Special rock formations and long wooden bridges await you in the narrow canyon.


In addition to the gorge, you can also visit the Staufensee and the Ebensand Power Plant.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Sign: yellow and white
  • Elevation: 190 m
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00, every day
  • Address: Alplochschlucht, Gütlestraße, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria
  • Starting point: Mass
  • End point: Schmitte bus stop
  • Dog friendly? Yes, on a leash

#21 Rappenlochklamm gorge

Next to the Alplochschlucht, the Rappenlochklamm or Rappenlochschlucht is just 1.5 kilometres away. You can combine the two gorges in a half-day. The beautiful trail contains many special rock formations.

Rappenlochklamm gorge
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Indication: yellow and white
  • Elevation: 100 m
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00, every day
  • Address: Alplochschlucht, Gütlestraße, 6850 Dornbirn, Austria
  • Starting and end points: Mass
  • Dog friendly? Yes, on a leash

#22 Montafon valley

Montafon is a 40 km long alpine valley through which the river Ill flows to meet the Rhine later. It is surrounded by the Silvretta, Verwall and Rätikon mountains.

Montafon valley

Pin Buin - the highest peak - is not far from here. In winter, it is a popular recreational destination and ski resort, where you can use 70 lifts with a ski pass.

The area is popular among tourists not only in winter but also in summer. The warmth that permeates the sunny valley creates an ideal environment for excursions and hiking, which can be done on the yellow and black-marked routes.

#23 Erlebnisberg Golm

Golm is a family-friendly and children's favourite mountain in the Montafon valley. A slide, bobsleigh track, adventure park and easy hiking trails await visitors.

  • Address: Golm im Montafon, Seilbahnstraße 1, 6773 Vandans, Austria

#24 Brandnertal valley

Brandnertal is a ski centre in winter and a hiking area in summer. The valley borders Switzerland, and its river is the Alvier.

Lünersee in the Brandnertal

The Ratikon mountain range is located here, and the neighbouring valley is the previously mentioned Montafon. The main profile of the valley is hospitality, mainly specializing in families who come with children - this is also true in winter.

#25 Körbersee lake

The Körbersee lies at an altitude of 1,600 m next to route 200. You can find the lake in the Lechtaler Alps, which can only be reached by hiking.


Choose the nearest settlement, Schröcken, as your starting point. The lake is worth a visit because of its drinkable water and unique environment.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Starting point: Schröcken
Tip: if you want to see another lake, you can find Kalbelesee 10 minutes away by car.

#26 Höferspitze (2,131 m)

Höferspitze is a 2,131 m high mountain peak that you can climb from the previously mentioned Schröcken. (Another, easier alternative starting from the Hochtannberg pass).


The mountain belongs to the Kleinwalsertal, which we mentioned earlier. Mountaineers and hikers visit it for its great views. In addition to the panorama, an exciting ridge hike awaits you.

  • Starting point 1: Schröcken Nesslegg - difficult hike
  • Starting point 2: Hochtannberg pass - medium hike

#27 Stausee Kops Reserve

Stausee Kops is a reserve between the Verwall and Silvretta mountains. The area with the huge dam stores 42.9 million cubic meters of water.

Stausee Kops dam

There is a trail around the lake, which is easy to follow. The area of ​​the reserve is 170 km². On foot or by bike, you can approach the dam on a steep road from the village of Partenen, starting from the Montafon valley.

#28 Grosswalsertal

Kleinwalsertal's counterpart is Grosswalsertal, a V-shaped valley in Vorarlberg. This mountain range is also part of the Limestone Alps.

The area borders the Bregenz Forest. If you can say so, the valley is even bigger and greener than its smaller brother. Here you will find Mount Breithorn, a popular hiking destination. One of the best-known towns in the area is Fontanella.

#29 Bürserschlucht gorge

The circular tour takes you through the lush forest between unusual stones and rock formations. The trail is approx. 5 km long, with an ascent of 220 m.


It can be completed in approximately 2 hours. The water of the river Alvierbach shaped the gorge into its present-day landscape. You can find the gorge next to the town of Bürs.

  • Address: Bürserschlucht 6706 Bürs, Austria
  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00, every day
  • Free entry

#30 Rotlechschlucht gorge

Not far from Mittereg, you will find the Rotlechschlucht and the Rotlech waterfall within. The river of the same name shaped the gorge. You can go hiking on its shores.

  • Address: Rotlechschlucht, 6622 Rinnen, Austria
  • Starting point: Rinnen
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 3 hours
Tip: The Tier - u Sielpark Bichlbach is also very close to the gorge. It is an outdoor park and resting place for children - with go-karts and a petting zoo.

#31 Üble Schlucht gorge

The wild, adventurous Üble gorge differs from the well-known, built-up Austrian gorges. One of the advantages of the gorge is its quietness and proximity to nature.

The Frutz stream gurgles in the gorge. Those who like to hike and don't want large crowds or the hustle and bustle will like this gorge. One of the advantages is that it can only be accessed by hiking.

  • Opening hours: 0:00 - 24:00
  • Admission: 0 euros
  • Address: Üble Schlucht, Frutz, Austria

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