The Großes Walsertal, a high Alpine valley stretching from the east towards the west in the center of Vorarlberg, ranks among the country's most sparsely populated regions. It was first settled by the Walser who came from Switzerland's Canton of Valais in the 13th century. A true natural gem that was awarded UNESCO Biosphere Park in 2000, a model area strongly focusing on sustainable life, work and agriculture in tune with nature.
The secluded mountain valley still has some areas almost untouched by men. Only 18 inhabitants per square kilometer live on the region's steep slopes. A truly genuine mountain world where smoking industrial chimneys and traffic noise are literally unknown. Grazing brown cattle on the Alpine pasturelands welcome you instead: cattle breeding has been the most important economic sector since the 13th and 14th century. The Walser people are widely known for their genuine life in close touch with nature and the awesome natural beauty of their landscapes - a fact that has become increasing importance in the tourism industry.
From 1313 onwards, settlers from the eastern part of the area came to the valley and Damuels. The former "Obergericht" region (Damuels and Fontanella) was independent, only in case of a war its inhabitants were commanded by the Earls of Haus Montfort and had to serve them with "shield and lance". The entire Grosses Walsertal is encircled by the majestic Walserkamm ridge and the mighty Lechtal Alps, boasting an infinite number of gorges, ravines, rushing mountain waters, lush green meadows, dense forests and an unrivaled variety of Alpine fauna and flora.
Special theme trails and networks give an insight into the fascinating life of the local fauns: admire marmots soaking up the sun on the shores of little ponds, tiny salamanders next to ice cold glacier brooks, Alpine ibexes towering high above the valley, barded vultures floating silently in the air, mighty eagles on glacier-topped peaks. This wonderful nature paradise makes a real heaven for activity holidays in touch with nature.
Thanks to a varied hiking program certified hiking and trekking guides from Grosses Walsertal and Damuels take guests to the area's most secluded spots from May through October. Choose from incredible 230 km of hiking trails which are perfectly signposted and maintained according to Vorarlberg's hiking trail quality seal, 40 mountain peaks and 47 serviced mountain inns spread all over the giant Grosses Walsertal Biosphere Park. Both active hikers and those who prefer a more leisurely pace will find their favorite activity.