In the Footsteps of the Walser People

The Tannberg

Who were the Walser people? What about this area inspired them to settle here? What evidence or artifacts still exist today? How did they live? For 600 years, the Walser people subsisted as mountain farmers until the advent of winter tourism at the end of the 19th century. This brought unexpected developments to the Tannberg mountains.

A trail exploring the history of the Walser people

On the Tannbergweg trail at the foot of the Karhorn mountain between the municipalities of Lech, Warth and Schröcken, gain insight into the history of the Walser people, who immigrated from the Canton of Valais and settled in the upper Lechtal valley, then known as "Tannberg am Lech" around 1300. Hikers encounter ancient Walser buildings, former Walser settlements, fascinating settings of traditional legends, atmospheric towns set amidst a cultural landscape that has been shaped through the ages, and breathtaking natural treasures.

Hiking tours in the Tannberg mountains

The hiking routes are both unique and rich in variety: Discover secluded paths in a high valley or mountain forest, the mule tracks of the Walser people as they crossed the mountain saddles, via ferratas and summit tours. The scenery is incredibly diverse: tour around the mighty mountain basin of Schröcken, which boasts picturesque scattered hamlets and lonely farmsteads. Alternatively, explore Hochkrumbach at the foot of the bizarre Widderstein mountain, which is characterised by moors and lush Alpine meadows. Enjoy the scenery on sunny plateaus such as the enchanting settlement of Bürstegg above Lech, or the picturesque high valleys leading to Zug and on to the Älpele. In addition to the impressive mountain scenery and the idyllic countryside, there are also numerous natural monuments such as the romantic Körbersee lake.

Mountain huts and Alpine pastures in the Tannberg mountains

On the gentle meadows below the Karhorn mountain, cows graze on lush grasses during the summer months. Not far from the cultivated areas, the Alpine pastures and mountain huts are located directly along the hiking trails in the Tannberg mountains. There are numerous places to stop in for a bite to eat here, so why not enjoy fresh milk or a hearty snack? The hutkeepers look forward to welcoming you!

A break at the Tannberg

Hotel Goldener Berg
The hotel Goldener Berg directly at the ski slope in Oberlech the sunny plateau Winter at the Goldener Berg means, of course: Ski in – Ski out. The winter season already starts at the Arlberg in November. Free from crowds, get on your board right in front of the hotel and off you go – this has been the Goldener Berg for over 100 years. But the same goes for exercise in the wintry nature without boards! Directly from the hotel, there are many kilometres of wonderful hiking trails, which are perfectly prepared every day. Snowshoeing - for me, an unbelievable and beautiful opportunity to calm my mind in a short time. With modern snowshoes on your feet, walking through the snowy Zug Valley behind our guide, in the silence of the forest and fresh powder snow, is simply meditative! I love it. And jogging is also an option that Lech offers in winter, Nordic walking and cross-country skiing – all sports in beautiful nature that are easy to learn and bring a lot of joy to the heart. We also offer many of these programmes directly from the Goldener Berg with our trainer Natalia. And our newly developed areas such as bathing in the Alpine setting and tide hiking are also included in our programme. A winter day away from the ski slopes could look like this: The sun tickles you awake and you first spot the snowy peaks around the Goldener Berg. Gently awaken your body with an hour of yoga. Enjoy a balanced breakfast with products from local, trusted farmers in the new panorama restaurant with a brilliant view of the white splendour. We then head off, warmly dressed, to one of the guided tours in the beautiful, surrounding nature. When you return home, you can look forward to a hot turmeric and chocolate drink in front of the cosy, open fire. Time to lie in the sun and read a good book – finally. Let your gaze wander over the mountains and the vastness – let your thoughts wander, your head is clear – relieved. Be it a soothing treatment of any kind in the Alpine Spa or simply indulge in the water in the whirlpool in the snow – you decide. Later, you can wind down the day in one of our four restaurants with culinary highlights of all kinds (fish, meat, vegetarian and vegan cuisine – you also have the choice here). Winter at the “Goldener Berg" the mountain of energy is so much more – holiday finding your best self once again.
Hotel Sonnenburg
Sonnenburg is situated in one of the most famous ski resorts of the world, on the sun terrace of the Arlberg mountains, next to the slopes in the traffic-free village Oberlech. In summer it is possible to park your car in front of the hotel. The cable car Lech-Oberlech connects us with the center of Lech. In winter it operates between 07.00 am and 01.00 in the night and in summer from 08.30 am until 06.00 pm. You have a choice of two categories: the 4-star superior standard that you are already accustomed to in the Sonnenburg's Landhaus, or the added comfort of the Sonnenburg's 5-star Stammhaus. The Landhaus is connected with the Stammhaus by a 90 meter long mirrored hallway, so that you can enjoy the amenities of both buildings easily. In 1967, the Sonnenburg became the first hotel in Oberlech to be equipped with a pool. And a dip in our large new pool will be even more relaxing, especially with spectacular views of the mountains. The ladies and family spa areas are also being upgraded. What's more, comfortable sitting areas are being created for our guests in the hotel lobby, the reception is being moved, and a room with wonderful panoramic views will be available for a wide range of different events, including seminars, dinners or small meetings. Not only the playroom, but also our kindergarten “kid’s world” is very requested and popular. The first attempts on skies can be made directly in front of the hotel. Ski school Oberlech is located just a snowball’s throw away from the Sonnenburg. After a day full of exercise you will find time and calmness to enjoy our spa area with pool and several sauna possibilities with separate family sauna. Our different restaurants offer various culinary delights. We also offer professional services and amenities for congress guests to climb mountains of knowledge. Experience wonderful moments with your family. With people, who are delighted about your stay. At a place, that is revisited by generations. You can also visit us on our homepage

The Karhorn mountain: an accessible summit for all

The impressive Karhorn massif resembles a magnificent rocky crown north of Lech and south of the Hochtannberg Pass. Boasting flowering mountain meadows and gentle Alpine pastures that reach up to the rugged Dolomite cliffs, it provides an apt first impression of the legendary Tannberg mountain landscape
The summit of the Karhorn mountain at 2,416 m is accessible via a path secured with steel cables or a via ferrata route.

The Tannberg communities: Lech, Warth & Schröcken

West of the Karhon mountain, the municipal boundaries of Lech, Warth and Schröcken meet on the scenic Auenfeld high plateau. The Walser People court once met here, which gave the region its name. For centuries since the immigration of Valaisans in the late Middle Ages, it united the three villages. In addition to the area’s eventful history as the northeasternmost Walser people colony on the border between Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Bavaria, the inhabitants of the three Walser settlements shared the difficult struggle for survival in this high-altitude region. Thanks to the famous "Walser Freiheiten (freedoms)," the communities were largely independent and enjoyed church, economic and family ties that extended beyond their mountain ranges. The distinctive language and handed-down traditions of the Walser people have been preserved in the Tannberg mountains until this day. Together, Lech, Warth and Schröcken invite you to explore the rich legacy of their ancestors in addition to the region’s pristine nature, which also includes traces of the Walser people. In cultivating the Alpine terrain, these pioneers developed fascinating agricultural practices that that are still prevalent today and enrich the unique appeal of the Tannberg mountains.

Diverse nature in the Tannberg mountains

True insiders regard the Tannberg as unique within the wide Alpine chain. Simultaneously invigorating and tranquil, few other regions offer such variety and contrast. Far removed from the hustle and bustle and nevertheless central, high elevation yet blessed with a favourable climate, a broad hiking paradise awaits discovery. Here you can explore the main European watershed between the North Sea and the Black Sea. While the Bregenzerache river meanders over the alluvial plain to Lake Constance, the Lech river flows into the Danube river. The striking mountains, which are characterised by a variety of rock formations and glacial striations, are known as the Lechquellengebirge. This mountain range merges with the Central Alps to the south, the Lechtal Alps to the east and the Allgäu Alps to the north.

Documenting the history of the Walser people in the Tannberg mountains

In his book "Auf den Spuren der Walser am Tannberg" (In the Footsteps of the Walser People in the Tannberg mountains), Innsbruck journalist Olaf Sailer devotes a detailed text to each of the 57 places of interest. The well-researched stories tell of the hard work and the homesickness of the “Swabian children," of the sulphur spring as the Walsers' fountain of youth, of the Gemstel Pass used as a bridle path, as well as a route for traders and smugglers, of the Hinterboden as the birthplace of alpine skiing in Tannberg, and of the legend of the Bürstegg herdsman.