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Experience #austriantime: Bregenzerwald in Vorarlberg

April 16, 2016 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

Old farmhouses jostle with modern buildings, massive cheese stores vie with finely detailed craftsmanship – the Bregenzerwald locals are as creative as ever.

Copyright: Christophe Ketels / Compagnie Gagarine

Bregenzerwald: back to nature

In this region known for artisanal goods and innovative design, nature weaves a vibrant tapestry through the cultural landscape. There is a beauty to rural Bregenzerwald, where artisans transform local raw materials—be it wood from the forests or milk from neighboring farms—into exceptional products for everyday use. An airy wood-and-glass structure in Andelsbuch showcases some of the best examples from the region; while in Hittisau, the unique Frauenmuseum highlights the work of acclaimed female artists.

These and many more cultural treasures can be explored along 12 walking routes that wind through thirteen villages. The routes vary from 1½ to 4 hours round trip. Hikers can amble at their own pace, invigorated by the fresh country air, as they pass through woods that open up to fields near shingle-roofed farmhouses, before church spires and contemporary buildings come into view. Architect-led tours are an added draw for design enthusiasts. Others may prefer a stop at the family-owned Metzler’s Dairy, an open-farm project in Egg, where the artistry of cheese making takes guests from goat house to dairy and herb garden to the huge wheels of cultured curd on display. Of the many delicious rewards throughout the Bregenzerwald, this farm-to-table experience is well worth savoring.

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