Allgäuer Strasse 1
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From the rolling foothills of the Alps all the way up to the mountain peaks, the Allgäu has always attracted active holidaymakers. As a sustainable destination for health and wellness, the region is aiming for more, and its Allgäu brand logo can only be used once a strict set of sustainability criteria has been met.
The Allgäu High Alps conservation area is the most bio-diverse mountain range anywhere in Germany. It is home to over 70 endangered plant species as well as 40 types of orchid, including the lady slipper (the largest wild orchid in the Alps), and the carnivorous sundew. Sustainable tourism is already an everyday reality here: almost all holiday destinations are easily reached without a car, and many tourist cards even include public transport at no extra cost. On arrival, of course, it’s best to use more active means of travel.
Scramble up to dizzying heights and glide back down
The cycle routes across the Alps are mountain bike heaven. Some of the most popular trails start in the Allgäu. The Radrunde Allgäu cycle loop takes in the most beautiful spots on a 450km multi-stage cycling tour of the Allgäu and tells the story of the landscape’s past. Fifty train stations along the route offer full flexibility and cyclists can choose a stage with an altitude profile that’s right for them. If that sounds too strenuous, you can ride an eco-friendly e-bike, a pedelec or even a disabled-friendly three-wheeler. You can charge up the batteries at the Richtersalp inn, for example, where they generate the required power from a small hydroelectric plant.
Fresh from the farm
The goodness of the grass and plants that thrive on the mountain pastures around Bad Hindelang lives on in the milk produced by the Braunvieh cows of Allgäu. This milk is turned into premium mountain cheese – sometimes right there on the farm or at the Alpine dairies. Fourteen local restaurants that serve food sourced fresh from the farm have teamed up under the label of ‘regional cuisine – this is how Bad Hindelang cooks’.
Nagelfluhkette Nature Park has set up a special family-friendly, interactive exhibition in Immenstadt. Children can also take part in ‘junior ranger training’ where they’ll learn how the cycle of nature works, while parents get to taste the different flavours of regional cuisine from Landzunge, Mundart and other culinary associations.
A working holiday with a twist
One place you can walk to, and where you’ll discover a special business model, is the Alpe Sonnhalde alpine farm collective in the Mittelbach valley near Oberstaufen: its special fund, where interest is at times quite literally paid in cheese, is helping to finance the farm and meet the Demeter standards for organic farming. Instead of earning interest, investors receive payment in kind. Working holidays even for several months are available on the mountain pastures.
A time to celebrate: bonfires, carnivals and cattle drives …
Enjoy traditional Allgäu customs – all year round. A highlight is the mountain cattle drive. This special public holiday at the end of a long alpine summer is known by the locals in the Allgäu and Kleinwalser valley as Viehscheid – and makes for an unforgettable holiday experience. Each September more than 30,000 cows from Oberstaufen to Pfronten are taken from the Alps back down to their shelters in the valley, with the ‘lead cow’ given a beautiful garland. A working day for the herdsmen, and a holiday for every town and village – one with much celebration.
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