Gargellen in Vorarlberg
The smugglers’ village at 1,423 metres
The highest mountain village in the Montafon at 1,423 metres has a natural and pristine element. Crunching snow and crystal-clear air – in the “snow village” of Gargellen everything is white in winter. During the warm season, mountain lovers can enjoy untouched nature in pleasant peace on blooming Alpine meadows. Charming and practised hospitality is not amiss among hosts.
The imposing Madrisa majestically towers over the Alpine valley gorge – a place that satisfies every desire for a unique mountain world. Here you can walk on paths that were once used by smugglers: In the border region between the Montafon and Switzerland, the Madrisa circuit leads over a high-altitude hike through to the Swiss confederates, in winter it can be experienced as an exhilarating ski tour. Always accompanied by a touch of thrill.
Whether with a guide or alone, when setting off from your accommodation there is an abundance of unparalleled nature, in which everyone can find a sporting challenge. Exciting climbing experiences at high altitudes and lush routes through colourful meadows in the warmer seasons, long pistes in the valley and accompanied snow activities away from the bustle in the winter months. Awakening all the senses, perfect in itself.
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Did you know that...
Friedrich Juen is a direct descendant of the legendary smuggler Meinrad Juen?
“The darker the night and the poorer the weather, the better the conditions for smuggling.”
On the trail of the Montafon smugglers
Daredevil men and women from the border areas between Austria and Switzerland transported anything they could over the mountains in their frame rucksacks out of necessity. The hot goods were even sometimes brought to the Viktualienmarkt in Munich. Popular goods were unroasted coffee beans, which could not be smelt by the customs officers, as well as wine and cereals. The shrewd smugglers were also able to think of something to distract from their tracks. For example, in order to deceive their pursuers, they nailed the soles onto their shoes reversed. Even today, some things will remind you of the smugglers, and you can hike through a piece of their world on magnificent mountain tours.
Gargellen native Friedrich Juen, great-nephew of Meinrad Juen, a particularly crafty smuggler tells the stories in a particularly authentic manner.