Montafoner Steinschafe | © Montafon Tourismus GmbH, Schruns - Patrick Säly

Montafoner Steinschaf



The greatest pride of the Montafon, at 70 cm high.

People from the Montafon are humble, proud, honest and strong. Perhaps it is these very properties that are reflected in their own breed of sheep: the Montafon Steinschaf (stone sheep).

This small, graceful animal with its pretty straight nose, which gives it a childlike element, is remarkably modest. It copes well with rough weather and little food, it is diligent, lively and friendly. It has a wonderfully shiny coat. Besides the Montafon cattle, the modest Montafon sheep is the only other animal breed originating from Vorarlberg. There is a need to preserve that which is so typical of the Montafon – people are aware of the value of their culture here. That is why some enthusiasts of the stone sheep, such as Martin Mathies and Peter Kasper, took to the task when it was almost extinct. It is thanks to them that there are now several small flocks in the Montafon. The number of breeders has now even doubled since 2011.

Peter Kasper und Martin Mathies | © Montafon Tourismus GmbH Schruns, Patrick Säly

“They are simple, tame animals that you
quickly take into your heart.”

Together with the breeder Peter Kasper, who has another occupation besides working in agriculture, Martin Mathies has come up with something to create awareness for the much loved fluffy animals. With a lot of perseverance, commitment and in cooperation with other breeders and regional partners, the two created the best conditions for the successful future of the great Vorarlberg breed.

Find out more about Peter Kasper and Martin Mathies
Montafoner Steinschafe | © Montafon Tourismus GmbH, Schruns - Patrick Säly

On former pack train routes to the cultural heritage of the Montafon

Via Valtellina and Montafon Steinschaf (stone sheep)

In Gargellen, the highest village in the Montafon, the walk leads past impressive Maisäss landscapes and the former Via Valtellina pack train route to the Montafon stone sheep, an unusual breed of Austrian sheep. On the way there, you learn more about the valley’s pack train and smuggling past.

Register now for the guided hike


Did you know, that...

the initiative "Montafoner Steinschaf" was founded in 2011?

Nevertheless, in the beginning they had to do a lot of convincing to get more farmers interested in sheep farming. After a difficult initial period, in which the two were able to successfully overcome many reservations about the animals, their work is now widely recognised. The awareness and interest of the population has grown noticeably, many people recognise the value of the local breed and seek contact with the breeders and their animals.

"First I bred chickens and later bees," Martin says. He can call 30 sheep his own, a remarkable number considering that the breed was almost extinct not long ago. At first, his partner Peter only encountered the stone sheep in his father's stories. A few years ago, through a chance acquaintance with breeders, he rediscovered the Stone Sheep for himself and has been passionate about the lovable animals ever since.

"We would also like to set up a small showcase farm for old animal breeds, with a walk-in stable and a sales room," Martin reveals about any future plans. "There we would also like to show what farm life used to be like. But it should definitely not become a stiff museum."

Incidentally, anyone who already feels like visiting Peter Kasper and Martin Mathies' farms and sheep today is cordially invited. It can be especially fun in early summer: Then the young lambs buck happily next to their contented mothers.

If you want to get even closer to the lovable animals, you can even adopt a sheep for 200 euros a year. In addition to the good feeling of supporting the protection of the stone sheep, you will receive regular news and a wool or meat product every year.

Unsere Montafoner Steinschafe sind bis Mitte September auf dem Maisäß Rüti im Gargellnertal anzutreffen. Kommt vorbei!
Martin, der Steinschafzüchter


Montafon Steinschaf products

The untreated wool of the Montafon Steinschaf is renowned well beyond the borders thanks to its quality.
A wide variety of traditional and modern products is now produced from the untreated or felted wool.
Here is a small selection:

Montafon Weather

Bartholomäberg
9°C
Gargellen
7°C
Gaschurn-Partenen
10°C
St. Anton im Montafon
12°C
St. Gallenkirch-Gortipohl
11°C
Schruns-Tschagguns
12°C
Silbertal
11°C
Vandans
12°C

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