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Panoramic winter hike at the Gottesacker Plateau

© by Arnold Weisz

This is the most breathtaking winter hike I have ever made. The panoramic views of the Kleinwalsertal from 2000 meters altitude on the Gottesacker Plateau, are simply phenomenal.

Embarking on a winter hike at the Gottesacker Plateau in Vorarlberg is an experience like no other. I did not have to venture many meters from the lift station and out onto the Gottesacker Plateau before an adventurous winter landscape opened in front of me. Then, almost in a hurry, I embarked on the 5 km trail (there is also a shorter version with 3 km). Moreover, fresh snow had arrived a few days before, so the white landscape was pristine off the marked trails.


The trail is well-signposted, so you do not accidentally walk on the ski slopes. Snow groomers made a wide track where you can use regular winter boots. Furthermore, there are no steep inclines since you are hiking along a plateau. If you arrive with one of the first cable cars in the morning, the silence of the snow-covered mountains is profound, punctuated only by the crunch of boots, making it a serene escape into nature. You can rest on some of the benches along the route to enjoy the scenery. Nonetheless, sitting down and enjoying the beautiful winter scenery and spectacular views was outstanding. Hence, this is a family-friendly activity where you can bring your children.

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Hiking in the snow-covered mountains is quite different from trotting through the forest in the valleys. My first thought was the silence. Even though you are in the middle of a ski resort, it is still surprisingly quiet. Just a few minute’s hike from the cable car station, silence prevailed. The sound of my boots accompanied me. Halfway along the route, a sign with “Bodenseeblick” (Lake Constance view) suddenly appeared. Unfortunately, fog blanketed the lake. Vorarlberg is Austria’s smallest state, and the distances are small. Lake Constance (Bodensee) is only 35 kilometres from the Gottesacker Plateau. Moreover, you are even closer to Germany.

A quick visit to Germany

Since the border runs along the ridge above the Gottesacker Plateau, you can also make a quick visit to Germany. The longest route takes you across the border for some hundred meters. No worries! There are not any passport checks. After a lovely 1.5-hour hike, it was time to enjoy a cake and coffee in the restaurant (Tafel & Zunder) next to the aerial cableway station. Getting up on the plateau from the villages in the valley is easy. Pick up the bus (line 5) or drive to Ifen, where you board the cable car.

Check out other winter- and snow-shoe hiking tours here!

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Written by Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.