Craggy peaks, big skies and a Bavarian exclave. The small municipality of Jungholz of Tannheimer Tal is a geographical curiosity: though located on German territory, it is officially part of Tirol.
For some people, the Tannheimer Tal is the most beautiful high valley anywhere in Europe. It lies between the craggy peaks of the Allgäu Alps and boasts big blue skies stretching out over lush green meadows, crystal-clear mountain lakes and traditional farmhouses. Here, the alpine foothills are more similar to rolling hills than towering mountains. This holiday region at around 1,100m comprises the villages of Nesselwängle-Haller, Grän-Haldensee, Tannheim, Zöblen and Schattwald, stretching south-west from the Oberjochpass in Bavaria to the upper section of the Lechtal Valley. It also includes the quiet but remarkable village of Jungholz – this municipality measuring just 7 square kilometres lies on German territory but is officially part of Austria. It is the only such municipality in the country and offers excellent views of the characteristic flat plains of the Allgäu.
Popular region for hiking and rock climbing
Many of the mountains, such as the Schartschrofen, Rote Flüh, Gimpel and Kellenspitze, are well known in the rock climbing scene, while hikers will find a large network of signposted trails. The Tannheimer Tal has been voted Austria’s best hiking area on several occasions and includes a section of The Way of Saint James, a network of cross-border long-distance hiking trails. Families with children will enjoy the many themed hiking trails, including the Smugglers’ Trail in Schattwald.
In winter the region is home to six small ski resorts, a selection of cross-country skiing trails, toboggan runs, winter hiking paths and many events such as the Tannheimer Tal Ski Trail and the “Funkenfeuer” in Jungholz, a centuries-old custom marking the transition from winter to spring. During the warm summer months there are also plenty of sporting highlights, including the “Seen-Lauf” run and the “Drei-Hütten-Rennen”, a race where runners, bikers and power walkers compete together in the beautiful area above Lake Haldensee.