Kleinwalsertal is a valley in the Austrian Alps, which due to its geography, only has roads into Germany. Inventive as the financial market is, geography led to a special tax exemption zone, and to the Austrian banking secret.
The valley hosts several villages with posh hotels, ski lifts, and bank branches. In addition, a suspicious nubmer of German universities owns seminar houses (available to the public upon request) in the area, allowing staff and students to frequently visit the valley. Which they frequently do – for intense seminar weeks, of course.
The central village is Riezlern, where the number of bank branches, financial products supporting secret accounts, and ski shops are approximately equal. Plus one table dance bar.
The mountains around the valley invite for extended summer hikes over the 2000-meter-line, while the winter months call for anything that can be done with snow and ski lifts during the winter months.
What to do
- Skiing, Ski-biking, and Ski-boarding. Snowboarding. You get the picture. Equipment rental is available in many shops in the villages.
- Après-ski. Partying in the village.
- Oberstdorf, the city at the valley mouth in Germany, hosts the local Schnaps museum. Get your shot of local spirits there!
- Get on top of the area’s most profiled mountain – Hoher Ifen (2230m). The mountain is a table mountain with a dramatic cliff on one side, and a long slope on the other. The hike is long, but technically not difficult – just a hike.
- Mountainbike, climb, or hike during summer. You can hire a guide & equipment for adventure trips, such as climbing over a canyon, or rapelling down from the valley bridge.
Where to stay
- One of the Guest houses of a University, e.g Goethe university’s Haus Bergkranz or Sport- & Studienheim des Marburger Universitätsbundes.
- Getting there: This is the trickiest part. Fly to Stuttgart or Memmingen, then take the train to Oberstdorf. From there, a bus to Riezlern. A few taxis are available.
- A public bus shuttles up and down the valley.
Where to eat
- Eat in the village restaurants, in case you’re missing your included meals at the guest houses.
What to bring home
- A new bank account with your pension funds.