We love to travel and to explore exotic destination. This time we don’t go to faraway places. We go hiking in the mountains of Vorarlberg, Austria which is only a couple hours away from our home town in Switzerland. Come along on a hiking trip through the stunning mountain landscape in Lech, up to Lake Formarin and the Red Wall, a place that has won the election of the most beautiful place in Austria.
The day we received the invitation to visit the most beautiful place in Austria, we got curious. During our travels we so often heard about the nicest gorge, the most beautiful landscape, the longest waterfall or the best hike. We checked out many places and attractions but in the meantime we are a bit wary. We’d like to explore things off the beaten paths and places that are not too touristy. But sometimes we also like to check out the best, biggest and nicest places. So let’s see what it is all about the Lake Formarin and Red Wall, the most beautiful place in Austria.
Big festivities at Lake Formarin
The weather is perfect and the temperature pleasant. It’s Sunday, it’s summer and of course we are not the only ones planning to go hiking today. There are hundreds of people waiting for the bus in Lech. All of them want to go to Lake Formarin because there is the festival “Music at Lake Formarin”. Local bands from the region meet to play music and present their shows. There are also stalls with local specialties along the lake.
The region is celebrating the success of winning the competition “most beautiful place in Austria” in 2015. The election was broadcasted in the national TV program ORF and people in the region are very proud that Lake Formarin and the Red Wall has been chosen as the most beautiful place in Austria.
Hiking on the Lechweg to Lake Formarin and Red Wall, the most beautiful place in Austria
We are in Lech in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. Many people take the bus to Lake Formarin, not us. We like to hike up there.
Our backpacks are ready. We too, let’s say almost. Can’t believe we forgot to bring sunscreen. Luckily there is a Spar Supermarket which is open on Sundays.
Finally, we can start our hike on the Lechweg to Lake Formarin. I doesn’t take more than ten minutes and we’re in the middle of the beautiful nature.
The Lechweg is a long-distance hiking trail that covers more than 120 km in full length. We hike the first leg to Lake Formarin. The distance from Lech is about 14 km and the trail follows the Lech River. That’s so cool, because where water flows there is life and always something to see.
Finding the way is easy. Look out for the big letter „L“ on the signposts or look for the white painted “L” at the tree trunks. And even if you don’t see any L’s, just follow the Lech River. You can’t go wrong.
It’s incredible. We walk along the river for hours and the landscape is changing constantly. The higher we get the more the vegetation is changing. The big fir trees are disappearing. The only thing that doesn’t change is the Lech River.
About four hours later we reach the Formarin Alpe. If you’re taking the bus, that’s the drop off place. At the Formarin Alpe you get refreshments in case you are hungry or thirsty. We would love to stop here but we are very excited and we want to see the Lake Formarin. We can’t wait to see the most beautiful place of Austria. Nothing can hold us back now.
Ten more minutes and we are there. Finally, after walking 14 km along the Lech River we finally reach Lake Formarin. We are on 1’793 meters above sea level. Sweaty but happy and astonished by the beauty of the place we enjoy this moment. OK, now we understand why Lake Formarin and the Red Wall have been elected as the most beautiful place in Austria in October 2015.
The festivities at Lake Formarin are almost over already. Well, that’s ok because we’re not here for that but to enjoy the landscape. We walk along the lake which is so beautiful that we have to stop every two minutes to enjoy the views and take photos.
Half an hour later we reach the Freiburger Hut. The huge terrace is very inviting with its amazing views over the Austrian Alps and the Klostertal. That’s the place to be on a sunny summer day.
We spend about two hours just sitting here, enjoying the beautiful views and we are very happy being here. There is also a great place with relaxing deck chairs at the back of the Freiburger Hut. That’s the perfect spot for a sundowner.
The hike on the Lechweg trail to Lake Formarin was very special. We loved it. And do you know what? It reminded us of the Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania. Lake Formarin with the Red Wall in the back has similarities with the Dove Lake and the Cradle Mountain in the back. Check it out here and tell us if you agree: Hiking in the Cradle Mountain National Park
Long distance hike: 120 km on the Lech Route from Lake Formarin to Füssen
The full length of the Lech Route, in German “Lechweg”, is more than 120 km and follows the Lech River through stunning alpine landscape. Starting point of the trail is at the spring near Lake Formarin and leads all along the Lech River to the village of Fuessen in the Allgaeu. If you want to do the whole long distance trail you should calculate six to eight days. The trail is split into 15 trail legs. You can take on the whole 120 km or walk along a single leg in a day.
We did the first part of the Lechweg trail the opposite way. We started in Lech and went up to Lake Formarin. Read more about the Lechweg on the official website www.lechweg.com.
Accommodation at Lake Formarin
Freiburger Hut – 1‘931 Meter above sea level (open from mid June until beginning of October)
Kathrin and Florian Mittermayr manage the Freiburger Hut. The couple is super friendly and even on a hectic day they take their time to have a chat with their guests.
From the first second we feel welcome and the food is great too. Especially the hearty breakfast buffet with a big variety was a perfect start into another long hiking day.
What you pay
Adults pay EUR 19-23 for a bed in the dormitory (EUR 6-16 for kids). Prices for the bed/room depend on the category.
Breakfast costs EUR 12 and half board (dinner & breakfast) EUR 27. Kids pay less. For more details about the Freiburger Hut check the official website www.freiburger-huette.at
Staying overnight at the Freiburger Hut is pretty cool. Even if we’re not used to sleep in dormitories, it was a great experience. It’s totally different to stays at a hotel and it was totally worth it. Because, where else if not from the terrace of the Freiburger Hut you can observe the sunrise and sunset over the Lake Formarin. Absolutely amazing.
How to get to Lake Formarin with the Hikers bus
Do you want to get to the most beautiful place in Austria, the Lake Formarin and the Red Wall, we recommend to hop on the Hikers bus from Lech to Alpe Formarin. In summertime there is a bus service every hour. In high-season even every 30 minutes.
You have to pay EUR 5 for the toll road. From the bus stop you reach Lake Formarin within 10 minutes by foot.
The toll road is closed for independent travelers who travel with their own cars in the summer between 8 am and 4.30 pm. Free parking is available at the underground parking Anger in Lech.
We also made a video of our hiking days in Austria. But be warned, watching it makes you want to visit Austria immediately.
Time in the mountains went by very quickly. Far away from civilization, distractions and stress. Hiking is the perfect thing to disconnect.
The weather god was on our side and we absolutely loved the area. The first part of the Lechweg hiking trail was great and the night at Freiburger Hut a lot better than expected.
PS: We are not used to dorms 😉 More about the hut experience in this post.
All in all, it was a great and unforgettable weekend with stunning landscape and lovely people.
How about you? Do you want to go hiking now? Check out the tourism website of Lech Zuers Tourism for detailed information about hiking trails, tours and mountain bike trails.
Do you have a favorite hiking spot? We would love to hear what we should check out next time. We are looking forward to hear about your top hiking spot anywhere in this beautiful world.
Did you like our post? Share it with your friends.
We were invited to this trip by Österreich Werbung and Lech Zurs Tourism. Thank you for the invitation. We promise our readers that we write what we think and our opinion is not influenced by this invitation.