Are you a morning person? Do you like a big and delicious breakfast? Do you like to enjoy it with a view down to the sleeping valley? …and all of this in between impressive mountains? If so, then this is the place for you to go! (for more pictures of us, the hike and the yummy breakfast click on any of the images below to start the slideshow)
We got an invitation for the famous alpine breakfast in Gargellen at the Schafberg Hüsli. We decided to combine it with a hike in this beautiful area after the breakfast. The alpine breakfast is so famous that often it is booked out. If you plan to go there you should make a reservation. Starting from Gargellen, we took the cable car to the station of the Schafberg Hüsli.
Once we arrived we could already smell the freshly prepared breakfast. We got our reserved table and could not wait to see the whole buffet. Everything you desire, you get here! A room just for eggs, bacon, sausages, potatoes, etc. Another room with a WIDE variety of hams, cheeses, breads, bacon and veggies. Next to it a huge sweet corner with different cakes, yogurt, austrian specialities like Kaiserschmarrn, Palatschinken, Marillenknödel, etc. Another room just for fresh fruits, cereals and juices, and three different chocolate fountains and and and….yeah, everything!
The breakfast is open from 08.30 until 11.00. After 2 hours of enjoying every bite we took, we sadly had to give up. Not a tiny space left in our tummies. We were wondering if under those circumstances we were even able to go hiking 😉
Directly at the Schafberg Hüsli you can start your hike in different directions. Since we didn’t know for how long and how intense we could hike with our full tummies we decided for an easier route to the Gafierjoch at 2415m which is also a border between Austria and Switzerland. This whole area is famous for its history of smuggling goods between Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Today there is a theme trail about this history where you can learn about it. You can also read about it here. Also for kids this trail offers a fantastic experience, a combination of play and hiking.
Our first stop on the hike was the Schafbergsee (2205m). In winter this little lake is used to create snow with snow cannons for the skiing resort of Gargellen/Schafberg. The hiking trail follows around this lake and then continues to lead up towards the Gafierjoch. You can hear marmots calling each other in the distance, we even found some of their holes along the way.
All along the path are rocks and stones with shiny green weaves. Those weaves in combination with the darkish light of this cloudy day, created an absolutly dramatic atmosphere. On the way up to the Gafierjoch you have the well known mountain called Madrisa (2770m) to your left. Its appearance is so massive that it kinda feels majestic.
After 2 hours we reached the Gafierjoch right at the border to Switzerland. The view from up there would be really nice, but additional fog was coming up from the valleys so it was hard to see below. Still it looked impressive, the fog created a very special atmosphere.
We rested for a few minutes but it was getting really cold (4°C) the real feel was colder because of the wind. First we were discussing if we should follow the trail along the border to the St. Antönier Joch but the upcoming fog was so thick that we did not risk it. Good sight would be important for this part of the trail because on the left side it goes down very steep and just one misstep could mean trouble. We decided to take the same way back until the Schafbergsee.
At the intersection we followed the smuggler’s themetrail. It has some interactive stations along the path. For example balancing on tree trunks, walking barefoot on different surfaces (not when its so cold obviously), lookout points with binoculars, lifting rocks (heavy!!) and finding the themetrail figure named Schmuggi Luggi with binoculars in the rocks of the Madrisa. A very recommended path which also leads back to our starting point at the restaurant.
Exactly when we returned the sun came out for the first time. We took this chance to take some nice panorama pictures and also to relax in the comfortable chairs at the terrace of the restaurant. Next to the terrace is a big playground, a slackline and some fun vehicles to try out!
Another fun thing to do here is to take the mountain carts to race all the way down to Gargellen! Since the weather was so cold when we arrived in the morning, we bought a 2-way cable car ticket instead of using the mountain carts to go down. This means, that we will be back soon for another delicious breakfast followed by the traditional hike BUT next time we will use the MOUNTAIN CARTS ! We are already looking forward to that!
Location: Gargellen / Montafon
Time: 4 hours
Vertical meter: ↑ 285m / ↓ 285m
Weather: cloudy 4°C – 14°C