Real life. Real characters. Introducing the beauty of Kleinwalsertal.

Herbert loves to joke and spoil us to the magic of the alpine discovery all around. Jürgen has just recently earned himself the title “Top Gourmet Chef” of the year and owns a very large, impressive mushroom indeed! Peter & Sandra are “happily divorced” while running the cute little forest lodge Waldhaus by the Breitach river together. Florian is just so relaxed – barefoot on his “Ways to Be – Wegen zum Sein“. Lydia has this thing with harvesting the most wonderful herbs. And what about … Elmi?


Elmar Müller is our creative host and local “Chääs-Chnöpfle” chef in Kleinwalsertal. He just loves showing us what he calls, the “real Kleinwalsertal”, a mountain valley full of local characters and the sweetest of people.

“He is a real character, isn’t he …” I share with my newfound friends on our hiking tour across a very pretty part of the Kleinwalsertal valley, right here in the very northwest of Austria located at the border with Switzerland and Germany. Herbert, our guide in question, turns around with a bemused smile. I think he heard me. “Well, yes! But so are you, aren’t you? You are the bloggers, right …? Mind making my fancy mustard dip a bit more well-known in the world wide web?!”

Herbert's Walser Bergheu-Senf ist echt nicht zu verachten, wie hier als Teil unseres Genussregion-Picknick genossen ...

Herbert’s mustard dip is a true delight, especially when served with all the other local gourmet products from Kleinwalsertal, such as bread, ham and cheese …


... auch selbstgepflückte Schwammerl / Pilze stehen bei seinen Naturwanderungen & Erlebnisführungen auf dem Programm ...

… he even loves to show us a magic? mushroom (or two) …


... die Herbert am liebsten mit seiner Lorca führt ...

… on any one of his guided hikes together with his dog Lorca …


... nur um ganz zuletzt alle Frauenherzen zu erobern: Vielen Dank für den amüsanten und wirklich schmackhaften "Streifzug durch die Genussregion" hier im Kleinwalsertal, lieber Herbert!

… thank you so much, dear Herbert, for your time & entertaining stories about Kleinwalsertal! Check out his website for more information about the local products Herbert makes off the land:


We continue our tasty exploration of the “real characters” from Kleinwalsertal as we visit Jürgen Denk, who has just been awarded as “Top Gourmet Chef” of the year for his care and commitment to local quality cuisine. At the Wirtshaus Hoheneck restaurant, he finally unveils his … mighty mushroom, weighing just under a kilogram! Who would have thought? Another real character indeed.

Jürgen Denk, am Vorabend seiner Auszeichnung zum "Genusswirt des Jahres" ...

Jürgen Denk, just ahead of being “Top Gourmet Chef” of the year, with his mighty mushroom in hand. A sweet, real local character who you should absolutely meet when travelling to Kleinwalsertal.


Besides, there are Sandra & Peter welcoming you to their Waldhaus forest lodge, a true culinary hideaway by the Breitach river: Snow in winter, storm in summer, but both stay strong and calm in the face of adversaries. “Are you married?” – “No! We are happily divorced! Both of us, I mean …”, Peter laughs and shoots his Sandra a warmhearted look. Peter really loves to tell a story or two, and his round the world trip adventures serve to add an interesting twist to the meals he serves here at Waldhaus in Riezlern.

Fast schon Star-Qualitäten: Die lebhaften Erzählungen sowie die gefühlte Gastfreundschaft von Sandra & Peter im Restaurant Waldhaus.

Stars of Kleinwalsertal: Sandra & Peter at their Restaurant Waldhaus.


Elmi kennt den Weg: Herzlich führt er uns die Breitach-Klamm hinab zum malerisch gelegenen Waldhaus.!

Elmi knows the way, leading us astray … straight to the Waldhaus forest lodge.!


It does turn into something like a fairy tale, when you start listening to Lydia Fritz who calls herself “the lady of herbs”. Be aware: She does know a story or two about herbs that may well turn your life for the better!

Lydia is a lady who wins your heart almost instantly. She talks of being happy, and ever so grateful, for living in the year 2015 and not “300 years ago … because back then, they would have just arrested and burned me, what with my flaring red hair as well as all the knowledge about plants & herbs”, she laughs. Everything that Lydia does, she does with a lot of care and commitment. It is important to her to pass on the knowledge of the healing powers of herbs. Really and truly important. When she talks, she loves to get lost in fascinating details: Treasure-hunting healing herbs in a dry riverbed on more than 1.400 metres above sea-level, making sure the temperature for distilling our herbal wine (!) is kept stable, showing us how to pick only the finest nettle sprouts for our herbal buttermilk smoothie: Lydia is a real character from Kleinwalsertal. Through and through. Lydia, we love you!

Die gute Lydia beim Aussuchen und Erklären der richtigen Kräuter für unsere Salben, Smoothies & Peelings die wir im Anschluss herstellen ... Beim nächsten Mal erzähle ich Euch mehr über unsere tollen Erfahrungen des Kräuter-Workshop mit ihr!

Dear Lydia explaining how to pick the right herbs for making smoothies, body scrubs and ointments … In my next post, I am going to tell you more about our herbal workshop with her!


Noch so ein "Walser Original": Die unfassbar schöne, kraftspendende Region der Walser Berge rings um uns. Bestimmt haucht sie auch den Pflanzen ungemeine Lebenskraft ein!

Another real character ahead of us: The mighty mountain landscape of the Kleinwalsertal valley. I am quite convinced that this is what gives the herbs around here such special powers!


Ob ich dies neue Wissen alles mit in meinen Wanderrucksack packen kann ..? :D

Will I well be able to gather all this new knowledge in my backpack ..? 😀


Last but not least, we are settling for peace. Florian Geis has become known for offering to do short hikes barefoot, thereby “feeling the land” – an exciting way to connect with the place you are visiting.

“I know a spot that is particularly beautiful … Especially if you love taking pictures or making films.” Florian nods at us with a wink. It is him who made us get up early so that we are able to feel & breathe the fresh nature in the morning hours. Deep breaths is literally what we need, as we attempt to cross a riverbed barefoot, feeling not only the smooth rocks with our feet, but also the temperature of the water at slightly above 10°C … However walking in the morning grass is a wonderful feeling I shall always treasure. Bit by bit, my feet wake up my whole body, as the tingling sensation of walking over stones, wood, grass and through water spreads through me. Walking or indeed hiking barefoot is an experience I can only recommend to you. Especially with dear local guide Florian!

Auch hierzu in meinem nächsten Artikel mehr: Florian der Barfusswanderer macht uns einmal mehr bewusst, wie schön sich Gras, Wasser, Holz & Steine anfühlen können.

More next time on how Florian made us feel on his barefoot hike in Kleinwalsertal.


Genussvolles Innehalten auf der Wiese mit Blick über das gesamte Kleinwalsertal ...

As we take a short rest, our views stretch across the entire Kleinwalsertal …


... wie gut, dass der lokale Kleinwalserbus alle 10 Minuten im Takt verkehrt und uns zu wirklich jedem Ort sicher hinbringt.

… what with the local “Walserbus” taking care to bring you wherever needed.


Und zur Stärkung gibt es abends, echte Walser "Chääs-Chnöpfle"! Mahlzeit mit all den guten "Walser Originalen"!

Finally, it’s time for a meal: “Chääs-Chnöpfle”, though almost impossible to pronounce, are simply delightful at dinnertime!


Check out even more impressions about exploring Kleinwalsertal valley on my friends’ travel blogs:


Disclaimer: We have been invited by Kleinwalsertal Tourism Board to travel to Kleinwalsertal mountain food district. All opinions are my own.

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