Time: 7.75h. Up: 1210m. Down: 1170m.
Distance: 18km. Difficulty: medium.

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage

Stage 11: Falkenstein (1130m) to Tannheim (1090m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Say Auf Wiedersehen to Germany (and indeed you will see it again when you get to the Prinz-Luitpold-Haus at the end of the next stage). Today starts with a steep descent to cross the Vils River and then a long climb up the densely wooded slopes of the Breitenberg to the rocky peak of Aggenstein.

When you start your descent on the other side, you will be in Austria, truly in the Alps at last. Why not, therefore, celebrate tonight by staying at an excellent hotel in Tannheim? After a couple of hours in the hotel spa followed by a sumptuous meal in a gourmet restaurant you'll sleep like a log… which wouldn't be a bad idea, because the next five hikes are one of the more challenging stretches on the H2H.

Since this is the first time you'll have crossed a national border while hiking the H2H, perhaps a couple of words about passports are in order. Although you are unlikely to be stopped by border or customs officials while hiking, and although strictly speaking you will only need your passport when you cross into and out of Switzerland, take it along anyway. The reason is that the other countries along the route require you to carry an "official ID" with you at all times. And the only "official ID" you are likely to own (unless you are a citizen of a country with national identity cards) is your passport. An added advantage: many hotels will tell you that they need to make a copy of your passport for local tax or tourist board reasons and having it with you avoids fuss.

Today's hike takes the same trails as the Via Alpina from shortly after you start climbing the Unterer Breitenberg until shortly after you pass Enge. From Falkenstein head south and down to cross over the Vils just to the east of the Pfronten-Steinach train station. From there zig-zag up under ski-lifts via Unterer Breitenberg (1500m) to a saddle, then climb over Aggenstein (1987m) to the Bad Kissinger Hütte (1792m). Descend past the hamlet of Enge and then head west along the Tannheimertal Rundweg until you turn left to descend to and cross the main road in order to enter Tannheim.

Alternatives: if the weather is bad, then descend from the saddle before Aggenstein along a forest road next to the Adratsbach. At the larger road in the valley turn left and walk about 1.5km to Enge where you rejoin the main route. If you want to make the day shorter and easier, then there are a couple of chairlifts which can take you most of the way up to and/or down from Aggenstein (saving you various amounts of time and ascent/descent).
Map: K-4 Füssen.

The House to House blog... stage 11.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: there are a couple of mountain restaurants at Unterer Breitenberg while climbing up to Aggenstein, and another at the Bad Kissinger Hütte while coming down from it. The first two are a little early for lunch, and the third is a little late, so you might just choose to picnic on the peak.
Dinner and overnight: there are many restaurants and places to stay at in Tannheim (for a complete list, see here). One I have tried and liked is the Landhotel Hohenfels (+49-(0)5675/6286, 28 rooms and suites), which is located close to the H2H routs, and has the added benefit of having an excellent restaurant.

Getting There and Back
Falkenstein: from Pfronten, where there is a railway station, you can walk to Falkenstein (1.25h, 3.5km, +250m, and for train schedule information see Die Bahn).
Tannheim: there are buses every couple of hours from Tannheim to Reutte, which has a railway station (for bus and train schedule information see the ÖBB).
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Pfronten, centered on Tannheim.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

Previous Stage  Section  Next Stage