Time: 5.5h. Up: 290m. Down: 680m.
Distance: 20km. Difficulty: easy.

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Stage 18: St. Gerold (848m) to Feldkirch (456m)

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

Another easy day walking down the Grosses Walsertal to Feldkirch, the best-preserved medieval town in western Austria. Although the hike is short, you might want to start early in order to spend most of the afternoon sightseeing once you get there.

For part of the way the H2H follows the same path as another long-distance hike that is... for now!... much better known than the H2H: Saint James' Way (Jakobsweg), heading towards Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Rather than a single path, Saint James' Way is more like a tree, with many side branches bringing pilgrims to the main route from all over Europe.

Some 70,000 walk the "required" section of the route through Spain in an average year. It is the last major remnant in Europe of an ancient institution which was as important in the Middle Ages as tourism is today. The economic parallels are manifold: pilgrims were a major source of revenue for inns (hotels / restaurants), merchants of all sorts including peddlers of mementos (souvenirs), and thieves.

On the H2H, of course, you are unlikely to be buying many souvenirs, and your chances of experiencing or even hearing about thievery are minimal. The Alps are pretty safe these days.

Lots of road walking today. Generally speaking you'll follow the Via Alpina and the Jakobsweg westwards down the valley to Feldkirch. However, both of these paths are overlaid on a maze of existing tracks and roads, so you'll be walking with your map in your hands much of the time. The villages to head for, in order, are: Thüringerberg, Düns, Satteins, Schildreid, Göfis, and finally Feldkirch. Good luck!

Alternatives: none should be needed but if you are really feeling weak there are bus stops in most of the villages along the way where you can catch buses to Feldkirch.
Maps: K-32 Bludenz, K21 Feldkirch - Vaduz.

The House to House blog... stage 18.

<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 restaurants in most of the villages along the route.
Dinner and overnight: there are many restaurants and places to stay in Feldkirch (for a complete list, see here). If you don't feel like going into town, or you want to save a day, it is also possible to do half of the next stage today by going straight to the Feldkircher Hütte (+43(0)5522/35498, 48 beds, adds around 2h, +600m to today's hike), and then doing the other half of the following stage as part of Stage 20. This turns three normal days into two very long ones.

Getting There and Back
St. Gerold: from Nenzing, the closest railway station, you can catch one of the fairly infrequent buses to St. Gerold (for bus and train schedule information, see the ÖBB).
Feldkirch: there is a railway station here.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on St. Gerold, centered on Feldkirch.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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