Looking for the perfect place to enjoy the Austrian alps in summer? If it’s gorgeous views, great food, and plenty of action and adventure you want – look no further than Brand. A popular ski resort in winter and a gorgeously green valley during summer, Brand is ideal. Amazing hikes, stunning landscapes, and all kinds of other adventure sports – this is the perfect place to hit the hills and enjoy the very best of Vorarlberg’s breathtaking nature. There’s so much to do, especially if you want to get active and enjoy the great outdoors.
Here’s my round up of the best things to do in Brand this summer. Plus, I have a few tips on where to stay and how to save yourself a bit of money when you’re visiting the Brandnertal area. Enjoy…
Photo Credit: Brandnertal Vorarlberg
If you were following me on social media during my #UncoverAustria trip, you’ll have already seen this beauty of a lake. High up in the alps, 1970m above sea level, Lünersee is absurdly pretty. Like most of Austria’s landscapes, photos and videos don’t really seem to do it justice – but I’ve done my best with this very short video below:
From Brand, take the L81 bus to the Lünerseebahn station. Then you can hop aboard the cable car up to lake. Unless you prefer to hike up – but be warned, that path is VERY steep! At the top, you can hike around the lake in either direction.
My recommendation is to go anti-clockwise, because otherwise you’ll be climbing a pretty steep slope to the left of the reservoir. Anti-clockwise means a gentler climb the other side and a steep, but easy enough, descent.
Hiking in Brandnertal
There are over 400km of trails around Brand, from gentle strolls to serious hikes and mountain treks. Those looking for a challenge might fancy the two-day Schesaplana mountain hike. Schesaplana is the highest peak in the local area, at 2,965m above sea level. This peak is definitely a challenge, and summer is the best time of year to take it on.
Easier hikes around Brand include the Alvierbach Path and the Untere Brüggele Alpe. But there are loads more routes to choose from. Pick up a hiking guide at the local tourist office to plan your route.
In the hills above Brand are two new, gentle hiking trails that are perfect for families or those looking for an easy stroll. Along the routes. The 4km long Natursprünge-trail features interactive stops with information about the local nature and environment. Then there’s the slightly shorter Wildlife Trail, which focuses on the local fauna. Educational stops share information about the local wildlife, from ants to birds of prey. Even if you don’t have kids, these gentle walks are really pleasant routes and have some gorgeous views of the valley below.
Vorarlberg is famous for it’s alpine cheese, and during summer all the herds can be found high up in the mountains. You can’t go far in those hills without hearing the familiar sound of the jangling cow-bells! Visit a dairy – many, like Alpe Rona over in nearby Tschengla – are open to the public so you can watch the cheese being made. Even if you miss the morning’s cheese making, you’ll be able to pick up some freshly made dairy products.
Tschengla Stone Circles
No one knows quite how they got there, or precisely what they were for – but that only adds to the mystery! The stone circles on the Tschengla plateau above Bürserberg are stone monuments erected in the Stone Age. It’s thought that they were used by astronomers to observe the stars and planets.
As well as hiking, Brandnertal is perfect for mountain biking – and there are loads of trails to choose from. If you want a challenge, or to spend some time honing your BMX skills, head to Bikepark Brandnertal. The park offers downhill and free-ride courses for both beginners and experts. There are multiple downhill trails to practice on, and a special ski lift adapted for bikes to get back to the top again.
Head to Husky Toni’s to meet an adorable pack of huskies. Sleigh rides aren’t just for snowy seasons – in summer the huskies can pull a sleigh with wheels. Or you can simply take the pups for a walk. It’s a great experience and perfect for dog lovers!
Horse Riding in Brand
Horseback riding is possible in Brand all year round, but it’s quite possibly best during summer. Cross lush meadows or dark pine forests., and discover a whole new way to experience the mountains. If you’re a total beginner, you can take lessons. Competent riders can head off on a horse trek in the mountains for a completely different perspective.
Where to Stay in Brand
I stayed at Sporthotel Beck, which is an ideal location at the heart of town and within easy walking distance of the two main cable cars. There’s a gorgeous spa and sauna, and a great restaurant. Rooms are simple and comfy, and the service was so friendly! I’d definitely be happy to recommend it. Plus, they have a team of horses and offer riding lessons and horse trekking.
Looking for budget accommodation in Brand? Click here to run a search on hostelworld for the cheapest accommodation.
All guests staying in Brandnertal during summer are entitled to the Brandnertal Card. You can pick it up directly from your accommodation, and with it you’ll get discounts or free entrance for many local attractions. The Brandnertal Card will also allow you to use local buses free of charge and get you discounts on the cable cars. It’s worth it for the free transport alone, I think.
The card also grants you free entry to the Alvierbad outdoor pool and to several local museums, as well as discounts at many others. Throw in some excellent discounts at local attractions, and a bunch of free guided tours, and this card can save you a packet!
Got any more great tips for things to do in Brand during summer? Scroll down to leave me a comment!
My trip to Brand was part of a press trip organised by Visit Austria and Vorarlberg State Tourist Board. As always, all words and opinions are mine and unbiased.