I visited Kleinwalsertal as part of the IBRG AT20 expedition. Klienwalsertal, Austria is located within a circular valley with 36 peaks surrounding it. It is only accessible from Oberstdorf in Germany and therefore is a pene -exclave. Prior to the EU customs union, the area enjoyed tax free status.

It is a popular tourist destination all year round being a winter sports destination and a hiking centre in summer.

Our first focus was on the access point to the exclave where the German B19 road enters the exclave via a bridge across the Schanztobel river. There is a border marker on the German side of the river and various regional and national signs. A cross border bus route operates here.

Source: Bayern Atlas with border markers noted #171.
Source: Voralberg Atlas – note BM171 is not noted as it is situated in Germany
Border Bridge looking towards Kleinwalsthal
Border marker AT/DE #171
Austrian National and Regional Signs
AT/DE Actual Border
Germany (Bayern) to the left
Looking into Germany
Looking into Austria
Border marker AT/DE #171
German Traditional Border Sign
State Border
Looking down to the river
Austrian post box – note warning not to use German postage stamps.

Our next focus was the mountain ridge leading to the Fellhorn (2039m), the border approximately follows the ridge and we explored a series of border markers between BM #161 and BM #162. Luckily we did not need to trek to the ridge and were able to use the Kanzelwandbahn which led us quickly in a comfortable gondola to the top (with a very nice restaurant).

Source: BayernAtlas
Source: Vorarlberg Atlas
The border is slightly to the left of the path leading to the summit.

Initially it was not clear where the border was…. until we made a discovery!!

Once we found the first border marker it was possible to pick the next one in the series.

It would be possible to spend a couple of days tracking the border markers around the exclave. Unfortunately, that was not possible on this visit. We could see the next marker but time was pressing and we needed to move on.

Up and Down

Perhaps it is because we have so few ski lifts in the UK, I find them fascinating both in terms of their engineering but also the views.

Date of Visit: 03.09.2020

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