Photo Essay and Travel Tips on Reutte and the Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble, Austria

Reutte, Austria
About 20km from touristy Fussen, across the border and in the Austrian Alps, is the pretty little town of Reutte. Located in a large green valley surrounded by snow capped mountains it is just fantastically beautiful. It ended up as one of our highlights on this European trip.

views from the Ehrenberg ruins, Reutte, Austria

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I don’t know why not more is known of this town. I had never heard of it before coming across it in my Rick Steve’s guidebook. Besides being a quiet small town in a beautiful setting, the main interest point are the ruins of several castles around the town known collectively as the Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble.

map of Ehrenberg, Reutte, Austria

It is a bit of a walk from town, through beautiful fields with magnificent views, to get to the path that goes up to the castles (if pressed for time, better to take a taxi to the Klause Valley Fort). Once at the Klause Valley Fort we started climbing the 30 minute pass to the most important castle, the Ehrenberg ruins. It’s a nice path, not too steep, that has been very well organized by the Austrian tourist authorities – there are interesting and informative signs in both German and English. This was true for all signage around the Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble, it was all very well organized.

     Below left: the Klause Valley Fort – the starting point.                               Below right: You’ll have incredible views on your hike

views from the Ehrenberg ruins, Reutte 2

We arrived at the Ehrenberg ruins. Incredible. Not just the ruins themselves but also the majestic location. There we no other tourists, we were there all by ourselves. The castle was built in the 13th century and was the seat of power in the area. Many battles were waged here, most against the Bavarians. In 1632 the castle fought off 16,000 Swedish soldiers in defense of Catholicism. The location is spectacular and you wonder how the residents of the castle braved the elements. We wandered the fort for almost an hour, each view seemingly more impressive than the last.

Below: The Ehrenberg ruins

mountain views from the Ehrenberg ruins, Reutte

Ehrenberg ruins, Reutte, Austria

mountain views from the Ehrenberg ruins, Reutte, Austria

mountains behind the Ehrenberg ruins, Reutte, Austria

 

Further up, another half hour’s hike, is the Schlosskopf, while across the valley is the Claudia Fort. We didn’t have the time though, it was starting to get dark. One of my biggest regrets is that we had planned only half a day in Reutte. I suggest at least one full day, starting very early in the morning, to discover all the ruins and fully appreciate this area. I’m determined that we will make it back here someday.

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Hotel Das Beck was great and relatively cheap (70 Euros/night). Run by Hans who runs both the hotel and cafe (which specializes in wine, none of which we sampled). He was a very friendly and interesting guy who had visited Canada a few years ago, visiting the Yukon of all places (he mentioned having canoed up to Dawson City). Clean, large, nice balcony. Just perfect for us. 4 out of 5 and I will be here again if we come back to Reutte.

We met some interesting and very friendly characters in Reutte who were very willing to talk. At Markt Asshaeur (a bio food market) we met Ms. Asshaeur who was incredibly friendly and helpful. I just like saying Asshaeur. She had also travelled to Canada. She had the most amazing tomatoes and avocados as well as cheese, bread, and salami. We brought these back to the hotel and had a picnic supper.

Interesting to see the reaction to Lissette. They’re not used to tourists here and we at times caught people staring. I went into a cafe to ask for directions, during which time a man in a wheelchair rolled up to Lissette and started asking her questions in German. He quickly rolled away when I came back out. I guess I look like the type who beats up people in wheelchairs. I saw people looking at us as they were driving past and I think we almost caused a couple of car crashes. They just seemed curious though, not unfriendly.

Getting here: Surprisingly easy. Take the 74 bus from Fussen. It is a milkrun through fantastic mountain scenery; the bus circling the countryside, picking up kids at the kindergarden in one town and dropping them off at the next. We were the only tourists. The only other people on the bus were a bunch of elderly ladies chatting and laughing with the bus driver. One got the sense that it was all a daily routine.

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Related:  Austria Travel Guide
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Have you been to Reutte? Would love to hear your stories!
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Comments

  1. Beautiful picture..and the castle/ruins look lovely.

  2. I just love Austria. The landscape reminds me so much of when I lived in the US’s Pacific Northwest. I found, however, that it is so expensive to get in and out of there via air :(
    Sherry recently posted…Carlsbad Caverns, Beauty UndergroundMy Profile

  3. Beautiful photos – they reminded me of the Rasnov fortress in Romania. I see this place is amazing – but then again, Austria is a beautiful country (and one of my personal favorites). I’ve never been to Reutte (at least yet), but it looks, like you said, magnificent!
    Lori recently posted…The Highest Bridge in the World: The Si Du River BridgeMy Profile

  4. Gorgeous photos guys!

  5. Great pictures. I spent the summer of 1972 working in the dorf of Schwangau just outside of Füssen. I had wanted to visit Reutte, but somehow never made the short jaunt. (Working 6-1/2 days a week might have had something to do with it.) Forty-odd years ago, it seemed pretty quiet around that area, although even then, I found the castle more impressive outside than in. Now I have one more reason to go back to the area. Thanks.
    Paul at “No Pension Will Travel” recently posted…Lucky 13 Wins in Vegas, … er, … Kanab, UtahMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Maybe we’ll see you there :) We also want to go back, it deserved a bit more time then we gave it.

  6. Hi guys, great post. We hiked up to both ruins in 2009. Views were amazing. Read our story at http://www.15shortbeachroad.com/2009/07/travel-log-reutte-austria-ehrenberg.html.
    Mark Korey recently posted…Drinking with the locals in Bergen NorwayMy Profile

  7. What a great place to visit, would definitely have added it to my list last year if I’d read this at the time. Shall be keeping it in mind for the next trip though.
    Jane recently posted…Dargo – Remote, wild, spectacularMy Profile

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