Special thank you to the Captivate Propel Conference and Vorarlberg Tourismus for hosting me in Vorarlberg, Austria. All opinions are my own.
Mellau is generally considered a winter destination but I visited at the end of September when it was still beautiful and sunny but Mother Nature was just starting the autumn ritual of leaves changing colors. The temperature was perfect for hiking and biking, generally enjoying the outdoors. With plenty of reasons to visit Mellau, Austria in the summer and fall I’ve created this travel guide to help you explore and plan your trip.
I didn’t know anything about Mellau or Vorarlberg, Austria until I visited as part of a travel blogger’s conference that I attended. It was just me since it was mainly for the conference, so Sean stayed home. After DAY ONE, I knew I had to plan to go back with my husband! I just got that vibe, you know. By the time I left, I had a list of things I wanted to do when I returned with Sean.
Mellau and the entire Vorarlberg region is magical in the winter, but the summer with all the green among the mountains is more for me. I figure, I can’t be the only one who feels that way! If your happy place is in nature, Mellau is a perfect place to visit in the autumn and summer seasons.
What to do in Mellau in the summer and autumn
The Vorarlberg region is full of amazing areas to visit, so it really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of a holiday or quick getaway. The reason I enjoyed Mellau was because it was very small, super walkable, and felt cozy. There’s enough to keep you entertained for a few days without being rushed and that’s something I’ve come to appreciate more and more.
Easy nature walk to the waterfall
I’m going to start with my favorite thing because I had such a good memory with Sally from Passport and Plates. To get to the waterfall, you walk through town, along a country road, watch for a cute covered bridge, then turn left like you’re going to someone’s house. Yeah, it felt a bit weird but then we started going uphill on a path that took us from the open fields into the woods. We didn’t know how far it would be into the woods, but it felt like 10 steps and we just kept saying “Whoaaaaaa!” I could’ve stayed there for hours. It was amazing.
Go hiking in the mountains
Hiking in this region is something everyone should do. I was left in awe because it’s just so beautiful and green. The mountains offer that classic mountain air that is re-energizing. You can even purchase a hiking map for the whole Bregenzerwald region. With 50 hiking routes and over 1500 km of paths, you’re spoiled for choice.
Take the cable car to a stunning view point
Mellaubahn is a cable car with an enclosed gondola for up to 10 people and is an easy walk from anywhere in Mellau. In 6 minutes it’ll take you up to the mountain station where you can take in the views on your own, at a restaurant, or take a hike.
Have a foodie adventure in Mellau
If you’re in pretty good shape and can hike for 4-5 hours, then check out the culinary hike. At almost 13 km in length it’s a good workout that includes vouchers for breakfast, lunch, and dessert while seeing Mellau from different perspectives. I see it as working for your lunch but you get the bonus of a healthy workout and some incredibly views.
This area is jaw-dropping and perfect for exploring by bike. It doesn’t matter if you’re mountain biking, using an e-bike, a road bike, or any other kind of bike, if you want to hop in the saddle, there’s plenty for you. And if you need to rent a bike, there are shops all over the town.
Have a spa day
With a handful of hotels offering relaxing spa facilities, you can have a holiday that recharges the mind, body, and soul. I’d suggest having a spa day the day after a nice hike for maximum benefit.
If you’re in Mellau on a hot summer’s day, then you might want to find a pool! A pool with mountain views is my kind of pool. With diving boards, swimming laps, slides, sunning areas, and kiddie areas, there’s something for everyone.
Practice your golf swing
If you just can’t travel without a little golf in your life, then head over to the practice green. It’s perfect for your short and medium game. You can visit the tourism office to get balls to use for practice.
Visit the weekly market in Bezau
From June to October, you can visit the neighboring town of Bezau on Fridays for the local farmers’ market. Just catch bus 34 which is easy enough since you get a FREE Bregenzerwald card when you stay for 3 days.
Where to eat in Mellau
Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong when eating in Mellau. Most of the guesthouses are where you’ll find the restaurants and they all offer good meals. I’ve just listed the ones that stand out to me.
Nazes Hus is the place to go to enjoy a traditional dinner and ambiance. Get the traditional käsknöpfle here. It’s delicious! Be warned that it’s one of those dishes that you don’t want to stop eating. Have a homemade dessert as well. It’s sure to be a treat. While I suggest heading to this area in the summer and fall, this restaurant seems like it would be the coziest place in the land in the winter. When it’s nice and warm out, you’ll likely find outside seating as well.
Hotel Bären has a pizzeria which is pretty popular and a deli cafe. With seating inside and outside, it’s ready for every season. I appreciate the attention to local foods and having different spaces for the various culinary offerings. Be sure to check out the website for all the details, but just know that from breakfast, to deli delights, to pizza and cocktails, this hotel has everything you need in cozy spaces.
Metzgerstüble is the perfect spot for an apres-ski and a bite to eat. Next to a grocery store, across the street from the local resort and across the water from Hotel Bären is this gem that everyone seems to love. A lot of our group from the conference went here in the evenings and really enjoyed the vibe and drinks!
Where to stay
Sonne Lifestyle Resort
For a spa hotel, you’ll want to check out Sonne Lifestyle Resort. This modern resort has a 1,500m² spa, stunning spacious rooms with balconies, and a nice restaurant. This is the spot for some quality pampering.
Hotel Bären is an excellent choice for everyone. It has a spa, amazing local breakfast (seriously a highlight!), lovely rooms (all are a bit different), and is in an excellent location. This is where I stayed for the conference and it felt as comfy as being home…so many hotels aren’t like that.
Gästehaus Lässer has great reviews and is perfect for anyone trying to make each Euro go a little farther. I appreciate that they offer single rooms as well as double rooms and full apartments.
Tempel 74 is for anyone who appreciates architecture, has a bit more of a budget, and likes to have more room. These apartments are STUNNING! I got to check out a few and I could’ve stayed for a month there with no problem. It was so cozy and well-designed.
How to get to Mellau
The best way to get to Mellau is to book a flight to Munich, Germany or Zurich, Switzerland and take a train to Bregenz, then get on a local bus (37) to Mellau. Taking the train from Germany is a bit cheaper, but it does take a bit longer. I would choose based on flight or train prices to get to those destinations. I found Rome2Rio to be super helpful in planning a good route to get there.
So, although it seems a bit in the middle of nowhere, it’s actually pretty straight-forward to get there. Then there are buses that can take you to the other towns in the area. Of course, you can always rent a car if that’s better for you!
Vorarlberg is such a special area and I felt so good while there and that’s why I really needed to share this with you. If you’re one who recharges by being in nature and around all the green, mountains, and water, then this is the gem you’ve been looking for.
Wishing you joy and travels!