Europe, Family Travel, Hiking

Creature Cuddles & Alpine Joy – Family Llama Trekking in Austria

October 14, 2017

“It’s medicine from the mountains,” declared Horst, our llama trekking guide, as he rushed out of his wooden cabin carrying a hand-crafted tray of full shot glasses. We are in Bartholomäberg near Schruns in the Montafon region of Vorarlberg, Austria, and it’s just shy of 9 a.m. An early start for imbibing, even on vacation.

Scnapps-family-llama-trekking-in-Austria

Horst is a well-respected mountain guide and former national team skier. And he is responsible for the introduction of llamas in the region.When someone with Horst’s pedigree suggests you take ‘medicine,’ you oblige. We left the harnessed llamas tied to a timber fence 1600 feet (500 m) above Vorarlberg’s Montafon Valley and toasted the day with Austrian schnaps.

Hosrt family llama trekking in austria

We are at Llamero Horst for a half-day family llama trekking experience in Austria. Originally from South America, llama’s are well-suited to the mountainous regions in Vorarlberg, Austria. After we paired up with our llama-for-the-day, we climbed up a flight of steep stone steps and began to trek from Innerberg (part of the village Bartholomäberg where Horst has his llama farm) to Fritzasee. After stopping for a picnic lunch of Bregenzerwald cheese, salami, and artisanal bread, we returned to Llamero Horst.

picnic-family-trekking-in-austria

This was our first experience with family Llama trekking in Austria, and it was one of our best days in the mountains. Apart from the delicious Austrian schnaps and Horst’s infectious enthusiasm, here are a few more reasons why we fell in love with family llama trekking.

Five Reasons We Love Family Llama Trekking in Austria

1. Llamas Are Pack Animals

Llamas shouldn’t transport people, but they can efficiently carry gear weighing up to 20% of their body weight. As a trekking companion, they transport food, water, and equipment, without a single complaint.

2. Llamas Are Irresistible

The feathery lashed, fuzzy-furred creatures are adorable. If you happen to have a reluctant hiker in your group, leave it to a llama to entice him or her to join the herd.

boy and breast family llama trekking in austria

3. Llama Trekking Is an Unplugged Experience

Leading a llama and traveling with the herd requires focus. It’s not over the top, but it’s committing enough that you want to leave your technology alone, and tune-in to your llama.

4. Llamas Are Social

Llamas are social animals and enjoy each others company. Unlike many hikes when our family stretches out along a trail, this time we walked together, alongside our llamas – it was fantastic.

walking together family llama trekking in Austria

5. The Pace is Pleasant

Llamas travel at a pleasing pace – they don’t gallop or trot. Or start and stop. They saunter at a predictable (and relaxing) pace. Perfect for connecting with nature, and each other.

Travel Tips – Family Llama Trekking in Austria

  • Llama trekking in Austria is a year-round experience. Visit the Vorarlberg Tourism website to learn more about llama trekking opportunities in the region. Visit the My Montafon website for more information about trekking opportunities with Horst.
  • If you visit Montafon, stay at Alpenhotel Montafon – the four-star hotel is lovely, and the service is excellent.
  • We are repeat visitors to Vorarlberg, Austria’s westernmost state, bordering Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Vorarlberg is easily accessible by car, rail or air. You can read more about our experiences in Vorarlberg here.

I’m grateful to the Vorarlberg State Tourism Board for hosting our family llama trekking experience. We are keen to get back on the trail with these adorable trekking companions. As always, if I don’t love a destination or experience, I won’t recommend it.

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14 Comments

  • Reply Anne Slater-Brooks October 15, 2017 at 12:18 am

    OMG I am not a massive animal lover but these pictures are so cute. Love the mountain scenery too.

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily October 18, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you, Anne. Vorarlberg, Austria is gorgeous – with or without the llamas!

  • Reply Dinh-Long Pham October 15, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Wow! I had no idea you could do that in Austria haha; so it’s definitely something to do I guess!! Looks like you had tons of fun 😉

  • Reply Suzanne Jones - The Travelbunny October 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I had no idea there were llamas in Austria! We saw loads in Cusco and Machu Picchu but didn’t get as close as you did 🙂

  • Reply Megan Jerrard October 15, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Family llama trekking in Austria sounds AWESOME! Thanks for telling us about Llamero Horst. What an awesome way to spend time in the mountains – they’re such beautiful animals. Good to know that it’s a pleasant pace – and very cool that they can carry your things. Love to that you can do it year round – SO COOL!

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily October 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      My pleasure, Meg! Llama trekking is an awesome way to spend time in the mountains. I highly recommend the experience 🙂

  • Reply Dario October 16, 2017 at 1:44 am

    I love soooooo much llamas! Seriously look at their happy faces! We also have this type of alternative tourism in Bulgaria with this gorgeous animals! Nice photos with a breathtaking backgrounds 🙂

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily October 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      I understand, Dario – llamas are super cute! I will keep this in mind if I am fortunate enough to visit Bulgaria.

  • Reply Janice October 16, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Wow, that looks like the best experience for all! I would love to hike with those gentle llamas in such a beautiful place❤️

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily October 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you so much! I highly recommend Austria and llama trekking 🙂

  • Reply Jitaditya Narzary October 17, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I like llamas but llamas in Austria? That’s new!
    These mountains are lovely anyway but with an exotic animal as a companion, I guess it is much better!
    I think they also know how to pose for a photograph unlike some other animals!

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily October 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      I agree – the llamas know how to pose! And I was so happy to discover that they llamas are well-suited to Austria.

  • Reply Mansoureh Farahani October 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    wow!! I couldn’t imagine there are llamas in Austria. I always thought I should travel to Peru to see a llama. What an amazing experience is llama trekking. OMG, I want to see them and spend time with them. you just added a new activity to my wishlist

  • Reply Sandy N Vyjay October 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Family Llama trekking sounds really exciting and a great activity for the family. Of course, the Llamas look cute and are the focus of the activity. But the beautiful environs that you have trekked through are worth their weight in gold themselves. A picnic lunch in such tranquil environs is an icing on the cake.

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