Almabtrieb & Viehscheid in Bavaria - 2016

The summer spent by the cattle in the mountains traditionally closes with the 'Almabtrieb', or 'Viehscheid' as it is called in the Allgäu region. After around a hundred days grazing on the Alpine meadows, the yearlings are brought back down into the valleys in September.

The herders drive the cattle up into the mountains shortly after the snowmelt in spring to increase the animals' robustness and resistance. The herders carry a great amount of responsibility, as they promise the owners to return all of their animals to them in good health in the autumn. If all has gone well, the leading cow is elaborately decorated. Whilst all of the cattle are decorated in most parts of Bavaria, only the leading cow, or 'Kranzkuh', is decorated with a wreath, the 'Kranz', in the Allgäu region. It leads the procession of animals wearing a wreath fashioned from Alpine flowers, and bearing a cross and a mirror. All the other cows wear huge bells to ward off any evil demons the cattle might encounter on their way back down into the valley. This is the traditional way of giving thanks for a good grazing season without losses.

The time spent up in the mountains is not always easy for the herders. They often live in very simple conditions and lead extremely lonely lives. Besides milking and generally tending to the cows every day, they might also make cheese and butter.
Over the years, the various Almabtriebe have increasingly become popular public events. It is therefore advisable to get their early to get a good view. However, depending on the weather, an Almabtrieb may also be delayed.

Dates 2016 (some dates are not fixed yet):
September Markt Rettenbach 10.30
September Mittenwald (Ziegenabtrieb) 12.00
September Mittenwald (Schafabtrieb) 12.00
September 9th Oberstaufen 8.30
September 10th Bad Hindelang 8.30
Schöllang 8.30
Pfronten – Heitlern 9.30 (8.00)
Pfronten – Ried 10.00 (noch offen)
Seeg 13.00 (11.00)
September 12th Jungholz in Tirol 9.30
Maierhöfen 11.30 (10.00)
Oberstdorf – Schöllang 9.00 (9.30)
September 13th Jungholz 10.00
Nesselwängle 11.00
Oberstdorf 9.30 (8.30)
September 15th Kranzegg 9.00
Buching 9.30
September 16th Nesselwang 9.30
Unterjoch 10.00 (11.00)
Balderschwang 10.00 (9.00)
Thalkirchdorf 9.00 (9.30)
September 17th Gunzesried/Ofterschwang 9.00 (8.30)
Pfronten – Röfleuten 10.00
Immenstadt 9.00
Krün 11.00
Schwangau 12.30
September 18th Riezlern/Kleinwalsertal 8.15 (8.00)
Grän/Haldensee 11.00
Schattwald 13.00 (10.00)
September 19th Bolsterlang 10.00
Wertach 8.30
September 24th Haslach/Grüntensee 10.00 (10.30)
Eisenberg/Zell 10.15 (10.00)
Obermaiselstein 9.00
Missen 10.00 (9.30)
Oy/Mittelberg 10.00 (10.30)
Tannheim 11.00
Wilhams 11.30
(Missen / Wilhams 11.30)
Weitnau/Wengen 12.30
Haldenwang 10.00
Ramsau – Hintersee 10.00
September Mittenwald (Rinderabtrieb) 11.00

Further details:

Getting there by plane
Find out about flight arrival and departure times at all the state’s airports.
We recommend the Allgäu Airport in Memmingen!

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