Austria’s Kleinwalsertal is a high mountain valley tucked so close to the foot of a mountain that it can only be reached via Germany and in fact, until the introduction of the Euro, the Deutschmark was the valid currency here. Once settled by the Walsers who originated from Wallis in Switzerland, the Alemannic dialect is still very much alive. The valley’s clearly waymarked trails and free (for holders of a Walsercard) hiking buses make it a resort especially popular with leisure ramblers and families. A few years ago Klaus and Sieglinde Kessler transformed a 500 year old farmhouse into a hotel. Nowadays modern wooden extensions and contemporary design form a dialogue with the traditional Alpine architecture. The hotel’s choice of leisure activities complements the relaxed atmosphere: guided hikes and cycling tours, morning exercise classes, Nordic walking lessons and deep snow lessons. The Naturhotel has been awarded an especially high ranking by the Austrian Relax Guide 2009.