Twists and turns on Oberjoch Pass
Stage length: 65 km / 40 miles
The Upper Allgäu tour runs through Oberstaufen, passing Grosser Alpsee lake, as well as Immenstadt, Sonthofen and Bad Hindelang, before following the Oberjoch Pass towards Wertach. The Oberjoch Pass is one of Bavaria's most popular scenic drives. Whether you're in an open-top car or on a motorbike, it offers an exhilarating drive with 106 bends.
The view point at 'Paradise' owes its name to the fantastic panoramic views of the Nagelfluhkette national park, the Vorarlberg (Austrian region) and the Swiss Alps. We continue to Oberstaufen, where guests can enjoy a wide array of health and recreational activities, and above all the high quality up-market hotels and restaurants.
Few know that every year on the first weekend in May the Allgäu-Orient Rally starts here. Featuring around 100 teams, 300 cars / motorcycles and 600 participants, it is the second largest rally event in the world. On the 18-day journey to Amman, Jordan, the teams participate in something similar to a scavenger hunt with many tasks to complete.
From Oberstaufen we first come to the Großen Alpsee lake, then to Immenstadt - an old royal city with a castle, many lovely squares and tourist attractions. Via Sonthofen and Bad Hindelang we approach the most winding road in Germany: the Oberjoch pass road, which dates back to the Middle Ages.
The Oberjoch pass was an important trade route over the Alps. In the year 1662, the pass road saw the transportation of 15,850 barrels of salt (each barrel weighing circa 280 kg / 600 lbs) with no fewer than 300 horses working the road each day. That was major traffic for its time and led to regional prosperity.
In 1895 the construction of the new road began, designed to handle heavier traffic with a wider breadth and lower gradient. The 300 m / 1,000 ft difference in height from Hindelang to Oberjoch was bridged with 106 bends. The integration of the road into the countryside was done so well that today the Oberjoch pass road is perceived as much part of the countryside as the adjacent mountains and villages.
So, buckle up and go! But don't miss the viewing platform just before the summit (looking back down the valley) as on the other side the descent to Wertach is gentle and through meadows.