A Day In The Snow: Cross Country Skiing in Seefeld.
279 kilometers of immaculately groomed cross country ski tracks. A sunny upland plateau at an elevation of 1,200 meters. Ever-present, the awe-inspiring beauty of the surrounding mountains captivates, from lofty Karwendel and Wetterstein Ranges in the West and North to the jagged and rugged Kalkkögel Peaks in the South. Tirol’s capital Innsbruck is within a 20 minutes’ drive by car. That is Seefeld in a nutshell. To find out more about Seefeld, we spent the day with Rainer Renauer. He is a make-up artist and hair stylist based in Seefeld and pursues a ‘second career’ as a photographer of international fashion events in Italy’s Milano and France’s Paris. Apart from that, Rainer is the quintessential Tirolean who spends most of his time in the great outdoors. In the winter, he clicks into a pair of cross country skis in front of his home and explores the stunning local network of cross country ski trails. He loves the bustling and lively, walkable town center of Seefeld that is lined by locally owned shops and restaurants and takes us for a stroll. Off we go!
No cross country ski trip to Tirol would be complete without Seefeld. After all, this is one of the best cross country skiing destinations in the world. The atmosphere around the novice terrain next to the lovely Lakeside Church is second to none and this is the perfect spot to get started. Professional equipment is available for rental on the spot from Sport Norz, where you can book cross country ski lessons with Martin Tauber from the XC Academy as well. Bernhard, Thomas, Klaus and their colleagues are expert instructors with a deep passion for the sport. Create your own learning experience by booking a private coach. If you are a new to cross country skiing or if you are looking to hone your skills, they have the perfect coach for you!
Seefeld’s extensive network of cross country ski tracks offers some of the best Nordic skiing in the Alps and Rainer says it is hard to pick his favourite. Thinking for a while, he opts for the track to Mösern and its connection to Katzenloch XC Ski Track. The reasons for this choice are manifold. Cruising down to Seefeld, there are stunning views of Inntal Valley below. The efforts of skiing this demanding track are highly rewarded.
Moreover, two trailside restaurants serve excellent food. The first is Lottenseehütte, a tiny and quaint log cabin that specializes on fine local cuisine and homemade specialties.
Second, traditional Austrian cuisine in a classic Tirolean Inn setting, the Ropferstub’m offers the ultimate Alpine dining experience and serves delicious wild game and lamb dishes. Their lovely, sheltered outdoor patio features expansive views overlooking Inntal Valley. And, the mouth-watering cake we enjoyed there created memories that will stay with us forever.
The outdoor patio at Ropferstub’m is where we meet Christoph, who tells us that he maintains 30 kilometers of designated winter walking trails each day by snowcat. The trails leading through snowy woods and meadows are ploughed and snow-packed to make it easier to walk on. Christoph does this job together with two colleagues. Seems that Seefeld’s second raison d’être is winter walking.
Another great place to take a break from cross country skiing is Woods Restaurant, overlooking the Lakeside Church and the novice Nordic terrain. Rainer recommends the restaurant for dinner, too. They serve perfectly seared prime steaks and international classics with an Asian twist.
Dining at Klosterbräu Hotel’s Bräukeller Restaurant celebrates delicious modern mountain cuisine and is highly acclaimed—and often enjoyed—by Rainer. Located within a five-centuries-old historic monastery, the vaulted restaurant provides an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. Bräukeller pairs truly inspired wood-fired rotisserie dishes with their legendary homebrewed beer.
Seefeld’s pedestrianised main street offers a world-class shopping experience concentrated in a small walkable setting. Rainer likes to shop at Moden Sailer and Cala and recommends “Meier” premium women’s fashion. All upscale, international brands are represented at all three stores.
Feinkost Plangger is a specialty food & delicatessen shop located on the pedestrianised main street. Plangger features cured meat and cheese offerings that are carefully selected from the best products available in Tirol and around the world. With an emphasis on curated food and drink, an extensive selection of rare wines, whiskies and champagnes, and a fine attention to detail, this is the place where foodies rejoice. Rainer loves their cured deer ham and air-dried chamois sausage.
The locals’ favourite, Café Nanni, is famous for their fresh bread and delicious cakes—they are a crowd pleaser. The scent of freshly baked goods they make fresh every day will make your mouth water.
The luxurious Klosterbräu Hotel exudes a timeless atmosphere of warmth and friendly, efficient service as has been run by the Seyrling Family for a remarkable six generations. Erected on the site of a five-centuries-old historic monastery, the hotel successfully blends up-to-the-minute design with this historic backdrop to create an inviting ambience. The hotel’s new, and already award winning, spa is truly exceptional. The Klosterbräu has become a legend in its own right, offering guests an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The spectacular lobby lounge, complete with ample seating, features expansive mountain views and a fireplace. Luckily, the lounge is open to outside guests as well and Rainer, our guide, loves to spend relaxed moments here, preferably with snow falling outside windows.
Princess Bergfrieden is kind of a weird name for a hotel (‘Bergfrieden’ meaning ‘mountain peace’ in German). We are welcomed to this small and charming boutique hotel by Jens, its friendly and energetic manager. He makes everyone feel at home. Staying at one of the 20 guest rooms and apartments, guests experience the congenial and relaxed atmosphere of a mountain lodge along with superb services and fine amenities. Dramatic interiors of wood and stone feature floor to ceiling windows with expansive mountain views.