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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe

Breathe Easy: Nine Pollen-Free Places in Tirol Above 1,500 Metres

Updated on 23.07.2020 in Recommendations

Kaisers in the Lechtal Valley, © Naturparkregion Lechtal © Naturparkregion Lechtal

As the days get warmer, pollen levels are also on the rise. However, those who suffer from hayfever will be interested to know that at altitudes above 2,000 metres the concentration of pollen in the air is significantly lower than in the valley. Visitors allergic to dust will also appreciate the clean air at higher altitudes.
We have put together are a few tips on the best places in Tirol to enjoy an allergy-free holiday in summer. All are fine bases for walking, hiking, relaxing and simply getting away from it all for a few days with a bit of a digital detox.

1. Kühtai 

 Kühtai, © Innsbruck Tourismus / Tom Bause © Innsbruck Tourismus / Tom Bause

Altitude: 2,017 metres

Kühtai was once used by emperors and members of the local nobility as a hunting range. Today it is home to the highest ski resort in Austria and is popular in summer with hikers and mountain bikers. Its location at over 2,000 metres above sea level makes it ideal for visitors who suffer from allergies. Highlights include themed hiking trails such as the Miners' Trail as well as an extensive network of mountain bike trails and an indoor and outdoor climbing area.

2. Obergurgl

 Gurgl, © Ötztal Tourismus / Photo Lohmann © Ötztal Tourismus / Photo Lohmann

Altitude: 1,907 metres

Obergurgl lies right at the end of the Ötztal Valley and is the highest village in Tirol with its own church. Together with neighbouring Hochgurgl it has a population of just 500 inhabitants. Pedestrianised zones and a ban on cars during the night mean total peace and quiet here in the high mountains. It is just a short walk from the village itself to the pine forest with its trails and waterfall. A natural paradise far from the hustle and bustle of civilisation.

3. Vent (Ötztal Valley)

 Vent, © Ötztal Tourismus / Anton Brey © Ötztal Tourismus / Anton Brey

Altitude: 1,900 metres

Despite its remote location hidden away in the Ötztal Nature Park, Vent is actually one of the sunniest places in the whole valley. In spring the local meadows and pastures burst into life with flowers of all shapes, sizes and colours. Around 3,500 sheep from the neighbouring region of South Tirol over the border in Italy spend their summers up here on the pastures near Vent grazing on the nutrient-rich grass. Tourism in the region dates all the way back to the 19th century, when local priest Franz Senn brought guests to the region to marvel at the spectacular landscape, including the mighty Wildspitze mountain and the craggy peaks of the Similaun massif.

4. St. Christoph am Arlberg

St. Christoph am Arlberg in summer, © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Patrick Bätz © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Patrick Bätz

Altitude: 1,765 metres

During the summer months, St. Christoph am Arlberg is a popular base for walkers, hikers and mountaineers keen to explore the breathtaking peaks in the far west of Tirol. The mountains in the Arlberg region are criss-crossed by a network of well-signposted trails offering plenty of options visitors of all ages and fitness levels, from easy strolls down in the valley to seriously tough climbs onto some of the highest peaks in the region.

5. Gries im Sulztal (Ötztal Valley)

 Gries im Sulztal, © Ötztal Tourismus / Elias Holzknecht © Ötztal Tourismus / Elias Holzknecht

Altitude: 1,569 metres

This mountain villages lies in the Sulztal Valley, a side valley branching off the larger Ötztal Valley. It really is the perfect place to get away from it all, enjoy untouched nature and savour the sound of silence.

6. Galtür (Paznauntal Valley)

Galtür, © TVB Paznaun – Ischgl © TVB Paznaun – Ischgl

Altitude: 1,548 metres

Located at the end of the Paznauntal Valley, Galtür is the quieter and more relaxed version of nearby party hotspot Ischgl. The air up here is fresh and clean. Indeed, Galtür was one of the first places in Tirol to market itself as a holiday destination for allergy sufferers. Among those to have taken the air here is none other than Albert Einstein.

7. Niederthai (Ötztal Valley)

 Niederthai, © Ötztal Tourismus / Timm Humpfer © Ötztal Tourismus / Timm Humpfer

Altitude: 1,550 metres

Perched at 1,550 metres above sea level, the village of Niederthai enjoys a wonderfully sunny location on a plateau in the Ötztal Alps. In summer it is a good base from which to explore the region on foot and by bike. Visitors will particularly enjoy the spectacular  Stuibenfall waterfall, at 159 metres from top to bottom the largest waterfall in Tirol.

8. Kaisers (Lechtal Valley)


 , © Naturparkregion Lechtal    © Naturparkregion Lechtal

Altitude: 1,518 metres

Kaisers, an ancient farming village in a quiet side valley branching off the Lechtal Valley, has two unusual claims to fame. First, it is the least densely populated place per square kilometre in Austria with just 75 permanent residents. Second, it is the highest village in the district of Reutte at 1,518 metres above sea level. It draws walkers, hikers and those keen to simply get away from it all. Popular sights in the region include the Erlebnisbad Aqua Nova swimming pool and leisure centre in Steeg.

9. St. Sigmund im Sellraintal

stsigmund-sellrain, © Innsbruck Tourismus / Tom Bause © Innsbruck Tourismus / Tom Bause

Altitude: 1,513 metres

St. Sigmund im Sellrain is one of Austria's "Mountaineering Villages", a collective of places throughout the country offering untouched nature and excellent infrastructure for walkers, hikers and climbers. Perched at 1,513 metres above sea level and home to just 170 residents, it is the highes of the several villages in the Sellraintal Valley running from south to north between the Inn Valley and the Stubai Alps. In nearby Praxmar in the charming Lüsenstal Valley you will find the Lüsener Fernerkogel, one of the highest mountains in the region at 3,298 metres above sea level. St. Sigmund is also a good place for active families keen to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Alps.

Pollen levels

Austria's national weather service, the ZAMG, publishes a daily briefing including information on current pollen levels. It can be found at

World traveller, lover of new experiences, and Tirol aficionado Eckard Speckbacher is out exploring the hidden attractions. He offers insight into places and destinations that are less well known, along with restaurant and hotel recommendations.

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