Wildschönau lies in a beautiful high alpine valley and comprises four church villages home to around 260 mountain farmsteads.
First, a piece of linguistic advice: German-speaking visitors wishing to blend in with the crowd should avoid saying they enjoy spending time “in Wildschönau”. Locals and those in the know use the definite article when referring to this picturesque alpine valley in the Kitzbühel Alps and the village of the same name. “Die Wildschönau” comprises four church villages, each of which is fiercely proud of its independence and traditions: Niederau, Oberau, Auffach and Thierbach.
Surrounded by about 260 mountain farms, the valley is in many ways the polar opposite to nearby trendy Kitzbühel. Instead of celebrities, champagne and luxury, life in this corner of eastern Tirol is much more simple, quiet and relaxed.
It is difficult not to love the Wildschönau region. However, a serious word of warning to all visitors. Empress Maria Theresia undoubtedly had the best of intentions when in the 18th century she granted the bitterly poor mountain farmers the right to distil their own schnapps. However, the clear spirit which they extract from the white turnip and offer to unwitting visitors has a somewhat unusual taste, to say the least. Let’s put it this way: Wildschönauer Krautinger is said to work wonders for your digestive system!