From Austria’s highest mountain, the mighty Großglockner, to palm trees growing on the sunny town square in Lienz, the region's largest town, there are few places which offer such a diverse landscape as East Tirol. The towering peaks of the Hohe Tauern and the Dolomites have given this enclave set apart from the rest of Tirol a reputation as a haven for hiking and mountaineering.
Home to the country’s highest mountains, it is little wonder that East Tirol is known as The Roof of Austria. This small region has no fewer than 266 peaks over 3,000m, many of which are to be found in the Hohe Tauern National Park. The king of them all is the Großglockner (3,798m), followed by the Großvenediger (3,666m), and the region has been a magnet for hikers and mountaineers for over 200 years.
East Tirol comprises 33 municipalities, stretching from the craggy summits of the Hohe Tauern to the Dolomites overlooking the regional capital Lienz. Many villages are to be found on the sunny side of the Alps; with its palm trees and flowers in bloom, Lienz radiates an almost tropical flair more commonly found in Mediterranean climes. Attractions in the pretty town centre include the Liebburg and the Antoniuskirchl as well as many charming cafés and shops. During the summer months the main activities are mountain biking and hiking, while in winter there are many ski resorts, including at the foot of the Großglockner in Kals-Matrei and in the town of Sillian.
Roman remains and idyllic valleys
Just a few kilometres east of Lienz lies Dölsach, home to the Museum Aguntum. The museum is named after the only Roman town ever established in the region today covered by Tirol. Teams of archaeologists have been working for many years to excavate the remains of this valuable site. Another popular destination is the Defereggental with its thick carpet of alpine roses as well as the peaceful Villgratental Valley where time seems to have stood still for centuries.