The Ködnitztal Valley, © Tirol Werbung/Mario Webhofer
The Ködnitztal Valley, © Tirol Werbung/Mario Webhofer

Ködnitztal Valley: At the Foot of the Mighty Großglockner

Austria's highest mountain, the Großglockner, looks down majestically from the end of the Ködnitztal Valley in East Tirol. Mountaineers setting off to conquer its summit begin their adventure in this beautiful high alpine valley, where the spring flowers bloom early on the south-facing slopes.

Ibex, marmot, eagle – visitors to the Ködnitztal Valley may be lucky enough to see some of these wild alpine animals native to the Hohe Tauern National Park. Spring is the perfect time of year for a little nature watching, with the last patches of snow slowly melting away in the warm sun to reveal green pastures dotted with colourful crocuses. High above the end of the valley towers the mighty Großglockner. Left and right of the walking trail from the Lucknerhaus to the Lucknerhütte at 2,241m you will see plenty of trees in blossom. This walk is an excellent way to begin the hiking season as soon as the snows of winter have disappeared.

Experience

The walk up to the Lucknerhütte can be combined with the family-friendly learning trail Glocknerspur – BergeDenken. A number of information stations along the way not only provide an insight into the plants and animals native to the Hohe Tauern National Park but also explain the history of mountaineering on the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountan. The two-kilometre-long learning trail has 12 information stations, some of which invite walkers to get involved in a hands-on way. The trail is open from around mid-May, depending on the amount of snow on the ground.

Food

Having settled down on the sunny terrace of the Lucknerhaus, walkers may well find it hard to get up and get going again! That is not only down to the majestic views but also a result of the hearty food served at this traditional refuge high in the Alps. Foodies should definitely pay a visit to Gradonna in Kals, where head chef Michael Karl serves East Tirolean classics with an Mediterranean and Asian twist.

Accommodation

The Lucknerhaus not only serves delicious food but also offers walkers and hikers a warm bed for the night, either in cosy rooms or a large dormitory. The hut even has its own small spa. Alternative accommodation options in the valley include the Schliederlerhof, one of the highest mountain farms in East Tirol. It has single and double rooms with traditional decor. Somewhat more modern and spacious are the holiday apartments at the Biobauernhof Landhaus Taurer to the north of Kals.

 

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