© Tirol Werbung/W9 Studios

10 Tips for the Summer in Tirol

Hiking? Mountainbiking? Rock climbing? There is so much to see and do in Tirol during the summer months that outdoor enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice.

What gives us that good feeling of being one with ourselves and happy with the world around us? Try a multi-day trek from hut to hut along the Eagle Walk in East Tirol. Or how about a bar of "Tiroler Edle" hand-crafted chocolate? Why not boulder your way to the top of a rock in the Pitztal Valley? Or head out in a sailing boat onto Lake Achensee? We have put together ten top tips for summer adventures in Tirol, catering for everyone from families with children to outdoor enthusiasts and foodies who enjoy nothing more than enjoying the finer things in life. The one thing they all have in common? They make our guests happy!

Ramolhaus hut in the Ötztal Alps, © Tirol Werbung/W9 STUDIOS

Hike to the Ramolhaus Hut

The Highest Point in Hamburg lies in the Ötztal Valley

Most people would think that the highest building in famously flat Hamburg by the sea would be perched atop a hill somewhere in the far north of Germany – but they would be mistaken. In fact, Hamburg's highest building is to be found in the heart of Tirol in the form of the Ramolhaus hut, which officially belongs to the Hamburg and Lower Elbe Section of the German Alpine Association but stands at 3,006 metres above sea level on the Gurgler Ferner glacier at the end of the Ötztal Valley. The hut's large terrace offers fabulous views of almost two dozen glaciers – a spectaculr sight at sunrise. Some of the most popular hikes starting at the Ramolhaus lead up onto the Ramolkögel peaks or the nearby Firmisanschneide mountain. Experienced hikers can reach the Ramolhaus in around four hours from Obergurgl or Vent. As they climb the 1100 vertical metres to the hut they will have plenty of time to consider how hard it must have been back in 1881 when Martin Scheiber built the Ramolhaus, the first mountain hut of its kind in the Ötztal Valley. Today the hut is owned by great grandson Lukas Scheiber.

Zirbenweg Trail high above Innsbruck, © Tirol Werbung/Verena Kathrein

The Zirbenweg Trail

Popular hiking trail high above Innsbruck.

More than an afternoon stroll but less than a full-on hiking adventure, the popular Zirbenweg Trail to the south of Innsbruck offers fantastic views of the Inn Valley, the Nordkette mountains and the regional capital itself. The trail starts near the top of the Patscherkofel mountain and leads through what is Europe's highest botanical garden. Highlights include the largest and oldest pine forest in Europe, with some trees over 500 years old. Between late June and early July the trail is lined with a carpet of pink and red alpine roses in bloom. The Zirbenweg Trail can be walked either west-east from the Patscherkofel mountain to the Tulfeinalm hut in Tulfes (don't forget to stop off and try the delicious cakes) or east-west in the other direction. The lift pass includes use of the shuttle bus between Tulfes and the bottom station of the Patscherkofel cable car.

Stage of the Eagle Walk from the Stüdlhütte to the Lucknerhaus, © Tirol Werbung/Frank Bauer

Trekking in East Tirol

The Ultimate Challenge: Long-Distance Hiking along the Eagle Walk

Soaring high in the skies above Tirol, the golden eagle has something we humans often lack in our busy lives: a sense of perspective. One way of getting back to nature and re-discovering what is truly important is to embark on a long-distance hike. Where better to do so than East Tirol with its Eagle Walk comprising nine stages through this beautiful region on the Austrian-Italian border? The first five lead from Ströden to the Matreier Tauernhaus. Though it is possible to hike stages individually and return back to the valley on the same day, many experienced walkers use the traditional huts high up in the Alps to create a multi-day trek linking several stages together. Mountain guide Christian Riepler from the village of Kals knows East Tirol like the back of his hand, including the best places to spend the night in the mountains: "From the Bonn-Matreier Hütte you can see the Dolomites. Close to the Sudetendeutsche Hütte there is a lake, and the Stüdlhütte probably has the best mountaineering atmosphere." Riepler's favourite leg of the Eagle Walk is Stage 5 from the Badener Hütte to the Matreier Tauernhaus: "Fabulous backdrop, spectacular views of the Großvenediger glacier. The highlight is the Löbbentörl, one of the most magical places in the Hohe Tauern National Park."

KaiserWelt in Scheffau, © TVB Wilder Kaiser

The Wilder Kaiser Mountains

Imperial and Imperious: Alpine Adventures in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains

For youngsters and the young at heart there are few better places in Tirol than the Wilder Kaiser Mountains. Ellmi's World of Magic, for example, is a play area full of fairies, goblins and ghosts. Or why not take the cable car up into the heart of the mountains? The Magical Witches' Water play area in Hochsöll has plenty of dry and wet activities – remember to bring along a change of clothes! And, last but not least, in the KaiserWelt Scheffau it is only a few metres' walk from the top of the Scheffau-Brandstadl cable car to the nearby fantasy land with its climbing wall, treehouses and outdoor playground.

Enduro biking near Nauders, © Nauders Tourismus/Andreas Vigl

Three Countries, One Bike

Get into the Enduro Flow in Nauders: Three Countries, One Bike

Enduro bikes are allround mountainbikes designed for riders who love a tough climb as much as a technical descent. This makes these machines the perfect companions for exploring the region around the Reschenpass, where Austria, Switzerland and Italy converge, along the "3-Länder-Enduro-Trails" near Nauders. A great way to visit three countries in the space of just a few hours!

E-bike technique training with Karl Exenberger from the Bikeacademy, © Kitzbüheler Alpen @ Mirja Geh - Eye 5

E-Bike Handling in Kirchberg

E-normous Fun: Bike Handling Skills Session in Kirchberg

E-bike, fatbike or standard mountainbike – Kurt Exenberger, the founder of the Bikeacademy in Kirchberg, is one of Austria's top experts for off-road transport of the two-wheeled variety. Created 17 years ago, the Bikeacademy is the oldest mountainbike school in Austria and is even today one of only few in the country.  Exenberger and his team take pride in catering for riders of all fitness levels and abilities, from beginners right through to experts. "Our flagship service is without a doubt technique training," Kurt explains. "There aren't many centres out there that offer the same variety of courses at regular intervals from May to September as we do here at the Bikeacademy. On top of that, we have expertise that others don't." In recent years there has been a huge boom in the popularity of e-bikes, which have an electric motor built into the frame to give riders that extra little boost when they need it. However, this new technology also brings with it new challenges. That is why the expert coaches at the Bikeacademy have created a specific skills session focusing on how to ride and handle e-bikes. "E-bikes are a lot heavier than normal mountainbikes," explains Exenberger. "That means riders have to be careful on descents as these bikes are harder to control at high speeds."

Lake Achensee, © Tirol Werbung/W9 STUDIOS

Adventures at Lake Achensee

Big Fun on Tirol's Biggest Lake: Summer at Lake Achensee

Tiroleans have always been fascinated by water – especially because it is a long drive over the border into Italy to get to the nearest seaside resort. Little wonder, then, that Achensee Lake has been adopted by Tiroleans as their very own little "ocean". This long but thin lake is, in fact, more reminiscent of a fjord than a sea, especially with its mountain backdrop. Visitors trying out a water-based sport such as Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) may not have the time or the nerve to appreciate the alpine scenery, but there is no ignoring the breathtaking combination of high mountains and turquoise water. Other watersports available on the lake include sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. There are a number of surf schools and hire centres dotted along the shoreline where professional instructors will be happy to show beginners the basics. Last but not least, a number of cafés and restaurants serve excellent food – or why not go for the full cruise experience and take a trip around the lake on one of the steam-powered sightseeing ships?

"Little Ballun" via ferrata in Galtür, © TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

"Little Ballun" Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata Climbing: "Little Ballun" in Galtür

Situated near the top of the Birkhahnbahn cable car in Galtür, the "Little Ballun" via ferrata is ideal for beginners and children aged eight years and older. The route is graded easy (A) to intermediate, though – as always on a via ferrata – climbers need a safety set, helmet, gloves and sturdy shoes. It is also a good idea to take along something to drink, a first-aid kit and a change of clothes (climbing can be sweaty work!). Mountain guide Christoph Pfeifer has a few more tips for those wishing to embark on their first via ferrata adventure: "Keep a safe distance to the person climbing ahead of you so they don't feel under pressure and stay alert at all times. On a via ferrata you don't just have to pay attention to yourself but also to the other people climbing." The reward for all that hard work is a great view from the top, which can be reached in around one hour.

Bouldering in Ritzenried in the Pitztal Valley, © TVB Pitztal

Fun on the Rocks

Family-Friendly Climbing Adventure: Bouldering for Children in the Pitztal Valley

"Mandlers Boden" is a quiet area of forest above the hamlet of Ritzenried in the Pitztal Valley – and a paradise for bouldering enthusiasts. All in all there are 55 large rocks with around 176 different climbing routes, many of which are relatively easy. Little wonder, then, that this boulder garden is particularly popular with families and beginners. "Das tapfere Schneiderlein", "Rumpelstilzchen" and "Jogibär" are all between 1.50 and 2.20 metres high, though more experienced climbers will also find more challenging boulders up to 4 metres in height. Bouldering is an increasingly popular sport which involves climbing without a rope and safety harness just a few metres off the ground. Taster courses are offered by local climbing experts in the Pitztal Valley, which is also home to other rock climbing areas such as "Pitzis Kletterfelsen" in Jerzens, the "Kletterpark Gletscherstube" and "Richi‘s Wall"?

„Haags Schoko-Laden“ (Tiroler Edle) in Landeck, © Tirol Werbung/Lisa Hörterer

Paradise for Foodies

Paradise for Foodies: Landeck and the Surrounding Region

Chocolatier Hansjörg Haag loves nothing more than regional produce – and by regional he means what he can see out of his window in Landeck. For his Tiroler Edler chocolate, the majority of the ingredients – except, of course, the cocoa beans – are indeed sourced from the thick forests and lush meadows of the Tirolean Oberland. Haag's most important "local partners" are the Tiroler Grauvieh cows which provide him with the outstanding milk he needs to produce luxury chocolate. Visitors in search of a tasty tipple to accompany their sweet treat will be sure to find what they are looking for in the Stanzer Zwetschke distillery – one of several schnapps-producing distilleries in the small village of Stanz on a sunny plateau above the Inn Valley. Another famous face in the Tirolean distilling scene is Christoph Kössler. The Postgasthof Gemse in Zams is one of the finest restaurants in the region and serves dishes created using local meat, vegetables and herbs from the owner's own herb garden.

 

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