With fantastic hiking paths, countless biking trails and spectacular views of sparkling lakes and sweeping valleys, it’s no wonder the Austrian Tirol proves so popular with visitors each summer. Whether guests want to improve their mountain biking technique, join in with one of the multiple events or just spend time trekking through the peaceful massifs, there’s no better place to experience Austrian culture.
Here are the regional highlights of summer 2017…
NEW: Innsbruck hosts the Crankworx World Tour
From 21-25 June, the renowned mountain-biking tournament takes to the mountains of Innsbruck. Here, professional riders from across the world converge at the Mutteralm Park competing in multiple events, from Downhill, Enduro, Slopestyle and Dual Slalom to Pump Track Challenges. Known as the ‘super bowl of freeride mountain biking’, Crankworx began in Whistler, Canada in 2004 and now attracts the best in the business. To meet the high, international standards, the Mutteralm Park is scheduled for further improvements including a new rental centre, a new mountain-bike shop and a new trail. The number of spectators is expected to reach 10,000, creating a vibrant atmosphere in the heart of the Austrian Tirol. Tickets cost from €45 per adult and €35 per child (5-14 years old – free for children aged four and under).
For more information: www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/events/all-events/e-crankworx
NEW: Speed through the mountains on the Ischgl Skyfly, now open for the summer
Ischgl’s new attraction, the Skyfly, whizzes pairs of people down two kilometres of parallel zip-wires from the mountain to the valley. Beginning at the Silvretta gondola mid-station, at 1,683 m, the Skyfly then finishes on the roof terrace of the Pardatschgrat gondola’s valley station, at 1,376 m. The cables are 50 metres above the ground and ‘flyers’ are expected to reach speeds of up to 84 kph (approx. 52 mph). The route runs underneath the Kitzloch suspension bridge and past the Fimbabahn gondola in spectacular fashion. This adrenaline-fueled attraction opened in late August 2016 and is now available to enjoy throughout summer 2017. Children aged 14 and under need to be accompanied by an adult. Minimum age eight. Ischgl Skyfly costs €35 per adult and €25 per child (aged 17 and under).
For more information: www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/attractions/all-attractions/a-skyfly
Go bouldering in the Pitztal Valley
Ideal for active friends and families, ‘Mandlers Boden’ – a quiet area of forest above the hamlet of Ritzenried in the Pitztal Valley – is a paradise for bouldering enthusiasts, or those new to the sport. Bouldering is an increasingly popular activity that inolves climbing without a rope and safety harness, just a few metres off the ground. The site is home to 55 large rocks, with around 176 different climbing routes (ranging from easy to difficult). Families with young children (minimum age five) can start in the boulder garden, where the rocks are all between one-and-three metres high. More experienced climbers can take on the challenging courses, which reach up to four metres. Local climbing experts offer taster sessions for those wanting a bit of guidance (prices on request).
For more information: www.tyrol.com/summer-holidays/bouldering-with-children-pitztal
Visit the Spruce Tree Castle in Zell am Ziller
Journey to the Zillertal Arena and discover a ‘magical’ castle made from spruce in the rolling Rosenalm pastures. Children (and adults, if they like) can explore the towers, slides and vast water-and-sand-play areas within the grounds, spanning more than 5,000 m². Families can eat their picnic in one of the relaxation areas, or make the most of the kitchen with a barbecue area. Admire the views from the many bridges, wriggle through the netted climbing frames and explore the surrounding forest. The castle is opening daily during the warm summer months and accessible from the Rosenalmbahn Gondola. Admission is free.
For more information: www.zillertalarena.com/en/zell/sommer/fichtenschloss-zell.html
NEW: Accommodation across the Austrian Tirol
An assortment of new hotels, guesthouses and cabins have been built across the Austrian Tirol. Those wanting to do their bit for the environment should stay at 4* Aparthotel Alpenlodge in Leutasch, which uses solar power and offers eletric charging stations for cars and bikes. Or, head to the sleek 4 Rest Hotel in Hall, offering modern interiors and large windows letting in natural light. Leave the beaten track and reside at the refurbished Kasermandl Cabin, a remarkable on-mountain shabby-chic lodge in Kasermandl. Alternatively, the 600 year old Post Hotel in Nassereith has reopened its doors following an extensive revamping project. Located on the famous Via Claudia Augusta Roman road, the historic hotel once played host to the renowned German writer, Johann Wolfgand von Goethe, who composed the epic drama, Faust in the 19th century.
NEW: StadldorfBergwiesenglück barns in See, Paznaun Valley
Spend summer at the brand-new StadldorfBergwiesenglück barns in See, Paznaun Valley. The timbered chalets have been built into the mountainside and are designed to give visitors the feeling of being at a secluded lodge. Each wooden accommodation features modern and cosy interiors, plus a private spa comprising sauna, wraps and oils and a hydro-massage shower. Access the many hiking trails during the day before relaxing at the barns each evening. Prices available shortly.
For more information: bergwiesenglueck.at/leben.html
NEW: 4* dasMEI Hotel in Mutters, near Innsbruck
Close to the capital of the Tirol, 4* dasMEI Hotel offers sleek bedrooms, fine dining and spa treatments merged with a holistic approach based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Located in Mutter – considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Tirol – guests can enjoy the incredible views down the valley. The wellness experience will help bring body, mind and soul into balance, and makes for a rejuvinating break. Those who live locally can make the most of the spa and cuisine, and a selection of culinary events – such as whiskey tasting – throughout the year. A seven-night stay costs from €573 pp / £495 pp (€1,145 / £991 total) and includes half-board accommodation. Other meals, flights and transfers extra. LOW
For more information: www.dasmei.at/hotel.html
Make the most of the many hiking and biking routes across the Austrian Tirol
The Austrian Tirol offers a wide array of hiking and biking trails, ideal for all walks of life. Families will like the Zugspitz Arena, which alongside 150 hiking paths has its own adventure programme for children and exclusive-family accommodation. Wildschönau is another family-friendly destination, with gentle walks and a free kids club. Those after an action-packed adventure in the mountains should travel to St. Anton am Arlberg, which offers 200 km of mountain bike routes and a 300 km walking network, or make the most of Zillertal with its 1,400 km of walking trails, 1,200 km of bike routes and 150 mountain huts. Eager walkers can explore Alpbachtal, which has more than 900 km of marked treks that meander through uninterrupted alpine scenery. Put power to the pedal in Kitzbühel, one of the world’s largest e-bike regions, or mix city sights and mountain magic in Innsbruck. The region’s capital offers visitors complimentary guest cards which give them access to free-hiking programmes and hire equipment. Alternatively, leave the bikes behind and jump into a mountain cart in St. Johann in Tirol, which features a thrilling five kilometre long descent.
For more information: visittirol.co.uk