About this Austria walking region
In Western Tyrol, it’s all about the great outdoors. There are a couple of small towns such as Imst and Landeck, which certainly warrant a visit, but it is the deep mountain valleys and rugged alpine scenery which really draw in the visitors.
Hikers will largely choose between the Ötztal, the Oberinntal and the Paznauntal valleys. And for those seeking winter sports action, the best spots can be found in the Arlberg Mountain Range, a territory which is shared between Tyrol and Vorarlberg, located west of the River Inn Valley. This is the home of many fine ski resorts, including Austria’s oldest and one of the best-known, St. Anton. The snow season here is long, normally lasting well into mid-April. Summer is a much quieter time, but popular with hikers nonetheless as the area offers some incredible walking opportunities.
The Ötztal valley has the largest collection of hiking routes and it also boasts some of the most impressive scenery, with 265 Alpine peaks topping the 3,000 metre (9,843ft) mark and glaciers covering a surface area of around 200 sq km (77 sq mi). The drive into the valley is not for the faint-hearted, but if you can brave the hairpin bends you will be rewarded by the specatcular sights of sheer granite cliffs, alpine meadows carpeted in wild flowers and imposing glaciers.
As you reach the end of the Ötztal valley, the road forks. One direction, towards Italy, will take you to the Gurgltal Valley, which comprises the villages of Untergurgl, Obergurgl and Hochgurgl which together form one of Europe’s finest ski resorts. In summer, it becomes the starting point for a number of excellent walks. Or, take the other direction, and you’ll encounter the Ventertal Valley, which is heaven for skiers, snowboarders, climbers and mountaineers. One of the main attractions here is Tyrol’s highest peak, Mt. Wildspitze, which rises 3,774 m (12,382ft), over the Ventertal Valley landscape.
Western Tyrol is an enchanting region, where pretty alpine meadows punctuate the glacial landscape. Hiking is the best way to really enjoy the scenery and images of this magical landscape are likely to stay with you for a long time.
Walking in Tyrol - Western Tyrol
Arlberg Region, St. Anton
Offers some of the best advanced skiing in Austria ● In summer it surprises with more than 300km/186mi of marked walking and hiking trails ● Magical walking in the Verwall Mountains (Mt. Hoher Riffler; 3,168m/10,394ft) and Lechtaler Alps (Mt. Parseierspitze; 3,036m/9,961ft) ● Boasts the State of Tyrol Hiking Seal of Quality.
Imst & its Villages
In the heart of Western Tyrol ● Imst is beautifully located, with some lovely buildings in the old town centre ● Over 350km (217mi) signposted walking and hiking paths ● The fabulous Rosengarten Gorge (walk) starts in Imst ● Large variety of cultural events ● Dare to ride the Alpine Coaster, the world’s longest summer toboggan run.
Between the Lechtal Alps in the south and the German Allgäu Alps in the north ● Rare flora & fauna in Nature Reserve Lechtal Valley ● The River Lech characterises the valley’s appearance ● Famed for its carving tradition ● Cable cars and lots of mountain huts ● Conquer the area’s “local” mountain: Jöchlspitze (2,226m/7,303ft).
Mt. Zugspitze Region Tyrol
This area’s crowning glory is Mt. Zugspitze (2,962m/1,840ft) ● Marks the border between Austria and Germany ● Modern cable cars, linked to other resorts in Austria and Germany ● A well-maintained network of walking trails ● From easy rambles to demanding hikes in Alpine terrain ● Popular villages: Ehrwald, Lermoos, Bichlbach…
Nature Reserve Reutte
Bordering on Germany’s Allgäu region ● Five crystal-clear lakes, incl. Tyrol’s second largest (Lake Plansee) ● Over 400km (249mi) of walking & hiking trails ● Admire the superb frescoes of Reutte (Zeiller dynasty of painters, 17th - 18th century) ● Visit the famous Alpenblumengarten (alpine flower garden) at 1,700m (5,577ft).
The mountaineers, hikers and walkers Shangri-La ● The Ötztaler Alps - guarding the border to Italy ● Magnificent Mt. Wildspitze (3,774m/12,382ft), the Tyrol’s highest mountain ● Dotted with picturesque villages along the banks of River Ötztaler Ache ● Home to well-known Alpine resorts such as Sölden, Obergurgl, Hochgurgl and Vent.
Paznaun Valley & Ischgl
More remote than most resorts in the country ● Narrow and densely wooded, with truly picturesque alpine pastures ● Ischgl is the valley’s main village ● Take the popular Silvrettabahn gondola up to Idalp (2,320m/7,612ft), then descend by cable car into Samnaun (Switzerland) ● Numerous hiking trails in the Samnaun mountains.
Glorious high-alpine scenery ● The famous Pitztal Glacier (Tyrol’s highest!) and Lake Rifflsee ● Follow the ibex trail in Kaunergrat Nature Reserve ● Pitz-Panoramabahn, Austria’s highest cableway, climbs up to Mt. Hinterer Brunnekogel (3,440m/11,286ft) ● Explore Pitzenklamm, a gorge crossed by Europe’s highest footbridge (94m/308ft).
Terrace of sunny highland pastures above the Inn Valley, and a sequence of three small villages ● Pretty Ladis, with its ruined castle ● Framed by the mighty 3,000m (9,843ft) Samnaun Mountains and the Ötztal Alps ● Known as a very family-friendly holiday region ● Network of seven cable cars serves hikers up to 2,400m (7,874ft).
Tannheimer Valley Tyrol
Small but beautiful high valley, bordering on Germany’s Allgäu ● Extensive network of cable cars ● Strong focus on walking: 3-time-winner of the ‘Austrian Walking Destination Award’ ● The 2,000-metre (6,560ft) peaks of the lush green Allgäu Alps and the Tannheimer Mountains ● Hike up to scenic Lake Vilalpsee at 1,165m/3,822ft.
Where Austria, Italy and Switzerland meet ● One of the sunniest spots in Austria ● 300km (186mi) of waymarked trails, from easy rambles to challenging cross-border hikes ● Dramatic mountains, enthralling history ● Just a few miles into Italy: Lake Reschensee (Lago di Resia), famous for its submerged 14th century church tower.
Fabulous hiking destination between St. Anton (Arlberg) and Pitztal Valley ● Picturesque Landeck town, watched over by the great Castle Landeck ● A cable car climbs from Zams to Mt. Venet (2,513m/8,245ft) ● The small village of Fliess has a long and fascinating history (ashes found here date from the Bronze Age (1500 BC).