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Find Dreamlike Views in Tyrol

Enjoy a wonderful vacation in an outdoor Eldorado: the lush meadows and valleys are almost surreally beautiful in summer, with perfect hiking trails. But the selection of three-thousand-meter peaks is also record-breaking - Tirol is ideal for taking a deep breath and clearing your head.

27 May 2024

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The Tyroleans are said to be as rugged as their mountain peaks. At first glance, that doesn't sound particularly inviting. But why's that? In a world that's becoming increasingly similar, aren't we looking for precisely those rough edges that make a region unique? For people who still speak their dialect with pride and don't bend when it comes to the nitty gritty? The Tyroleans are probably indeed stubborn mountain folk, but they're also honest and open. The hearty "Du" (German for you) with which you are greeted everywhere testifies to this. Tyrol stands for a way of life in which a lot happens outdoors. Every community, no matter how small, has its own local mountain where you can climb, hike or walk in all weathers.

Ancient tradition

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This closeness to nature is contagious. In Tyrol, you can take a deep breath and clear your head. When you come here and look up at the gigantic mountains, you experience first-hand how small you feel as a human being. But also how sublime it can be to stand on a summit and feel the vastness intensely. The contrasts of valley and mountain characterize this landscape, which has a lot to offer in both winter and summer. Ancient traditions are still alive here: In Brixental Valley, which lies in the heart of the Kitzbühel Alps, there're still the strong, enduring Noriker horses, for example, which are adorned with flowers at Corpus Christi that perfectly match the riders' festive costumes. The so-called Antlassritt is accompanied by local music groups and has been taking place for over 300 years.

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In the small village of Ellmau, tourists stand in awe in front of a typical Tyrolean house with a wooden façade and floral decorations. The popular TV series The Mountain Doctor is filmed in the region and everyone wants to take a selfie in front of the idyllic mountain doctor's surgery. Sometimes the place is quite crowded, but the Wilder Kaiser vacation region is so vast that you can always find quiet spots. The best thing to do is to book a tandem paragliding flight. With a bit of luck, you might even see marmots on the way to the Hartkaiser, or the alpine chough circling in the sky. Golden eagles can also be seen here. It's an incredible feeling to glide silently past the peaks. And it's almost unreal to experience the dramatic sunset in this mountain landscape.

Three-thousand-meter paradise


Tyrol is a hiking Eldorado, the numerous mountain lakes shine crystal clear, even in summer - and they offer an ideal opportunity to cool off after a strenuous climb. The waters glow in the most beautiful shades of green and azure blue, the Plansee in the Reutte Nature Park region almost looks like a fjord. At its deepest point, it's an impressive 76.5 meters deep. A few more figures that speak for themselves: 574 three-thousand-metre peaks rise in Tyrol, with the Großglockner (3,798 meters) and the Wildspitze (3,768 meters) being the highest. Around 24,000 kilometers of hiking trails, maintained by the Alpine Association, lead through Tyrol, around 170 alpine huts and mountain restaurants invite you to stop for a bite to eat. Around 770 trained mountain guides and almost 2,000 hiking guides are available. 6400 kilometers of signposted and approved mountain bike routes are offered. On the Hintertux Glacier you can even ski into the summer - so you can enjoy a summer and winter vacation at the same time.

Of hoods and huts

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What the region is particularly proud of is its cuisine: Tirol has the most toque-awarded restaurants in Austria. In Gault-Millau 2023, 14 establishments achieved the outstanding rating of 17 to 19 points. Leading the way is the gourmet restaurant Stüva in Ischgl with a proud five toques. Head chef Benjamin Parth interprets French classics in a creative way, calling his cuisine "purist and cosmopolitan". But Schwarze Adler in Hall, Tannenhof in St. Anton and the restaurant at the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol also impress with their top gourmet cuisine.

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But Tyrol wouldn't be Tyrol if there weren't hearty regional specialties to enjoy in every hut. Tyrolean bacon dumplings are a classic, traditionally served in soup; Gröstl with egg, originally intended as a creative use of leftovers, is also delicious. There are also cheese dumplings and so called Schlutzkrapfen. The best dessert is cranberry dumplings made from local blueberries - recognizable by the fact that they turn the tongue purple. Strauben, a sweet, deep-fried pastry, are also a popular dessert. Tyrolean food isn't exactly diet cuisine, but that's why you spend the whole day out in the fresh air. This burns calories and makes you hungry.

Masterpieces of architecture

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Tyrol can also score points in urban terms. Innsbruck is a lively student city where rich history (traces of settlement from the Neolithic period) and city life come together. The Golden Roof (above) is a striking landmark; the building was built in 1420 as the residence of the Tyrolean sovereigns. But there's also a lot to discover architecturally, including the Bergisel ski jump, which was designed by star architect Zaha Hadid for the Olympic city.

Andreas Schreieck

Kaufhaus Tyrol, built by David Chipperfield, is a light-flooded shopping experience, while Schloss Ambras is home to a chamber of art and wonders that was considered one of the most important of its kind during the Renaissance. Among other things, the famous painting of Vlad III, who went down in legend as Dracula, can be seen here - although he wasn't Tyrolean, he was also more than headstrong.

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Tirol Special 2024.

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