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
No matter where you are in Western Tyrol, you will always have sight of the mountains. Walking in this region is a dream: the routes are well-marked, maps are in plentiful supply and there are a number of guided walks available. There are hikes to suit everyone, from the novice rambler through to the seasoned hut-to-hut enthusiast. There are also several resort villages, such as St. Anton and Obergurgl, along with a number of smaller hamlets and settlements which ensure that walkers are never too far from somewhere to find food and shelter.