How to get active at the ski resorts in Tyrol, Austria

Austrian Regions: Tirol

The federal state of Tyrol (Tirol, which borders Italy, Switzerland and Germany, is often called the “heart of the Alps”. There are more than 600 “three-thousand meter peaks”, 5 large glaciers and countless small ones, there are thousands and thousands of picturesque green pastures and hundreds of old mountain towns, the purest mountain rivers and green valleys. In combination with excellent ecology and well-developed infrastructure of the ski holidays allows the region is considered one of the best resort areas of the world – it has the longest ski season in Austria and the warmest summer of all the mountainous regions of the country.

The combined transport system of trains and buses of the Tyrolean transport company Verkehrsverbund Tirol (VVT) offers a good opportunity to get to know this original region.

The main city of Tirol, Innsbruck, lies on the southern slopes of the Nordkette mountain range (up to 2,454 m) at the confluence of the Inn and Sihl rivers.

Leisure activities

Tirol is the highest mountainous region of Austria (over 600 peaks with altitudes above 3,000 m!) and one of the most popular ski centers on the planet. It concentrates the most interesting and famous Austrian ski resorts. The 119 ski centers of Tyrol have about 3500 km of carefully prepared pistes, 32 specialized areas for snowboarders, almost 80,000 square kilometers of areas for freeride, plus 4000 km of cross-country skiing in 24 regions. Five high-mountain glaciers allow skiing even in the summer. All this is accompanied by a modern system of ski elevators, hundreds of restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs and other modern infrastructure. Therefore, it is not surprising that every year this region alone receives about a million guests – and that only in winter!



The eastern part of the Inn Valley, called Unterland by the locals, is considered one of the most picturesque regions of Austria. In addition to the beautiful mountain landscapes on both sides, you can find many interesting historical cities of Tyrol.

10 km east of Innsbruck Hull is a good starting point to explore attractive mountain villages such as Thaur (famous for its folk traditions), the famous ski center Tulfes or Volders with its unique 17th century church of St. Kral Boromaus. But the industrial town of Wattens with its unique Swarovski Kristallwelten factory and cave with a multimedia exhibition of the Austrian Swarovski Crystal Museum usually attracts the most visitors. The famous Swarovski Crystal Worlds is a labyrinth of rooms and halls interconnected by narrow corridors and stairs, in which works by the company are exhibited. One can see the smallest (0.8 mm) and the largest (310 thousand carats) crystal crystals of the world, which are registered in the Guinness Book of Records; the “flowing clock” made of crystal, the dressing of the favourite horse of the Indian Maharaja (of course – from the same material), the crystal mosaic track and even the crystal hall and the wall of crystals, 11 metres high and weighing 12 tons!

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The bustling commercial center of Schwaz (20 km east of Hall) also has an impressive pedigree.

East Tyrol

Isolated from the rest of Tyrol by the ledge of the Italian border and the ranges of the High Tauern region East Tyrol (Osttirol) in many ways closer to Carinthia, with which it has better transport links and almost common history. The separation of the region from the rest of Tyrol occurred after the transfer of South Tyrol to Italy in 1919, which was clearly a blow to the region and led to a sense of isolation, only partially compensated by the construction of the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse road in 1936 and the Felber Tauern tunnel in 1967.

Despite the presence of a huge number of magnificent mountains, this land, oddly enough, has never competed in terms of tourism with Tyrol or Salzburg itself.

To the outside observer, East Tyrol seems remarkably unspoiled and wild, although the locals often complain that civilization is increasingly encroaching on these beautiful places. But this is what allows many people to call this land “the reserve of Austria”, meaning a large number of places still unspoiled by man, and a unique tradition and wonderful tourist potential.

The central city and resort of the region is Lienz.

West Tyrol

West of Innsbruck the charm of the old towns gradually gives way to the beauty of wilderness. Despite having been inhabited by humans for at least 15,000 years, these places have had little exposure to human destruction and are still considered some of the wildest and most beautiful in Europe. And this despite the fact that you can reach the most interesting places literally in 2-3 hours from one of the most modern airports of Austria (the highway A12 and the main railway line pierce the whole region, going to the Vorarlberg), and modern ski centers can be found here literally in every valley. Even the northwestern valleys, cut off from the main routes of the Inn Valley by the barrier Lehtal Alps, and they are quite accessible through the railway line, which goes north from Innsbruck, passing through Germany and then returned to Tyrol.

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One of the most famous centers of the region is Seefeld, located just 18 kilometers northwest of Innsbruck.

Traveling west through the Inn Valley from Innsbruck, you can hardly pass by the pleasant towns of Zirl and Telfs, but the main attraction of these places is the town of Stams (40 km from Innsbruck).

Northwest Tyrol

The northwestern areas of Tyrol, cut off from the Inn Valley by the rugged chain of the Lehtal Alps, differ markedly from the main part of the region both in nature and culture. The broad, lush valleys of the river Lech around the old town of Reutte are highlighted by the green pastures of the Erwald – and the serrated, grey walls of the Lechtal Mountains with the Muttekopf (2774 m) and the Wetterstein-Gebirge with the Zugspitze (2963 m, the highest point in Germany) dominate. To get here is often easier from Germany than from the territory of Austria, and public transport in this region is noticeably weaker than in the resort areas of the south, but the beauty on the way from Innsbruck or Imst is more than worthy of this small inconvenience.

Lying in the shadow of the Zugspitze and surrounded by a series of slightly lower mountains, Ehrwald is considered the gateway to northwestern Tyrol. With its rustic and unhurried atmosphere it is the perfect base for visiting the numerous mountain resorts in the vicinity – Ehrwalder Alm, Marienberg, Grubigstein, Lermos and Zugspitzplatt. The Zugspitze, which is legally in Germany, is absolutely accessible from here by cable car Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, starting at Obermoos (5 km to the north-east of the city).

About 25 km to the north-west lies the pretty town of Reutte, which made its fortune in the Middle Ages on the salt trade between the Inn Valley and Bavaria. On its main street from the Untermarkt in the north end to the Obermarkt in the south all the town’s monuments can be found – the Zeilerhaus (home of the dynasty of local painters Paul and Johann-Jacob Zeiler), the excellent Regional Museum in the nearby Grünes-Haus, and many colorful merchant villas of the 16th and 18th centuries.

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How to get active at the ski resorts in Tyrol, Austria

Austria is located in the heart of Europe. Famous countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy are located nearby. Much of Austria lies in the Alps. Winter sports are in high demand, so in the country was built more than 950 ski centers. In general, the Austrians are developing resorts in small villages. Most of them are located in the mountains of medium altitude (1500 – 3000 m).

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How to get active at the ski resorts in Tyrol, Austria

Interesting fact: the very first ski resort in the world was founded and launched in Austria, in the 19th century. And the first descent down the slope was made by Franz Reisch, who at the time was the mayor of Kitzbühel.


Winter temperatures in the mountains are cool, because Austria is located in a continental climate zone.

The average winter temperature in Austria (t presented in °C):

– December = daytime +7, nighttime +6; – January = daytime +5, nighttime +4; – February = daytime +4, nighttime +3.

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Skiing season in Austria begins in December and lasts until March. Most travelers come for active recreation on New Year and Christmas vacations. Consequently, you can enjoy a pleasant combination of vacation: skiing, walking through fairs, visiting tours, watching historical monuments.

Advice from experienced tourists: Austria has a large number of resorts with adequate prices and excellent quality. Do not go immediately to the “elite” tourist resorts.

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The resorts of Tyrol.

Tyrol is a federal state that lies on the border with Italy, Switzerland and Germany . There is the longest ski season . The central city is Innsbruck. There are two rivers flowing through it.

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The resorts of Tyrol.

Tyrol is a very popular world resort. Here are concentrated the most ancient and famous ski centers. A total of 120 resorts are built there, and more than 4 thousand kilometers of thoroughly prepared tracks for different kinds of skiing: for cross-country skiers, snowboarders, freeride (free skiing). There are glaciers, where you can ski even in the summer season!

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The resorts of Tyrol.

Every year, in winter, this resort receives about a million and a half guests from all over the world. In addition, there is an excellent modern infrastructure: a lot of cafes, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs.

The best ski resorts in Tyrol (according to experienced travelers):

– Ischgl; – Mayrhofen; – St. Anton am Arlberg; – Kitzbühel; – Innsbruck.

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The resorts of Tyrol.

There are the most affordable prices, but excellent quality. Everywhere is green, and excellent infrastructure.

What to see in Tyrol?

Trazberg Castle

The castle is located on the banks of the river Inn. It was built in the XIV century, to protect the county from enemy attacks . According to ancient chronicles, there was already a castle here in 1296 under another name: Tratsperch. However, it was destroyed by fire.

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Trazberg Castle

Upon entering the castle, visitors are immersed in a medieval atmosphere: people dressed in period attire accompany tourists throughout the Trazberg. There is an entertainment program for the little ones.

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Trazberg Castle

Guests have a unique chance to dine like a true knight in the Middle Ages (there are 4 dishes to choose from).

The World of Swarovski Museum in Wattens

This is a museum of glass, which presents a variety of expensive glass jewelry made in this city. This museum has seven rooms, the dome and all the walls of which are covered with crystal. When you enter the room the eye catches sight of a huge crystal sculpture with lots of facets.

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The World of Swarovski Museum in Wattens

By the way, you can get to the museum by local bus.

Lake Aachensee

This lake is the largest and most picturesque of all existing lakes in the Alpine mountains . The water in the lake is very clear and clean, scientists say that its quality is close to drinking water.

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Lake Aachensee

Many travelers come to Akhensee to sail. However, it is not possible to ride on a motorboat or boat, as the lake is a protected area.

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Now, various European sailing competitions are held on this lake.

City of Schwaz

In this town, it is worth visiting the town hall (it is a former trading house built in the Gothic style in the 16th century) and the Fugger House (where a family of merchants lived in the 16th century). Tourists should walk along Franz Josef Street, which in ancient times was central. It perfectly preserved the atmosphere of ancient Europe.

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City of Schwaz

Must visit the modern museum – Haus der Voelker . There are photos of travels of a local journalist in Africa and Asia.

St. Georgenberg-Ficht Abbey

This is the oldest monastery in Tyrol, built in the XII century. It is located on a high mountain. A couple of times in its history the abbey burned down, but it was rebuilt.

Now you can easily get to the monastery (on foot or by bus). The road to the monastery is difficult, but it is worth it: forest, mountains, and mountain rivers. At the monastery there is a church, which operates to this day. Landscapes of the monastery are very beautiful and fascinating. The view from the monastery to the Alps and the forest is breathtaking! There is a cafe in the backyard where you can relax.

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St. Georgenberg-Ficht Abbey

Thus, the city of Tyrol is a great place for a winter vacation for the whole family, with a rich cultural program. And all this at an affordable price. Holidays in Tyrol give each tourist sensations and memories that will long remember.

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