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Your questions about Ötztal

Did you know that?

We asked the Ötztal Community on Instagram what they would like to know about Ötztal. We would like to give answers to the five most frequently asked questions at this point (as effectively as possible). With this newly acquired knowledge, you can probably make an impression on your holiday companion the next time you travel to the valley. Or get on anybody else's nerves as a know-it-all…

1. Where does the name "Ötztal" come from?

Ötztal, Haiming, Chapel, Hausegg, Summer

The name Ötztal derives from the village of Oetz located at the entrance to the valley. Already during the 13th century, Oetz was the place of jurisdiction in the valley and thus also the main village. On the other hand, the name "Oetz" goes back to the Old High German word "etzen" - which means something like "grazing".

2. What is the most photographed spot in Ötztal?

Ötztal, Region Oetz, Lake Piburger See, Boat, Acherkogel, Summer

Darned good question! Without being able to provide empirical evidence for the answer, we would swear it is Lake Piburger See. The natural jewel nestling above Oetz cuts a sensational figure in both its summer and winter dress.

The lake (and its scenic surroundings) is not just beautiful to look at, it also makes a real jack-of-all-trades: in summer, it invites guests to take a refreshing swim or to enjoy a round in the rowing boat. Around the lake there are 9 treasures in the form of spectacular viewing platforms and mystical places of energy that can be explored on an easy hike. On the western lakeshore you will also find a practicing via ferrata that opens up new perspectives on the emerald green lake.

In the winter months, ice skaters are gliding (more or less) elegantly over the frozen lake while winter hiking trails and a toboggan run provide additional variety for all the active family.

3. Do more guests visit Ötztal in summer or in winter?

Ötztal, Region Oetz, Ski area Hochoetz, Winter, Family, Kids

A compelling case, even empirically proven: traditionally, more guests visit the valley in winter than in the summer months. Significantly more, even if more and more visitors have been attracted to Tirol's longest side valley in recent summers.

If you compare the overnight stays of the 2019 summer with those of the 2018/2019 winter season, there are around 1.25 million summer overnight stays compared to approximately 2.9 million overnight stays in winter.

4. What is the most popular excursion destination in Ötztal?

Ötztal, Urkraft Umhausen, Waterfall, Lights, Night

Looking at an entire year, our answer falls again on Lake Piburger See - without being able to prove this statement with exact numbers. The lake is easy to reach in both summer and winter and offers visitors a huge choice of activities all year round.

Other undisputed podium places: the Stuiben Falls near Umhausen, Tirol's biggest waterfall, as well as the unique 007 ELEMENTS James Bond Adventure World inside the peak of Gaislachkogl.

5. What tips do you have for families who want to visit Ötztal in autumn?

Ötztal, Zwieselstein, Summer, Ötztal Cycle Trail

What should we do if the summer mountain lifts are not in operation anymore in autumn, but on the other hand we don't feel like skiing on the glacier yet? This question was also submitted several times. You don't always have to go all the way up to gain lasting impressions in Ötztal. After all, Tirol's longest side valley strings together many worthwhile family excursion sites spread along the valley floor. Do you need 3 tips? OK, here we go:

Ötztal Cycle Trail:

The valley-wide cycle path leads safely on more than 50 kilometers from Haiming at 670 m to Sölden at 1377 m altitude. Of course, you can conquer the 4 stages of the cycle trail separately. There are worthwhile family excursion sites and many surprises spread along the route.

All details about the Cycle Trail

Theme Hiking Routes:

Just walk along – in a totally relaxing way. Especially if you walk with children and a lot of curiosity in your luggage, you should aim a little more. The theme walking trails in Ötztal are perfectly suitable for family tours as many of them run along the valley floor. The ultimate Water Strider Theme Trails introduce those interested to the ever-present wet element of the valley. Along the Apple Mile in Haiming, on the other hand, everything revolves around our favorite stone fruit.

Go to Theme Trails

Explore the history of the valley:

What was everyday rural life like in earlier times? Which handicraft tools were mostly used? How were crop plants cultivated? The unique Ötztal Museums give a clear answer to all of these questions (and many more). Ötztal's museums - comprising the Tower Museum, the Local Heritage Museum and the Memory Archives - were awarded the highly coveted Austrian Museum Prize in 2021.

Discover Ötztal museums

Need more autumnal tips? HERE we have collected 10 excellent reasons why we love this time of year in Ötztal so much. Special tip: Find out more about the current weather conditions in Ötztal by taking a closer look at our Live Information so that you can plan your activities properly. Just in case the weather doesn't cooperate at all, the valley has many bad weather alternatives waiting for you.