How best to let the contrast of the autumnally colored valley work on you? Of course with a splendid hike including a comfy refreshment stop! Endless 1600 kilometers of hiking trails, routes, footpaths and treks are waiting to be explored on foot. No matter if you are a long-distance hiker or a relaxed leisurely walker, everyone will find a personal dream route in Ötztal (at varied altitude levels). Autumnal excursions for all the family are scheduled on many child-friendly theme trails.
10 reasons why we love autumn in Ötztal
Explore the most colorful valley
The tree leaves rustle, the autumn wind smells more and more like snow. It has become wintry on the mountain peaks of the Ötztal Alps while autumn is still at its most beautiful on the valley floor and in the forests. Why do we love autumn in Ötztal that much? You can find out here!
1. Autumnal hikes full of contrasts
2. Wellness short break with long-term effects
You can of course treat yourself to a short wellness break in every season. But it is especially cozy when the days are getting shorter, after an intensive activity program in the fresh air you can retreat to the cozy warmth of a heated pool or sauna parlor. The AQUA DOME in Längenfeld, Tirol's largest thermal spa center, offers both: 12 soothing indoor and outdoor pools plus a spacious sauna area invite you to relax and wind down.
3. Autumn time is harvest time
In autumn, fruits (and vegetables) are harvested - reminding of the year-round hard work. With a lot of personal commitment and awareness of nature, local farmers, direct marketers and schnapps distillers produce regional delicacies - ranging from spicy mountain cheese to crispy bread and high-quality spirits. The delicacies are offered directly at the farms, in farm shops or distilleries - the brochure "Eppas Guets" (Ötztal for "something good") shows where you can shop regionally in Ötztal. An annual culinary highlight are the highly popular Haiming Market Days taking place on two weekends in October in the undisputed "apple metropolis".
6. Customs experienced close by
Most Ötztal locals only feel really "dahoam" (which means "at home" in Ötztal dialect) if they actively contribute to the maintenance of customs, community and tradition. These annual rituals undoubtedly include the popular cattle drive: Colorfully decorated cattle are brought back to the farms and stables (with a loud ringing) - such as on 13 September 2020 in Haimingerberg. Thanksgiving festivals, marching of music bands or church processions also testify to the deeply rooted customs still practiced in Ötztal.
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7. The (arduous) route of the sheep to the south
Every year in mid-September, almost 2000 sheep cross the main Alpine ridge from the rear Ötztal valley towards neighboring South Tyrol in an endless row - an ancient farming ritual that goes back some 6000 years. The century-old cattle drive is so deeply rooted in the valley's farming tradition that the so-called "Transhumance" found its way into the UNESCO National Directory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria in 2011. Due to the current COVID 19 regulations, the sheep drive unfortunately doesn't allow accompanying hikers - therefore the blog post "Taking 2000 sheep across Similaun Glacier as an auxiliary shepherdess" gives a virtual insight into their way to the south.
8. An escape with the Archduke of Tirol
In September you can go on a wonderful journey back in time to the 15th century in the mountaineering village of Vent. The hiking theater "Friedl of the Empty Pockets" tells the story of Archduke Friedrich's escape through the rear Ötztal towards Merano. The backdrop to the extraordinary spectacle is the hiking path from Vent to Niederjoch glacier. The special thing about this theater performance is that you walk amidst nature and hear the dialogues via radio ear plugs while the actors in their historical clothes are once distant and then very close again. At the beginning, the route also leads along the B-ART-EB'NE art trail where handcrafted stone sculptures invite you to marvel and reflect.
Ötztal (Premium) Card
Your all-inclusive card for your summer holiday in Ötztal: The unrivaled Ötztal Premium Card is available for guests who stay overnight at one of the 320 partner accommodations and includes free services such as rides on the summer mountain lifts, admission to swimming pools, museums and other excursion destinations as well as mountain bike & bicycle rental and free use of public bus lines - to name just a few of the highlights already included. Those who don't stay at one of the partner accommodations can purchase the regular Ötztal Card for 3, 7 or 10 days.
10. The first & last turns
It's all a question of perspective: Would you rather get back on your bike and cycle through bright landscapes or already put your ski boots on to enjoy your first turns in the freshly fallen snow? Autumn bridges the summer and winter seasons by promising a truly colorful activity program. Be it a leisurely and safe cycling tour with all the family along the Ötztal Cycle Trail, speeding down the trails of the BIKE REPUBLIC SÖLDEN or downhill skiing or snowboarding at Rettenbach & Tiefenbach Glaciers high above Sölden - The choice is all yours.
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