Let me say one thing in advance: There is really a lot to discover! Therefore I strongly recommend using one of the many convenient brochures available at Ötztal Tourismus in order to get a better overview. We as a family have planned the days in such a way that everything is logical and uncomplicated, the kids are not overchallenged and, above all, the focus is on fun and relaxation. The Ötztal Inside Summer Card was always at hand - it gave us a good orientation of all activities and opportunities and also offered countless services already included. I would say that 90% of our weekly activities were covered by the Card. In addition to the organization, it makes sense to choose a centrally located village for accommodation in Ötztal. Covering almost 70 kilometers, the valley is very long and some stretches can sometimes take a while. If you don't have a car, you can firmly rely on a very well-developed bus and rail network.
Traveling with your family in Ötztal
A week full of experiences for young and old
Together with my family I spent seven wonderful days in Ötztal. In this article I try to capture the mountains, the culture, the incredible range of opportunities for holiday experiences and exploration with children. As a mountain sports enthusiast and blogger, I know the area and its climbing, hiking and skiing spots very well - therefore it was all the better to discover the valley from a completely different angle.
Preparation and planning
Day 1 – Panoramic views and Tirolean cuisine at Brandalm
We briefly restore energy after our arrival journey. Then we grab our hiking boots and off we go up to Brandalm in perfect sunshine. The ascent with children takes just 45 to 60 minutes from Längenfeld. Scenic Brandalm is idyllically located amid meadows and embedded in picturesque mountain scenery. The lovely windows decorated with flowers and the original architectural style make my heart beat faster. The kids are enthusiastic about the small petting zoo while we adults are amazed by the fantastic panorama. A delicious "Kaiserschmarren" (scrambled pancake) is followed by a nice chat with the hut owner. The children are happy too. On our way back we take the well-maintained forest trail leading down to the valley floor. A great program that actually offers everything you would expect for the first day.
Day 2 – Culture you can touch: Ötzi Village and Birds of Prey Park in Umhausen
After an extensive breakfast we drive to Umhausen and visit the Birds of Prey Park. In a small arena with a tremendous view of the valley we attend a very child-friendly show that takes about half an hour. Two falconers present different birds, explain their origin and meaning and let the huge beauties fly freely for a while. It's incredible how important falconry was and still is for the valley and its nature. Boredom is literally unknown here. On the contrary, in the end all children want to take a photo with one of the birds.
Straightforward we head through a small gate directly to the neighboring Ötzi Village. All fear that the children would get bored in the museum is quickly forgotten. The entire village is a huge surprise. In every corner there is something to discover about the Neolithic Age. And what's best, we can even participate: Lighting a fire with natural materials, petrology, and many more highlights are included. We have never been so close to our ancestors.
After so much culture and discoveries, we take a detour to the Fun Park in Huben near Längenfeld in the afternoon. Just the right thing to wind down. Huge inflatable water slides promise unlimited fun - plus countless trampolines and climbing frames. The playground is clearly arranged and not too large, offering just the right entertainment program especially for the youngest ones.
Day 3 – WIDIVERSUM adventure playground and Oetz splish-splash fun pool
Today we take a ride on Acherkogel mountain gondola up to Hochoetz. It makes a truly special experience: The awe-inspiring panorama of Oetz opens up in front of us. Once at the top, the children can hardly be kept under control. We make out the huge WIDIVERSUM adventure playground from afar. Walking past the grazing cows we enjoy a nice cup of coffee and let the children explore the really wonderful playground. Both big and small children will have fun here at numerous activity stations where puzzles are solved and treasures can be discovered. Of course half a day is not enough.
In the afternoon we cool off in the Oetz adventure pool, one of the many outdoor swimming pools within the valley. Of course there are also water slides. The paddling pool for the youngest ones is ideal and offers enough space for everyone. Anyone who likes can play on the beach volleyball court. Relax, unwind and cool down.
Day 4 – Breakfast at one of Ötztal's oldest huts and wellness at its finest
Our day starts very early today with a 45-minute morning hike. Perhaps one of the most beautiful moments of the entire week: The splendid view of Hochsölden in the early morning, when the fog is still moving through the valley and the sun is slowly making its way. After getting up we drive to Hochsölden by car, from there we hike to one of the oldest huts in the valley - Gampe Thaya. Here we enjoy an original mountain breakfast, completely focused on local products. It's like a dream. A short walk through the old wood-paneled dining parlor makes my mountain heart beat faster.
After a hearty snack we set off for one of the highlights in Ötztal: The Aqua Dome thermal spa baths. The huge pool area really offers something for all ages and preferences. For the little ones there is a large children's pool and exciting slides - for the older ones a remarkable sauna area and a number of relaxation pools. Immerse yourself in soothing water with Ötztal's mighty mountain backdrop always in sight.
Day 5 – Action, nature, water
Friday is all about adventure. We are warmly welcomed to AREA 47, Europe's largest outdoor adventure park, and start with a children's canyoning tour in the morning. It is strongly recommended to register a couple of days in advance as the tours are often fully booked. You don't need any previous experience. The guides take care of equipment, transport and all necessary safety measures. One adult should definitely take part in the tour.
Day 6 – Tranquility in original style: Lake Piburger See
They say "the best comes at the end". And indeed, the inconspicuous, small mountain lake was a true surprise. Without expectations we are looking for a quiet end to our week after all the great experiences of the past few days. The hike from Habichen to lake Piburger See takes about 1.5 hours, it represents a really beautiful destination. We hike through pristine nature and wonderful forests, rock and moss. It is a fantastic walk and a unique experience for all of us. The lake appears out of nowhere behind the huge trees - a natural spectacle while gazing at the picture-book lake right in front of us.
We stop at the small inn and enjoy the great view until we finally start our return hike, and we are surprised again: We cross the wildly rushing waters of Ötztaler Ache over the Wellerbrücke bridge, a spectacle that is second to none.
Day 7 – Departure and conclusion
One last time breakfast at our hotel near Längenfeld and we already have to pack our things. We experienced so many beautiful things that we will talk about it for days and months - we would love to come back!
The range of possibilities within the valley is so immense that you don't have to do an activity twice. The hospitality and open-mindedness of the Tirolean hosts are certainly one of the main reasons why we would like to come back. Thanks, dear Ötztal. David
Excursion destinations and leisure tips for families:
Guest author David Lochner
David is a passionate hiker and mountaineer and has found his second home in the Alps. Several times a year he conquers the peaks and summits. In his favorite place in Ötztal, he finds everything he needs to be a happy guy: Mountains and tranquility. Born in Leipzig, he has recorded his tours as a blogger on his YouTube channel or otherwise written extensively about them.