Walking through the snow
Full speed ahead and downhill on the ski slope - probably your body needs a break although you are on vacation. Winter walking ranks among the most popular activities off the beaten ski slopes. 250 kilometers of signposted and cleared winter walking routes are spread between Haiming, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and Vent - you will be spoiled for choice.
Family first - hiking with kith and kin
In Ötztal's superb outdoors there are just the right trails for children, parents and grandparents. Depending on the stamina and age of the kids, families can start with easy and leisurely circular walks.
The "Rotes Wandl" hike in Hochoetz, for example, makes a perfect beginners' route to explore the mountain landscape step by step in the snow. This 40-minute walk through the picturesque stone pine forest towards the viewing platform is also suitable for smaller children who still prefer shorter walking rounds.
More experienced families should try the one-hour Drei-Kirchen-Blick loop tour. Walking through Sautens past the church, the trail travels to a fabulous lookout point and continues along a forest road that takes you back to the village in about one hour. Also in the rear Ötztal parents and kids find some fun-filled routes: in Obergurgl a path leads into the ancient stone pine forest towards Schönwieshütte mountain inn, another hike in Sölden follows the trail to cozy Stallwiesalm mountain hut.
For all mountain aficionados
Those who are surefooted also off the beaten track and already have some mountain climbing experience should head for Ötztal's longer but all the more impressive circular walking tours, especially in winter. For example, the Ochsengarten loop trail leads - in about four hours - on a slightly ascending forest route to Feldringalm vie Feldringerböden area to Marlstein and back. Another quite challenging winter hiking trail in Obergurgl travels from the base station of Hochgurgl mountain gondola via Isse meadows and along Ötztaler Ache mountain brook to Obergurgl. Great advantage: the training effect on the snowy ground is considerable.