Alps of Austria
What an interesting country Austria is! Almost every part of the country is considered as an Alpine region, and if you found a part that is not the Alps itself, then, Dear Reader, you’re standing at the Alpine foothills. Nature lovers dream, isn’t it?
Alps of Austria is the central part of Alpine region, and with the highest peak of nearly 4 kilometers Austria is probably one of the highest countries in Europe. And though whole country is like one big mountain range, there are still two specific regions for mountain lovers, that needs to be highlighted. It’s the famous provinces of Tirol and Salzburg.
Both province of Salzburg and province of Tirol holds not only spectacular mountainous nature, but also worldwide famous majestic cities like Salzburg in the province of the same name, or Innsbruck in Tirol. Also, both of them are a Europe’s top destinations for skiing in winter, and hiking in the summer.
Nevertheless, the one that we had a pleasure to be charmed by is Tirol, and this is the province from where our major Alpine discoveries where made!
If there is a heart of Tirol, it’s Innsbruck! Capital city of Tirol is an architectural beauty completely surrounded by the mountains. Wherever you go, Austrian Alps will follow.
History of Innsbruck dates back to the early Middle Ages, but the prosperity of the city begun in the late 15th century, when Innsbruck was named a capital of Tirol and a residence of Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian I. While emperor resided here, Innsbruck was a political and cultural capital of Europe. In other words, Innsbruck was the city that had to look flawlessly in order to represented a huge power of whole empire.
Later on, Innsbruck became a capital of winter sports. City hosted two Winter Olympics (in 1964 and 1976), two Paralympic Games and first Youth Olympic Games. To sum up, extraordinary geographical landscape, rich history and cultural significance together with modern achievements makes Innsbruck a must-see places in the heart of the majestic Alps!
Paznauntal Valley is the place where we started and ended our Alpine expedition! It’s the westernmost part of Tirol, which steep sides and three international skiing resorts of Ischgl, Kappl and Galtür makes it a perfect Alpine skiing destination.
Paznauntal Valley offers a huge variety of skiing trails. With one skipass we had an opportunity to try them in 5 different towns of Paznauntal valley: in Galtür, Kappl, See, the famous Ischgl and even in the Swiss resort of Samnaun. Though we didn’t make it to Galtür, we checked all the other four. Of course, we haven’t been to anything similar to Ischgl before! It’s probably impossible to try every skiing trail in this resort. There is a huuuge variety of wide, long trails for different level of skiing skills. And if it sometimes could seem a bit crowded, you just need to pick a bit distant and remote trails where you’ll find as much space, as you need.
Anyway, besides Ischgl we really enjoyed Kappl, the town where we were staying. Though the variety of trails is nothing compared to Ischgl, it still is an international skiing resort. It is peaceful, cozy, has everything you need for a nice day on the slopes. What is more, we got the impression that Kappl is a perfect destination for beginners and families with kids. Trails for learning are great and there are a lot of attractions for little skiers.
All in all, Paznauntal Valley left us a great impression. Seems that you could never be bored here!
Krimmler Waterfall is located at High Tauern National Park in Salzburg region, and with the total height of 380 meters is the highest waterfall in whole Austria. Waterfall consist of three main cascades that are like three stages for climbing to the top of it.
By the time we reached it, Krimmler Waterfall had just one third of its power. That was due to the fact that it was still the end of winter and this force of nature was just getting awaken from the sleep it was put to during the cold season.
Despite that, we think, it really doesn’t make the experience any worse. It is so magical to see the path of water, as a sign of spring, breaking through the ice and snow and showing how the nature awakens once again. You just can feel that in the air, which was as fresh as you could imagine, making it seem like your lungs could explode from a deeper breath.
Achen lake is located in the Northern part of Tirol region and with a length of 9.4 kilometers is considered to be the largest lake in Austria.
This place was also just amazing. The beauty of a crystal clear lake, which according to Wikipedia, is of almost drinking-quality, surrounded by Alps and forests… It does make wonders to your mind – it allows you to forget about everything that worries you and you just let yourself drown in this moment of complete relaxation.
It’s hard to describe this peacefulness you experience in this place, better to just go there yourself and feel it by yourself!