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Embracing the Great Outdoors in the Austrian AlpsApril 27, 2015 By: Austrian Tourist Office
When the snow melts, the Austrian Alps transform into glorious summer destinations with majestic mountains and valleys made for hiking and awe-inspiring views all around. The charming towns in the Alpine region of Tirol welcome their guests with complimentary hiking programs and more to make exploring nature’s glory easy for all.
The best way to enjoy the Alpine scenery is to take off on a hike where beauty surrounds at every turn. Some of the greatest hiking trails pass though the Tirol region and invite to hike, walk, or even stroll through these beautiful mountains.
The 4.4 mile-long Zirbenweg (stone pine path) above Innsbruck at more than 6,500 feet above sea level, for example, is a gentle hike that will take about 2.5 hours along mostly flat paths through the Patscherkofel-Zirmberg nature reserve, with panoramic view across the Inn valley.
The Zirbenweg is part of Innsbruck’s free Mountain Hiking Program offered by the Innsbruck Tourist Office to its visitors of more than one night in Innsbruck or one of its 25 holiday villages, surrounding the city. Starting the end of May, the program includes mountain hikes with certified mountaineering guides, free hiking bus, rental hiking boots and backpacks, 40 different itineraries and close to 760 miles of mountain hiking trails from gentle to difficult.
Summer complimentary offers
Three Tyrolean towns that should not be missed during the Alpine explorations are St. Anton am Arlberg, Sölden in the Ötztal Valley, and Kitzbühel.
Just over 60 miles from Innsbruck, travelers should begin their journey in St. Anton am Arlberg, which offers more than 185 miles of marked trails for walking and hiking in the summer. Visitors staying at least one night here can take advantage of the “St. Anton Summer Ticket”—valid from June 24 to Sept. 27, which offers an entire family introductory hikes or e-bike tours, complimentary greens fee for golfers, admission to Arlberg-well.com, walks by torchlight, participation in the children’s program and free travel on local and hikers' buses within the districts of St. Anton and the scheduled bus service to Landeck. Free use of St. Anton’s cable cars for a day is also part of the deal, and one must is the Galzigbahn cable car up to the top of Valluga Mountain. At 9,222 feet, it is the highest peak in the region and offers the best view of the Alps of four countries—Austria, Italy, Germany and Switzerland.
A perfect way to relieve the sore muscles from hiking is to spend time at St. Anton’s wellness and spa center. It features an 82-foot outdoor pool, heat sauna and steam rooms, and spa services.
Sauna Baths in St. Anton am Arlberg - Sankt Anton
World's longest suspension bridge
Almost 60 miles from both St. Anton and Innsbruck, visitors can challenge themselves with a walk of a different kind. Reutte’s highline179—the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge at more than 1,300 feet—connects the Ehrenberg Ruins with nearby Fort Claudia, a fortification on the opposite mountain ridge, at an elevation of more than 360 feet.
This article is brought to you by the Austria Tourism Board, and was produced in partnership with Travel Agent Central's sales team. Travel Agent Central's editorial team played no part in developing the article.