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Das Zillertal in Österreich, Bild: anitasstudio / shutterstock

Favourite country Austria – Jenny & Olli from Far-from-Home

We visit no other country as often as Austria. More precisely, the province of Tyrol. Every time we cross the border from Germany to Austria, it feels like coming home. Not only the mountains and nature, but also the people and the activities there captivate us anew every time.

We are Jenny (27) and Olli (29) from Rietberg in East Westphalia. Since 2013 we have been discovering the world together and since October 2019 we have been sharing our travels virtually on https://far-from-home.de in addition to our actual jobs as physiotherapists and store managers. In addition to many destinations in Europe such as Madeira, Mallorca, Croatia, the Netherlands and Austria, we fulfilled a small dream with a Thailand round trip at the end of 2019. Despite many new countries that are still waiting for us, we are always drawn to Tyrol in Austria.

South tyrol
South Tyrol is a worthwhile destination in summer as well as in winter, Image: Jenny Sturm / shutterstock

Tyrol is an area in the Alps in western Austria and northern Italy. With an area of almost 26,000 km² and 1.3 million inhabitants, Tyrol is the number 1 holiday destination in the country. What started for us in 2015 with a quite spontaneously planned vacation and an even more spontaneous Zugspitze ascent (2962m) has now become a kind of firm tradition for us. Find out for yourself in this report whether Tyrol is also something for you.

The Ötztal – just the right thing for action and sports lovers

Ötztal Alps
Ötztal Alps, Image: Helena Krenkova / shutterstock

The Ötztal is a side valley in Tyrol. Here you will find everything that brings adrenaline and is fun. In summer, you can choose between mountain biking, mountaineering, canoeing or a day full of action in the outdoor leisure area 47. Adrenaline junkies will find what they are looking for here. 250 “three-thousand-metre peaks” with more than 1,600km of hiking trails are waiting to be conquered by you. In winter, the valley offers you the full range of winter sports. But also the aprè-ski is not neglected here by the various alpine huts or clubs in the village. The offer is perfectly rounded off by the “Ötztal Card“, which gives you a wide variety of discounts throughout the valley.

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At that time, we pitched our tent on a campsite directly in Sölden . For us, this was the perfect starting point for the ascent of the Kreuzspitze (3,455m). From Sölden you can reach many sights quickly by car. Approx. 40 minutes to Area 47, approx. 30 minutes to the Stuibenfall or you can take the cable car directly in the village and drive to ice Q, one of the filming locations of the James Bond film “Spectre”. Where people eat, shop or hike during the day, there are many opportunities to go out in the evening. The selection ranges from smaller clubs to pubs and beer gardens.

In peace and full of tradition – the Zillertal

But Tyrol can also do something completely different. On the other side of the Brenner Pass, about 40km east of Innsbruck, you will find the Zillertal. In contrast to the other valleys, this one rises only slightly. Far away from action and turmoil, you can unwind here. Although you will also find 1,400km of hiking trails or 1,200km of bike routes here, a different pace applies here. People come here to enjoy. The highest point here is 3,509m on the Hochfeiler. Whether hiking, biking, climbing or golfing – the magnificent natural scenery of the Zillertal will not leave anyone lazy for long. And here, too, you get the Zillertal Activecard as an extra to your overnight stay.

Mayrhofen
Mayrhofen in the Zillertal, Image: Roman Babakin / shutterstock

The city of Mayrhofen is particularly recommended. It is located in the western half of the valley, but just like Sölden, it offers good accessibility to many other sights through the Talstraße. The city of Fügen is only 20 minutes away by car, the Murmelland just under 40 minutes and the Ahorn with its 2,000m can even be reached directly from Mayrhofen by cable car. From here you have a great view over a large part of the Zillertal.

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Feasts as far as the eye can see

After a long day (or even during it), a refreshment is of course not to be missed. And that’s exactly what every Tyrolean seems to have in the cradle. We are particularly fond of the traditional Tyrolean dishes. Our favourite is a portion of Gröstl in the evening after a long tour, accompanied by a Zillertal wheat beer, Kaiserschmarrn as dessert and a Swiss pine schnapps as a crowning glory afterwards – that’s what dinner should look like. Or would you prefer a platter snack for an afternoon snack? Then you can look forward to cheese, bacon, smoked sausages, lard and fresh farmhouse bread.

On our travels, we are always particularly interested in regionally brewed beers. The varieties from the Zillertal brewery are particularly popular here. When Olli likes to treat himself to a wheat beer in the evening, Jenny likes to drink a shandy. But this brewery also has other special beers such as the Zillertaler Tyroler or the Zillertal Gauder Bock in its range.

Our conclusion

Even if we have to explain every time why we don’t fly to “Malle” or other “destinations for young people”, Tyrol is and remains our second home. Life is a step slower here and that’s exactly the right thing to do at this time. Since we like to be out and about in the mountains, Tyrol with its diverse valleys is made for us. Everything just fits here. Mountains, landscape, delicious food and incredibly hospitable inhabitants make every stay a unique experience – and addicted to the next trip to Austria