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Tyrol, Your Next Summer Getaway

With its idyllic Alpine villages, towering mountains and age-old traditions, the Austrian region of Tyrol makes for an ideal summer getaway. Plus, we recommend five festival dates to add to your itinerary

Stretching along the western side of Austria, sandwiched between Bavaria and Italy, Tyrol is one of the country’s nine federal states. Bounded by Salzburgerland to the east and Voralberg to the west, the state covers much of the Eastern Alps and is divided into two parts: North Tyrol and East Tyrol. Home to rugged peaks, picturesque valleys and rolling mountain pastures, Tyrol is renowned for its skiing, snowboarding and après ski in winter. However, the region offers plenty of scope for outdoor adventure and relaxation in the warmer months, too, when travellers can enjoy a variety of hiking trails, traditional festivals, gastronomic offerings and rich culture, all wrapped up in genuinely warm Austrian hospitality.

Anyone with a love of the outdoors — including hikers, cyclists, walkers and climbers — will fall under the spell of Tyrol’s intoxicating mountain scenery

Anyone with a love of the outdoors — including hikers, cyclists, walkers and climbers — will fall under the spell of Tyrol’s intoxicating mountain scenery.

Climber with orange helmet sitting on Ellmauer Halt at sunrise, Wilder Kaiser, Ellmauer Halt, Tyrol,

Yet, there’s something for everyone here: for those who love to seek out culture, there are plenty of experiences to get involved with in the historic old town and summer festivals of Innsbruck, the Tyrolean capital, while gastronomes should head to Kitzbühel to enjoy a variety of classic and modern cuisine, served in an array of settings ranging from mountain huts to traditional inns and fine dining restaurants.

Cyclists can enjoy more than 600 miles of marked road cycling trails, not to mention some 3,500 miles of mountain bike trails

Granite giants, roaring waterfalls and gorges, meandering rivers and mountain lakes — the most fascinating sights in Tyrol are all Mother Nature’s creations. But it’s the region’s sublime mountain scenery — such as the Kitzbühel Alps, Wilder Kaiser, Ötztal Alps, Zillertal Alps, the high valley of the Wildschönau, and the High Tauern (which includes the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps) — that attracts families and adventurers alike.

Innsbruck, Tirol/ AUSTRIA July 9 2009: Cityscape of Innsbruck at Inn river promenade. (Tirol Austria) In background Karwendel mountain alps.

Visitors can enjoy fantastic hiking trails, from short, gentle day walks to extended mountain hikes, such as the 250-mile Eagle Trail, which traverses the whole of Tyrol. Cyclists can also enjoy more than 600 miles of marked road cycling trails, not to mention some 3,500 miles of mountain bike trails.

Granite giants, roaring waterfalls and gorges, meandering rivers and mountain lakes — the most fascinating sights in Tyrol are all Mother Nature’s creations

Innsbruck offers a city escape with a unique blend of urban fun and Alpine flair. From the charms of its historic old town to the opulence of the Imperial Palace, this is a destination not to be missed. Make sure you visit the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), built around 500 years ago by the Emperor Maximilian I; the Hofkirche (Court Church) which houses Maximilian’s tomb; and the Hofgarten (Imperial Gardens). Beyond Innsbruck, you’ll want to explore some of the valleys, such as Zillertal, and quaint towns, including Kitzbühel, St Anton am Arlberg and St Johann. An excellent public transport network means Tyrol’s highlights and mountain areas are easily accessible by local bus.

Beautiful view of Schlegeis Stausee on mountain hiking path trail. Zillertal, Austria, Europe.

Tyrol is a region with year-round appeal. If it’s world-class hiking you’re after, come in the summer, which begins in early June and runs through to late August. Wildflowers are at their most colourful in June and mountain huts are generally open between the end of May and October.

St. Pankraz church in an alpine landscape in the snow surrounded by clouds and fog on a hill with a sublime view over Zillertal valley with the Alps mountains in the background in Fuegen, Austria in winter.

By Rudolf Abraham

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