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Tirol – the Alpine Heart of Austria

Innsbruck, Tyrol
Photo taken by Stephan Mosel | flickr.  Innsbruck, Tyrol

Tirol is the land of Europe’s highest mountains. Lots of different activities and entertainment opportunities make this Austrian region practically an amusement park for hikers, skiers and nature enthusiasts.

This is what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote about Tirol way back in 1829: “Here I have finally found a place of quiet, a place of peace, the like of which I could have only wished for”. Still to this day, Tirol is a place where many Europeans look for tranquillity and an escape from a pernicious tempo of life.

Stubaital, Tyrol
Photo taken by Sonja and Jens | flickr.  Stubaital, Tyrol

Tirol has over 500 peaks higher than 3 km. Furthermore, there are more than 600 glaciers, gleaming beyond the green meadows, and many cosy cabins for visitors.

Upon arrival, enthusiasts of nature and entertainment in the outdoors are often lost as to what to do first. In summer, the most popular activities are hiking, mountain climbing, rock climbing and cycling. The mountain slopes are washed over by clear rivers, where you can catch some trout, and the cavities are full of beautiful lakes.

Christmas in Solden, Tyrol
Photo taken by Cristian Bortes | flickr.  Christmas in Solden, Tyrol

In winter, the region becomes a veritable skiing centre. Tirol’s towns and villages are famous all around Austria for their traditions, celebrations and cultural attractions. This allows skiers to enjoy not only winter sports, but also the food and the deep traditions of Austrian highlanders.

The region has over 80 skiing territories, connected to towns by countless roads and lifts. It is also home to more than 300 skiing schools, meant not only for beginners, but also for professional skiers.

Click here to read more about Tirol’s best ski resorts.

The capital of Tirol, Innsbruck, a cosy little city, located at the foot of some high mountains, and home to over 120,000 people. It is a famous winter sports centre, which has even hosted the Olympics a few times. The other cities in the region are much smaller, home to 7,000 - 17,000 people.

Innsbruck
Photo taken by wikimedia.org.  Innsbruck

Tirol’s food is perhaps the only thing that’s not as exceptional and gourmet as in many of the neighbouring countries. For ages, the region was quite poor, and the severe mountain conditions gave rise to a very simple menu dominated by dairy products, flour and lard. Therefore, even though you can now find excellent Italian and Austrian dishes here, the region’s culinary heritage itself is certainly not something that attracts travellers.

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