I did quite a bit of hiking during my time in Tyrol, the mountainous province of Austria in which I lived. Because of the terrain my hikes were never flat and were normally strenuous, but as a result I got to see some magnificent views. Here are some pictures, descriptions, and reviews of six hikes I took while living in Tyrol.
The first of these hikes is one I took in the Fall when the leaves were at their most colorful. It was not a very long or difficult hike, and I would say it took me at the most two hours from the time I left to the time I arrived back home. I took this hike in the village of Thaur (pronounced “tower,” basically), which is a few kilometers outside of Innsbruck. There is a path I took to Thaur from Rum, the village next door and where I lived. Then I walked through to the edge of Thaur where a path goes up the mountain towards the forest.
On my path I came across some cows relaxing.
In the forest are the Stages of the Cross, which are 12 stations that show the stages of Jesus’ life. I came across these a number of times in Austria on various paths.
After the stations, the path exits the forest and leads to a chapel, called the Sankt Romedikapelle.
Here’s the view from the chapel.
The path goes upwards a bit further from the chapel and reaches the ruins of a castle from the 12th century.
Here is a view of the chapel from near the ruins.
Some horses I saw on my way back.
The most arduous of my hikes was, coincidentally, the day after I took the one in Thaur. This hike was up the Nordkette, which is the mountain on Innsbruck’s north side. Because of how exhausting it was I didn’t take as many pictures, but nonetheless I was able to get four good photos.
This hike I took with a group of people from my program. We met and took the bus to a village called Hungerburg, which sits on the mountain above Innsbruck. It was here we started our hike.
Here is the view of Innsbruck from Hungerburg
A picture I took in the middle of my hike, probably as an excuse to stop for a moment
I didn’t reach the summit of the Nordkette, because getting to the summit is very strenuous and it is very rocky. However, I did reach the Seegrube, where most people stop. The Seegrube is a restaurant near the summit. It is also where the gondola up the mountain ends.
Views from the Seegrube
After hiking all the way up to the Seegrube and eating a meal, I was too tired to hike down so I took the gondola.
This next hike I did not take until March. A friend and I went hiking in Kitzbühel, a town about 100 km east of Innsbruck that is well-known for its ski resort and a skiing race that happens there every year. When we went in March there was still a bit of snow. We thought there wouldn’t be any problems with the hiking paths, but apparently the hiking paths are also the ski paths, so we weren’t able to get as far up the mountain as we wanted.
Kitzbühel from the mountain directly south
Eventually, we had to turn back, so we decided to cross the valley and hike on the northern side for a bit. We didn’t go very high up that mountain either, but we got to see the city from the northern side and walk through a neighborhood on the mountain.
This next hike I took in May, when I finally reached the summit of the Patscherkofel. The Patscherkofel is the mountain on the southern side of Innsbruck. Though it was taxing, it was less steep and more winding than hiking on the Nordkette, so it took a long time but was more enjoyable.
This time I went with two of my friends. We met at 9:00 am at my friend’s apartment, the three of us had breakfast together, and then we headed out. We took a bus up to Igls, a village up the mountain from Innsbruck, and started our hike from there.
A house we saw shortly after beginning our hike
On the summit
View of the mountains to the east
View to the west
Back in Igls
Hiking up the Patscherkofel was definitely my favorite hike.
This next hike was on my last day at my school in Schwaz. Schwaz is a town about 30 kilometers east of Innsbruck. Up the mountain above Schwaz sits the castle Schloss Freundsberg. There is a restaurant and museum inside, both of which I enjoyed, but not as much as the views I got from the castle.
Schloss Freundsberg from below
This final hike I took on the same day as the hike to Schloss Freundsberg. My roommates and I took this hike together as a going-away gift for me, and afterwards we had dinner together. We hiked through what is called the Wolfsklamm, which is a gorge across the valley from Schwaz in a town called Stans.
We walked through the gorge and up the mountain, eventually reaching this monastery, called St. Georgenberg.
After descending back into the town of Stans, and after it had been raining, we saw a rainbow, and I got to see one of the most beautiful sights that I saw in my entire time living in Austria.
Because of the landscape and beauty of Tyrol there are so many great places to go hiking. Even though I was able to cover a lot of the great hiking spots in Tyrol, there are still so many places there where I would love to go hiking. For now, though, I am satisfied with the hiking experiences I had there, and I would highly recommend a visit to Tyrol for anyone who enjoys hiking and amazing views.