The ultimate European (road trip) destination for mountain enthusiasts, with scenic routes, tranquil and diverse nature, stunning views, pituresque chalets, and some of the most authentic hotels Austria has to offer. But also adventure, an abundance of outdoor activities, wellness and typical gastronomy, all combined in 1 area, that's Tyrol!
This region of Western Austria is the perfect place for food-, outdoor- and heritage lovers, in winter and summer. With over 500 peaks and 600 glaciers along the main Alpine ridge it's perfect for winter activities, but also has much to offer in summer.
Tyrol is one of the ‘regions of delight’ because of their typical culinary specialties and experiences offered. With good restaurants, serving high-quality regional cuisine, many 4 and 5 star hotels offering Spa and wellness facilities and a range of activities and events held throughout the season.
That’s why last month I traveled to the Paznauntal in Austria with Communigate PR and a very diverse group of journalists / fellow food- and travel enthusiasts, to experience what this region and the towns Ischgl, Kappl and Galtür have to offer in summertime.
Highlights of Paznaun-Tyrol
We also visited this specific area of Tyrol for the opening of the Kulinarischer Jakobsweg. A renowned culinary event held in the Paznauntal yearly since 2008. The perfect way to combine hiking and mountain adventures with authentic Tiroler cuisine prepared by topchefs!
Read all about it on: Culinary St.Jacobsway, and get an impression through this gallery:
Culinary St. Jacobsway
This special happening consists of 11 gourmet events taking place on different locations from the 10th of July until the 18th of September.
You can join 5 special dinners and 6 different hikes to mountain huts including lunch throughout the valley. Each serving a signature dish, prepared by a topchef with typical local ingredients, which will stay on the restaurant’s menu the whole season for everyone to taste.
We joined the first hike to the Almstüberl with Martin Sieberer, chef of 5 star hotel Trofana Royal. We took the gondola from Kappl up the mountain to do a more steep, yet accessible hike to the Alpine restaurant in about 2 hours, together with the chef.
Although the group was quite big, there was enough space for everyone. And I took my time to take in the scenic views and the many photo opportunities along the way, as you can see in this gallery:
As a photography lover the beautiful lakes, panoramic views, local chapel, old dairy farm, Alpine flowers, cows and small waterfalls along this route were just too hard to resist!
And although the hike was challenging with the sunny weather, we were highly rewarded with delicious food and stunning views in an amazing atmosphere, with traditional live music at the mountain hut!
The ultimate way to experience the many unique things Tyrol has to offer all at once. I can highly recommend combining one of these culinary hikes with your visit to this area. Luckily it's still possible to join one until the 18th of September.
How to get there
The Paznaun valley is located in the western tip of Austria, reached by car from Amsterdam in about 9,5 hours, a very convenient and safe way to travel at the moment.
But by plane is of course much faster, as you can fly directly to Innsbruck from Amsterdam in just 1,5 hours, to get to Paznauntal in 1 hour by car or bus. These flights are however limited, therefore we flew to Zurich, Switzerland, which offers more direct flights from the Netherlands. This also took us 1,5 hours, but 3 hours by bus to get to Ischgl in Paznauntal.
For all info about the current Covid-19 regulations and restrictions I recommend checking this page of the Tyrol site in advance, to stay up-to-date and the travel restrictions from your homeland of course.
If you do decide to make a road trip out of it and have more time to spare, I would certainly advise combining Tyrol with a visit to the Dolomites. This stunning Unesco area is just a 3 hour drive away and a real must visit. Find out why in this South Tyrol blog.
You can also drive 4 hours to Como in North Italy, which is worth it too! Read all about my Como hotel stay & tips.
Fun summer things to do in Paznauntal - Tyrol
We stayed overnight in Ischgl, a renowned ski resort which, connected with the ski slopes of Samnaun across the border in Switzerland, form one of the largest winter sports areas in the Alps. This, combined with the abundance of facilities and events held here throughout the year, make it very popular.
The town can get crowded from November until March, but in the summer months it’s a whole different vibe. Ischgl is located at an altitude of 1,377 meters and from the town's center you can take the gondola directly up to the Verwall or Silvretta Mountains.
Most hotel stays here include the Silvretta Card, from May until October, enabling you to use public transport and the cable cars for free.
In summer many people come to Paznauntal for hiking, rock climbing or mountain biking. And the abundance of scenic routes in the valley, surrounded by 3 different mountains and no less than 1,000 kilometers of special hiking paths spread out over the area, make it hard to choose!
As our visit to Paznauntal was quite brief this time we only had the chance to experience 2 hikes, one starting from the intermediate station of the Silvrettabahn and the other from Kappl.
The hikes were easy to moderate leading you to different Alpine huts where you can stop for drinks, snacks or lunch, while enjoying views like this:
One of the walks I didn’t experience myself, yet is very nice is the:
Walk of Lyrics
A themed route of 3 kilometers, part of a 7,5 km trail, leading past musical art objects, based on the artists that perform on the Top of the Mountain concerts in Ischgl each winter. The hike passes by waterfalls and a photogenic suspension bridge.
I however chose a faster and more adventurous way to get back to the valley:
From the first stop of the Silvrettabahn at 1,638 meters it’s possible to soar down to Ischgl along a 2 km-long steel rope, 50 meters above the Kitzloch ravine.
The Skyfly is open for daredevils in winter and summer and allows you to go down in less than 3 minutes, reaching top speeds up to 85 kms per hour.
You can do this together or apart, with 2 steel ropes next to each other. Something I really enjoyed because of views like this:
Find all details about this thrilling experience on Ischgl-Skyfly.
The many stunning Alpine lakes make Austria and especially Tyrol extra photogenic and unique. One of my favourite activities on this trip was our hike around Kops Stausee. A bright blue lake located near Galtür, 30 minutes driving from Ischgl.
The route and settings along the way are stunning already, with high green mountain slopes and beauty everywhere you look!
It's actually a reservoir bordered by a 1,800 meter high dam, which you can walk round in about 1,5 - 2 hours. The Kops Seerundweg is one of the many routes you can follow around the lake.
As a non-fervent hiker I found it very enjoyable, as the paths are quite flat and the route has plenty of benches and picnic spots along the way.
The scenic views lined with purple lupine flowers, the bright blue water peeping through the trees and the dam at the end are very impressive. It felt quite humbling to walk on this man-made structure, built in 7 years, looking down a wall of almost 2 kms height!
Kops Stausee is highly photogenic and requires many photo stops, which might have annoyed our guide, but was well-worth the hold up, as can see in these results😊
Where to stay
And to top it all off, we stayed for 2 nights at Austria’s only 5 star superior resort with 7 Gault-Millau toques: Trofana Royal.
This characteristic hotel is conveniently located in the center of Ischgl, near the ski slopes and gondolas. Trofana Royal has a big offering of suites, spacious rooms and an abundance of facilities, including 2,500 m2 Spa and wellness.
Wellness at Trofana Royal
With a spacious indoor- and outdoor pool, heated whirlpools with scenic mountain views, several saunas, steam baths, an extensive outdoor sunbathing area with several terraces. A big offering of treatments and a fitness area, the hotel has everything you need to completely relax and wind down after an adventurous active day.
5 star gastronomy
For breakfast, lunch and dinner you will also be spoilt at Trofana Royal! The 2 in-house restaurants serve haute cuisine, prepared by topchef Martin Sieberer, which we were treated to every day.
For the opening of the Culinary Jacobsweg Event we experienced an extensive 7-course dinner on the night of arrival, showcasing the award-winning gastronomic palet of this resort well.
See for yourself why renowned hotel and gourmet experts regularly rank Trofana Royal among the best in the Alpine region:
Convinced yet? Find more info about this luxurious hotel and book your stay directly on:
Did you know this Austrian region already and have you ever been to Tyrol?
If you want to explore more of Europe in a welcoming region, with typical gastronomy, culinary delights, stunning mountains, an abundance of outdoor activities, but also heritage, culture and wellness, then Paznauntal, near the border of Switzerland and Italy, is the place to be!
Let me know if you need more tips here or find me on social media via the icons at the bottom of this page.