Seefeld

Splurge in upscale ambience!

Seefeld knows how to unwind and manages to convey that spirit like few other resort communities. Residents of this former Olympic village know a thing or two about loosening up and it’ll rub off one way or another. Inevitably, locals and visitors are bound to meet – may be while window-shopping along town’s lively pedestrian zone, during an enjoyable, not-to-be-missed visit to the casino or in any of the many restaurants, bars, cafes or clubs. For visitors in search of physical activity 279 km of exquisitely-prepared, award-winning x-country tracks (skating or classic) beckon pros and ambitious amateurs alike. The ski areas, Rosshütte and Gschwandtkopf, are right around the corner and while meeting modern-day expectations still retain that cozy Tyrolean flair. In fact, winter sports afficionados would be hard-pressed to run out of options in Seefeld given the breadth of available outdoor opportunities ranging from 142 km of plowed winter hiking trails to skating rinks, tobogganing runs, and so forth. While Seefeld looms large in most people’s heads as a top-notch winter destination, it’s worth a visit as a first-class summer destination as well. The high country of the surrounding mountains is easily accessible in any direction by nearby cable-cars or ski lifts. While you won’t be the only one trying to get away, 650 km of mountain trails ranging from easy to challenging will eventually get you off the beaten path. To boot, Seefeld’s Tourism Council has dedicated a „running & nordic-walking arena“ inter-connecting 266 km of well-maintained track around town. For those, inclined to maintain a lower heart rate, the renowned 18-hole competition golf course Seefeld-Wildmoos hails or, if one fancies a game right off the doorstep the 9-hole Golfacademy beckons smack in the center of the community. Water is not to be missed in Seefeld either – neither indoor nor outdoor. The sizeable Olympia sports & congress center proves particularly popular during winter and ambitious swimmers while visitors and locals enjoy cooling off at the beach pool „Strandperle“ on hot summer days. Seefeld – rain or shine – always worth a visit!

Steinach

Steinach is the tourism hub in Tirol’s Wipptal south of Innsbruck and forms the gateway to Italy for visitors heading across the Alps via Brenner Pass. A veritable challenge for travelers in the past, the „Brenner“ is nowadays recognized as a tourism destination in its own right. In fact, it’s proved a veritable gem to those seeking relaxation in the high mountains without the crowds. To the outdoorsy boredom is an unheard term in the area given the many options for recreation. Public bus and rail connections with nearby Innsbruck or towns in Italy’s South Tyrol likewise afford opportunities for closeby exploration on off-days from the mountains. But the outdoors clearly rules in Steinach, a point that a ride with the Bergeralm cable-car quickly drives home. Hikers and MTB riders enjoy the Bergeralm as a base for exploring in any direction while the lay of the land along the adventure-theme trail „Bärenbachl“ perfectly lends itself to families with kids. Back in town an outdoor pool allows for a refreshing time after a fun day in the high mountains or simply for sun-bathing.

The „Bergeralm“ ski arena also proves multi-functional during winter times. Apart from 28 km of well-groomed runs that serve accomplished skiers and snowboarders, there are gentle slopes specifically dedicated to kids and ski school patrons. The ski area doesn’t board up at night but stays open to serve a 5 km floodlit tobogganing run. Three times a week skiing even takes on a whole new dimension when locals from closeby and afar take on 9 km of lit slopes on „Nightride“ evenings. Friends of x-country skiing can do laps on a 10 km loop track up in the mountains while the indoor skating rink attracts those who decide to spend a day in town where cafes, apres-ski bars and a variety of restaurants provide much diversion.

Gossensass

Picturesque countryside, sumptuous regional cuisine, traditional folk festivals and a long history to boot sum up much of what Gossensass has on offer south of the High Divide in Italy’s Autonomous Province of Alto Adige / South Tyrol. Add to that the closeby city of Vipiteno/Sterzing and the stupendous mountains all-around and you end up with a distinctive mix of pleasurable delights, mountain adventures and cultural insights steeped in history. Carefree, sunny days are what characterizes this part of the Alps where culinary indulgence and mountain lifestyles intertwine.

The 2016 regional tourism theme, „South Tyrol Balance“, builds on these distinctive attributes by focusing on enjoying nature through soft adventure and mindful cultural explorations.

Many outdoor activities are within reach from Gossensass by cable cars that connect with the nearby Rosskopf Resort but also the splendid hiking area of Ladurns, the next valley over. Pleasurable treks access mythical spots of historic significance or age-old locations of high energy flow. Add to that rustic-looking mountain inns along the way that offer sumptuous regional specialities and you get the picture. Gossensass proves a great place to recharge!

This culminates on Wednesday mornings when visitors join guided sunrise hikes up the Rosskopf – a most memorable experience for the vast majority of participants. Nighttime hikes during full moon also offer magical diversion in the context of the „South Tyrol Balance“ vacation itinerary. Equally spiritual are contemplative walks along a famed pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Maria Trens – accompanied each Thursday by local clergy.

Gossensass – a place to nurture soul and body.

Brixen

Anyone looking for the perfect combination of Italian joie de vivre and Austrian tradition will find it in Brixen/Bressanone. Located where ski areas meet sun-drenched vinyards, where rugged peaks of Dolomite abut against rolling hills with apple orchards, the vibrant medieval community seems to have it all! No surprise that Brixen attracts the outdoorsy types who upon returning from hiking, running, biking or skiing more often than not seem to seek indulgent enjoyments in a relaxed urban setting.

Brixen is good for a visit any time – summer or winter. The „Plose“, a formidable peak with an equally impressive mountain panorama looms more than 6,000 ft. above town and is the focus of most cloesby outdoor activities. It is equally accessible from town under one’s own power or by cable car. „Running to the limits“ is a regular pastime for many locals who hoof it from the city up to the summit via trails and ski slopes in breath-taking time. You’ll meet the bunch during the „Brixen Dolomiten Marathon“ which follows a course from downtown’s Cathedral Square to the summit of the Plose over the full marathon distance of 42.195 km. For anyone who can’t wait for the actual event, the course luckily stays marked year-round.

Brixen is making a name for itself in 2016 as an up-and-coming trail-running hub. Most notably, it marks the end of two ultra race events. Cathedral Square will serve as the finish area for the „Salomon Alpen X 100“ in August 2016, a non-stop, single-stage trail race across the Alps. Roughly a month later ithe same venue hosts the finish of the final stage of the „GORE-TEX® TRANSALPIN-RUN“. This week-long race leads participants in teams of two through three of the alpine nations. Recovery at the conclusion of both races should be a relatively easy task in Brixen with its many treats and enjoyments.

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