Thinking about Austria and the first thing that springs to mind is the Sound of Music. The hills are alive and do a dear, seem to swarm my mind as I’m typing this, so you can only imagine when I was in those very hills what kept rolling through my head! I wasn’t off to Saltzberg to where the Sound of Music was filmed, I was actually off to the area of Tirol to Seefeld and Pertisau to indulge in the scenery of mountains and lakes.
I always thought if I was heading into Austria I’d go to
Salzberg and that wouldn’t be able to top anything, but after my recent
trip I discovered perhaps the popular areas of the country weren’t
the only place to see.
I have never seen such simplistic and
stunning scenery like I saw when I went to see the mountains in the
summer, no photos can really do it justice but hopefully you’ll find what I
have taken to provide a taster.
I travelled to Seefeld to begin my time in
Austria. I was going hiking, biking and anything possible to absorb as
much as I could in my five days. I landed in Innsbruck and had around
about a 30 minute transfer from the airport to Seefeld, I was staying at
the Hotel Bergresort which had stunning scenery from anywhere you looked. It was very peaceful until a train would rush by at the
station just across the way, but to be honest you barely noticed it as the views made up for it.
The room was large and decoration wise was inoffensive, however I was slightly freaked out by the
mirrors above my bed! A few times in the middle of the night
I’d catch my reflection and get mildly freaked out until I realised it
was me! Mirrors aside the hotel was the perfect stop point for my stay, I had the choice of an indoor pool, gym, heated pool
and cold water outdoor pool if I wished. Food at the hotel provided a wide selection, complete with a honeycomb for porridge, a range of dietary
requirement options and lots of hot and cold choices. Couldn’t fault it really…. and I do like a good
A short walk from the hotel reception to the bottom of the mountain railway, we went up the Rosshutte and Seefelder Joch. Having lived in Val d’Isere during the winter season I’m only used to seeing snow up a mountain, but discovering beautiful mountain side flowers, green grass and cows who accessorised with bells, it was all alien to me but I loved it. If you wanted to you could head up to the Seefelder Spitze, but I decided to just explore the other parts of the mountain side with hiking, riding on the cable car and the mountain rail before grabbing some lunch at the Panorama Restaurant.
After heading back to the hotel and exploring the Seefeld area (including a cheeky casino stop), I went for a well needed sleep ready for a jam packed next day. After a relaxing morning I went for lunch at Wiesenhof in Scharnitz nearby the river Isar, after a little nature walk around the area. The river was absolutely stunning I’ve never seen anything like it, the water looked so pure, so much so that I filled my bottle up with it to keep me hydrated on the walk.
I moved over to Pertisau to a hotel right on Lake Anchensee called Hotel Post am See. The resort here was very different to Seefeld because I felt I could walk around and discover more, whereas Seefeld felt rather remote and undisturbed. The hotel was lovely but the first hotel I stayed at in Seefeld won me over, particularly where food was concerned! I guess both offer something different and totally depends on what you want out of your trip. I actually went for a run around the lake really early on the morning before I left, not a soul was about apart from an old man swimming in the stunning lake.
A lot of hotels around Lake Anchensee offer bike hire as there are plenty of mountain bike tracks in the surrounding area, the one I stayed at their bikes had a small hire fee but you could use them for the day. I went on a guided e-bike tour in the Alpine Park Karwendel to the Gramaialm www.gramaialm.at. I stopped en route at the Alm for snacks and refreshments, I didn’t even need to use the electronic part of my bike until the very last (and very steep) hill! Mind you, I definitely felt I deserved a drink when I got to the top. It seemed a lot of other people had ventured along this way to be amongst what I deemed as authentic unspoilt Austria. Farm animals were left to their own business and it just felt natural and idyllic – especially with the views surrounding around us.
Once I whizzed back down the hill to the hotel I indulged in shale oil spa treatment at the hotels beauty room. This is a local beauty treatment that I knew I had to try, as for 100 years Tirolean shale oil has been extracted from oil shale and processed into skincare products. I had a lovely long massage at the hotel before heading down to dinner, some thought the oil smelt funny but to be honest I didn’t really notice.
I wanted to go for a long hike as I’d got my hiking boots and my walking gear, it would of been rude to miss out on it. It appeared that a lot of holidaymakers were here just for that, some taking long leisurely strolls, others on a hiking mission complete with walking poles. However as much as I talk about it, I just can’t put into words how spectacular the views were and from every angle you looked.
I took a ride on the oldest steam train in Europe dating as far back to 1889. I’ve never actually been on
a cog steam train station and this one in Jenbach was an amazing experience (check out my
VLOG to see more). Once the train stopped in Seespitz I went on a ship for more exploring of the area,
before stopping for a bite to eat of the local cuisine and a hike around the lakes.
What a country. What a view. Seeing these stunning mountains in the summertime was surreal, everywhere I looked it felt like I was looking at a painting but the difference was I in the picture. Tirol was such a different experience from any other European adventure I’ve had, and I must say that before this trip I perhaps wouldn’t have ever come up in the mountains during the hotter months… until now.
For anyone who likes a more active holiday this would be a great option because there is plenty to do, plus it gives a good alternative to the run of the mill European beach holiday. If this place looks perfection in the summer the winter is going to be out of this world.
P.s Check out my travel vlog to discover more…