You can often find me cross-country skiing in the Tirol, especially in Seefeld and Leutasch, on Lake Achensee and on the trails around Lüsens. However, shortly before Christmas I took a little trip from Innsbruck to the cross-country area in Tannheimertal region – home to 140-kilometres of skate and classic cross-country routes, it’s a superb place to explore top quality trails, which were ranked the fourth best by the ADAC ski guide.
What’s immediately striking in the Tannheimertal valley is the width of the skating trails – up to three skaters can glide alongside without getting in each other’s way, and you can overtake others easily. Tannheimerta valleyl is also a good place to see the professional cross-country skiers who train at the many clubs here.
There’s a huge variety of beautifully landscaped trails, including one which passes through the Vilsalpsee Nature Reserve. When I visited, the slopes were in good condition, despite some bad weather the day before. The only thing I found annoying was the small feeder roads which cross the circular track – I had to take my skis off, as the roads were snow-free. If only they’d left a light covering of snow on the roads, I could have skimmed over on my skis – the cross-country trails appeared to be far busier than the roads, so I think that skiers should have right of way! Besides, I’m sure that the local motorists have enough experience of snow and ice to drive over a small patch in the road…
Where to stay (three options which I’ve experienced first-hand):
• Luxury: Alpines Lifestyle Hotel Jungbrunn (located directly on the trail to/from Vilsalpsee). In my opinion, this is one of the best hotels in Tirol, with a huge spa, modern facilities and great food. I’d highly recommended it but expect a high price tag.
• 3 Star superior: Almhotel Told, in Grän (located on the trail). This good value hotel has a beautiful new spa area, well-appointed rooms and great food (buffet breakfast and salad bar, afternoon snacks and evening meals).
• 3 Star: Hotel Goldenes Kreuz, in the centre of Tannheim (a few steps from the trail). I spent just one night here, during the Tannheimer Marathon. It’s a reliable and comfortable three star.
Recommended blog: Tirol country-skiing regions on test: www.blogtirol.at/2012/03/tiroler-langlaufregionen-im-test/