One of my favorite cross-country areas is Obertilliach in East Tirol. At altitudes of 1,200 to 1,450 meters, the valley of Lesach is home to Kartisch, Obertillach and Untertilliach where snow this winter is a safe bet. In total, both classical and skate skiers in Obertilliach have over 60 kilometers of trails available.
Beautifully landscaped trails for classical and skate skiers run through idyllic snowy woods and along the River Gail over meadows with spectacular views. From relatively flat trails, to slightly more challenging paths and onto steeper sections, the detailed cross-plan is really helpful. It’s perhaps only the signage on the tracks that could use more detail, in my opinion, but it’s possible that many signs were hidden under the snow.
The Nordic Centre in Obertilliach also offers a comprehensive rental service, cross-country courses and guest’s biathlon.
It’s not only Björndalen that has chosen Obertilliach as a training area. Around the cross-country and biathlon centre of Obertilliach, teams can be found from all over the world to perfect their technique in cross-country skiing and shooting. And international sporty atmosphere is guaranteed here.
Use of the trails costs €5/day (as of March 2014)
The Valley of Lesach is part of the Dolomiti NordicSki Cross-Country Association, within which a total of 1,300 km of trails can be explored throughout 12 regions in the Tirol and Italy. Before winter begins, cross-country skiers are able to download GPS data of all the trails, and in addition to that, the Trans-Dolomiti NordicSki Safari includes a weeklong cross-country discovery tour from Cortina and through the Dolomites, to East Tirol. Luggage collection, transfers and room reservations are all provided.
More info: www.hochpustertal.com
Accommodation tip: Gasthof Unterwöger *** – This is a beautiful village inn. Typical of the traditional Tirolean style and aesthetic, the inn is in Obertilliach itself and the trails are accessible within walking distance. The food is great, the staff are friendly and there’s even a small swimming pool and spa. It’s terrific value for money and whenever I return to Obertilliach, I’ll always book myself back in with the Lugger family. I can’t recommend this place enough.