There is that one day. When there is a crispness in the morning that signifies the golden hues of fall will soon dress the mountainsides of Tirol. A subtle message from Mother Nature that autumn is imminent. Making people say things like “fall is in the air”. This time of year always makes me get a little anxious as there is still so much to do as the days of summer come to a close. To a much too rapid close. There are countless more activities I would like to mark off the list. Hopefully, this list of things to do will inspire you to enjoy every last minute of summer and to get out and explore as much as possible. The time is now!
1. Stargazing on the Mountain
The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower that is visible from mid-summer each year, with the peak in activity in the middle of August. And although this time has passed, our mountains provide great spots for stargazing: You may be able to spot Orion’s Belt from almost anywhere, but the glow of the Milky Way? You’ll need to be somewhere a bit more remote for that—like a remote mountaintop location. Far from the light pollution of the cities, the views of star-packed space are impressive. Bring a blanket and off you go, reaching for the stars…
2. Picking Wild Berries
Bilberries and cranberries are delicious fruits found growing wild in Tirol on high ground, at elevations of 1,000 meters and more. The season for them is very short between August and September and they are found next to hiking trails, such as the one leading to Rosskogel Hut in Oberperfuss. Bilberry fruit pulp is purple, staining the fingers, lips, and tongue when eaten. They are eaten fresh and made into delicious dishes, the most famous one is “Moosbeernocken”, a real Alpine treat! It is like bilberries in a pancake-like form, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cranberries are also made into jams and compotes, making a stellar addition to venison dishes.
3. Sunrise Atop a Mountain
I ticked that off my list just the other day! As I did not want to get up at 3:00am, I chose a more comfortable way of watching the sun fill the air over a lofty peak with its warming glow. I spent the night at Wildseeloder Lodge in Fieberbrunn, from where the summit of Marokka Peak is within a one-hour climb. Doing so, getting up at 5:00am was early enough to watch one of nature’s best shows. What a way to start the day!
4. End of Summer Barbecue
Try to savour ever last bit of summer, especially the BBQ weather. Soon, nights are getting crisper but for now, the warm weather is made for grilling. Invite your friends over, fire up the barbie and get grilling! Tasty foods, cold drinks, a cardigan, a bonfire and a guitar and good company around are all you need for the perfect end of summer barbecue.
5. Cool Off in a Waterfall
Waterfalls, cascades and swimming holes are some of the best ways to cool off on a hot summer day. They might be tiny, whispy ones you happen by along a scenic trail, or they might be bigger ones that are destinations unto themselves. Take a refreshing dip and have a picnic lunch while listening to the rushing water crash on the rocks below. A perfect picnic-lunch location for example is the waterfall near Mötz. You can access the waterfall by crossing the Inn River on the suspension bridge and heading to the right.
6. Enjoying Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt
Late August or early September and the sun is shining? Get out and make the most of the last warm nights of the year… Grab yourself a delicious ice cream or frozen yogurt from “Kurt” at Burggraben in Innsbruck a stroll around town. And the living is easy…
7. Outdoor Music
When the weather is right, seeing a concert outdoors is one of the warmer seasons’ many pleasures. And the music doesn’t stop once the hot days of summer end. Special events keep the iconic Kufstein Fortress stage rocking almost until the snow falls. Beyond the music, stunning landscapes and creatively designed venues add even more to the concert-going experience.
8. End Of Season Sale Shopping
It’s summer sale time. You are going to find the current season on sale everywhere, and in some stores, you may also find sales on just-arrived fall fashions. However, the summer sales are a great opportunity to pick up styles that will last season after season with big savings. Consider the lovely medieval town of Hall, for example, when you go out bargain hunting. Dawdle down the cobbled lanes, taking in the surrounding beauty as you peruse end of season sales at the old town shops and boutiques. Browse our Shopping in Tirol Guide for some inspiration.
A lake gives outdoor enthusiasts a different way to enjoy late summer days. Consider a peaceful rowing boat excursion on a serene Alpine lake, such as the one at Wildseeloder Lodge in Fieberbrunn (which I combined with a memorable sunrise walk). Rental boats are Euro 2 per half hour. Mountain scenery, dramatic vistas and the striking colour of the lake will take your breath away. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can always just jump in. To the entertainment of hikers sitting on the lodge’s sunny Patio…
10. Soak Up the Sun
Just like squirrels store nuts for the winter, this is the time to seize the sunshine. Nothing beats being outdoors, in the beer garden, by the riverside, on the meadow, in a deckchair on the balcony… it’s a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine! Think of it this way: “For when there’s sunshine in your heart, and faith in all you do, the world can’t help returning that sunny joy to you.” This will keep you warm in winter…