There’s something magical that happens when leaves begin to change colours, the air turns crisp and cool and days are getting darker earlier. Autumn brings a new set of activities to fill your days—here is my ultimate autumn bucket list:
1. Take a Walk along the Wings of the Eagle
Did you know that fall is the best time for hiking? The weather is more predictable, temperatures are perfect, fall colours make vivid surroundings and the skies couldn’t be any more bluer. And those stunning views! The Eagle Walk is Tirol’s long-distance hiking trail. As the eagle flies, the Eagle Walk runs through Tirol – the whole length of the country, from east to west. Viewing the map, you will realize that the walk symbolizes a proud eagle spreading its wings all over Tirol. The 413-kilometer trail is broken up into 33 stages with a total elevation gain of 31,000 meters, accommodating a variety of skill levels and hiking preferences.
2. Get Away From it All
Fall is nature’s way of resting and ultimately renewing itself. The transition from summer to fall is beautiful, a gift to our senses in every way. In a world of busy, the serenity of Tirol’s places of pilgrimage will give you the opportunity to get away from it all and find your inner self. This year, make a promise to nurture and comfort yourself so that you, too, can beautifully renew and grow to be all that you can be. At St. Georgenberg near Stans for example, the oldest monastery in Tirol, that is accessed by a walk through amazing Wolfsklamm Gorge. The Pilgrimage Church of Maria Locherboden in Mötz stands on a hill high above Inntal Valley and has been a beacon for pilgrims, hikers and visitors for centuries. A spectacular landscape feature near Wörgl is the tiny chapel of Maria Stein. Apart from chapels and churches, Tirol boasts many places that are ideal for those wanting to bask in nature and absorbing the stunning scenery. Simply contemplate your good fortune while sitting in a forest or by a mountain lake, surrounded by pure mountain beauty.
3. Jump in Leaves of Shimmering Yellows, Oranges, Golds and Reds
The best thing about autumn is seeing the trees transform into their beautiful burnt orange and red colours. And do you remember what you did when you were a child? When the leaves started to fall there was only one thing to do – jump and swim and play in a huge pile of leaves. And even today as a grown-up, there’s nothing better than getting wrapped up and going for a walk, kicking up the copper leaves as you go. “Großer Ahornboden” in Eng is dotted by centuries-old sycamore maples, making this an excellent place for quiet contemplation and discovery—and for jumping in leaves. In autumn, the majestic scenery turns ablaze with fall foliage colours in a most breathtaking fashion.
4. Embrace the World of Creativity
When was the last time you tried something completely new? Fall is the perfect time to do so! Embrace the world of creativity and indulge in a fresh experience. At the Geisler-Moroder Woodcarving School in Elbigenalp, for example. Situated at the heart of picturesque Lechtal Valley, this is a wonderful place to learn woodcarving, woodturning and wood sculpting. Moreover, there are special workshops on creating nativity scenes and Christmas decorations. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?! A Dirndl dress is wonderful. A selfmade Dirndl is even more wonderful. You can learn to sow your own from Trachtenschneiderin Dressmaker. Or join professional photographers Christina Gaio and Harald Voglhuber for a Photography Workshop. They will help you take your photography to the next level and ensure you have a good time. Register today as spaces fill up fast!
5. Celebrate the Harvest Season
Tirol crops are fresh and full of flavour and the bounty from locally owned farms, Alpine pastures and orchards can be enjoyed at farmer’s markets and foodie events all across the country in autumn. Plan a weekend getaway around these festivals to usher in Tirol fall in grand style. Discover agricultural bounty and homegrown harvests with the International Mountain Cheese Olympics in Galtür on September 30, 2017, at the Kirchberg Sonnbergmeile Festival on October 01 or during the Wildschönau Krautinger Week, which will be held from September 29 through October 08, 2017. At this wonderful time of year, Tirol’s Inns & Restaurants serve up signature dishes of the season, from mushrooms over venison to poultry. Experience authentic farm-to-table meals, prepared with fragrant herbs, freshly picked vegetables and sun-ripened fruits from the day’s harvest.
6. Reconnect with Nature
Hohe Tauern National Park offers a bounty of wildlife-watching opportunities. Spot some of Tirol’s most majestic residents in their natural habitats—golden eagles, ibexes, bearded vultures and marmots. Join a friendly National Park Ranger who will lead you through the area’s most wildlife-friendly areas. With so many species of wildlife — and so many opportunities to find them on guided walks — the real trick would be to leave East Tirol without spying a few of the animals who call Hohe Tauern National Park home.
7. Venture into an Amazing World of Eternal Ice
As temperatures drop, why not get accustomed to winter? The Ice Palace at Hintertux Glacier is an amazing underground chamber with huge ice walls. Giant, sparkling ice crystals, glowing blue walls of ice, a glacial lake and frozen waterfalls evoke feelings of awe and wonder. Appropriate footwear is advised and warm layered clothing is required as the average temperature in the cave is 0° C all year round. This natural jewel is open throughout the year and can be explored within a guided tour in all weathers.
8. Go Skiing!
Seeing white on the mountains sets in motion the notion that winter is just around the corner. Are you one of those who have already started counting down the days to the start of ski season? Obergurgl is the place to get a head start on ski season: Each fall, this is the first ski resorts to open in Tirol, this year on November 16, 2017. Moreover, when it comes to early season skiing in Tirol, there are essentially five reliable options: Tirol’s Glacier Ski Resorts open the new season in September or October and Hintertux Glacier even offers glacier skiing throughout the heart of the summer. Ischgl will open to an enthusiastic crowd of dedicated followers nine days later than Obergurgl. This year’s legendary Top of the Mountain Concert will bring German Schlager star Andrea Berg to open the 2017-2018 winter season on November 25. On October 28 and 29 2017, the greatest female and male Alpine ski racers in the world are back on Sölden Mountain for a weekend of thrill when the new FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season is kicked off. Check out all the events, concerts and parties that Tirol’s prime ski season openings have to offer here.
9. Nail Your New-Season Fashion Goals
With the flip of a calendar page, Tirol’s alluring autumn season sets in and offers up a whole new way to dress. Check out these new cozy jackets and boots and you’ll be wishing fall and winter lasted all year. And what about your ski equipment? Do you have a sled? If you’re looking for the right gear, apparel, or accessories, all villages and towns across Tirol have at least one sporting goods store. And then there are these special stores. Few places in the world you will find shops like these that live and breathe outdoor activities like they do here in Tirol. The shelves and wracks of Frauenschuh Shop in Kitzbühel overflow with stylish fashion clothes, technical clothes, accessories, and winter sports apparel. Selected shops like Schuh Staudinger in Innsbruck and Schuh Schmid in Fiss offer customized fitting of the Austrian ski boot brand Strolz, for a completely new way of skiing. The Tirol Shop has a beautiful selection of outdoor clothing and accessories like the iconic Tirol beanie, along with cuddly blankets to warp up in your home. If you are into sledding and tobogganing, you will find your Nirvana in Tirol, with a rich variety of companies that manufacture finest sleds named Gasser, Kathrein, Fluckinger or Gallzeiner. These places retain a real, local feel and a noticeable passion for the mountains.
10. Sink Into a Hot Tub
Yes, there are those chilly fall days when you wish you could stay in bed all day. Fortunately, there are enchanting cold-weather hideaways all over Tirol, spa resorts that have perfected refined-meets-rustic luxury. From the moment you enter such a high-end spa, to the resonating “ahhh” as you sink into a hot tub… pure bliss! These sprawling recreation complexes come loaded with amenities that will please you, from steam rooms and dry-heat saunas to hot tubs. For the ultimate pampering experience, book a therapeutic massage or beautifying spa treatment, a soothing facial, a manicure … Well, there are so many wonderful ways to beat the cold and grey weather blues! If you’re seeking a fully pampered escape, take refuge at one of Tirol’s highly acclaimed luxury hotels with full-service spas. Such as Schwarz Hotel in Mieming or Alpenrose Hotel in Maurach. Or Theresa Hotel in Zell am Ziller, to name but a few. Alternatively, day spa resorts allow guests to make a journey into rejuvenation as well. Whether you want a quick, restorative massage or an intense pampering, you are spoiled for choice!