Swimming, hiking and open-air cinema – how to stay cool in Tirol even in the height of summer.
When things get hot, it’s time to get inventive! There are lots of great ways to keep a cool head even in the hottest summer months here in Tirol. High altitude hikes, visits to museums (with air con!) and open-air cinema in the evening in downtown Innsbruck are just some of the ways to escape the heat and enjoy the summer.
Doing sport in the heat of summer isn’t everyone’s thing, but those who want to get out and explore the region on foot will find plenty of hiking trails leading past cool mountain rivers and lakes. A good place to visit is the shady Kaiserklamm gorge . High rock walls keep temperatures down, while those who want to can hop into the Brandenberger Ache river to chill out. Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth, better known as Sissi, were among the early visitors to this area many summers ago.
The Wolfsklamm gorge near Stans has a spectacular walking trail leading through the cool canyon and over a 500-year-old bridge up to the St. Georgenberg monastery, the oldest place of pilgrimage in Tirol. Those who prefer to take it easy on hot days will find plenty of lakes in Tirol. Lake Achensee is popular with watersports enthusiasts, while the Lanser See lake near Innsbruck has a restaurant overlooking the water.
Summer may be here, but there’s no let-up in the events and cultural highlights going on in Tirol. The only difference is that many take place either indoors or in the evening to avoid the heat of the day. A summer institution in Innsbruck is the open-air cinema at Zeughaus, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. From 1 August until 1 September films are shown in the courtyard of the former armory belonging to Emperor Maximilian. Movies include everything from classics like The Big Lebowski to the latest Quentin Tarantino release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The season traditionally concludes with a screening of Zorba The Greek, whose iconic music and dance mark the start of the end of summer in Innsbruck. There are also other open-air cinemas in Tirol showing well-known and well-loved films under the stars. A good place to cool off during the day is at one of the many museums in Innsbruck. In the Court Church, for example, there is currently a major exhibition on display entitled “Maximilian I – Into the Modern Era“ showcasing the life of this famous ruler who chose Innsbruck as his place of residence.
Visitors who don’t like the idea of hiking alone and don’t mind sharing the mountain with a few other people can take part in the Karwendelmarsch. This competition with two distances to choose from – 35 kilometres and 52 kilometres – invites both locals and guests to pull on their hiking boots and enjoy the stunning landscape of the Karwendel Nature Park. The 2500 places on the start line on 31 August are already sold out, but it’s still worth checking the website on a regular basis to see if anyone has pulled out and places have become available. Spectators are very welcome along the course.