Your head is spinning as you try to identify a seemingly infinite array of peaks spread out before you. Your mind feels slow and calm. Calm enough to hear your tummy’s rumbling. In my eyes, hiking and refuelling over hearty delicacies go together like bacon and eggs. They say that food tastes better at altitude and I can only agree. Here are five mouth-watering walks strongly recommended for foodies.
1. Wedel Hut
Surrounded by stunning peaks and summits, the beauty of Wedel Hut in Kaltenbach, Tirol’s one and only Five Star mountain cabin at an altitude of 2,350 meters, never fails to impress. The spectacular outdoor deck is truly a unique spot to feast on elevated delicacies in the true sense of the word. Hosts Manni and Moni Kleiner warmly welcome weary hikers and foodies to this deluxe on-mountain accommodation that is an outstanding blend of culinary excellence and soothing spa treatments. Wine tasting in the two-story wine cellar on premises can be arranged, too. The luxurious cabin can be reached on foot, on two wheels or by shuttle bus from the reservoir at the Zillertal High Elevation Road.
2. Gampe Thaya
Jakob Prantl makes finest artisan cheese using the fresh milk from the grey cattle that are grazing at Gampe Alm in Ötztal Valley during the warm summer months, at an elevation of 2,000 meters above sea level. Along with cheese, he also produces finest bacon and cured sausages on premises. Outstanding mountain comfort dishes, prepared with the finest, locally sourced ingredients, many of them from own farming, and with much love for the detail are served on the ample and sun-drenched outdoor deck and at quaint and rustic parlours. Right next to Gampe Thaya you will find “UrHütta“, a lovely lodge where up to five guests can spend the night on the mountain.
Fresh milk, yogurt, butter and award-winning Alpine cheese: If you want to sample delicious, handcrafted local specialties, put Burgeralm Alpine Pasture Hut in Rettenschöss on your itinerary. At 1,330 meters above sea level, Burgeralm is easily accessible yet has stunning views of the rugged Wilder Kaiser Mountain Range, jutting Kitzbühel Horn Peak and glacier-capped Hohe Tauern Range. Little ones can romp about the ample playground and hut keeper Martha Fahringer offers fun, educational classes for guests looking to dive deeper into life on an Alpine pasture farm.
4. Seealm Hög
Seealm Hög in Serfaus serves an inspired lunch menu of local fare and international cuisine designed to nourish and refresh. Their signature dishes are fish and vegetarian and vegan options. Floor-to-ceiling windows display uninterrupted views of the mountains and the swimming lake at an elevation of 1,800 meters. Sun-seekers can dine al fresco and enjoy an array of menu options, which are even served to guests relaxing in deck chairs. Kids can explore an array of activities – Högalmsee Lake is a popular family destination for splashing water fun!
5. Angerer Alm
St. Johann in Tirol
Come again? World class fine dining in a quaint mountain cabin? Yes, that’s exactly what Annemarie and her daughter Katharina Foidl offer at Angerer Alm in St. Johann in Tirol. For lunch, Angerer Alm serves hearty Tirolean fare with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. For dinner, gourmets can feast on a five-course menu that expresses the culinary team’s vision for excellence and creativity. Elevate your on-mountain dining experience with finest wines, as the onsite cellar houses roughly 6,000 bottles from all corners of the world. How appropriate that hut keeper Annemarie is as well president of the Austrian Sommelier Association.