What do murders, apples and bicycles have in common? The answer can be found in October, the all-rounder month. The Tirol Crime Fiction Festival brings together the stars of the crime writing scene, while harvest festivals taking place across the region give both visitors and locals alike the chance to sample some of the finest produce from Tirol. After all that hearty food, it is high time for a little outdoor activity – and the mild month of October provides the perfect conditions to enjoy some late-season sport before winter arrives.
Autumns are often glorious in Tirol, with warm temperatures and bright sunshine right through until the end of October. One thing is for sure: nature shows itself from its most beautiful and spectacular side before the cold weather arrives and the first snows of winter coat the region in a thick layer of white ready for winter. The golden autumn, as it is often referred to here, is widely considered the best time of year for hiking. Popular destinations for an Indian summer adventure include the stunning Ahornboden with its centuries-old maple trees. The Großer Ahornboden is often very busy, but the nearby Kleiner Ahornboden is no less spectacular and offers a little more peace and quiet. This high alpine woodland near the German border with trees 300-600 years old is an absolute must in autumn. Those who prefer two wheels to two legs should head to the Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis. It offers a special programme of events and activities in autumn,where riders can enjoy a final few sessions in the spectacular landscape before the resort is transformed into one of Tirol’s best ski areas. Talking of skiing, visitors who simply can’t wait for the snow to arrive down in the valley can enjoy perfect conditions from late September in Tirol’s five glacier ski resorts.
Autumn festivals have a long tradition in both the Austrian Tirol and the Italian region of South Tirol/Alto Adige. A good example is the harvest market in Haiming on 12 and 19 October, the largest harvest market of its kind in Tirol. The festival revolves mainly around apples in their many wonderful forms –little surprise considering that no village in the Austrian Tirol produces more fruit than Haiming. As well as a huge range of apples, the market stalls offer a wide selection of vegetables and other delicious delicacies from the region. The farmers’ market in Hall in Tirol takes place throughout the year but is even bigger during the autumn, when the town’s pretty medieval oldtown comes to life with all manner of stands and stalls selling locally grown and made produce. As October progresses, the days become shorter and the weather becomes wilder. With the nights drawing in, many people enjoy settling down on the sofa with a good book. Those who enjoy their fiction like their steaks – bloody – should definitely not miss out on the Tirolean Crime Fiction Festival taking place from 19 until 25 Oktober in a range of locations from Innsbruck to Wattens and featuring readings by crime writers such as Charlotte Link and Bernhard Aichner.
October also marks the end of the Maximilian Year, twelve months of events celebrating the 500th anniversary of the death of Emperor Maximilian. On 12 October there will be a final celebration held in the centre of Innsbruck to mark the achievements of this outstanding leader who made Tirol his home. There will be two stages set up in the oldtown featuring a fashion show, a concert by Herbert Pixner and scenes from a historic musical. Well-known radio presenter Benny Hörtnagl will guide visitors through the event. The special exhibition Maximilian I – Into the Modern Era in Innsbruck’s imperial palace tells his life story and remains open until 12 October.