The best places to eat? The most interesting things to see? The most beautiful mountains to climb? In our series Ask a Local we talk to people from Tirol and get the inside line on where they live. Today it’s the turn of Petra Astner from Fieberbrunn.
Tip 1: winter walking in the snowy landscape
The region around Fieberbrunn is known for its snowy winters. Indeed, the neighbouring village of Hochfilzen is officially the snowiest place in Tirol. One of the best ways to enjoy this glistening landscape is on the trail from Hochfilzen to Fieberbrunn. I recommend taking the ski bus to Hochfilzen and walking back. The sunny trail is kept in excellent condition through the winter and is closed to traffic.
From Hochfilzen you will be able to enjoy fabulous views of the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, the Kitzbühel Horn and the mighty Wildseeloder. The path is flat and can be completed in around 1.5 to 2 hours by people of all fitness levels. There are plenty of benches along the way to sit down and enjoy the sunshine. I recommend stopping off half way at the Gasthof Kapell’n, an inn with live music every Thursday and delicious local food such as dumplings filled with mashed potato and cheese. Fieberbrunn is one of the only places you will find this dish.
Tip 2: try a pine-flavoured ice cream at the Dorfcafé in Fieberbrunn
The Dorfcafé in the centre of Fieberbrunn serves a number of other delicacies you are unlikely to find elsewhere. These include “Nidei mit Kraut”, “Apfelradel” and “Kiachl“. There are lots of good cafés in Fieberbrunn, but this is one of my favourites. It is really cosy inside and the staff are always friendly. I like trying out different places for breakfast and brunch, but I always end up coming back to the Dorfcafé.
The owner, Astrid Millinger, serves boiled eggs on a bed of hay and is always happy to give you a little bit more if you aren’t full. The Dorfcafé is also a popular bar in the evening. I recommend trying some of the weird and wonderful ice cream flavours on offer. How about “pine and hazelnut” or “thyme and strawberry”?!
Tip 3: hiking, climbing and an idyllic lake on Wildseeloder mountain
Wildseeloder mountain towers high above Fieberbrunn. I have been climbing it for 30 years now, but I always manage to find something new each time I hike to the top. I recommend taking the cable car up to Lärchfilzkogel and then following the trail to the Wildalm hut. From there is takes around an hour to walk up to the Wildseeloderhaus with its impressive lake. Continue on the shore of the lake for about 45 minutes and then complete the final ascent up to the summit.
One of the special things about this area is that you can climb three different mountains in a short space of time. There are via ferrata fixed-rope climbing routes leading up to the top of the Henne and Marokka mountains. This combination of hiking and climbing is great for those in search of a little extra adventure.
From the top of the Wildseeloder mountain you can enjoy fantastic views of the Wildsee lake. Over the course of my life I have taken thousands of photos, but every time I stand on the summit I have to get out my phone and take another one. You can hire a boat and row out onto the lake or, if you’re feeling brave, take a quick dip in the ice-cold waters. I always make sure I sit down afterwards on the sunny terrace of the Wildseeloderhaus and enjoy a wheat beer. The food served here at this hut run by the Austrian Alpine Club is very good. I recommend the “Kaiserschmarrn”, a hearty dish of thick chopped pancakes with raisins and icing sugar served with a portion of apple sauce.
Tip 4: enjoy traditional celebrations in Fieberbrunn
I am a member of the Holzschuhdirndl’n, a local group whose name translates as “Wooden Shoe Girls”. Our traditional outfit is a corset with short trousers, a feathered hat and, of course, wooden clogs. This is what women wore many centuries when they would spend the summers up in the mountains tending to the sheep and cattle grazing on the high pastures. As far as I know we are the only group of its kind in Tirol, which means we are often invited to events. One of the question we get most often is if we come from Holland!
Wooden clogs do, in fact, have a long tradition in Fieberbrunn. They make not look that comfortable, but I can assure you they really are. Every autumn we organise a celebration with traditional arts & crafts and local food. That is the main highlight of the year for me.
Tip 5: visit the local schnapps distillery and sample the produce
On wet weather days, I recommend a visit to the schnapps distillery run by Norbert “Gidi” Treffer. Visitors can learn about the whole process, from picking the pears in the orchard to distilling the mash into fine schnapps. The guided tour ends with a tasting session. I find it fascinating how much work goes into making schnapps. It is a good idea to call ahead and book.
„Have a great time in Fieberbrunn!“
Photos & tips: Petra Astner from Fieberbrunn