Winter transforms Tirol’s landscape. Craggy mountains are wrapped in a thick layer of snow. Temperatures plunge in the region’s ravines and canyons. Mighty waterfalls turn into skyscrapers of ice. Here are five natural wonders which take on a totally different atmosphere in the winter months.
1. Höhenbachtalschlucht canyon | Lechtal
This attraction in the Lechtal Valley is certainly not for the faint-hearted! Measuring 200 metres in length and dangling 110 metres above the ground, the Holzgauer Brücke bridge across the Höhenbachtalschlucht canyon is one of the longest and highest hanging bridges in Austria. Visitors with vertigo might want to give it a miss, but those with a good head for heights should head out into the middle to enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding landscape – a sight that will get your heart beating even faster!
2. Stuibenfall waterfall | Niederthai im Ötztal
The Stuibenfall normally thunders via two cascades 159 metres into the valley, but in winter this mighty wonder of nature freezes solid. We recommend visiting on Wednesday evenings, when there are guided tours to the floodlit waterfall.
3. Nature Ice Palace | Hintertux Glacier
The Nature Ice Palace gives visitors to the Hintertux Glacier the unique opportunity to walk inside a real ice cave inside a mountain. It is located near the top of the ski lift, at a spot where the glacier – normally always in motion – is frozen into the rock. Highlights include glistening crevasses, dazzling crystal chambers, a lake inside the mountain and the 15-metre-high Ice Palace itself.
4. Zammer Lochputz canyon | Zams
The Zammer Lochputz in Zams is one of the few canyons in Tirol which are also open to visitors in winter. We recommend taking a guided tour with one of the local geological experts. The many small waterfalls in the canyon are frozen solid, with only the mighty Lötzer Wasserfall at the end of the canyon cascading into the valley all winter long. A fascinating day out in a place full of myths and legends!
5. Piburger See lake | Ötztal
Idyllic, picturesque, enchanting – the Piburger See lake in the Ötztal Valley is a beautiful sight whatever the season. In winter it is covered by a thick layer of ice, creating a huge natural ice skating rink at the foot of the mighty Ötztal Alps. Ice skates can be hired on-site from the Gasthof Piburger See.