Autumn walking in the Tirol
If your family is of pre-school age and you needn’t be tied to school term dates, then now is the time to pack your bags and go walking in the mountains!
According to local experts, autumn is the best time for year to take a walking holiday in the Austrian Tirol, for three main reasons:
1) You can enjoy the breathtaking scenery, mountain peaks and golden shades of autumn at their finest.
2) The towns, villages and trails are less touristy.
3) The air seems almost fresher and crisper, and the temperatures are less stifling than in summer months, making for a more pleasant walking experience.
All in all, it is the perfect time to get away with a young family.
There are plenty of child-friendly and walker-friendly places to stay, plus well-marked trails suitable for every skill and endurance level, with guides to lead you or detailed maps for self-guided walking.
The Ötztal Valley is one of the loveliest locations for autumn foliage, with more walking routes than anywhere else in the region, many peaks in excess of 3,000m (9843ft), and an extensive network of alpine accommodation, so you can walk from hut to hut.
We were lucky enough to be walking in the Öztal Valley in the Tirol last autumn, in glorious weather, wearing little more than jeans and a T-shirt (although it got a bit chilly at night, so remember to pack woolly pyjamas and warm, waterproof jackets too… just in case)!
The Paznaun Valley is another of the prettiest areas at this time of year. Surrounded by the Verwall, Samnaun and Silvretta mountain ranges (some of which already have a dusting of snow on their upper peaks), and bisected by the river Trisanna, the valley is known for its dense forest and abundance of autumn colours. There are numerous walks, ranging between an hour to a full day hike, plus the chance to spot local wildlife including foxes, deer and marmots.
Or you might consider a break in the Hohe Tauern National Park, with its celebrated Zedlacher Paradies Forest Nature Trail – a 1.5-hour path through centuries old larch woodlands, which turn a brilliant yellow in late autumn.
For more ideas on walking holidays in the Tirol this autumn, check out the Touching Nature website by clicking here.