Olympiaregion Seefeld – 5 individual resorts for a summer mountain holiday that’s a cut above the rest
The 5 villages on the south-facing 1,200 metre high plateau of the Olympiaregion - Leutasch, Mösern/Buchen, Reith, Scharnitz and Seefeld – offer everything you could possibly need for a perfect summer mountain holiday.
Whether you’re looking for international flair or Alpine tradition, whether you want sports and action or just peace and relaxation, whether you prefer 5-star hotel luxury or you’d like to spend your holiday on a working farm - the Olympiaregion can fulfil your wishes. All the villages have something in common – namely pride in their long tradition of hospitality which you can feel wherever you go. However, each village also has its own distinctive character and guests can use the convenient regional bus system between the villages to discover this for themselves.
“See and be seen” could be the motto for Seefeld, the Alpine holiday resort that became famous decades ago. Seefeld, with a local population of 3,000 and accommodation for 8,200 guests, is the place where international flair meets traditional Alpine hospitality. Lovers of the good life meet one another whilst strolling through the romantic, picturesque pedestrian area with its exquisite boutiques, or whilst enjoying an evening of entertainment in the casino or in one of the many restaurants, bars and cafes. Traditional events, such as the Seefeld Flower Parade or the Tyrolean Handcraft Festival add to the lively atmosphere of the attractive village centre. But Seefeld is also the ideal place for active guests in the summer months - from gentle walks round the Wildsee lake to challenging summit hikes up to the Reitherspitze or the Seefelderspitze, there’s enough to please every walking and mountain enthusiast. For those who want to take it a little easier, there are several local cable cars to whisk you up the mountain from where you can attempt the summit – or just lie back in the sunshine and enjoy the view. For decades now, Seefeld has been the destination for golf enthusiasts – an 18-hole championship course, considered to be one of the most scenic in the world and the extended 9-hole Golfclub Seefeld-Reith in the centre of the village, will stir the heart of every golfer. Riding and tennis facilities (indoor and outdoor) round off the unrivalled spectrum of sporting activities.
Accommodation of the highest quality
In Seefeld alone, there are two 5-star hotels and twenty six 4-star hotels – more than in almost any other holiday resort. But those who prefer the informal family-atmosphere of a guest house or holiday apartment, are sure to find what they’re looking for. Wellness and “feel good” facilities are also available to guests staying in these establishments in the form of the Olympia Sport and Congress Centre, which was completely renovated and extended last year. It has a large leisure pool complex spread over two levels, 6 different types of sauna with a spacious relaxation room and lots more besides. For those who prefer to swim outdoors, there is a heated swimming area at the Wildsee lake which, among other attractions, has a huge children’s play area.
Prime destination for congresses, meetings and incentives
Not only does Seefeld enjoy a long tradition as a holiday resort for individual holidaymakers, many international congresses, company events and other meetings take place here year after year. It is not only the high standard of hotels and the excellent event locations and facilities that make Seefeld so popular, but also the high standard of service and the almost inexhaustible range of activities for accompanying programmes.
If you enjoy peaceful, relaxing holidays and being close to nature, then Leutasch is the place for you. This friendly, laid-back village with some 2,000 inhabitants and accommodation for 5,000 guests has everything you would expect from a typical Tyrolean village – or rather a Tyrolean valley, since Leutasch actually comprises 24 tiny hamlets spread out over a wide, flat valley floor that stretches over 16 kilometres. Farms and tractors are just as much part of the atmosphere as traditional village festivals and processions in which the whole village is involved. Particularly in the summer months, traditional local clubs and associations from the “Schützen” (shooters) to the “Steinrösler Singers”, put a lot of care and thought into planning events that bring the village to life. Some say that the Leutasch locals are that bit “different” - that may be true – their traditional costume, for example, is particularly unusual. The men’s jackets and the women’s blouses, which are a striking, vivid red colour with a black floral pattern, are extremely eye-catching.
Hunting and fishing also play a bigger part in the Leutasch Valley that they do in almost any other region in the Tyrol. Back in the 15th century Emperor Maximilian I. extolled Leutasch’s hunting territory and its abundance of fish and many other famous hunting enthusiasts followed suit. Evidence of probably the best-known one – Ludwig Ganghofer – can be seen throughout the valley. Round about 1900, his hunting lodge in the Gaistal Valley (near the Tillfussalm mountain hut) was the meeting place for the “high society “of Munich’s art and culture scene. The Ganghofer Museum, located in the old village primary school, is a wealth of information for those who would like to know more about Ludwig Ganghofer. Fishing is also still practiced today. Everyone who wants can try their angler’s luck at the picturesque Weidachsee lake. Not all the locals, of course, are hunters and anglers – but the area’s abundance of natural beauty does mean that they all like to get out and about a lot in the fresh air. Nearly all the locals own a mountain bike or Nordic walking poles or running shoes, and they’re more than happy to give visitors tips on the best routes. Guests value Leutasch for its wide variety of sporting activities, but the friendly village is also a well-kept insider tip for families in particular. There are a number of farms offering farm holidays where many a child can discover for the first time where milk really comes from. There are many flat, child-friendly paths for walking throughout the valley that are suitable for pushchairs too, and the Leutasch Spirit Gorge is a particular highlight for younger guests. Not only are there impressive waterfalls, bridges and a lot more to see in one of the Tyrol’s most spectacular gorges, but the spirit of the gorge and mischievous little goblins also await you in their mysterious realm! The newly renovated “Alpenbad” pool and spa is another highlight for families. Parents can relax and unwind in the fantastic sauna complex while the kids have great fun on the giant slide.
There’s a feeling of distance and reaching out in Mösern and Buchen, not only because they enjoy a wonderful location with long, breathtaking views across to the Upper Inn Valley, but also because the villages, which have a total local population of just 300 and which can accommodate almost 1,000 visitors, also carry a message over and beyond the valley every day in the form of the pealing of the Peace Bell in Mösern.
With a diameter of 2.5 metres, the Peace Bell is the largest free-swinging bell in the Alpine region. Visible for miles around it symbolises the co-operation and the close community feeling between the Alpine nations. There are many excellent restaurants embedded in the unique landscape where guests can expand their culinary horizons during their holiday - although Mösern is a real insider tip among local connoisseurs too. Visitors can spend idyllic, peaceful days bathing, swimming and relaxing amidst the lush, green forests around the Möserer See lake and two other seasonal lakes. The painter Albrecht Dürer even chose the glorious view from Mösern over the Inn Valley as background for his famous self-portrait.
In a sunny location, high above the Inn Valley with an unrivalled view of the surrounding mountain scenery, the Tyrolean village of Reith, at an altitude of 1,130 metres, offers its visitors a warm welcome. The little village on the eastern side of the plateau, just 3 kilometres from Seefeld, was described by the widely travelled privy councillor Goethe as “beautiful beyond words”. With a local population of 1,200 and accommodation for 920 guests, the village places great importance on personal service, peace and tranquillity and genuine hospitality – be it when the ladies’ choir organises traditional Tyrolean celebrations or when a few tales are told by the locals in the village tavern. Lovers of culture will particularly appreciate the Cultural Hiking Trail – a circular walk which passes the village’s major historical monuments. Those interested can find out, for example, about the “House of the Giant” whilst strolling through idyllic larch forests, or enjoy the unmistakable view down to the Inn Valley from the “Sunroan Path”. Guests can find out all about the little honey-makers on the Bee Nature Trail in Reith with information boards along the way and in Austria’s only “bee hotel”.
The gateway to the majestic Alpine scenery of the Karwendel nature reserve opens in Scharnitz, the village on the Bavarian-Tyrolean border, well-known far as wide as a “base camp” for hikers, mountaineers, kayakers and rock climbers. Scharnitz, with a local population of 1,400 and accommodation for 400 guests, is a laid back, nature oriented village. Scharnitz, whose landmark is the “Portia Claudia”, a relic of the Thirty Year War, is an ideal starting point for hikes in the Karwendel valleys. Alongside such highlights as the source of the river Isar where the first branches of the river Isar bubble out of lots of little springs, visitors can also enjoy a myriad of scenic attractions in the three valleys of the Karwendel range. Barren Alpine pastures alternate with primeval valleys and craggy peaks. Sheer, vertical rock faces rise up out of and in sharp contrast to gently undulating meadows blooming with Alpine flowers. 5 stages of the “Eagle Walk”, the new hiking route through the Tyrol which connects some of the most scenic areas and best walking territories, go through the Karwendel range, a striking validation of the significance of the nature reserve. Hunters value the abundance of game in the Karwendel region which offers ideal territory for them to pursue their favourite pastime.