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THE FINE ART OF ALPINE LIVING –
A SUMMER HOLIDAY FULL OF CONTRASTS IN THE ALPS
Both summer and winter visitors to the Olympiaregion Seefeld can enjoy some amazing countryside and a wide range of recreational activities for people of all ages. The southerly exposed Seefeld plateau – at an altitude of 1,200 m – provides extended hours of sunshine in the heart of the Alps. It is surrounded by the Karwendel Nature Park, which is the largest of its kind in the Eastern Alps, as well as the landscape conservation area of Wildmoos, the Wetterstein mountains and the Hohe Munde. The five villages that make up the region – Seefeld, Leutasch, Mösern/Buchen, Reith and Scharnitz – offer everything that tourists and families could ever wish for in terms of sport, nature, fine food and wine, and relaxation.
This year-round destination in Tyrol reflects the fine art of Alpine living, and justifiably belongs to the exclusive collection of ‘Best of the Alps’ holiday destinations. A wide range of hotels spans everything from the 5-star superior hotel to simple guest houses, and diverse catering establishments and an extensive selection of health and beauty facilities ensure ample relaxation and culinary indulgence.
The first springtime hikes mark the seamless rolling of the ski season into the summer months. As the melt of snow begins in the spring, it reveals 650 kilometres of hiking trails, 266 kilometres of jogging and Nordic walking circuits and 570 kilometres of paths for bicycles, e-bikes and mountain bikes. Fans of other sports, such as climbing, golf, riding, paragliding and tennis, can enjoy Seefeld's extensive range of sporting activities, complete with all the health benefits that sport and exercise bring at 1,200 metres.
The name of the region reflects its traditional association with sport. In 1964, 1976 and 2012, the Seefeld plateau was the venue of the Nordic disciplines of the Winter Olympic Games and Winter Youth Olympic Games. In 2019, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships will take place in Seefeld for the second time – the first time being in 1985. This will feel like a home game for many competitors, due to the fact that a large number of top athletes regularly come to the Olympiaregion Seefeld for summer or winter training camps. A 3.6-kilometre-long roller-ski track, which leads right up to the shooting range of the Nordic Competence Centre, is the perfect place to train in the summer. This outstanding infrastructure is also ranked highly by amateur sports enthusiasts.
650 KILOMETRES OF HIKING HEAVEN
In the summer season, visitors have access to 650 kilometres of trails through the countryside, complete with panoramic views. The extensive network of well-signposted hiking trails – which are officially certified mountain trails by the Province of Tyrol, including the promenade footpaths – is second to no other within the Alps. Wide hiking trails enable both young and old to experience the full beauty of the natural environment. The privileged location on an elevated plateau, together with the gentle undulating terrain, provides visitors with easy access to the surrounding alpine countryside without having to climb a mountain first. The wide promenade footpaths are perfect for easy hikes or leisurely walks for people of all ages, allowing families with pushchairs, as well as mountain-bikers and hikers, to explore the region and its unique features.
DISCOVER THE OLYMPIAREGION SEEFELD – A SUMMER PROGRAMME
One highlight planned for the summer is the programme of events, Discover the Olympiaregion Seefeld – the GREAT OUTDOORS is waiting for YOU! Between end of May and beginning of October, visitors will be able to take part in a weekly line-up of activities, focussing on different topics every day. Different walks and hikes, including a historic tour of Seefeld, a walk along the Karwendel railway line, meditative hikes and a guided tour around a herb garden, will enable visitors to experience the rich diversity of the resort. There are also events providing hands-on experiences, such as an introduction to the traditional art of fence-making, at the end of which participants will be able to put theory into practice by building their own fence. The guided ‘Nordic sport’ tour gives visitors the chance to have a look behind the scenes of the Nordic Ski Championships in 2019. Participation in these events is free for all summer visitors with the Olympiaregion Seefeld Card.
THREE THEMED TRAILS ON THE BRUNSCHKOPF MOUNTAIN
Alongside a large number of differently themed trails, the Themed Trails on the Brunschkopf initiative is another highlight for visitors in summer. The three themed trails – the Mental Power Trail, the Ice Age Trail and the Seefeld Ski Trail –join up with one another in a star pattern and take hikers on a journey to discover their inner selves, be transported back to a long-forgotten age, or experience the Olympic story first-hand. The trails, all punctuated by enlightening points of interest along the way, start off from the villages of Seefeld, Leutasch and Mösern/Buchen. They finish at the summit of the Brunschkopf with a breathtaking 360° panorama of the Olympiaregion and the surrounding mountain ranges.
TOP HIKING TIPS FOR THE FIVE VILLAGES
The region's five villages are home to a large number of hiking trails that are characterised by their diversity. Seefeld is the starting point for the Seefeld King's Trail, which takes hikers from one summit to the next – from the Seefeld Joch (2,064 metres) via the Seefeld Summit (2,220 metres) to the Reith Peak (2,373 metres) and Nördlinger Hütte (2,230 metres).
The elevated Leutasch valley, nestled between the Karwendel, Wetterstein and Hohe Munde mountains, comprises 24 small hamlets. Home to Gaistal's paradisal Alpine pastures and the transnational Way of St James, the valley is a haven for hikers wanting to enjoy Tyrol's unspoiled great outdoors.
Occupying a stunning location on a south-facing slope of the elevated plateau, Mösern/Buchen is the smallest village in the region and the starting point for hikes and walks to the largest free-hanging bell in Tyrol, the Friedensglocke (freedom bell). Paths also lead from Mösern/Buchen, affectionately known as the ‘swallows’ nest of Tyrol’, towards two natural phenomena – the aperiodic lakes of Lotten and Wildmoos. The Möserer See, Tyrol's warmest lake offering bathing and swimming, can be accessed from Mösern/Buchen too.
Enjoying an elevated location above the Inn valley, Reith is home to the nature conservation area Latschenhochmoor and the Reith Peak at 2,373 metres. The village offers a diverse range of culture and culinary-related hikes for the whole family, as well as mountain hikes in Alpine terrain. The pedagogical Bee Trail – complete with its own bee hotel – is truly unique and offers the chance to gain a fascinating insight into the mysterious lives of bees and related insects.
Scharnitz, the western gate to the 727 km2 Karwendel Nature Park – the largest of its kind in the Eastern Alps – is the perfect place for walks, mountain biking and mountain hikes that cater for all levels of ability. The Gleirsch Gorge cuts through a living landscape characterised by water and rocks as it follows the path of the crystal-clear, turquoise waters of the Isar river.
The diversity of hiking options in the Olympiaregion Seefeld is also emphasised by the large number of events that will take place in spring and summer. The 11th Leutasch Mountain Spring Days will take place from 4th–10th June. During this period, several types of hikes – focussing on an extremely diverse range of topics and accompanied by explanations and anecdotes – will allow visitors to gain wonderful insights into the culture, tradition and natural features of the elevated Leutasch valley and its 24 hamlets.
The Karwendel March or, more fittingly, the Karwendel Run, that will take place on 26th August 2017 is a true summer highlight. This sporting event covers a distance of 52 kilometres with 2,281 metres of elevation gain as the trail winds its way through the Karwendel Nature Park. The focal point of this event is the idyllic countryside along with personal self-awareness. A maximum of 2,500 participants will be allowed to take part in this personal and physical challenge. Refreshments provided to runners during the March will be sustainable and organic. Participants will be provided with local, organic BIO vom BERG products along the way – a brand that today comprises products from over 500 Tyrolean organic farmers.
The three-day IML Unicorn March in Leutasch, which will take place between 14th and 17th September 2017, is a well-established highlight. This event attracts walkers from all four corners of the world, who join forces to complete up to 42 kilometres in one day. The unique team spirit and the communal nature of the event makes the Unicorn March an extraordinary walking experience for all who take part.
Climbing fans can enjoy a large number of via ferrata routes and mountaineering sites in Seefeld, which provide a range of different challenges to suit all levels of ability. The Olympiaregion's villages of Scharnitz and Leutasch are true havens for climbers. With so many different options, climbing is guaranteed to be fun – from simple climbing routes for families to challenges for professional climbers. The Scharnitz Crag and the Scharnitzer Sonnenplatten provide climbers with an extensive playground in the Karwendel mountains. The particularly wide range of climbing options attracts both beginners and experts to explore the trails in the Tyrolean Alps. Leutasch's Chinese Wall, which is 100 metres wide and 150 metres high, is a wall-like cliff face offering more than 100 secured climbing routes. On top of technically challenging climbs, the Wall also promises a unique view. In summer 2016, the Olympiaregion Seefeld will become a member of the Climbers Paradise project. This concept aims to improve the quality of the climbing infrastructure by introducing benchmarks and sharing knowledge.
MOUNTAIN LIFTS IN THE SUMMER
Three mountain lifts in the Olympiaregion Seefeld bring visitors to the top of several mountains in comfort – the Rosshütte lift and Gschwandtkopf lift. The two gondola lifts and funicular railway on the Rosshütte mountain live up to the promises of their "Sport & Relax" tagline by saving passengers the climb up to 2,064 metres. A children's adventure playground themed on coal-mining in Seefeld, together with a giant trampoline, are a great hit for families on the Rosshütte mountain. One of the other highlights is the new ‘landing bag’ in the Rosshütte fun park. This giant 15m x 15m air-filled cushion provides a soft landing for both kids and adults as they jump from up to 9 metres – fantastic fun for all! The jumping station is manned by professionals during the summer season.
After riding up the mountain with the Gschwandtkopf lift, tourists can enjoy a stunning view across the Inn valley while relaxing on sun loungers in the Alpine pastures.
RUNNING & NORDIC WALKING ARENA
The Olympiaregion Seefeld is home to around 266 kilometres of well-signposted circuits for Nordic walking fans and running enthusiasts. The Running & Nordic Walking Arena is ideal for practising these endurance sports in the fresh mountain air of the Alps. The 30 diverse routes, catering for three different levels of ability, include interval circuits, agility trails, regeneration routes and mountain runs. Both beginners and experts will find that training here is at its best.
The summer season's sporting highlights are the Nordic walking and running events, which will kick off with the Seefeld Mountain Run on 18th June 2017. At the end of the 6-kilometre run, with an elevation gain of 1,000 metres, participants will be rewarded with an unrivalled panorama from the Seefeld Summit. The Zugspitz Ultratrail will take place on 17th June 2017, attracting participants from far and wide. Some 2,200 participants will gather for the event at the foot of the Zugspitze – including the village of Leutasch – where they will spend an extraordinary weekend running together, against the backdrop of the Wetterstein mountains. As part of the Salomon Ganghofer Trail on 12th August 2017, the region will be hosting the Leutasch half marathon, together with an 8-kilometre race, which can be run or Nordic walked.
BICYCLES, E-BIKES AND MOUNTAIN BIKES
For cycling enthusiasts, the Olympiaregion Seefeld offers a total of 570 kilometres of bicycle and e-bike routes, as well as mountain bike trails to suit all levels of ability. The easier routes, which also include the beginning of the 300-km Isar Cycle Path, are suitable for all the family. Tourists and weathered cyclists who are looking for a personal challenge will not be disappointed with the demanding mountain bike trails.
The 1,200-metre-high plateau is the perfect region for mountain bikers to train in an environment of outstanding natural beauty, such as the Karwendel Nature Park. Some 32 routes provide enormous variety, both in terms of scenery and challenges. Alongside the use of dedicated cycle paths, mountain bikers are also allowed to ride some 200 kilometres of forest paths.
The many e-bike rental shops and battery charging stations make cycling here fun – without the exertion! Charging stations and e-bike routes are all well-marked on a generalised map. The large number of vantage points and mountain huts serving refreshing drinks and traditional Alpine dishes enable both amateur and expert cyclists to stop for a breather while taking in a fabulous view.
ROLLER-SKIING TRACK AND SUMMER BIATHLON
Whether summer or winter, the Olympiaregion Seefeld provides the perfect training facilities for the forthcoming season. Nordic athletes particularly appreciate the purpose-built 3.6-kilometre-long and 3-metre-wide roller-skiing track – the longest of its kind in Austria. The circuit can be varied in terms of length and elevation, therefore proving as popular with beginners as it is with experts. The track leads right up to the shooting gallery at the Nordic Competence Centre, allowing roller-skiing to be seamlessly integrated into the summer biathlon. An extensive range of courses are on offer to suit all levels of ability.
GOLF IN THE SEEFELD REGION
The Olympiaregion offers visitors an almost infinite range of sports and leisure activities, including many that will keep golfing enthusiasts happy. The demanding 18-hole course at the Seefeld-Wildmoos Golf Club belongs to the Leading Golf Courses in Austria and is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the Alps. Nestled idyllically among the rolling pastures of the Wildmoos landscape conservation area, the course affords an impressive view of the Karwendel and Wetterstein peaks. This course's perfect fairways and greens, 1,300 metres above sea level, present challenges for all golfers, whatever their handicap. Belonging to the golf course, the adjacent Seefeld-Wildmoos Golf School provides professionally instructed golf courses for all levels of ability.
The picturesque Wildsee lake forms a beautiful backdrop for the level-terrain 9-hole Seefeld-Reith Golf Club adjacent to Seefeld's pedestrian zone, as well as for the spacious training facilities of the Seefeld-Reith Golf Academy. This driving range, which includes twelve covered teeing grounds for all-weather training, putting, pitching and chipping greens, as well as practice bunkers, is perfectly suited for players of all handicaps. Various training sessions can be booked at the Seefeld-Reith Golf Academy, including children's courses and proficiency certificate training, as well as private coaching with the professional golfer Thomas Knuchel (member of the Professional Golfers' Association).
HEALTH, BEAUTY AND RELAXATION
The art of relaxation and recharging the batteries is high on the agenda in the Olympiaregion Seefeld. Nowhere else in the Alps is there such a great density of spa facilities as in this resort. Many establishments have dedicated themselves to health, beauty and relaxation, providing guests with an infinite range of facilities catering to their every desire. These include the largest hotel spa facilities to be found in the Alps – spread over 5,000m2, with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Smaller establishments also provide guests with a diverse range of health, beauty and relaxation offers, which they are continually developing. Traditional spa pampering and unique signature treatments, including the use of local products such as herbs and Swiss stone pine, ensure that anyone needing to unwind can do just that! Additional relaxation can be found at the Alpenbad Adventure Pool in Leutasch and the Olympia Sport and Congress Centre Seefeld, whose recreational pools, spacious sauna facilities and relaxing oases in which to pamper mind, body and soul provide the perfect escape from everyday life.
In addition to the health benefits of the fresh mountain air at an altitude of 1,200 metres, some 40 kilometres of themed trails on wide, easy-going paths, five Kneipp sites and natural swimming lakes ensure that guests can pamper mind, body and soul in an awe-inspiring mountain environment. The Mental Power Trail, which starts in Leutasch-Weidach and climbs up to the top of the Brunschkopf, leaves mind and body feeling at one with nature. Soothing the soul, relaxing, slowing down life and recharging the batteries are the focus here. The Breathing Trail educates participants on the art of correct breathing. With the help of different meditative exercises along the way, visitors embark on a journey to discover their inner selves that includes relaxation and heightened self-awareness. The five Kneipp therapy sites offer an invigorating effect on circulation. Anyone who wants to go further than knee-deep into water can enjoy the tranquillity and relaxing atmosphere of natural swimming lakes, such as the idyllic Möserer See or the Wildsee lakes, which also feature two lidos for visitors.
THE MOST DELIGHTFUL PEDESTRIAN ZONE IN THE ENTIRE ALPS
Home to numerous boutiques, restaurants and bars, the pedestrian zone in the village of Seefeld, one of the oldest of its kind in Tyrol, is a delightful place for shopping and strolling. The pedestrian zone radiates from the redesigned central village square, containing the 640-year-old parish church of St. Oswald, one of the most beautiful late Gothic churches in Tyrol. It is also one of the most famous pilgrimage churches in Tyrol, due to the Eucharistic miracle that occurred here in 1384. The rustic, mountain-style Casino is also popular, lending an evening of entertainment a particular flair.
HOTELS & CATERING
The Province of Tyrol is reputed for its excellent standards of hospitality and catering. The Olympiaregion Seefeld's five villages cater for absolutely every taste, offering visitors the choice of a 5-star superior hotel, family-run guesthouse, bed and breakfast, farmhouse stay, or fully equipped apartment. Gourmets and food-lovers are in their element here, where they can find exclusive toque-awarded restaurants and places serving traditional Tyrolean cuisine. More than 60 mountain huts serve a light bite in the afternoon, known here as a 'Jause'.
TOP EVENTS IN THE OLYMPIAREGION SEEFELD
Alongside the many sporting activities and opportunities to pamper mind, body and soul, the Olympiaregion Seefeld also hosts plenty of popular events in the summer. A large number of concerts by diverse artists are held throughout the season.
The summer season kicks off with the 6th Mountain Crystal Festival featuring Mario & Christoph in the village of Seefeld. The three-day event will begin on 1st June when the hosts, Mario & Christoph from the former Alpentrio Tirol band will take to the stage, as will many other well-known musicians. Besides great folk music, highlights will include a walk to the World Cup Hall, as well as mid-morning beers with the musicians on the Sunday.
The next event in the calendar will be the 2017 series of concerts by US bands when the Ambassadors of Music kicks off mid-June. For the 33rd time, singers and musicians from different US college bands will be appearing several times a week in the Olympiaregion Seefeld between 17th June and 23rd July.
The Tuesday Market in Seefeld is renowned for its delicious local produce. The market is held every Tuesday from 6th Juny to 5th September in Seefeld's pedestrian zone. This is the place to pick up heavenly home-made specialities from local farmers from the Seefeld region and surrounding area.
Spicy, sweet, fruity or savoury... However you like your strudel, the Strudelfest of the Seefeld Publicans on 9th July will have it! Restaurants and cafés will be putting on a tempting spread of mouth-watering strudels for visitors in Seefeld's pedestrian zone. It's a culinary summer festival for all the family and includes a line-up of activities for children, such as face-painting, balloon modelling and a hands-on circus.
On 29th July, the Seefeld Village Festival will be back again – a great event for locals and tourists alike. As in previous years, there will be live music, food and drink, and many other great attractions.
With less of the Arctic and more of the fashion world, the White Night – Fashion & Lifestyle Party will take place again this year on 14th August 2017, in Seefeld's pedestrian zone. The village centre will be transformed into a giant stage for this event, which carries an 'all-in-white' dress code. There will be a number of fashion shows revealing the latest trends, a fashion & lifestyle party and a white fireworks display – this summer highlight is now here to stay!
CUSTOMS & TRADITION
Tyrol is renowned for its links with tradition, down-to-earth mentality and passion to keep customs alive. The Olympiaregion Seefeld is particularly committed to maintaining old traditions. Traditional dress, music and handicrafts form an important part of society and are actively kept alive by a number of associations. Traditional ways of life and customs – handed down over generations – continue to shape the year's calendar of events and give rise to many festive occasions that both locals and tourists can enjoy in the summer.
A festive procession marches across the fields in Leutasch in July, in honour of Mary Magdalene, patron saint of the church. A festive kermesse is traditionally held every year on Magdalene Church Day, together with a gala concert, beer barrel tapping, music and dancing. It is a wonderful, social occasion to experience the Olympiaregion Seefeld's local customs and traditions first-hand.
The series of traditional festivals continues on 15th August with Assumption Day. The various rifle battalions of several local associations organise a celebratory mass to mark this day. In keeping with tradition, artistically arranged bouquets of yarrow, St John's wort, scarlet bee balm and other home-dried herbs are strewn into the animal feed on this day, or added to the smoking pan for the traditional burning of incense at Christmas.
The Seefeld Handicraft Festival will also take place, this year on the 2nd weekend in September. This is where the art of traditional handicrafts is brought alive, including plenty of facts about the materials used and the techniques involved, which have been passed down from generation to generation. Some 1,500 exhibitors manning more than 100 stands – including quill embroiderers, basket weavers and goldsmiths – will let visitors watch them at work, while producers of mountain pine oils and herb experts will explain about the healing powers of nature. Other highlights include the historic tractor parades, where vintage tractors are on show alongside ancient farming equipment, and the grand parade of traditional costumes, which are worn by a procession of more than 800 people.
One sign that summer is drawing to a close is the procession of cows and calves through the streets, wearing their festive headgear. Having been driven up to high Alpine pastures in June, the cows' return to the valley in September is marked by celebrations. The 'Almabtrieb', or bringing-down of the cattle and sheep, is a popular folk festival today.
The Harvest Festival brings the farming year to a close. In keeping with ancient customs, a festive procession makes its way to the village churches, where people gather for a traditional celebration to bring summer to a close.
Leutasch will be hosting the 19th Ganghofer Hubertus Week from 1st to 7th October. This is one of the most popular traditional events, covering every aspect of hunting and including a themed hike, following in the footsteps of Ludwig Ganghofer. This famed author wrote many of his famous novels in the Gais valley, in his hunting lodge in Leutasch, to which he often invited prominent Munich artists.
One of the oldest agricultural skills still kept alive in the villages of Mösern/Buchen is that of traditional fence-making. This utilises an extraordinary technique that involves heating the larch and sprucewood fences in flames, and uses only traditional weaving techniques to keep the fences together. The fences are erected without the help of nails and screws, as ancient customs dictate. The majority of fences are made in Mösern/Buchen, where this type of fencing is a very common sight today.
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