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Whether you are a gourmet looking for the tastiest ‘Kaiserschmarrn` (a type of pancake dish), a hiker looking for the best view or the sporty type looking for the highest mountain hut, with over 60 huts and alms to choose from, the Olympiaregion Seefeld has just the right refreshment stop for you.
Onwards and upwards: after a strenuous hike, the opportunity for some refreshment is twice as welcome and the mountain vista doubly rewarding. For spectacular views and marvellous food, try the following huts:
The Nördlinger Hütte in the Karwendel has a fantastic dizzying location just below the peak known as the Reither Spitze. At an altitude of 2,238 metres, it is the highest-lying refuge in the Karwendel mountain range and is the perfect place to enjoy one of the most magnificent views over the entire region, especially if you catch the sun rising or setting. The menu has several variations on the traditional Kaiserschmarrn (a type of pancake dish) and the vegan lentil dal is a treat not to be missed. There are many ways to get to the hut, for example, you can save a bit of time by using the mountain lift system at the start of your hike, or you can combine your route with the new via ferrata up to the peak, the Seefelder Spitze.
You have similarly far-reaching views from the Rotmoosalm, the highest-lying alm in the valley, the Gaistal. The Rotmoosalm lies at 2,030 metres above sea level and is renowned locally as much for its home-made dumplings as for its fabulous location.
The Karwendelhaus at 1,765 metres also has plenty to offer visitors. After a demanding ascent (probably best by bike), you can admire not only the impressive cliffs and mountain peaks all around, but the whole of the Karwendel valley too. After your visit, make your way back down to the valley with your stomach full of dumpling favourites – curd cheese, beetroot, yeast with plum jam – or some hearty goulash or a scrumptious slice of cake! No matter what you choose, it will be delicious.
You can see many surrounding mountain ranges from the Pleisenhütte, located at 1,757 metres, including the Lechtal Alps, the Samnaun group, the Stubai Alps, the Wetterstein range and the Karwendel. The Pleisenhütte is in a particularly sunny spot and the friendly hosts are happy to serve you with some home-made venison goulash or some other tempting regional fare. The uphill effort is well worth it.
There are still a few traditional working alms where, although the offerings on the menu may be limited, the dishes are prepared with ingredients sourced directly from the alm itself. Visitors are always welcome, but they have to realise that they are not top on the list of priorities, the animals come first, so be sure to have time to spare. These alms are often tucked away in beautiful alpine countryside.
If you find the idea of such an alm appealing, then you really should visit the Scharnitzer Alm where Christl will serve you while Roland tends to the livestock. Their alm is located close to Scharnitz and they have restored it in traditional fashion and run it according to the old ways.
If you head further into the Karwendel mountains, you will come to the Kastenalm. The alm nestles idyllically below imposing rock faces and guests can enjoy a tasty cold platter or some home-made cake.
Hikers with the stamina for a longer uphill climb can make their way to the Steinernes Hüttl at the foot of the Hochwanner, Germany’s second highest mountain. Once there, you can take a drink from the ice-cold fountain, but don’t look for a menu – your host will reveal exactly what specials are on offer that day. This rustic refreshment stop at 1,925 metres above sea level is the perfect stopping off point for anyone looking for some peace and quiet.
Pleasure is, by definition, a sensory perception relating to bodily or spiritual well-being. And what could be more pleasing than visiting an alm? From the rays of sunshine softly stroking your face, to the smell of the freshly-baked Kaiserschmarrn on the table and the breath-taking sight of the mountain landscape – you will need all your senses to truly appreciate your surroundings. Real gourmets should make sure to visit the following mountain huts and alms:
The alms in the valley, the Gaistal, are some of the best refreshment stops for anyone in search of a gentle hike or bike ride, or perhaps a family day out. The Gaistalalm has a good-sized sun terrace facing the Hohe Munde mountain and the menu has plenty of culinary delights on offer. Just a little further on from there, you come to the next possible stop, the Tillfussalm, where you can enjoy some superb home-made yoghurt or buttermilk – courtesy of the cows grazing peacefully around about the terrace!
The Hochegg Alm in Seefeld may be just a short climb up from the Rosshütte bottom station, but you nonetheless have a terrific view over the village once you get there. The Reitherjoch Alm is not too far away and has a delightful little play area for children and a wide choice of things to eat.
The Eppzirler Alm in the Karwendel is about a 2-hour walk, one-way, and is known for its filling cheese dumplings and attentive service. The alm is especially well-frequented by locals.
The Rauthhütte, located along the route up to the top of the Hohe Munde mountain in Leutasch, has excellent food. And that is a fact. Year on year you will find it listed in the Gault Millaut gourmet magazine. Connoisseurs of fine food simply must pay this one a visit!
You don’t always have to make a huge effort to find a great stopping off place. There are plenty of huts and alms which are easily accessible if you are looking for somewhere to go with the whole family or if you simply want to have a more leisurely day for a change.
Right at the top of the list is the Triendlsäge restaurant. You can get there easily on foot, or you might prefer the more restful option and go by horse and carriage, or you can simply drive in your own car. Once there, you can choose a table in a traditionally-decorated room (‘Stube‘), or make yourself comfortable on the sun terrace. The Kaiserschmarrn will have your mouth watering, no matter where you sit! The Ropferstub’m restaurant is similarly accessible and is another secret tip for some culinary delights. Time it right and you can enjoy your food while watching the sun set.
The Lottenseehütte is also an ideal choice if you want some good food without too much exertion. You can get there on foot, by bike, with the horse and carriage, or by car. Not far from the Lottenseehütte is the Wildmoosalm which is also accessible by horse and carriage or there is a regular bus link from Seefeld. The Wildmoosalm is also THE place to visit for fans of kitsch and Bayern Munich FC! Incidentally, there are two natural phenomena near the Lottenseehütte and the Wildmoosalm – the periodic lakes. These lakes are not always there in summer and scientists are still unable to say definitively why that is.
Apropos lakes, water babies are well-catered for with the small lake, the Möserersee, and the restaurant beside it, the Möserer Seestub’n. The lake is the warmest natural bathing lake in Tyrol and is just perfect for a dip on hot summer days. Afterwards, relax in the Möserer Seestub’n with some home-made ice cream or some other cool refreshment. If you park at the Seewaldalm car park, then it is just a short walk or bike ride to get to the lake.
Another favourite destination after a pleasant walk is the Hämmermoosalm in the valley, the Gaistal. The Hämmermoosalm is open in summer and in winter and is popular with families. You can also get there by horse and carriage. Polis Hütte is in a top spot in the sunny, flat Leutasch valley. It is also easily accessible in summer by bike, on foot, by car, or even by bus and once you are there, you can just sit and relax and soak up the sun on the terrace for a few hours.
Just as easy to get to, but this time with a view, is the Katzenkopfhütte at the top of the mountain of the same name. From the terrace, you can see as far as the Zugspitze on a clear day, or closer to home you can watch the bikers on the trails below. You can walk up to the Katzenkopfhütte or you can take the chairlift. The same is true for the Sonnenalm at the Gschwandtkopf in Seefeld, where it is not uncommon for guests to sit in a deckchair from just after breakfast right through until afternoon coffee time. The Rosshütte in Seefeld is another spot that is popular with families. The funicular will take you quickly and efficiently to the top and once you are there, there is an adventure park where the kids can play and a sun terrace where the parents can relax.
Spend the night surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery, high above the valley and with the stars seemingly in touching distance – overnighting in a mountain hut is quite an experience. First, there is the joy of finally getting there after a long and weary climb, then you can reward yourself with some apple strudel or schnitzel and finally you can spend a few fun hours exchanging stories with other hikers. Once cosied up in bed, either on a bunk in the dormitory or in your own room, you can begin to dream of what adventures the next day will bring. Here are some of the best huts for an overnight stay:
The charming and historic Hallerangerhaus lies deep in the heart of the Naturpark Karwendel at 1,768 metres above sea level. The refuge has a wonderful setting and is comfortable and welcoming inside – and not just because of the friendly and jovial hosts.
A stone’s throw from the Hallerangerhaus is the Hallerangeralm. The Hallerangeralm has a traditionally-decorated room (‘Stube’) for socialising, really good food on the menu and you can overnight in a snug little room or on a bunk in the larger dormitory-style quarters. The Hallerangeralm also has its own picturesque little chapel close by, a lovely choice for a mountain wedding. What could be more romantic than that?
As far as romance is concerned however, the prize for the most romantic overnight possibility should perhaps go to the Wettersteinhütte. The Wettersteinhütte has what it calls a ‘Kuschelhütte‘, or cuddle-hut, which – as the name suggests – is cute and cosy and just right for small groups of friends. You do have to be careful up here though, the host does love to hand out the famous – or infamous – gentian schnaps!
If you walk a few metres further, you come to the Wangalm where you have an even better panorama view. Located below the majestic rock face of the Schüsselkar mountain, this is a great hut for keen mountaineers who want to shorten the long climbing route and who are looking for somewhere nice to stay where they can enjoy some peace and quiet and have a chance to unwind.
The Nördlinger Hütte is a particularly spectacular spot to overnight in the mountains, even if you might not get a lot of sleep. The accommodation is comfortable enough, but you often see such glorious sunrises and sunsets up there that you just might not want to go to bed. Seeing the sun setting or rising from such an amazing location really is an unforgettable experience.
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