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There are many reasons why autumn is a special time of year in Tirol. Temperatures are cooler than in the height of summer, yet the sun is still pleasantly warm and brings to life the forests with their thousand shades of red, brown, yellow and orange.
Autumn is also the season when many traditional events take place. Hikers are drawn to the Alps by the clear air, while further down in the valley Tirol’s spas and thermal baths are the perfect place to soothe tired muscles and get away from it all. Here are a few ideas on things to see and do in Tirol during autumn.
Autumn walk to the Obernberger See lake
Located in a side valley branching off the larger Wipptal Valley connecting Austria to Italy, the Obernberger See is a beautiful mountain lake which is easy to access for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. The lake is located at 1,600 metres above sea level and is set against the peaks of the Tribulaun Mountains, which are reflected on the surface of its water. Larches surround the lake on all sides, transformed at this time of year into a spectacular sea of colour. The walk up to the lake and around its shore is 6 kilometres in length and takes around 2 hours from the car park at Waldesruh. For more information please visit https://www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/autumn/obernberger-see.
Autumn hike to the top of the Kellerjoch mountain
Hiking in autumn certainly isn’t restricted to low altitudes only. One of the best mountains to climb at this time of year is the Kellerjoch near the town of Schwaz. The views from the top at 2,344 metres are particularly good in autumn thanks to the clear air. Here, high above the Inn Valley, you will be able to see the Karwendel Mountains, the Rofan Mountains, the Tux Alps, the Zillertal Alps and the Main Alpine Ridge including the mighty peaks of the Hohe Tauern. If you want to experience an autumn sunrise from the top of the mountain, we recommend an overnight stay at the Kellerjochhütte before an early start the next morning to catch the first rays of the day. For more information about the hike to the top of the Kellerjoch mountain please visit https://www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/sports/hiking/hiking-tours/a-day-hike-schwaz-kellerjoch-hut
Traditional autumn cattle drives in Tirol
Autumn is the time of year when the cows are brought back down into the valley having spent the summer months grazing on high alpine pastures. This event is marked in Tirol by traditional cattle drives dating back many centuries. Each September weekend there are several villages where you will find such cattle drives, often accompanied by food, drink and live music. The cows traditionally wear colourful headdresses to celebrate a successful summer with no major accidents or illnesses. Tirol has around 2,100 high pastures used to graze 110,000 cows, more than 70,000 sheep, around 5,500 goats and 2,000 horses in summer. There are roughly 40 ceremonial cattle drives each autumn in Tirol, large and small. For an overview of the events taking place this year please visit https://www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/culture/tradition/cattle-drives
Relaxation for mind, body and soul in Tirol’s spa hotels and thermal baths
A mountain hike in the morning followed by a spa session in the afternoon. Sounds like your kind of thing? Tirol is home to a large number of spa hotels and thermal baths offering lots of ways to relax, from saunas and pools to massages and beauty treatments. Many also provide classes for activities such as yoga, pilates and meditation. For more information please visit https://www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/nature-wellness/alpine-wellness
Enjoy the traditional taste of Tirol in autumn
Thanksgiving is celebrated in many places in Tirol in early October with special church masses and religious processions. Autumn is also the time of year when the local restaurants reap the bounty of Tirol’s rich nature and have game, lamb, pumpkin, potatoes and mushrooms on the menu. There are even special events like the Culinary Way of Saint James, where walkers can enjoy traditional local food prepared by six different top-class chefs at six different huts in the Paznaun Valley.
Plenty of activities for families during the school holidays
Autumn is the perfect time of year for families to enjoy the nature of Tirol together. The days are cooler, the air is clearer and the mountains, forests and lakes are waiting to be explored! Themed walks, treasure hunts, riverside hikes, overnight stays in treehouses – there really is so much to look forward to, especially in the Tirol Family Nests. This association brings together regions in Tirol which have specialised in welcoming families with children, including regularly inspected family-friendly hotels and professional childcare services. Or how about a night up at a mountain hut with all the family?
For more information on autumn in Tirol please visit https://www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/autumn.