Property in the Ötztal, the valley of superlatives

There is no disputing that the Ötztal is one of the most renowned and favourite regions for skiers and all-round winter sports, however, this idyllic and longest valley in Tyrol (65 km) also attracts large numbers of visitors during the summer.  With 45% coming in summer, Oetz is almost as busy as the winter and areas like Sölden and Obergurg welcome just over 2 million visitors every year, of which half a million come in the summer.  So why do they call it the valley of superlatives?  

The Ötztal has the second highest mountain in Austria, the Wildspitze (3.768 m), the highest glacier area in the Eastern alps, the highest parish Obergurgl/Hochgurgl (2.150m) not to mention the Stuibenfall, the highest waterfall and the Piburger See, one of the warmest mountain lakes in Tyrol! 

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Here, anyone (young and old) can find extensive possibilities to explore the unspoiled high mountain regions or the mystical deep gorges plus enjoy the famous Tyrolean cuisine.

The Ötztal valley, shaped by glaciers and being a first-class hiking region, has a lot more to offer than challenging mountain tours and idyllic family hikes.  One of many highlights is the Area 47 by Oetz, which will be open to action sports enthusiasts daily from 27th of April.  Rafting, canyoning, cave tours, indoor motorsports, one of the highest rope courses as well as a water arena with extreme water activities like wakeboarding, blobbing and a outdoor ski ramp into water leave no wishes unfulfilled.  More fun and thrills are guaranteed when rafting in the wild waters of Haiming, Oetz or Sautens.

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For those who prefer a more relaxed approach and like to immerse themselves into culture and the high alpine history of Tyrol, we recommend the archaeological open-air park “Ötzi-Dorf”. Let yourself be taken back 5.000 years into the Neolithic period of the famous Ötzi Iceman.  Visitors can experience the lives of hunting and and farming during that time first hand.  Next to the Ötzi-Dorf and situated on a 5.000 m2 area at the foot of the Stuibenfall, there is the birds of prey park.   The spectacular flying demonstrations of various raptors and birds of prey really makes for a unique and unforgettable experience.  In addition, one can learn more about Tyrolean falconry.

Worth a visit: between 18.04. and 21.10.2018, visitors can admire the lit waterfall (Stuibenfall) at night between 20:30 and midnight from observation platforms in Niederthai and Umhausen.

On rainy days, one can seek out the Aqua-Dome Thermal Spa in Längenfeld to unwind and totally relax in various open air pools (e.g. the river basin or sport pool) surrounded by views of the mountains.  Then there is “Noah’s Ark of the Alps” which guarantees endless fun for children.

More opportunities and activities await when one heads towards Sölden, Zwieselstein, Obergurgl and Vent.

Sölden offers a 700 km bike freeride and downhill paradise.  The Bike Republic Sölden provides the ultimate adrenaline kick for all mountain bike enthusiasts.  Shaped lines, nature trails, enduro trails and pump tracks attract bikers off all ages and levels. 

Wetter days can be spent at the “Freizeitarena” in Sölden.  Facilities include a swimming pool, a sauna, a gym and several tennis courts.

In Zwieselstein there are many wonderful walks, for example through the dramatic “Kühtrainschlucht” to Sölden or up to the “Brunnenberg” to the “Lenzenalm” and last but not least, and especially for those with a sweet tooth, the cosy 300 year-old “Sahnestüberl” (cream parlour) with it’s reputation for the best cakes.

Definitely worthwhile is also a trip to Italy from the convenient starting point in Zwieselstein.  The Timmelsjoch-Hochalpenstrasse takes travellers from Obergurgl to the pretty spa town Meran within one and a half hours, and takes in some of the best views in Südtirol. 

Highly promising is also the high alpine panoramic trail from the Tiefenbachferner (glacier) from an altitude of 2.800m to the village of Vent.  Hikers climb above 900m in altitude with spectacular views of the Ötztaler and Stubaier Alps.

An absolute must for every mountaineer and anybody staying in Zwieselstein is the 3.100 m local peak known as the Nederkogl (3.163m).  The hike does not require any ropes nor a guide but it still represents an exciting challenge and offers unbeatable views.  Extremely popular among the locals, it  takes between 3 and 4 hours from the Lenzenalm and takes you past the crystal clear Nedersee.  From Zwieselstein to the Lenzenalm, the walk takes about an hour.  Good boots, spare clothing and sure-footedness are essential.  It is recommended to start early in the morning to avoid the hot midday sun and perhaps be able to admire the sunrise from over the mountain tops!  The whistling of the marmots accompanies on the way and once in a while you even catch a glimpse of them and then higher golden eagles and chamois are not uncommon as well as wonderful flora, including alpine roses, gentian and edelweiss.  Once you reach the summit, depending on temperature and wind speeds, there is time to relax and enjoy the view into the Ötztal valley and over to the Tiefenbachferner (glacier) and of course sign the visitor book.  During the descent, it’s tradition to stop at the Lenzenalm for a “Brettljausen” of Speck, cheese, homemade bread as well as an ice-cold Austrian beer.

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In Zwieselstein, the road forks into the Venter and Gurgl valleys, each on it’s own worth visiting for different reasons: Vent as a quiet and charming insider tip and Gurgl as the internationally known resorts of Obergurgl and Hochgurgl.

In Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, der Diamant der Alpen, the choice for walkers and climbers seems infinite with an astounding 21 glacier-topped mountain peaks higher than 3000 metres … but not to worry if this seems a little daunting as viewpoints like  “Top Mountain Star” (3.080 m) or the “Hohe Mut Alm” (2.670 m) can also be reached via cable car.

The true, rustic Tyrolean village character lies in Vent, where highly recommended is a family trip to the “Rofenhöfen” where one crosses a long suspension bridge with views down the “Rofenschlucht” gorge.

Those who want to be on top of the world, should try paragliding or tandem flying in Sölden starting from the “Mittelstation” on the “Gaislachkogelbahn”.  Further up, you get to the prestigious “Ice Cube” Restaurant where you can indulge in culinary highlights à la James Bond.

New this Summer (July 2018) will be the 007 Elements James Bond theme park, a cinematic installation, which will give exciting insights into the making of the films.

To plan as many activities at different venues as possible we recommend the great deal of the Ötztal Card which saves you money, time and hassle.  The Ötztal card can be purchased for 3, 7 or 10 days and helps you organise various local activities in a stress-free and cost-effective way.  They included free public transport offers and connections to most venues.

In 2018, Kristall Spaces will be building property for sale in Obergurgl and Sölden.  There are still 3 apartment left for sale. 

100cm of fresh snow in 48 hours

After one of the snowiest Januarys on record in the Alps with ski resorts in Tirol seeing 100cm of snow falling in just 48 hours, the outlook for February and the busiest skiing weeks of the year looks excellent.

Thanks to the snow storms of January which left road and rail access to St Anton, Ischgl and Kühtai cut off, there is a superb base in the ski resorts in Tirol.

The Lawinenwarndienst Tirol (Avalanche Warning Service for Tirol) cannot recall snowfall like this since 1999 and despite some blue skies in recent days, temperatures have dropped and there will be more wintry weather to come.

Current snow depth report in key Austrian resorts:

St Anton  140 / 415 cm
Hochoetz  40 / 220 cm
Fieberbrunn  100 / 200 cm
Sölden  20 / 325 cm
Ischgl  100 / 170 cm

Clearing snow in the Ötztal:

Bellevue Best Property Agents 2018

Kristall Spaces has been awarded the Bellevue magazine Best Property Agents 2018 seal of approval.  Only a select group of international real estate agents are awarded this title.

Branson Atterbury, Marketing Director at Kristall Spaces AG commented: “We had a compelling proposition for the Bellevue panel of judges.  We are the developer, agent and operator and thus provide a rare, end-to-end service: construction, marketing in German, Dutch and English, legal and financial advice to buyers and maintenance and a rental service on behalf of owners. Our key personnel are court sworn experts for the Bundesministerium für Justiz in planning, construction, engineering and property consultancy.”

It is this end-to-end proposition that allows us to understand all parts of the value chain and makes us even more effective at advising customers on acquiring their dream lifestyle investment.

Kristall Spaces AG has a current pipeline of developments worth in excess of €100m and an impressive portfolio of projects including:

  • All-Suite Resort Fieberbrunn (Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang / Kitzbühel Alps) All-Suite Resort Karwendel
  • All-Suite Residence Kühtai
  • Silva Peak Residences, Ischgl
  • All-Suite Resort Paznaun, Ischgl
  • All-Suite Resort Ötztal
  • Residenzen Gasthof Zwieselstein, Sölden
  • Mountain Spa Residences, St Anton
  • Mountain Lake Resort, Zell am See
  • Residenz Zwieselstein, Sölden
  • Residenz Sölden

Buying new build property in Austria

Austria is already the first choice for affordable ski properties, higher rental yields and authentic hospitality when compared to France and Switzerland but how does one decide on the type of property to buy: new-build or resale?

Here are some options to consider:

New-build or off-plan property in Austria normally comes with a higher price tag per m² and will further increase in value as soon as you take ownership.  Typically, we see a 4 to 5% annual growth on our ski apartments and this can be higher in some locations in Tirol thanks to scarcity restrictions to avoid the “cold beds” trends found in France and Switzerland.  According to the UBS Alpine Property Focus 2017, St Anton delivers best growth in the Alps at 8.2%.

So, you might have to increase your budget for a new-build but here’s a few reasons why it’s worthwhile.

New developments present an opportunity to buy into the project early increasing your chances of securing one of the best units at the lowest price and improving capital appreciation.  Note that developers can increase their prices year-on-year and as the project gains interest demand starts to rise.

Importantly, smart new build projects are carefully chosen by a developer for their location and access to ski lifts / pistes and restaurants and can command a rental premium over resale properties.

New property buyers aren’t in a chain and there is less reliance on the current owner / vendor which means less chance of the sale falling through.

Buying off-plan offers attractive payment schemes which don’t exist with resale properties: you pay for your apartment in stages.  The trustee will notify you in good time when each stage payment is due so you have time to prepare the transfer of funds – no need to transfer all at once.  This can be particularly advantageous when using a currency service.

There is also flexibility when dealing with the developer over factors such as parking spaces and choice of furniture packs and when there is joint ownership of the operating company for your apartments, it is possible for the developer to guarantee rental returns for a period during the operating agreement e.g. guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years.

When you buy off-plan in Austria, you get a certain amount of control over the interior of the apartment.  There is range of interior themes and styles to choose from and because you are dealing with the developer it is possible to make minor changes to the floor plans in the early stages of the project.

All new properties built in Austria use state-of-the-art, energy efficient methods and materials that you will simply not find in resale buildings.  Greener energy solutions, more efficient heating systems and some of the highest recycling standards in Europe not only reduce your carbon footprint but lower bills.

All Kristall Spaces’ developments use automatic central heating systems with air or water sourced heat pumps.  Energy is also captured from the spa and bathrooms areas to generate warmth in the underfloor heating systems via heat exchangers and our ventilation systems use the same heat recovery principles to pump fresh air into the apartments at the correct room temperature.  All this results in monthly heating cost savings for owners when compared to oil or gas and delivers a greener, more sustainable solution.

New properties in prime Austrian ski resort locations that come with a rental obligation when owners are not staying there themselves are exempt from VAT.  You can save a whopping 20% on the sales price when you opt for one of these apartments.

New properties come with building guarantees.  For example, we negotiate with tradesmen and suppliers for the following:

  • 10 years for the roof covering
  • 5 years for the mechanical systems (heating, electrics, lifts)
  • 5 years for the remaining works including the shell of the building
  • 2 years for electrical goods

Furthermore, Austrian Building Law allows for a 30-year Statute of Limitations for all hidden defects.

Please see our generic FAQ about buying and owning property in Austria or why not Contact us for advice on your Austrian property search.

Kristall Spaces Projects Update – Ski Properties in Tirol Winter 2017/18

Please click the links below for more information on each project.

St Anton – completion date December 2017.  Ready to occupy.  Over 70% sold out.  Award-winning ski-out apartments.   Some of the best views in the valley.  St Anton delivers best growth (8.2%) in UBS Alpine Property Focus 2017.

Kühtai – 2 apartments left. Ready to occupy now. Highest customer satisfaction in Kühtai on Booking.com: 9.6 Exceptional.  Ski in and out.  Highest ski apartments in Austria – 2,020 metres.  35 minutes from Innsbruck airport.

Ötztal – dual season resort. 100 metres to the ski lift. Full pricing and availability. 8% return on capital invested when taking out a 55% mortgage or a guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years.  25 minutes from Innsbruck airport.   Prices from 215.000€.  19 apartments sold.

Sölden – revised pricing post tendering.  Adjacent to family-run Gasthof Zwieselstein.   Guaranteed 4% return for the first 5 years.   Sölden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl now offer a joint lift pass for 3+ days. 4 apartments left.

Fieberbrunn – 270km of pistes – will soon connect with Zell am See. Prices from 225.000€. Up to 8% return on capital invested when taking out a 55% mortgage or a guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years.  Some of the highest snowfall in Tirol.  Excellent off-piste skiing.  10 apartments reserved.

Ischgl – prices start at 5,000EUR per sq metre.  Full pricing available in April 2018.  Contact us today for a preview of the plans.  Already taking unbinding reservations.

Karwendel – pricing available in April 2018.  Contact us today for plans.  No rental obligation.  One of the most beautiful places you will ever visit.

Kristall Spaces develops and sells ski property in Tirol and now we manage and rent apartments on behalf our owners through our operator business, All-Suite Resorts.

Der Standard (Wien): Buy to let property in Austria is a “win-win”

A good analysis of the current buy-to-let model in the Austrian Alps and how many British, Germans, Austrians, Dutch and Belgian buyers are investing in Tourism Residences in Austria encouraged by returns of 4 to 4.5% and freedom to use their apartment and sell it in a market offering price growth.  (Knight Frank says property prices grew 4.6% in Q1 in Austria and Immodex is reporting a 34% increase in prices since 2010).

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to buy Leisure Residences in dual season resorts in Tirol and the buy to let model favours investors in these locations (Oetz and Fieberbrunn receive 45% of all their visitors in Summer) as well as the local councils.

Der Standard - 27 Juni 2017

Der Standard – 27 Juni 2017

According to the author, it is crucial that apartment owners and the Gemeinde (council) have an operator in place for at least 5 years to ensure year-round visitor numbers continue to grow and support continual investment in infrastructure and amenities.

According to Statistik Austria, professionally rented apartments are also the fastest growing category of accommodation sought by tourists at 9.4% growth year on year.

The management of Kristall Spaces has launched its own operator All Suite Resorts all-suite.com to provide an end-to-end management and rental service for buyers of our apartments.

All Suite Resorts is planning to offer guaranteed returns across all its project locations going forward.

Please contact us today for more information.

Property prices in Tirol: 34% higher than 6 years ago

ImmoDEX is the annual property prices report compiled by Immobilienscout which analyses average property prices across Austria and its Bundesländer.

This year’s edition (published 1 March 2017) makes encouraging reading for property investors throughout Austria and especially in Tirol which has posted the highest regional gains in values since 2010.

tirol gains
At Kristall Spaces, we have been helping owners of our ski properties to resell apartments with a typical 4 to 5% price increase applied per annum on top of the original purchase price of the newly built apartments.

There is plenty of demand for any high-quality product in the right location offering altitude skiing or heavy annual snowfall, easy access and increasingly summer tourism business. It is worth noting that 51% of visitors to Austria now come in Summer (source: Tourism-review.com).

We are expecting the property price trend in Tirol to continue upwards thanks to supply being carefully controlled by local councils and development managed to protect local communities and their livelihoods.

Average prices in Austria are much lower than France and Switzerland (by up to 28% according to Savills) but thanks to ongoing infrastructure investment and a growing international skier base, there is room for upward price movement here.

Each year, more EU and non-EU buyers are coming into the Austrian property market thanks to increasing visitor numbers and their long-term dream of a foreign property investment which delivers capital growth, an annual profit from renting and free holidays in a healthy and safe environment, all-year round.

With a keen eye on the future, the Austrians lead the way when it comes to attracting new visitors to the mountains each year, especially younger consumer groups (Generation Y).   For a moment, consider Area 47 in the Ötztal: the de facto summer tourism innovation comprising over 20,000m² of extreme outdoor and water park activities, including wakeboarding at 812m above sea level.

wake
It is not surprising that the Tirol region alone delivered a >10% increase in tourist visits in the first 6 months of 2016 outpacing all international alpine holiday markets.

One final piece of research published on 27 February 2017 by Statistik Austria: the fastest growing category of accommodation booked by tourists to Austria in 2016 was commercial apartment bookings (i.e. tourism residences as built by Kristall Spaces) which grew by 9.4% year-on-year.

17 January: update on Kristall Spaces projects

The Austrian Alps are nicely covered with snow and as much 229cm in Sölden.  We at Kristall Spaces are busy handling dozens of enquiries each day and managing site visits for prospective EU and non EU based buyers.

We have 4 key projects with pricing & availability

St Anton apartment for sale – construction is underway and one of the buildings containing half the apartments has all the floors in place and the roof on.  It is possible to enter the building with one of our representatives and get a feel for the floor spaces and different views.  Of the 28 upper luxury apartments in this project, 14 are still available.  Voted Best Apartment in Austria & Europe.

Kühtai 2020 Residences – construction was completed last month. There are 5 apartments (out of 17) left but we expect them to sell in the next few months.  There are quite a few buyers who have reserved or are about to reserve in this development, the highest in Austria.  Come and look round one these fully furnished luxury apartments which are ready to occupy now.

Sölden – we will start construction after this ski season. 3 of the 8 apartments have been sold or reserved and there is good interest for the last 5.  It is easy to set up appointments in the Gasthof Zwieselstein where you can meet the developer and the Gstrein family who will manage the rental business of your apartment.

Mountain Lake Resort Ötztal – we have just finalised floor plans and pricing for this exciting dual season location. 100 metres from the ski lift and in a prime location to make the most of the Ötztal’s strong summer season facilities.  State of the art spa and choice of swimming pools for summer. Restaurant and bar on-site.  We already have 7 reservations!

Coming soon – new projects

We will soon release floor plans for Galtür (Ischgl) and Fieberbrunn, so keep your powder dry if you want your own apartment in one of these locations!

Galtür (Ischgl) – floor plans for Mountain Spa Resort Paznaun coming in February 2017.  We will update all our prospects with a newsletter.

Fieberbrunn – floor plans coming in February 2017 also.  Again, all our previous enquiring customers will receive a newsletter.

Karwendel – 28 leisure residences with no rental obligation although we provide a rental service if owners would like to rent their apartments.  Swimming lake & on-site wellness.  On-site brasserie restaurant & bar. 1 hour from Munich & 40 minutes from Mittenwald.

Register your interest 

Contact us today if you are interested in any of these locations and we will keep you updated with progress.

Austria shines in Savills report on Alpine properties

There are some useful data in this year’s Savills report on Alpine properties – here are the out-takes for buyers considering property in Austria.

Austrian ski property prices are 28% below other alpine countries but price growth is higher at 8%.  See the chart below.

austrian-ski-property-growth-savills-spotlight-alpine-property-market-2016-17

With ongoing infrastructure investment and growing international skier participation there is room for upward price movement in Austria.  Other sources (e.g. Tiroler Tagezeitung) recently highlighted a record first half in 2016 of apartment sales in Tirol with an average capital growth of 6.2% for the region.

Reassuring feedback then from separate sources on increasing asset values which will be sustained by careful town planning restrictions on over-development and therefore supply.

Austria is clearly more successful than France and Switzerland in developing its non-skiing attractions and summer tourism business which drives up rental yields, infrastructure investment and future resale values for Austrian property owners.

The report points to a 1.6% year-on-year decline in total ski visits to the top 8 global markets is reported (USA, France, Austria, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Canada and Germany).

Austrian property investors need to be careful and review local tourism figures in isolation.

The Tirol region has delivered a >10% increase in visits in the first 6 months of 2016 clearly bucking the trend of competitor ski markets.

Innsbruck airport is increasing its inbound capacity for German passengers by 180% this year and introducing new routes from British Airways.  The Tirol Tourism board and the ski resorts are again forecasting a year-on-year growth in visitor numbers.

One successful strategy paying off for the Austrians is their focus on the millennial generation (age 20 to 35).  The successful Alpine resorts of the future will be the ones which innovate and draw new visitors with different activities throughout the year.

Examples include Kühtai which boasts Austria’s biggest half pipe and nearby Area 47, one of Europe’s largest extreme sport adventure parks which even has a wakeboard park at 812m above sea level and Mediterranean water temperatures to boot:

Ischgl is one of the biggest ski areas with the longest season continually ploughs lift profits back into its dizzying array of slick infrastructure and glitzy / urban amenities, including 3 Michelin star restaurants.  In Ischgl you can even ‘fly home’ down the valley with or without skis at 85kmh on a dual zip wire – 2km long and 50m high (total investment €2m):

Incredibly, family-friendly Oetz has just reported a 30% increase in lift sales this summer thanks to new investment in family amenities in the Hochoetz ski area.   Astonishingly, Oetz draws 45% of its annual visitors outside the winter season.  Oetz has 80km of its own skiing and tourists can access Sölden in 20 minutes with its 2 glaciers but it has all-year round tourism status – not just in the Summer but through to early Autumn when the Acherkogelbahn makes a brief pause before the Winter season starts again on 16 December.

Hochoetz’s new adventure playground, Widiversum – parents can even leave children in supervised groups and head higher into the mountains for the day:

Currency impact:

In the wake of the UK’s EU referendum and the weakening of sterling, Swiss Alpine property has become 8.6% more costly to GBP buyers (May to Sep 2016), while French or Austrian Alpine homes have become 7.6% more expensive.  Despite the Pound’s fall, there are still some determined UK buyers who want to buy their Austrian property now and get into Austrian Land Registry before Brexit is finalised.

For US Dollar, Euro and Swiss Franc buyers, the picture is unchanged and the customer base is very international including non EU buyers as well as increasing numbers of Germans, Dutch, Belgian and Scandinavians.

Please read our FAQ about buying and owning an Austrian property or Contact us today with any questions.

Stanford University: hiking improves your mental state

Even without the snow, the Austrian Alps draw visitors from all over the world to hike through its stunning, majestic scenery.  The dual season of Oetz, for example, receives nearly as many tourists in summer as winter with the Acherkogelbahn starting up on 4 June and running through 9 October to whisk walkers up to 2,020m in just 8 minutes as a starting base to a choice of high alpine walks.

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We all know hiking is great exercise which provides plenty of physical benefits, but recent studies have suggested it can have positive mental effects, ranging from improving mental health to enhancing creative thinking.

Hiking to Improve Mental Health

A recent experiment at Stanford University has provided evidence that walking through natural surroundings produces a measurable reduction of “morbid rumination” — brooding to you and me. Gregory Bratman of School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences divided his volunteers into two groups, one of which was sent on a for 90-minute walk through countryside, the other for the same distance through an urban area.

While it’s not surprising that the first group felt more relaxed, questionnaires before and after the walk also showed that they saw a reduction in their morbid rumination, a state which, in more extreme forms, can lead to mental illness.  The second group showed no reduction, even though they’d walked the same distance.

Bratman went further, though, and examined changes in a part of the brain called the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which is known to control brooding. The volunteers who’d enjoyed the countryside walk had lower activity here after they’d finished, supporting the results of the questionnaire.

Other Mental Benefits of Hiking

Another study, this time by the University of British Columbia, demonstrated that aerobic exercise, such as hiking, increased the capacity of the hippocampus (the part of the brain that is involved in memory forming, organising, and storing). This improves memory, both in the short term and by slowing down the loss of our memory power as we age.

At the other end of the life-span, a study by Frances E. Kup and Andrea Faber Taylor has shown that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) benefit from exposure to “green outdoor activities”. Their ability to concentrate improves, suggesting that this might also help anyone with attention problems.

A study by Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer suggested that hiking through a natural environment also improves mental creativity. Volunteers who spent several days hiking in the countryside with no technology to distract them scored higher in creative exercises on their return than before they started.

All-Round Benefits

There’s still plenty more work to be done on these studies, such as determining the relative importance of the walking itself and the surroundings, as well as whether it enhances the effects or detracts to have company.

It seems clear, though, that hiking through beautiful scenery is good for us both physically and mentally. And you don’t find hiking more exhilarating nor scenery more sensational than Tirol.

Check out the following websites for hiking inspiration in Oetz and Galtür.

oetz summer walk

There’s something about the combination of the mind-blowing landscape and the good humour and generosity of the Tiroleans that’s irresistible to walkers, from beginners to tough mountain-hurdlers.