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Ski tours

No, we miss the boat. We just didn’t join in when one village after another in the Alps began to build ski lift facilities. Today Villgratental in Osttirol is the only valley in all of Austria to enjoy metre upon metre of deep snow and giant mountains, but without the ski ‘circus’. 30 years ago when ski mountaineering wasn’t trendy, pioneers were covering their skis with pelts. In the traditional area of Innervillgraten which has almost 900 inhabitants and the even more tranquil Außervillgraten which has 860 inhabitants, guests still appreciate the incomparable tranquillity and romance, and exclusive adventures in the mountains and in the natural surroundings. Many of the routes in Villgratental are between 800 and 1000 metres altitude and are of moderate difficult level.

One particularly nice tour for beginners is the one to the Gaishörndl (2615 m), that the locals like to do at night, when the moon is full. Insiders describe the region as a ‘tour heaven’. Half of the land mass is above 2000 m, while hundreds of mountain summits exceed the 3000 m mark. There are lots of easy and moderately difficult tours to choose from, including in Defereggental, in the Lienz Dolomites and in Tirol’s Gailtal and Lesachtal. Those who give it a go and try out the loveliest routes with a mountain guide, will be rewarded not just with superb deep snow slopes but also with a vast panoramic view to the majestic three-thousand metre mountains. After all this the many alpine inns tempt you in to enjoy a hearty ‘Brettljause’ and a ‘Pregler’ – the master of all schnapps.