Cows roam freely on the rolling inexperienced hills, the sounds of their bells ringing within the distance; ladies wearing completely fitted dirndls smile and wave, whereas males of their lederhosen belt out tunes with their accordion in hand.
Welcome to Kufsteinerland.
With fairy-tale castles, picturesque cities and towering mountains, Kufsteinerland is the Austria of many individuals’s desires. It’s as alpine as Europe will get, with mountains that make you wish to yodel out loud and patchwork pastures chiming with cowbells. People music echo via the valleys and steins (large jugs) of beer are served in centuries-old picket A-roofed mountain huts. It makes you are feeling such as you’re within the film setting of “The Sound of Music”.
Positioned within the western fringe of Austria, Kufsteinerland is the gateway to the Tyrolean Alps, being surrounded by the Zahmer and Wilder Kaiser Mountains. Often called “the wild west”, the area is residence to greater than 500 peaks over 3,000m, and over 600 glaciers alongside the principle alpine ridge. Many vacationers come to this area to immerse in nature, depart behind their worries, and escape the stress of on a regular basis life and be at one with nature.
After we acquired the invite to journey Kufsteinerland with our 2.5-year-old daughter, we knew we might love the mountains and nation setting of the area — however we puzzled if Kaleya would too. It turned out we had nothing to fret.
Nature is one of the best playground for teenagers, and the area has no scarcity of it. There are additionally loads of family-friendly actions and festivals in Kufsteinerland which can be good for teenagers of all ages. Kufstein, the capital of the area, is an enthralling metropolis that has loads to supply by way of tradition and historical past. Plus the area is residence to a enjoyable, endangered-species zoo that each child would take pleasure in.
Right here’s a have a look at what we obtained as much as in Kufsteinerland:
Kufstein: A Historic Medieval City
Because the capital of the Kufsteinerland area, Kufstein makes for an incredible base to discover the encircling space. Don’t let its small measurement idiot you (inhabitants of 18,400) — the medieval city is chocked filled with historical past and attraction.
Poised on the banks of the emerald Inn River, Kufstein’s previous city is clustered with cute A-roofed wooden-beamed homes that comes straight out of a Hans Andersen fairy story. Probably the most outstanding a part of the previous city is the Römerhofgasse, a medieval passage lined with homes embellished with stunning frescoes. Right here, we additionally discovered the smallest bridge restaurant on the planet.
The exceptional Kufstein Fortress dominates the panorama of Kufstein because it did centuries in the past. This fortress dates again greater than 800 years and isn’t solely the image of Kufstein but additionally residence to a museum and the biggest open-air organ on the planet. At the moment, it’s Kufsteinerland’s most well-known landmark and it additionally serves as extraordinary venue for quite a lot of occasions, together with the annual Operetta Summer season. To get to the fortress, we caught a funicular from town centre. From the fortress, you’ll be able to drink in a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the sprawling valley.
The Cattle Driving Competition
We had been extraordinarily fortunate to go to Kufsteinerland in September, in the course of the annual Almabtreib cattle-driving festival. Historically cows had been introduced as much as the mountains to graze, after which herded again to their farmsteads within the valley each autumn. Over time, the occasion has developed right into a competition, with the addition of Tyrolean traditions, handicrafts and culinary delicacies. The cow-herding occasion is essentially celebrated throughout Austria, with the most important celebrations held right here in Tyrol.
On the principle avenue of Kufstein, we watched a whole bunch of cows parade their elaborate flower garlands and spiritual alms, with chirpy people music enjoying within the background. Ladies had been dressed of their stunning dirndl and males placed on their finest lederhosen. We joined the group and feasted on scrumptious Tylorean snacks comparable to kiachl (fried yeast dough pastry) and washed them down with large steins of Austrian beer.
On the competition, there have been additionally loads of actions designed for teenagers: from an arts and craft nook to a giant bouncy citadel and even a marshmallow barbecue pit for the little ones to take pleasure in themselves.
Kaisertal Valley Hike
Surrounded by the Zahmer Kaiser and Wilder Kaiser mountain ranges, the Kaisertal Valley Nature Reserve in Kufsteinerland was voted by Austrians in 2016 because the loveliest place in Austria, as a part of the ‘9 Plätze – 9 Schätze’ (9 Locations, 9 Treasures) initiative.
The reserve is residence to an hour-and-a-half stroll that takes you up within the mountains and deep into the valley, previous lush inexperienced pastures, grazing cattle and quaint picket huts which have been now transformed into guesthouses and taverns for hikers. The two.3-mile hike can also be good for households, particularly these with younger youngsters who can hike or infants they will simply keep on their backs.
We started the hike on the Kaisertal Base, with 285 steps that led us via thick pine and fir tree forests. It was a battle for us at first as Kaleya refused to stroll (she normally loves climbing steps) and we needed to carry her up, however as soon as we obtained to the top of the steps, the path led to flat land and beautiful meadows. Ultimately, our stroll ended on the Antoniuskapelle, a conventional chapel in-built 1711 on a small plateau overlooking the valley ground.
Endangered Species Zoo
Youngsters of all ages would love the Uncommon Species Zoo in Ebbs (Raritätenzoo Ebbs), residence to an unique animal world, straight on the foot of the Zahmer Kaiser. Animals right here reside surrounded by the pure Tyrolean panorama of Kufsteinerland, in the midst of the forest in Ebbs. The privately managed zoo has over 500 animals of 70 totally different endangered species: from kangaroos to lemurs, flamingos and wolves.
We aren’t large followers of zoos, however this zoo positively gained us over with its pure mountain setting and dedication to animal conservation. The zoo has additionally gained a prestigious personal award for its wonderful animal and veterinary care. Entry charges price € 8.50 per grownup and € 4,50 for teenagers from Four to 16 years of age.
The place to Keep:
On this journey to Kufsteinerland, we stayed at Unterwirt, a connoisseur resort that prides itself on its beautiful meals. The family-run institution serves up top-notch, connoisseur meals, ready with pure components and fashionable methods. They put an attention-grabbing spin on conventional Austria flavours and it’s value attempting their tasting menu.
Past meals, the resort prides itself on its wealthy historical past in addition to family-friendly facilities. It’s housed in a historic constructing that dates again to 1490, however the inside has been absolutely renovated, with rooms that spot fashionable fixtures and facilities. This is a great spot to remain for households, because the resort is well-equipped with child cot and excessive chair, and it additionally has loads of out of doors house for teenagers to run round.
The place to Eat and Drink:
Untertwirt — For a correct connoisseur meal, head to the restaurant at Untertwirt connoisseur resort and also you’ll be spoiled for selection. The tasting menu has over six programs and every course is matched with a unique wine to reinforce the expertise.
Sattlerwirt — The close by Sattlerwirt is a conventional tavern that dishes up old-school Tyrolean dishes, such because the candy chopped pancakes kaiserschmarren and the well-known cheese dumplings kasspatzln.
Bierol Taproom – Go beer-tasting at this hip and newly restored craft beer brewery/restaurant and also you’ll get a different peek into Tyrol’s scene. Run by a younger proprietor who’s additionally a chef, the restaurant serves very inventive and fashionable meals, and brews its personal craft beer proper on web site.
Bar Albert — Positioned on the principle pedestrianised avenue of Kufstein, this slick and stylish wine bar has a powerful assortment of wine from throughout Europe. Pair up the wine with scrumptious cheese and ham canapés, and also you’re assured a gastronomic night.