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Field Journal

Alpine Paradise

Alpine Paradise Bike paradise in Paznaun Ischgl © TVB Paznaun Ischgl

Austria Uncovered: Paznaun-Ischgl
Written by Daniel Neilson with Daniel Hug
Produced in Partnership with Visit Austria

Paznaun-Ischgl – including the villages of Ischgl, Galtür, Kappl, and See – is a haven for outdoor lovers in summer, with easy access to the impressive Tirolean mountains. The hiking, biking, and bouldering are world class.

The villages of Galtür, Ischgl, Kappl, and See in Paznaun-Ischgl make a perfect base for a summer of adventure. There are endless singletrack trails against an untouched mountain backdrop, more than 1,000km of hiking trails for every fitness level, and culinary delights are waiting to be discovered. The region’s high altitude makes it pleasant for activities all through the summer.

Alpine Paradise
Paraglide © TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

Where the locals play: Daniel Hug, photographer

Meet Daniel Hug, an Austrian photographer with a background as a geographer, ski guide, and mountaineer. Although born and raised in the Black Forest, the heart of the Alps is now his home. Here, he talks about his love for the Paznaun-Ischgl region, the activities you can enjoy there, and his hidden tips.

‘Paznaun-Ischgl is like my personal playground – a haven for outdoor enthusiasts like me, where every season brings a new wave of excitement and adventure. What keeps me hooked on this place? Well, it’s simple: the sheer variety of activities on offer, all year round.

‘In winter, the slopes are buzzing with activity, but if you know where to look you can find yourself surrounded by untouched powder and wild landscapes. And come summer, the crowds thin out, leaving plenty of room to explore at your own pace.

‘I thrive on the adrenaline rush of ski touring in the rugged terrain around Paznaun. The Dreiländerspitze is my go-to spot for a challenging yet rewarding adventure. And when I feel like mixing things up, I head to Bielerhöhe for some cross-country skiing. The views are unbeatable and the workout is top notch.

‘For climbers, there’s nothing quite like bouldering around Ballunspitze; the natural rock formations provide the perfect playground for honing your skills. And if mountain biking is more your speed, you can’t go wrong with the Paznauner Taja Trail for fast descents, technical sections, and jaw-dropping scenery.

‘Insider tips? Hiking up Gaisspitz is a hidden gem that deserves to be more popular than it is. The views from the top are breathtaking. It’s a favourite spot for a bit of mountain photography. I’ve also found that anywhere along the incredible Paznaun High Route has vast views and ample opportunities for amazing photos.

‘And when it comes to dining, little beats kicking back at Jamtalhütte, beer in hand, soaking in the mountain views from the terrace. The food is hearty and delicious, and the atmosphere is unbeatable.

‘Finally, for those craving a truly unusual adventure, paragliding down from Mutmanör is an experience you won’t soon forget. The feeling of soaring through the air, with nothing but the wind in your face and the mountains below – it’s pure magic. Plus, I also love remote hike-and-fly actions with my paraglider, like soaring from Lareinfernerspitze – it’s the ultimate way to experience the freedom and beauty of the mountains from a whole new perspective.’

So there you have it: Paznaun-Ischgl is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time visitor, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

Alpine Paradise

Get the Lebensgefühl feeling in Paznaun-Ischgl

Lebensgefühl means ‘a sense of life’; a feeling of being part of real life. We asked the residents of Paznaun-Ischgl for experiences that really showcase the best of life in the area.

Sunrise on the mountain
There’s no better way to make the most of your day than to climb a mountain for an incredible sunrise.

Breathe in the freshness
Whether it’s the view of a clear mountain lake or sucking in the pure cool mountain air, refreshment is guaranteed in Paznaun. The region’s altitude means that when the heatwave hits, you can enjoy the summer with pleasant temperatures in Galtür, Ischgl, Kappl, and See.

Alps on two wheels
There is a huge range of options for cyclists of all disciplines in the mountains around Paznaun-Ischgl. You’ll find hundreds of kilometres of signposted mountain bike trails alone, and high mountain passes for road cyclists.

Alpine culinary delights
Cheese. Mmmmm. There are few foods more appealing, especially after a long day in the mountains. The two-generation Huber farm cheese dairy in Galtür produces over 10 types of cheese from its own milk. The milk is sourced from goat farmers in the surrounding area. The Hubers have already received several awards for their cheeses.

Facts about the region

1,000km of hiking paths
In total, the region boasts more than 1,000km of hiking paths. There are also more than 100 hiking tours. One of these, the Paznaun High Route, is 120km long, with 11,000m of climbing across nine stages. It takes in the very best of the regions, but there are also plenty of shorter routes and family-friendly rambles.

754km of bike routes
Paznaun-Ischgl is a wonderful place for cycling, whether that’s climbing tarmac over the high passes or hurtling down mountains off road. There’s a great interactive map highlighting all the best mountain-biking adventures by difficulty. Overall there are 351m of signposted mountain bike trails at the Paznaun, with most of the high-Alpine panoramic routes between 1,400m and 2,850m above sea level. Many of the hotels are also set up for cyclists.

Four cable cars and 11 lifts
Whether you’re getting to the starting point of a family hike or accessing a high-altitude trail with your mountain bike, the lifts and cable cars of the Paznaun region operate throughout the summer. All cable car rides are included with the free Silvretta Card Premium – available in all participating accommodation.

39 mountain huts
Taste the best produce of Tirol in the mountain huts to be found throughout the region. Enjoy wonderful food such as the local cheese and meat board known as Brettljause, or the sweet, fluffy dumplings called Germknödel, all with views over the meadows and peaks of the Alps.

One swimming lake
In See, there’s a dedicated swimming lake that also includes a children’s section. A refreshing place for a dip after a day in the mountains. You’ll also find lakes dotted through the nearby valleys.

And did you know…
Enjoy numerous benefits and discounts during your stay with the Silvretta Card Premium.

Alpine Paradise
Mountain bike tour to Friedrichshafener hut Mathon © TVB Paznaun Ischgl

Mountain Experiences

Ischgl Skyfly
Hurtle down 2km of steel rope at speeds of up to 85kph! This zip line is the fastest way to get you down the mountain. And you can even carry your skis or snowboard in winter. Best of all, you can go side-by-side for a bit of a race!

Bike & Hike Berglisee
Berglisee is a destination for many visitors to Paznaun-Ischgl, and no wonder – there are few more beautiful spots in the Alps than this mountain lake. It’s about a one-hour walk up to the lake from Mathon, along a trail that leads through forests and Alpine meadows. Be sure to take a towel.

Llama hiking
’No drama, llama’ is the brilliant motto on this family-friendly hike. Your family can lead three alpacas and a llama on trails around the starting point of the Dias mountain station in Kappl. A guaranteed way to keep the kids entertained on a walk.

Cross Trail powered by Leki
High in the Alps, in the fresh air of Paznaun-Ischgl, are some of Europe’s best trail-running routes. Cross trail, a mountain pursuit that is somewhere between fast hiking and running, often requires use of poles. Around Ischgl, Galtür, Kappl, and See are nine cross trail routes, with routes between 3.7km and 13.2km and with 1,200m of climbing. You’ll find an interactive map here. Leki poles can be hired at shops in the Paznaun valley.

Mountain Huts

Heidelberger Hütte lodge
This cosy hut is at the foot of the 3,399m-high Fluchthorn peak in the Silvretta Alps. It is accessed from Ischgl, but technically the hut is just over the border in Switzerland. It’s particularly known as a good place for spotting marmots among the rocks, but is also regarded for its hearty food.

Paznauner Taja lodge
To experience the best of local cuisine, including Alpine cheeses (and schnapps), this lodge at 2,000m is a lively option, even in summer.

Jamtalhütte lodge
The Jamtalhütte’s location, deep in the valley south of Galtür, means it’s one of the most visited huts – especially among mountaineers looking to summit the Blue Silvretta mountains. The views that come free with the beer are spectacular!

Niederelbehütte mountain lodge
High above Kappl at 2,300m, the Niederelbehütte mountain lodge has views over the Verwall group of mountains and is located on the precipice of a deep valley affording panoramic views.

Ascher Hütte lodge
The wooden Ascher Hütte has been a ski and hiking destination since 1895, and sits at 2,256m in the Samnaun Group of mountains. It’s particularly regarded for its food. Don’t miss the Kaiserschmarrn.

Alpine Paradise

Hiking Routes

Kappl Sessladalpe – Niederelbehütte – Diasbahn
This 13km walk, with 1,145m of ascent, starts from the Kappl village square and heads to Ruhestein Chapel. From there, the hike continues along the Seßladbach on path number five until the lower Seßladalpe is reached. Then it’s onto Niederelbehütte, at 2,300m, near a waterfall and an impressive mountain panorama.

Ischgl Idalpe – Paznauner Taja
This 11km route begins with a cable car ride up to the Idalp Reservoir at 2,317m. It then passes the Alpenhaus and Vider Alp and to the Höllkar. It ends at the Paznauner Taja, a popular refreshment stop with Paznaun specialities. The return route heads to the middle station and a gondola back into the valley.

Ischgl Family Hike ‘Adventure Stage’ Schwarzwassersee – Pardatscher See
At just over 2km, this short route is easily accessible and ideal for an exciting day with the family. Take the cable car to Fimba or Silvretta middle station and follow the arrows to the idyllic Schwarzwassersee – then the adventure zones with a climbing tower, swing, boulder mountain, and water feature.

Galtür Zeinisjoch – Alpengasthaus Zeinis
An 11km hike starts from the village square in Galtür, following a delightful riverside path along the Vermuntbach before heading up to the Zeinisjoch pass (the Rhine-Danube watershed). The last stretch takes you along a mountain lake to the Alpengasthof Zeinisjoch. The panoramas are amazing.

Events in 2024

Silvretta Ferwall March (August 24th, 2024)
Still going after 51 years, the Silvretta Ferwall March is a gathering of nature and hiking enthusiasts from around the world, with different routes for all individual abilities and preferences. Refreshment stations, a T-shirt, and an achievement badge are included.

E-Bike World Championship for Everyone (September 5th to 7th, 2024)
’Everyone is a winner – everyone can become e-bike world champion’ is the mantra for this inclusive championship. It also provides an opportunity to try out the latest trends in e-biking.

Ischgl Ironbike (August 2nd to 3rd, 2024)
A legendary MTB event attracting riders from around the world to Ischgl. The Ironbike Marathon is the centrepiece, but you can also participate in the fast-paced Kriterium or the Kids & Juniors Trophy.

Paznaun Ischgl Ultra Trail (July 12th to 13th, 2024)
Paznaun Ischgl Ultra Trail (PIUT) is a new ultra trail in Paznaun. There are distances from 10 to 85km, mostly along the stunning Paznaun High Trail that links the villages of the valley.

Culinary Paznaun (July 5th – September 1st, 2024)
Alpine tradition meets state-of-the-art cuisine, and sophisticated dishes meet down-to-earth ingredients at Culinary Paznaun held throughout the summer. Local chefs serve up regional specialities at seven selected mountain lodges in Paznaun. The dishes are available to enjoy all summer long at the respective hut.

For more information, visit and follow @ischgl_com
Produced in Partnership with Visit Austria // @visitaustria



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