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Field Journal

Well-being in Nature

Well-being in Nature Photo: Bike trail Hahnenkamm ©Kitzbuehel Tourism_Andreas Meyer

Destination Guide: Tirol
Written by Harriet Osborne // Produced in Partnership with Visit Austria

With rugged peaks, picturesque valleys, and rolling mountain pastures, Tirol is the place to find well-being in nature. In the warmer months, gravel biking takes centre stage, inviting you to explore wooded trails, twinkling lakes, and lofty summits. Slow the pace on a peaceful hike with panoramic views across the valleys, eat like a local in one of the many charming Alpine huts, and forge genuine connections along the way.

Tirol stretches along the western side of Austria. Best known for its scenery and huge range of outdoor experiences, Tirol offers plenty of scope for outdoor adventures and relaxation in nature. Whether gravel biking along wooded trails, around the region’s many lakes, or hiking across mountain ridges, there is something for everyone here in the heart of the Alps.

Here are five places to explore:

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Photography: Tritschalpe ©TVB St. Anton am Arlberg_Alexandra Genewein-Die West // St. Anton am Arlberg Verwall ©TVB St. Anton am Arlberg // St. Anton am Arlberg WellCom ©TVB St. Anton am Arlberg_Patrick Saely

St. Anton am Arlberg

St. Anton am Arlberg is a village famous worldwide for its ski slopes and lively après-ski scene. In summer, it transforms into a haven for biking enthusiasts, with 350km of marked routes from leisurely to challenging climbs.

Recommended route: Galzigtrail is a challenging route leading over the eastern slope to St. Anton am Arlberg, offering spectacular views of Stanzertal and the surrounding mountains across gravel, forest trails, and asphalt.

Tip: Travel with your clean bike in the Galzigbahn gondola to the beginning of the trail. Bike washing areas are available at the valley stations, and bike transport is free for summer card holders.

Where to eat: Get a taste of Tirolean cuisine with a twist at Thony’s, a wood-accented restaurant with a laid-back bar and food trucks serving sweet blueberry omelettes, cheese dumplings with brie, and home-made schnapps.

Where to stay: Schwarzer Adler is a historic retreat in the heart of St. Anton am Arlberg. With heritage dating back to 1570, this family-run hotel blends tradition with contemporary design. Unwind in the spa’s heated outdoor sky pool and indulge in the award-winning restaurant’s regional delicacies.

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Photography: Mountain biking in Zillertal ©Zillertal Tourism_Tom Klocker // E-Mountain bike camp in Zillertal ©Zillertal Tourism_Heiko Mandl // Hiking on Arbiskopf ©Zillertal Tourism_Christph Johann


Zillertal is a valley in the Alps best known for its natural beauty, Alpine scenery, and outdoor pursuits. It’s one of the world’s most diverse hiking destinations, with a number of impressive 3,000m peaks in the High Mountain Nature Park Zillertal Alps.

Recommended trail: Signed trails of all difficulties stretch from the sunny valley floor to the rugged peaks: 1,400km of them for hiking, and a further 1,300km for cycling. And direct access to all starting points is offered by 10 summer cable cars, of which 7 allow you to transport a bike, as well as the Zillertal Alpine roads.

Where to eat: Experience culinary craftsmanship and seasonal menus at Schulhaus Tirol, where fresh rainbow trout is served with home-grown herbs and locally sourced vegetables, washed down with Flein, a non-alcoholic wine.

Where to stay: Retreat to a picturesque mountain escape at Theresa Wellness Hotel. The epitome of relaxation with a lavish wellness spa featuring five pools and invigorating steam baths.

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Photography: Bergisel ski jump with view to Karwendel ©Innsbruck Tourism_Christof Lackner // Innsbruck Trek ©Innsbruck Tourism_Christian Vorhofer // Innsbruck Crankworx ©Innsbruck Tourism_Stefan Voitl


Innsbruck is Tirol’s capital city, renowned for its breathtaking mountain vistas, historic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Innsbruck offers a unique blend of urban sophistication and Alpine charm, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking cultural experiences. It’s an ideal starting point for exploring the surrounding Alpine landscapes.

Recommended trail: One moment, you could be sipping a cappuccino in a charming street cafe, and the next you’re marvelling at the views from a Nordkette mountain summit. The Nordkette Path of Perspectives from Congress Station is a gentle hiking trail with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.

Where to eat: Eat like a local on the Innsbruck Food Tour, a culinary journey where you can enjoy local delicacies like savoury dumpling soups, golden sauteed potatoes, cheeses, pickles, and fresh bread, zesty strudel, and fluffy shredded pancakes.

Where to stay: Escape to Gasthof Koreth, furnished with a blend of traditional and modern comforts. Located in Mühlau, a short distance from Innsbruck city centre, Koreth is renowned for its excellent food – all served in warm and inviting dining rooms.

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Photography: Bike trail Hahnenkamm ©Kitzbuehel Tourism_Michael Werlberger // Hiking ©Kitzbuehel Tourism // Village View Kitzbühel ©Kitzbuehel Tourism


Kitzbühel is a charming town in the Alps best known for its crystal-clear waters, majestic mountains, and lush Alpine pastures. Kitzbühel has an extensive network of 1,200km of cycling routes – including 800km for mountain bikes – with diverse tour options suiting all ages and abilities, whether you are seeking an all-day expedition or a relaxed ride.

Where to eat: Restaurants in Kitzbühel range from traditional mountain huts and rustic Tyrolean inns to award-winning restaurants. Start your day in the mountains with a hearty breakfast of farmer’s bread with fresh butter, herb spread, jams, cheese, bacon, and many other regional delicacies.

Where to stay: Hotel Kaiserhof Kitzbühel is a stone’s throw from the centre of Kitzbühel and boasts rooms adorned with pinewood furnishings – with extra fluffy bathrobes for a visit to the wellness area. Unwind in the sauna, steam bath, indoor pool, and relaxation room with waterbeds and a Himalayan salt wall.

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Photography: Summer in St. Johann in Tirol ©Mirja Geh // View from Harschbichl to Wilder Kaiser ©Mirja Geh // Climbing in St. Johann in Tirol ©Mirja Geh

St. Johann in Tirol

St. Johann in Tirol is a town secluded in the foothills of the Kitzbühel Alps. Picture colourful buildings, cobblestone streets, and a welcoming atmosphere against a backdrop of the Kitzbüheler Horn and the Kaisergebirge mountains.

Recommended trail: Hike the mystical Devil’s Lane or explore the mountains on two wheels – you can learn the basics of mountain biking, then hit the trails with a local pro and experience the beauty of the Alps.

Where to stay: The Hotel Crystal is just around the corner from the train station, making it a perfect starting point for adventures in this region. Especially as it is a five-minute walk away from the Bergbahnen St. Johann in Tirol, ready to whisk you up into the mountains.

Find out more about Austria here and read about Jenny Tough’s gravel riding with Tirol here.
Written by Harriet Osborne // @harrietosborne
Produced in Partnership with Visit Austria // @visitaustria



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