Records show that in 1840 the first visitors came to Gurgl, mainly researchers and landscape painters who stayed at the „Haus Kuraten". Before the 1st World War there were already 14 farms in Gurgl - (the highest parish in Europe) and the land was cultivated.

In 1931 the Swiss physics Professor Auguste Piccard and his assistant Paul Kipfer were forced to make an emergency landing with a stratospheric balloon on the Gurgler glacier. This news hit the world press and the village of Gurgl became well-known.

In 1939 Gurgl's appearance changed due to the influx of tourists. Out of the few farms the two villages of Obergurgl and Untergurgl developed and later the third village of Hochgurgl.

Today Obergurgl-Hochgurgl has 4.230 guest beds and hosts annually approx. 100.000 guests. The majority of the visitors come from Germany, Great Britain, Austria and the Benelux Countries.

The Man from the Ice

The 5,300-year-old hunter's perfectly preserved body was discovered in a melting glacier in the Tirolean Alps in 1991. The frozen body was remarkably well preserved and still clad in primitive clothing, including an animal hide coat and grass cape. It is believed he belonged to an agricultural community. An indication that the annual sheep drive from South Tirol / Italy across the main alpine ridge to the upper Oetztal valley has a thousands of years of tradition. Countless investigations during the last 13 years have brought to light findings and resting places from the Neolithic Age. The Ötztal "Urweg" trail invites you to go an a journey through time and discovery!