Hiking and mountaineering villages
Top infrastructure meets passion
Did you know that? As a member of the Austrian Hiking Villages, Ötztal is subject to severe quality standards. Hiking accommodations, hiking trails and also single villages are awarded the Austrian Hiking Seal of Quality only after a rigorous examination. What is needed is an authentic and cultivated village image as well as top services in the fields of orientation, service and holiday experience. What's best, the hiking and mountaineering villages in Ötztal fulfill all these criteria easily!
Activities in close touch with nature
The quality-sealed hiking villages of Gries and Niederthai as well as the promising candidate Sölden have maintained the harmony between man and Alpine nature. They prepare visitors for their personal hiking experience, spoil them with excellent hiking infrastructures and make their valued landscape come alive.
Gries Hiking Village
In Gries, on a refreshing altitude of 1600 meters between lush meadows and pastures, you can breathe freely. Clean mountain air and a picture-perfect ambience welcome guests as soon as they follow the panoramic road from Längenfeld. Far away from hustle and traffic this typical Tirolean mountain village is known as a very quiet and family-friendly place. Amidst the mighty Alpine mountain giants of the Ötztal and Stubai Alps, Gries makes an ideal starting point for leisurely walking tours, scenic hut hikes, climbing adventures and high Alpine tours.
Niederthai Hiking Village
Quiet, natural, hospitable: The classic hiking village of Niederthai, located at 1550 m altitude on a sun-kissed plateau high above Ötztal, is considered a true insider tip. Right on the doorstep of your cozy accommodation (available in all categories) you can indulge in superb hikes, such as Horlachbach mountain brook leading to Tirol's biggest waterfall, including splendid views of Ötztal. The beautiful loop walk around the village, a detour to Tauferberg region or through picture-book Horchlachtal towards high Alpine landscapes rank among the undisputed highlights when it comes to a hiking holiday in the family-friendly mountain village of Niederthai.
The true stars are the mountains
Pioneer and classic resort: The mountaineering village of Vent has been setting the trend for gentle tourism in the Alps since the beginning of the "Mountaineering Villages" initiative. The Vent locals have deliberately decided to focus on untouched nature and authentic, high-quality and sustainable mountain exploration.
Less but better
In the quiet Venter Tal valley the spirit of glacier priest Franz Senn is still omnipresent. The farsighted clergyman had initiated tourism in Ötztal around 1860, in order to provide the poor mountain farmers in the small Alpine village of Vent with an additional source of income. Senn's sustainable tourism concept was a first important step towards the founding of the German Alpine Association and, subsequently, towards the development of the Alps. Today Vent is a popular starting point for countless hikes and high Alpine peak tours to Wildspitze, Similaun, Weißkugel and many more popular peaks of the glacier-topped mountain range. Well-known Alpine crossings such as the Via Alpina and the Zentralalpenweg 02 lead through Vent. Also the multi-day Vent Loop Tour attracts alpinists to the rear Ötztal.
On a rest day we strongly recommend a visit to the parish house of Vent, which houses an information point of the Ötztal Nature Park. The small but fine exhibition documents exciting facts, for example about Ötzi - the glacier mummy, Franz Senn - the glacier priest or the traditional sheep drive across Vent's crests and ridges.
Mountaineering villages: respect for nature
Alpinist villages of all Austrian provinces have come together under the umbrella brand of "Mountaineering Villages" in order to cultivate their special understanding of Alpine values. They consciously promote the harmony between nature and man in a much more pronounced way than other tourist destinations do. In these mountaineering villages Alpinism has been part of the cultural identity of locals and guests already for generations. This affinity promises professional mountaineering offers, landscape attractions, a high level of environmental quality as well as living traditions and values. Only villages that meet these severe criteria receive the Mountaineering Village quality seal.