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During the second half of the 20th century, the highest parish village in Austria changed from a sleepy mountain village to a popular holiday destination. For a quite long time it was the passion for skiing that attracted guests to Upper Ötztal but summer has also become more attractive in recent years. The healthy high altitude location and the bracing Alpine climate rejuvenate body, mind and soul.
Deceleration is also the order of the day when it comes to hiking tours: as the trails start at almost 2000 m above sea level, they are often only a stone's throw to beautiful vantage points, rustic mountain huts and Alpine pasture inns. Ambitious mountaineers and hiking aficionados can choose from myriad challenging high Alpine crossings and glacier tours plus many more rewarding destinations.
On 27 May 1931, the Swiss stratosphere expert Auguste Piccard had to make an emergency landing on Gurgler Ferner glacier after he had set a new altitude record in his hot-air balloon and was the first person to be able to see the curvature of the earth. A memorial in the village center, the Piccardsaal event hall and the new Piccard Bridge at the foot of Gurgler Ferner glacier are named after the adventurer.
Hochgurgl stands for an all-around package of luxury, charm and hospitality that can hardly be surpassed in the true sense of the word. A handful of hotels above the timberline on the sunny slope opposite Obergurgl are the perfect base for a relaxing summer break. Thanks to the top modern mountain lifts, hikers and excursionists can easily reach vantage points such as 3080 m high Top Mountain Star at Wurmkogl peak, which unveils a fascinating 360-degree panorama.
Close to the village, the striking Top Mountain Crosspoint building forms the crucial point of multiple enjoyment. From the toll station located here, the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road winds its way across the pass towards South Tyrol. Furthermore, the Motorcycle Museum displays an extensive collection of historic motorcycles presented by Attila and Alban Scheiber. The base station of Kirchenkar Mountain Gondola and a restaurant with table service and sun terrace can also be found in the same building. A varied music and culture program rounds off a memorable Alpine summer in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.