Ötztal Alps – Discover an Adventure-Filled Valley in Austria

Learn what Ötzi and James Bond Have in Common

The Ötztal is the longest tributary of the Inn Valley in Tyrol, with a total length of 67 kilometres. Apart from the obvious natural beauty and outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing, other major attractions in the Ötztal Alps include Lake Piburg, the Area 47 adventure park, and the Stuibenfall. Here´s what we´ve discovered so far.

The Oetztal in Austria
View down the Ötztal at Umhausen.

The Ötztal Alps in a Nutshell

An all-time favourite Austrian hiking destination, the valley became world-famous after German hikers Erika and Helmut Simon discovered a 5000-year-old mummy in the Ötztal Alps in 1991. Ötzi the iceman is also the inspiration for one of the big attractions in the valley – Ötzi-Dorf in Umhausen.

Around 510 km² of the Ötz Valley is protected and forms the Ötztal Nature Park.

Facts and Figures

Glaciers67 or 95 km²
Hiking trails1600 km
Mountain bike trails850 km
Mountain huts & pastures48
Mountains above 3,000 m152

Things to See and Do in Ötztal

Lake Piburg (Piburger See)

The Piburger See is a small mountain lake in a picture-perfect setting above the village of Oetz, with the surrounding forests and towering Acherkogel mountain peak reflecting in the crystal-clear water.

From the car park in Weiler Oetz, the hike to and around the Piburger See takes only around 1,5 hours.

Piburger See
The setting of the Piburger See is one of the most beautiful in Tyrol.

In summer, the water temperature reaches a pleasant 25 °C, making it more than possible to cool off in the designated swimming area on the southern shore. This is also where you´ll find the Restaurant am Piburger See (I can highly recommend the fish burger).

Area 47

Area 47 is an adventure centre with a water park at the start of the Ötztal. If you´re into super fast and steep slides, diving, and being hurled into the air, this is the place for you in summer.

Area 47 Water Park

Other activities offered at Area 47 include river rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, and caving. You can read all about in my detailed Area 47 Austria post.

Day visitor tickets to the Area 47 water park start at €31.

Stuibenfall Waterfall

An impressive drop of 159 metres makes the Stuibenfall the highest waterfall in Tyrol. It was created by a massive rockslide (the largest known landslide in the Alps) that blocked off the exit of the Horlach Valley about 9,800 years ago. This meant the Horlach Creek had to find a new path over the rocks.

We started our hike to the Stuibenfall at Ötzi-Dorf in Umhausen. The first part to the bottom of the falls takes about 30 minutes at a leisurely pace. The path is wide and the elevation gradual. From there, it gets a bit steeper and narrower. Try to at least make it to the next viewing platform directly opposite the waterfall to take in it’s true size and splendour. It’s only another 15-minute walk.


The spray from the waterfall is called Stuiben in the local dialect, hence the name. The water dust particles have been proven to improve your health, and is particularly beneficial to asthma sufferers.

You can get even closer to the healthy and refreshing waterfall spray by walking over the 80-metre long suspension bridge. It’s so sturdy that even I managed despite my fear of heights. From there, a few hundred steps take you to the top of the waterfall where the highest viewing platform gives you an entirely different impression of the thundering water.

Total walking time from Ötzi-Dorf to the top of the waterfall is about 1,5 hours. That is really taking it easy, and getting back is naturally a lot quicker.

Via Ferrata

Those with climbing experience, can climb to the top along the family-friendly via ferrata to the left of the waterfall. We watched some children with their dad start off over the creek at the bottom, and it looked pretty awesome.

Climbing Ötztal
Children over 10 years may join their parents on the Stuibenfall via ferrata.

Insider Tip

The Stuiben Waterfall is floodlit every Wednesday night. Guided lantern walking tours are offered by the local tourist association from the middle of June. The cost is €7 for adults and €5 for children from 7-14 years. Bookings are required.


Ötzi-Dorf is in Umhausen, not too far from where the mummy was originally found. The area is known as Urkraft Umhausen (my dictionary tells me Urkraft means elemental force).

Since his discovery, scientists have gained a wealth of knowledge by painstakingly dissecting Ötzi and the artefacts found with him.

Ötzi the iceman
A recreation of what Ötzi looked like when he was found.

At Ötzi-Dorf you will travel back in time to experience Ötzi’s world 5,000 years ago. The archaeological open air museum gives you an idea what everyday life was like in the Copper Age. It includes a hunting hut, granary, sacrifice site, as well as live mountain goats and ancient cattle breeds.

You will also see a recreation of the scene where Ötzi was found half buried in glacial ice, and what he probably looked like when he was murdered. Yes, the poor fellow was shot in his left shoulder with a deadly arrow. The latest findings on the murder case was presented at an International Mummy Congress in Bozen, Italy in 2016.

Ötzi-Dorf Basics

Opening SeasonMid-May to mid-October
Opening Times09:30 – 17:30
Ticket Prices€11 per adult
€5,50 per child (6 to 15 years)
€30 per family (2 adults, 2 children)
Guided ToursIncluded in entry price
ParkingParking area Bischofsplatz at a fee

Where is the real Ötzi?

If you want to see the real Ötzi, you will have to travel a little further to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. A specially designed cold cell in the museum has been the mummy’s home since 1998.

Greifvogelpark (Ötz Valley Birds of Prey Park)

The birds of prey park is immediately adjacent to Ötzi-Dorf. It is home to around 15 species of Alpine birds of prey, including vultures, eagles, kites, hawks and owls. You can watch some of them in action during the daily flight shows presented by the park’s falconers. It is possible to walk around the park and admire the birds in their aviaries 30 minutes before and after a show.

Birds of Prey Park Ötztal
A falconer from the Ötz Valley Birds of Prey Park with a hawk.

Greifvogelpark Basics

Opening SeasonMid-May to mid-October
Opening Times11:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:00
Flight demonstrations11:30 and 14:30
Prices€13 per adult
€6,50 per child (6 to 15 years)
€35 per family (2 adults, 2 children)
ParkingParking area Bischofsplatz


Save money by buying the combo ticket for both Ötzi-Dorf and the Greifvogelpark for €20 (adults), €10 (kids) and €54 (families).

Bischofsplatz Kneipp Treading Pools

The treading pools named after the Bavarian priest Sebastian Kneipp are the perfect place to end a day of hiking and adventure. Take off your shoes and socks and give your feet some Kneipp treatment in the ice-cold mountain water of the various pools.

This special kind of hydrotherapy is said to boost the immune system and stimulate the circulatory and nervous system. Alternate the Kneipp treatment with some barefoot walking on the adjacent trail covered with stones, pine cones, tree bark, sand and gravel.

Eating and Drinking Around Ötzi-Dorf

Children love the Kneipp pools and barefoot trail. Why not let them enjoy it while you drink a Radler or coffee at the Kneipphäusl-restaurant for a relaxing end to your day? More places to eat and drink around Umhausen include the Stuibenfall Gasthof at the top of the waterfall, the Waldcafé Stuböbele on the way to the bottom of the waterfall, and Ötzi’s Einkehr in Ötzi-Dorf.

Aqua Dome

Aqua Dome is a thermal spa and wellness centre in Längenfeld with varous indoor and outdoor thermal pools with temperatures ranging from 34 to 38 degrees Celsius. The pools are filled with the region’s natural thermal waters, which are believed to have healing properties due to their high mineral content.

Visitors can also enjoy a range of saunas, steam rooms, and relaxation areas, not to mention massage and beauty treatments. The unique architecture of the four-star resort makes it a destination worth visiting.

Aqua Dome is the perfect place to relax after an adventure-filled day. © Aqua Dome

Stay at Aqua Dome

Why not use the Aqua Dome as a base from where to explore the Ötztal? If you book your stay here, you can return to the relaxing pools after a day of hiking, biking, or any of the other adventures you can pursue in the valley.

007 Elements James Bond Experience

A Bond experience on an Austrian mountain top? In Sölden, Ötztal yes. 007 Elements is a museum and visitor attraction dedicated to the James Bond film franchise at the top of the Gaislachkogl mountain.

Why here? Because the mountain was featured in action scenes (included the opening sequence) of the 2015 Bond film, Spectre.

The museum offers visitors an interactive experience through various exhibits and installations, including a 360-degree cinema showing exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, a gallery of gadgets and props used in the films, and an ice Q restaurant inspired by the location used in Spectre.

Visitors can also explore the actual film sets used in the movie, such as the clinic and the MI6 safe house.

Tickets for the museum start at €22 without the gondola ride. If you don´t have an Ötztal Summer Card (see below) a combined ticket including the gondola starts at €54. See the 007 Elements website for up-to-date prices and opening times.

Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road

The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, also known as the Passo del Rombo in Italian, is a scenic mountain pass road that connects the Ötztal in Austria with the Passeiertal in Italy. The road reaches an elevation of 2,509 meters (8,231 feet) above sea level and is open to vehicles from late May to early November, weather permitting.

One of the highlights of the road is the Timmelsjoch Pass Museum at the highest point of the pass. The museum features interactive exhibits that showcase the history and construction of the road, as well as the cultural and natural heritage of the area.

Motorcycle enthusiasts will love the adjacent Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum featuring about 230 classic motorcycles.

Get the Ötztal Summer Card

Everyone staying in official accommodation automatically receives a Ötztal Summer Card that includes, among others, free use of cable cars, public buses, and entry to attractions like Area 47 and Aqua Dome. Card holders can also join many events and tours for free.

Day visitors or people who aren´t staying with an Ötztal Summer Card partner can also buy it for a period of 3, 7 or 10 days. Prices start at €75.

Where to Stay in the Ötztal Alps

From luxury hotels to rustic campsites and self-catering apartments – the Ötztal offers something for everyone when it comes to a place to stay. My one tip when choosing your accommodation is to confirm that they are an Ötztal Summer Card partner.



Having fun in Austria, and then writing about it is hard work 😆 . That’s why some links in this article are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you use any of them to make a purchase. It’s totally cool if you don’t. I love to help anyway. If you do, it will help us discover another part of Austria to write about.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Was this post helpful? Please share it!
About Linda de Beer 91 Articles
Name: Linda de Beer Profession: Travel blogger and freelance writer
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Verry good account from the Ötzidorf.

Marius Ventet

Innsbruck is great and you also have beautifull scenery, have visited once before 17 years ago would love to see it again


Those sites and all those adventures are really something I am attracted to. I would love to visit here.


The nature looks amazing there! I love Austria! Didn’t know there is also a place to visit the real Ötzi, that must be really spukey


The last time I was in Austria, I had to choose between Prague and Innsbruck and I skipped the later. I have heard such great things about Innsbruck that some times I regret not going there. The first image you had up there looks so similar to a place where I recently been in India. The image of Otzi Dorf, my goodness!! That’s so scary and a real historical artefact. I’m a mountain head and history lover, you have presented me with a place to be added in my bucket list. What a great list!!
Thanks for sharing.

Susan R

I hadn’t heard of Otzi-Dorf but it looks like there is lots to see there. The iceman is very well preserved. I’d love to see the waterfall by night

Sumti Bhadani

Have not heard of Ötzi-Dorf but the place seems not only for the travellers who love scenic beauty but also for the one like me who loves to explore the history and the past. I knew that Innsburk is one of the beautiful places to see in Austria but so many things to see nearby, I was not aware… Amazing 🙂


The waterfall looks fab but the via Ferrarta, you can keep. I did one in the caves of Wales a few months back and was absolutely terrified, never again!

Paige W

How cool is this destination?! I want to try this via Ferrarta! It looks amazing! Also, having an anthropology degree, I’m totally dying to learn more about the iceman and check out his history! Not mention that it looks absolutely beautiful there!


What the hell, I didn’t think Ötzi was a person damn. That is crazy. Awesome place though. I love the waterfalls and rock climbing. Australia is so beautiful. I can’t wait to visit.

Trisha Velarmino

I met a guy from Austria the other day who was cycling around Georgia. I’ll definitely ask him to bring me to this place when I visit him! I love the waterfalls!!!

Megan Jerrard

Can you imagine how crazy and incredible it would have been to have stumbled upon a 5000-year-old mummy while hiking!! We’re fascinated by archaeology, so the archaeological open air museum sounds like a must see. And obviously the waterfall as well, would love to tackle the suspension bridge to get up close to the spray!

Kristall Spaces

Very well-written, informative article, thank you for sharing