Why should you travel to Tyrol if there are many other Alpine regions to explore? I give you 5 good reasons why Tyrol is an excellent holiday destination.
What you see is what you get when you travel to Tyrol. Don’t expect the red carpet to be rolled out for you. You might not even be greeted with a smile, but you can be sure it’s real if you are. The Tyroleans go about their usual business regardless of who they’re dealing with. They cater just as well or as bad for the locals than for the tourists, and therein lies a refreshing charm.
2. Culture and Tradition
In keeping with their authenticity, the Tyroleans honour centuries-old customs and traditions. Traditional festivals with a marching band and litres of beer are not uncommon. Many are preceded by a colourful Catholic procession, with the local priest in his white robe and the townsfolk in their lederhosen (leather trousers) and dirndl (pinafore dresses). A good example is the harvest thanksgiving in the autumn, which often coincides with the coming home of the cows from the alpine pastures where they spend the summer.
The attraction of Tyrol’s natural beauty is a given – from the more than 500 alpine peaks of over 3,000 metres to the picturesque valleys dotted with farms and traditional villages. Tyrol is home to Austria’s largest national park, Hohe Tauern, and five provincial nature parks, including the Alpenpark Karwendel. The landscape turns into a white wonderland for snow sport enthusiasts in winter, while hiking trails and alpine lakes provide the perfect setting for an active holiday in summer.
Tyrol has plenty to offer the history enthusiast, beginning with the Habsburgs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Also, don’t forget Ötzi, the 5,300-year old iceman whose mummified body was found in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991. Then there is the freedom fighter and Austrian patriot Andreas Hofer, who is the folk hero of modern-day Tyroleans. This rich history is expertly captured in the museums and historic buildings in Innsbruck. Other churches, fortresses and historic attractions throughout the region provide further testimony to an interesting past.
5. Value for Money
In Tyrol, you seldom get the idea that you are being ripped off just because you’re a tourist. On the contrary, the price of accommodation, food, transport and most entrance tickets is very reasonable when compared to Alpine regions in France and Switzerland. Budget holidays are especially within easy reach of the self-catering visitor. Many country hotels also offer excellent dinner, bed and breakfast deals. Furthermore, most tourist associations have special guest cards with discounts on attractions and/or activities.
- Also read why there’s a bit of Italy in Tyrol (or the other way round).