A valley like no other
The Ötztal is unique in every sense. The flora leaves the impression of coming from another world and the language, too, is regarded as cultural heritage here.
The Ötztal is considered one of the most interesting and diverse regions in the entire alpine region. The longest tributary valley in Tirol, the Stufental was formed through powerful rockfalls after the last glacial period. The various plateaus extend from the valleys all the way to the glacier region. The Ötztal spans five climate zones, making the landscape and vegetation distinctly different depending on the altitude.
The entire region is regarded as a paradise for alpine sports enthusiasts, hikers and nature lovers: Climbing, hiking tours, mountainbiking, motorbike trips and much more make summer here a dream come true. In winter, visitors are attracted by the reliable snow conditions on the slopes and short queues at the ski lifts. Those looking for an alternative to skiing or snowboarding also have a large range of options to choose from here: Tobogganing, ice-skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking – no matter what your preference you're sure to find peace, relaxation and pristine nature here in Ötztal!
Obergurgl – a different world
Obergurgl is a world of its own. The surrounding high mountain chains protect the village from clouds, keeping the climate relatively dry and sunny. Still Obergurgl is located by the glacier in Ötztal – guaranteeing reliable snow conditions. The Ötztal remains largely protected from the cold north winds thanks to the high mountain ranges. From the south, a Mediterranean foehn wind blows across the mountain slopes, often making for a surprisingly mild climate in the Ötztal. Thanks to the special climate and various levels, the region features a large variety of different plants often endemic to this region.
Thanks to the altitude, special climate and location amidst the high peaks and glaciers, the Innsbruck University opened has opened a research unit here. For more than 60 years, scientists have been conducting groundbreaking research on meteorology, glaciers, vegetation and sports medicine in this area.
Southern roots in the Ötztal
Just next to Obergurgl is the Timmelsjoch, the highest mountain pass in the Eastern Alps linking Austria with Italy. In times past, early settlers made their way into the Ötztal from the southern Passeier Valley (South Tirol, present-day Italy). Thus people in the Ötztal retain their strong southern roots to this day.
The valley was populated from both sides, giving rise to a unique dialect spoken today just the way it was in times past. The Ötztal dialect is an intangible cultural heritage, which plays an important role among today's residents.