The Ötztal Alps are a true paradise for mountain hikers and mountain bike…learn more
Ötztal is regarded as one of the most interesting and variety-packed areas in the entire Alpine region. As the longest lateral valley in Tyrol, Stufental came about from a mighty rockfall after the last Ice Age. The various plateaus extend from the valleys to the glacier region. Ötztal spans five climatic levels, with the landscape and the vegetation changing markedly depending on the altitude location.
The entire area is a paradise for mountain sport enthusiasts, hikers and nature-lovers: mountaineering, hiking tours, mountain biking, motorbike excursions and much more makes this a dreamy summer destination. In winter visitors are attracted by the snow-assured pistes and short waiting times at the ski lifts. Anyone looking for an equivalent alternative to skiing and snowboarding will find so many options here: tobogganing, ice-skating, cross-country skiing, snow-shoe hiking – whatever you prefer, here in Ötztal you will find tranquillity, relaxation and pure natural surroundings.
The Timmelsjoch is very close to Obergurgl and is the highest Alpine pass in the East Alps, connecting Austria and Italy. Early settlers advanced through this pass from Passeiertal in the south (South Tyrol, Italy today) into Ötztal. So the people in Ötztal still have strong southern roots today.
The valley has been settled from both sides, with a unique dialect emerging that is spoken today as it was in the past. The Ötztal dialect is regarded as an intangible cultural asset, that takes on a key significance for the people who live here.
Obergurgl is a realm in itself. The high mountain chains provide protection from rain clouds, which keeps the climate relatively dry and sunny.
The high mountains protect Ötztal from the prevailing cold northerly winds. From the south, a Mediterranean breeze pervades over the mountain slopes, which provides a surprisingly mild climate in Ötztal. The area has a special weather pattern and its various levels enable a wide range of plants to grow – often quite unique to this region.
Due to the altitude, the special climate and the location in the middle of the high summits and glaciers, the University of Innsbruck opened up a research post here. For over 60 years scientists have been carrying out pioneering studies on meteorolgy, glacier research, vegetation and sports medicine in this area.
Ötztal is unique in every respect. The plants give the impression that they are from a whole other world; language is also regarded as a cultural heritage here.