The South Tyrol on the border with Austria is an amazing territory, Innsbruck is the main landmark of this region but there are also many villages that have many interesting stories to tell. It’s not only about the very famous Winter tourist destinations, it’s not only about the eclectic and elegant city where the patriot Andreas Hofer is buried or the skiing facilities that are at your disposal where two Olympic Games have been held but it is mainly the land of wonderful tiny villages where the air is clean, the nature is unspoilt and plenty of historical artistic places deserve a visit and many cultural traditions are still alive. We’ll go through some interesting historical places that we warmly recommend. Don’t think this adverb is inappropriate since the Innsbruck area is always charming in all temperatures!
The villages of the urban area
You may get lost among all these beauties. There is Rum on the way from Innsbruck to Hall. It’s featured by the characteristic Gothic church, the big Karwendel park, many tracks, an absolute wonder. Down in the valley there is the Inntalradweg cycle route. You can’t skip Kematen and its tiny village spread with the old original farms. Their barns are famous and there’s a beautiful Gothic church here as well, many sports areas are available in Summer while the ski tracks are the main attraction in Winter. Afling is along the Compostela route: we really suggest it. Then there’s Völs, an ancient village that is famous for its ski facilities, it is connected to Innsbruck by the underground. The well-known soccer tournament is organized here but also a number of important ice-skating competitions. The Olympia SkiWorld in the surroundings is the paradise for skiers. Then there is the lake on the Western side of the area that will surely catch your attention. Zirla deserves a stop too. The natural reserves, the public pools, the wonderful railways, the handcrafted presepi (Nativity Scenes) on Christmas time feature the entire area.
The landscape around lake Natterer
If you want to understand the beautiful landscapes of Tyrol, their endless charm and the magic of silence you must go to the lake Natterer. It’s a lovely quiet place where you can relax and contemplate the beauty of nature and quietly swim. Of moraine origin, it is fed by high quality water at 830 metres of altitude. There are many different possibilities to live the lake, it is a special place for the couples but for the families as well. There are plenty of facilities for all tastes. Axams is 10 kilometres from Innsbruck, it’s famous for its traditional cultivation of linen and it offers the big skiing facility of Axamer Lizum. Many Olympic competitions have been organized there. Your relaxing and leisure time is guaranteed at the Axamer Freizeitzentrum: it’s a facility with indoor and outdoor pools, a beach volley ring and some wellness areas. If you love the art you can’t miss the church of Saint John. Then there are many horse-farms where kids will have a great time with the famous pony horses.
The Southern Innsbruck villages
There are five main villages in this area: Aldrans, Prockenhöfe, Wiesenhöfe, Rans and Herzseet, they are all by the lake. They are in the area of Aldrans. There are tracks, an old abbey and the peculiar Herzsee, the lake with the shape of a heart. This area is near the important city of Hall in Tirol. Don’t miss the beautiful Rinn on the highland with its historical Judenstein church in the Rococo style. In Winter the kids can have great fun at the “Kinderland Rinn” centre. Ampass, along the ancient salt way will impress you too. It’s a very characteristic village, there’s the lake Taxerhof nearby. These areas are well-known for the therapeutic properties of their landscapes because their views will certainly ease your mind. Lans is 8 kilometres from Innsbruck, it is set by a tiny lake and it features a nice recreational area. Finally there is Sistrans, Southwest of Innsbruck. Many legends about the Tyrol come from this place, there are tracks that celebrate the heroes of the past and plenty of skating rings and the Sistiger Bannzaun, a drywall which is 600 metres long that separates the village from the nearby Aldrans.
A mix of attractions
We also suggest you to visit Gries im Sellrain, 22 kilometres far from Innsbruck: it’s in the Sellraintal valley. You can enjoy some beautiful walking tracks, taste the good cheese and the typical speck. There are many tracks and ski paths and many facilities. Then you can set off to Kühtai near Silz in the Stubai Alps. It’s poorly inhabited but it’s really charming, it’s maybe the smallest village of Tyrol. There’s an ancient farmhouse here, these characteristic farmhouses where the typical home of the peasants from Tyrol. The famous cableway called “of the three lakes ” goes up to the three beautiful tiny lakes. Then you can’t miss Sellrain with its famous little church of Saint Quiricus and Oberperfuss whose tracks offer you an amazing view of the mountain peaks. Unterperfuss has a well-equipped excursion area called “Rangger Köpfl” and Ranggen is featured by the characteristic meditation track called “Weg der Befreiung”, (the track of freedom), we must also mention St. Sigmund and the village of Praxmar where you can do many Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.