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Luxury Travel


Luxury Travel

72 hours in Tyrol Valley, Austria

Though famous for it's winter sports, Austria's Tyrol Valley offers adventures galore in summer too, and it's the perfect setting to relax and reset with fantastic food and stunning views says Alice Phillips.

This is a feature from Issue 8 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.

Friday afternoon

AS soon as you arrive in The Tyrol Calley, head to Zell am Ziller in the heart of Zillertal Valley and pick up your Zillertal Activcard from the Zillertal Arena. This gets you free or discounted access to gondolas, buses, tourist attractions, and restaurants and is absolutely worth the cost (from €69.50 for adults). 
From the Arena you can head up into the mountains for hiking, zip wiring or a ride on an alpine coaster – a toboggan which twists and turns down a single rail and reaches up to 40km an hour. The hiking up from the Zillertal Arena is also spectacular and there are ideal trails for all ages and abilities.
The Malis Garten is one of four hot properties owned by the Ziller Seasons hotel group. The five-star, eco-friendly resort boasts open modern architecture that combines indoors with the outdoors, as well as a herbal spa. Start your trip with a bang and eat at its HeLeni Restaurant, a fine-dining establishment serving beautifully presented dishes that are crafter from top-quality local produce.

Saturday morning

Fresh and ready to go, you are in the mountains so a hike is first on the list. You can book a guided hike, meaning you don’t have to worry about map reading, catching the last cable car back or planning at all. Many hotels can do this for you and hikes are adapted to fit your needs so just choose the level of walk you’d prefer.
All four of Ziller Season’s luxury properties offer a hike that takes you up Gerlosstein, an epic mountain which reaches 2,166 metres high in the sky and has panoramic views of the valley and, if you’re lucky, the Italian Alps to the south

Saturday evening

The group hike will take up most of the day but afterwards its time to relax and unwind. At Mountain Chalet Refugium Hochleger (a Ziller Seasons hotel with four alpine chalets and three hip TreeLofts), there are pine saunas, a natural (no chlorine) un-heated pool, and a hot tub, all with mountain views to die for. You can even stay for a rustic and traditional Austrian three-course meal.

Sunday morning

If you’re a yoga fan a sunrise stretch might seem a little extreme on holiday but it’s totally worth it for the views – and how smug you’ll feel afterwards. A number of resorts and hotels offer yoga retreats or just a quick class, including Alpen resort Schwartz, which also has a wellness area and spa, and one of the Alpine huts in Wildschönau, where you can book sunset yoga or a yoga and lunch combination to balance the healthy with a little bit of indulgence.

Sunday afternoon

You cannot come to the Tyrol Valley without visiting the Krimml Waterfalls, the highest in Austria. the Krimmler Ache river plunges down in three tiers, surrounded by tall evergreens and with drops of up to 140 metres. Getting there is easy with your Zillertal Activcard, which you can use to catch a bus. You can walk the trails which surround it, which are accessible to all the family and take in 360-degree views. The misty spray of the waterfall creates a soft, green carpet of moss, lichen, and ferns which makes for a fairy tale setting.
Alternatively, make your way to the Top of Tyrol viewing platform, 3,210 metres high and with views over the Stubai Alps to Italy’s jagged Dolomites. Aside from the viewing platform, those with a head for heights have the option to try climbing or traversing the mountains on its Via Ferratta (a series of metal rungs).
Head back to Zell am Zeller and Pizza Ristorante Quattro, right in the centre of town. This popular spot will not disappoint hungry hikers.

Monday morning

The Tyrol Valley contains a number of reservoirs which feed the drinking water for the valley and beyond. Durlassboden Reservoir is around 20 minutes from Zell am Ziller and here you can walk, cycle, swim, SUP, and more. The whole reservoir can be walked around in three and a half hours or cycled in less, and there’s plenty of places to stop for a picnic or rest and admire the pristine blue waters.
The only thing left to do is make sure you stop at an Alpine hut for kaiserschmarn. the West-Austrian delicacy consists of hearty, doughy pancake nuggets sprinkled with icing sugar and dipped in apple sauce – delicious!

The Holiday Insider's Club

This feature comes to you via the The Holiday Insider’s Club. Free to join, this all-female members’ club and travel concierge service empowers women to dream, plan and book amazing holidays that can’t be googled. Run by travel industry experts, The Holiday Insider’s Club  is a network of women sharing reviews and recommendations and offers unbiased advice, travel guides, itineraries, offers and discounts. Charitable Travel is the official partner of The Holiday Insider’s Club, meaning members can seamlessly book incredible holidays via the club – and of course give money to their favourite charity.

This is a feature from Issue 8 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.