Hiking with the whole family
One of the nicest parts about a summer holiday in the mountains is going for a hike. But sometimes the kids aren’t on the same page! They’ll complain that walking is boring, that it takes foreeeever and that they can’t possibly last that long! Well, you’ll be glad to know it is possible to go for a nice walk with the whole family without the whinging. You just have to take steps to ensure that it’s fun for everyone!
Plan enough activities for the children along the way, take a break at a cosy mountain hut and you’ve got the makings of a hike that everybody can enjoy. The Ötztal offers plenty of possibilities for hiking with young and older children alike.
Into the gondola and up the hill. The family hiking is starting. © Ötztal Tourismus, Miranda Muller
A bit of excitement: taking the lift up
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a child who isn’t enthusiastic about taking a lift up the mountain. It’s exciting to step into a chairlift or a gondola and let it whisk you away up to the top of the hill! Soon your kids will be glued to the windows, watching the world go by. It goes without saying that this is a great way to start or end your day.
Many accommodations in the area offer you a free Ötztal Premium Card on the first night of your stay. This card entitles you to one free ride per day on each of the local lifts. You can also use the card to get other deals, such as free entry to swimming pools and public transit. In Oetz, Sölden and Obergurgl there is a wide assortment of lifts that are open during the summertime. This is a great way to discover new places without having to spend hours trekking there. We know that’s not always easy with the little ones in tow!
Alpin Region Hochoetz: Treks, discoveries and adventures
You can take the panoramic Acherkogel cable car from the heart of the Ötztal up to the Alpine Region Hochoetz. You’ll find yourself at 2.020 m above sea level in a family’s paradise where you can combine hiking, playing and relaxing. There is a variety of trails of all lengths which have been specially designed for families with young or older children. Routes are clearly signposted, with indications of the duration of each trip. On the way, feel free to pause at one of the adorable mountain huts to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink.
After you’re done the trail, it’s time to relax and let the kids blow off some steam with a visit to the WIDIVERSUM. This is an enormous playground with 17 different stations which offer an exciting chance to solve the mystery of WIDI the mascot’s missing crystal. Kids who collect the letters from all the stations can present their cards to the bar at the mountain hut to claim a special prize.
There is something for everyone in the WIDIVERSUM! @ Ötztal Tourismus, Miranda Muller
For the whole family
- “Auf den Spuren der Wildtieren” (On the Tracks of Wild Animals) is a short themed trail where kids can learn all about the wild animals that live in the mountains. The trail offers stunning panoramic views and takes about 40 minutes, starting from the top station of the Acherbahn cable car.
- The Oetz Outdoor Pool is located right next to the valley station of the gondola. Entry to the swimming pool and sunbathing area is free with the Ötztal Premium Card or with a valid lift ticket.
- WIDI’S Kidspark is one of the best and biggest playgrounds in Tyrol, and the biggest in the Ötztal. Made entirely out of wood, you’ll find it right next to the swimming pool in Oetz.
Piburger See: strolling and swimming
A wonderful place to spend a summer’s day with the children is the Piburger See Lake, situated near Oetz. Nestled between the trees, the banks of the lake offer a beautiful view of the mountains. The tiny town of Piburg is easily reachable by car, and from there the lake is just a few minutes away. If you fancy a walk around the lake, there is a 3.5 km long route that is mostly flat and partly accessible with a pram.
You can also reach the Piburger See Lake on foot from Oetz in about half an hour. This trail has an altitude gain of 170 m, perfect for the kids! Swimming in the protected lake is permitted near the restaurant in the marked swim zones. The water temperatures reach a maximum of about 24 degrees – it is one of the warmest and nicest lakes for swimming in Tyrol, with a lovely hiking area to boot.
Impressions of the family hiking trip
Almzeit Sölden: playing, relaxing and hiking
At Sölden, everything has been planned with families in mind. The Almzeit Sölden is a family-friendly trail with 20 different fun stations, most of which are conveniently located close to a mountain hut. You’ll find many of these stations between the Giggijoch and the Gaislach lifts, both of which are still running in the summer. The mountain huts and the stations are well-connected by a series of trails that are suitable for the whole family.
Families with small children will be happy to know that many of these trails can also be accessed with a pram. Since the paths between stations are not too long, it’s easy to visit multiple stations in one day. With names like “Water Time” and “Animal Time”, each of the picturesque stations offers up an exciting new theme to explore. And of course, while the kids are keeping themselves entertained, mum and dad can relax on a sunny terrace! Hiking, playing and relaxing – plus some top-notch meals – equals fun for the whole family!
Don’t forget to check out the middle station of the Gaislachkoglbahn! Here you’ll find:
- The start of the Zwergerlweg, a themed one-hour trail full of exciting stories and fairytales
- A great playground located right next to the restaurant near the top station
- The Motorikpark: don’t miss your chance to prove you have the best balance!
Miranda Muller from Indebergen.nl
Miranda Muller von Indebergen.nl
Miranda Muller is Editor-in-chief at Indebergen.nl and the alps are her second home. She loves the variety of a mountain holiday: a great hike, a challenging mountain bike ride, an extensive lunch in the sun at a cozy mountain hut and at the end of the day relaxing with a nice book and a good glass of wine. And all that with a wonderful view!