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Frazzle in the shade at 33 degrees? Meet the devil on the way to the summit cross? See the whole world over 2 hectares? The following 4 top excursion tips demonstrate just how exciting and full of contrasts excursions in the Kitzbühel Alps can be. They are sure to make you want to visit the many themed walks, mountain experience worlds, hikes and circular routes in the region.
Tyrol’s only ice cave
In addition to the numerous bathing lakes in the Kitzbühel Alps, there is one perfect place to cool down on hot Summer days: the ice and stalactite caves on the Hundalm, some 3 km North-East of Mariastein. Narrow passageways and stairs lead into this giant fridge where the walls are made of sparkling ice and the frozen waterfalls resemble something from a legend. Eduard Türke from the Tyrol state association for caves explains: “A visit before August is particularly special – then you will see the most ice!” Tyrol’s only accessible ice cave is open from the end of May to the start of October. A tour lasts 30 minutes and costs 6 euros, with a 50% discount for children.
Mystical Devil’s Way
Another destination with a fascinating story to tell is the Teufelsgasse (Devil’s Way) in St. Johann in Tirol. This 2 km long miniature gorge with small caves and steep cliff walls is the subject of an ancient farmer’s myth. According to this legend, the Devil once lived here. Mountain guide Erich Franzl explains, with a wink: “On some days, it is said that the smell of brimstone comes from the caves!” Despite or perhaps because of this, the gorge was a great hiding place for wartime deserters. Walkers and adventurers passing through the Devil’s Pass today will be richly rewarded: at the end of this tour, in contrast to the narrow valley, there awaits small peak behind the meadowland area with a cross and great views.
Educational Alpinolino Discovery Park
The Kitzbühel Alps have a special treat on offer for those children who always want to ask ‘why’ at the Alpinolino Discovery Park in Westendorf. Young researchers and their inquisitive parents need their eyes, ears, nose and hands to explore nature – as well as a solid pair of shoes! Alpinolino guide Sabine explains, for example, why deer grunt, how tree telephones work and what marmots mumble about.
Colourful Alpine flower garden on the Kitzbüheler Horn
Toni Hofer has run the Alpine flower garden on the Kitzbüheler Horn for over 20 years. The 80-year old’s favourite time of year is July when the Alpine rose, edelweiss, gentian, lily and martagon are all in full bloom. Hofer and his wife have travelled to the Pyrenees and Himalayas to ensure that visitors can enjoy a wide variety of plants in the garden at 1,800 m altitude. The seeds they bring back with them are cultivated and grown into plants as an exotic enrichment to the Kitzbühel Alpine flower garden. On clear days when you can see as far as the Hohe Tauern, Grossvenediger, Grossglockner and Zillertal Alps, the flowers have to compete with the panoramic views to attract the attention of the visitors!