WHEN YOU GO:
Photo: Gregory Dennis
Alpbach is less than an hour's drive from Innsbruck. The best air connections are through Munich. Depending on your U.S. departure city, airlines servicing the Munich Airport are Delta, United, US Air, Northwest, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Swissair, and British Airways. The 800 phone numbers to these airlines and flight-finding Web links are listed in High on Adventures Airlines page. From there, rent a car and drive to the Innsbruck area. To ensure best rates and availability, be sure to rent the car before you leave for Austria. Car rental agencies that service Munich are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and National. The 800 phone numbers and Web links are found on the Autos page of this magazine. From Munich to Alpbach just follow the freeway south towards Innsbruck and exit at a town called Brixlegg for a short drive up to Alpbach. A brief overview of the larger Austrian ski areas which are close to Alpbach can be found in The Blue Book of European Ski Resorts available through the Travel Bookstore.
Galtür, on the western edge of the Tyrol near Switzerland, is best reached by flying to Zurich and renting a car. Airlines servicing the Zurich Airport from the United States include Delta, American, Northwest Northwest, Swissair, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Scandinavian, and British Airways. Flight-finding Web links are listed in the Airlines page. Car rental agencies include Avis, Alamo, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and National. You can find their Web links in this magazines Autos page. From Zurich head east towards Feldkirch in Vorarlberg, then further east towards Arlberg. Once you pass the Arlberg Tunnel, take Highway 188 through the Paznaun Valley to Galtaür. A brief overview of the larger Austrian ski areas which are close to Galtür can be found in The Blue Book of European Ski Resorts, available in the Travel Bookstore.
Alpbach's best hotel is the Boglerhof, featuring comfortable rooms, a solid staff, and a very pleasant spa with pool and two saunas; $110 per person per night, double occupancy including breakfast and dinner. The pensions and guesthouses in Alpbach and Galtür are about half the price of the hotels. The restaurant at the traditional Gasthof Jakoberhof in Alpbach serves locally caught trout, with a three-course dinner, about $30 per person. The Gasthof Rossmoos is known for its Tyrolean red deer entree, at about the same price. There is good shopping for gifts at the Boutique Alpbach in the village center.
Among the better Galtür hotels is the Hotel Post in the village center, $95 per person per night, double occupancy including breakfast and dinner. The Hotel Roessle next-door serves excellent contemporary cuisine, about $50 for a three-course meal. Traditional Austrian fare is the specialty at the Paznauner Farmer's Museum, a short taxi ride out of town, and about $25 for a hearty dinner. The small museum is upstairs.
Alpbach A three-day Alpbach ski pass costs about $80. Recreational alternatives to skiing include tandem paragliding (with an experienced guide) from the top of the ski lifts, about $100; cross-country skiing and sledding near the village of Inneralpbach; and hiking. Ask your hotel for information.
For Alpbach information and reservations, write the local tourist office: Alpbach Tourismus, A-6236 Alpbach/Tirol, Postf. 14, Austria; or call the office at 5336/5111; fax 5336/5012.
Galtür: A three-day lift ticket costs about $110. The ski safari is about $50 per person and is recommended. Lunch with a beer or schnapps at the Piz Buin during the safari is about $10. Schnapps is served at every restaurant and pub. The local specialty is gentian schnapps, made from roots of the rare gentian plant.
Galtür's barrel stave races are held every other week on an irregular schedule; inquire locally. Another unique Galtür event is the "Olympics of Cheese," a tasting competition held in the valley every fall.
For Galtür information and reservations, write the Galtür Tourist Information Center, A6563 Galtür, Tirol, Austria; or call the office at 5443/521; fax 5443/52176.
For general information on Austria, contact the Austrian National Tourist Office at (212) 944-6880, or check the office's Web site below.
Useful WWW sites
Area and Surrounding Areas: Location Map, area and trail info, etc.
Galtür: Information, accommodations, ski area info