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Hopfgarten, Austria

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hopfgarten im Brixental is a town in Tyrol, Austria, in the Kitzbühl district. Tyrol is a picture-book region of breathtaking beauty. Jagged, snow-capped peaks tower above fast-flowing rivers, green meadows and onion-domed churches. It is a paradise all year round for lovers of the outdoors.

The Tyrol as a whole measures some 16,000 square kilometres, covered almost entirely by the Alps. After WWI, the southern half was granted to Italy and Austria retained the north and east Tyrol, boasting over 700 mountains.

Tyrolean life and identity is very strong. Traditional lederhosen and feathered hats are commonly seen, and having welcomed travellers crossing the Alps over many centuries, there is a long tradition of hospitality.

Hopfgarten, founded in 1494, is a traditional style village, set around a church and dominated by yellow twin towers. Houses in the centre have kept their identity for many decades and it is a serene and friendly place. There is no mass tourism and a walk along the village's stone alleys creates an atmosphere of past times.

It is just 620 metres above sea level and has quick access to the highest point of the 1629 metre Hohe Salve Mountain.

Hopfgarten is part of the Ski Velt, the largest skiing area in Austria, with limitless options for all levels, but it's not just a winter holiday mecca. It has loads of summer excitement: hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, kayaking and white water rafting. Ski lifts run year round.

Schloßberg Itter camping ground is a holidaymaker's paradise in the Kitzbühl Alps, just two kilometres from Hopfgarten. It is a summer and winter destination.

Summer holidays are for simply relaxing or full of activities. Paragliding from the mountain top to the valley floor with an experienced co-pilot really give a bird's eye view of the world. Canoeists can venture along mild white-water stretches and there is a solar-heated pool set in spacious lawns. Children love riding the Schloßberg Express, a tram pulled by tractor, through the grounds.

There are 750 kilometres of specially designed cycling trails, alpine paths and roads on which you can cycle in a place where enthusiasts are spoiled for choice. A family bike ride to an all-day tour and everything in between is on offer.

Trails and courses include the Cross Country Runde, Dual Slalon, 4X, Dirt Jumps, Drop Zone, Trial Section and Practice Parcours. The Bike Academy can arrange biking technique workshops and guided tours. Kurt Exenberger is the expert who knows the region like the back of his hand. He passes on great tips and turns a bike ride into an unsurpassable experience.

Local cuisine is hearty, featuring lots of dishes with cured pork and bacon. Meals are usually followed by doughnuts or stewed apple, and maybe a glass of fruit schnapps. Many villages produce their own variety of schnapps, so it is worth asking for a local one in restaurants.


Austria's Tyrol.


Emirates has flights to Vienna.

From fare

Valid for sale and travel until March 31, 2009.

Prices correct at September 6, 2007.

For more information

Terrassencamping Schlossberg Itter
A-6305 Itter bei Hopfgarten/Tirol
Brixentalerstrasse 11
Ph: 43/5335/2181
Fax: 43/5335/2182

Bike Academy
Klausen 10
6365 Kirchberg
Ph/fax: 43 5357 35218

Austrian National Tourist Office
Level 1/36 Carrington Street
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9299 3621
Fax: (02) 9299 3808

Ph: 1300 303 777

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