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CULINARY HIKES
Wednesday April 3, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Mountain hikes for foodies; Because no good hike in the Tirol is complete without a stop at one of the region's traditional huts.



Winter may well be continuing with recent fresh snow but here at PlanetSKI we are casting out minds forward to the summer.

Summer in the mountains and a spot of hiking.

Hiking in the Alps is a combination of exercise, fresh air and fabulous views.

All this makes for a healthy appetite.

The Tirol is famous for its summer scene.

Gorgeous scenery, summer hiking trails - from strollers to challenging all-dayers - as well as many more activities and food for which the country has become famous.

steinseelakeinthelechtalvalleySteinsee in the Lechtal Valley






















Three experts from the Tirol have been asked to choose their favourite foodie hikes:

Mountain walks combining nature and nourishment.

They came up with a list of nine walks, all of which take in a hut or restaurant serving excellent food.

The judging criteria were the quality of the food, use of regional produce and child-friendly facilities for families.

Hikes for Foodies

Award-winning chef Alexander Fankhauser has chosen three hikes in the Tirolean mountains.

He picks these for those in search of fine views and fine dining.

Those who believe that no good meal is complete without a fine wine should pull on their hiking boots and head up to the Angerer Alm.

It's a family run restaurant that has a unique wine cellar.

Annemarie Foidl, owner of the restaurant and president of the Austrian Association of Sommeliers, has accumulated 6,000 bottles in recent years.

This includes some very rare wine.

The walk up is an intermediate one, leading from St. Johann in Tirol to the picturesque restaurant.

Starting point: Bottom of Harschbichl cable car
Length: 9km
Elevation uphill: 655m
Approximate hiking time: 4 h 30 min
Difficulty rating: intermediate (red mountain trails)


Meadow hike to Angerer Alm, wine cellar picturedMeadow hike to Angerer Alm, wine cellar pictured
















Ice Q restaurant sits at 3,048 metres above sea level.

After taking the cable car up into the mountains, hike a steep loop to the Gaislacher See with its shimmering blue water.

The Ice Q restaurant is a futuristic glass building and was featured in the James Bond blockbuster 'Spectre'. 

Starting point: Top of Gaislachkogelbahn cable car
Length: 2km
Elevation uphill: 345m
Approximate hiking time: 2h
Difficulty rating: intermediate (red mountain trails)


Last but not least on the list is the Wedelhütte, an alpine refuge with the atmosphere and class of a five-star hotel.

It's just 500 vertical metres from the Krössbrunnalm up to the Wedelhütte hut, with most hikers completing this walk before they settle down for a meal.

It opened in 2009 and is one of few restaurants in the Alps serving real haute cuisine.

In the evenings head chef Christian Siegele serves four-course menus - a five-course dinner on Saturdays - accompanied by a selection of wines from its wine cellar, the highest the Alps.

Don't be surprised if you see a few famous faces at the table next to you, from local politicians to skiing world champions.

Starting point: Hirschbichlalm (Zillertal High Alpine Road)
Length: 6km
Elevation uphill: 500m
Approximate hiking time: 3 h 15 min
Difficulty rating: intermediate (red mountain trails)


Fankhauser, who runs the "Alexander" restaurant in the four-star Hotel Lamark in Hochfügen in the Zillertal Valley, is a big fan of all three locations.

And the best thing is that they can all easily be reached, either on foot or using a cable car.

Ice QIce Q
















Huts with Homemade Produce

For many hikers there is nothing better than a traditional hut high in the mountains serving hearty local food with homemade produce.

Writer and mountain hut expert Irene Prugger has chosen three of her favourite huts in the Tirol, each making its own dairy products on site.

All three lead along beautiful trails with clear signposting up to a hut in the mountains.

Don't forget to leave some space in your rucksack for all that produce you'll want to take back home with you!

The Außermelang Alm near Wattenberg is a pretty alpine hut in the Tux Alps.

Each summer around 100,000 litres of milk are processed here into top quality mountain cheese.

That might sound like a lot, but the demand for this tangy, hard cheese is even bigger.

Starting point: Bundesheerlager Walchen (Army Camp)
Length: 8km
Elevation uphill: 470m
Approximate hiking time: 3 h 30 min
Difficulty rating: intermediate (red mountain trails)


Walk to the Burgeralm hut in the Kaiserwinkl region of the Tirol to find out how cheese and butter are made.

Grazing on the meadows around the hut are herds of cows that give the milk for dairy products.

45,000 litres of it every summer.

It's turned into several different types of cheese, including the famous 'Adler Gold' soft cheese.

The hut also makes it own dried bacon and sausages.

All this homemade produce can be enjoyed on the sunny terrace and also purchased in the farm shop on site.

It's a great place for children to learn about the local environment and habitat.

Starting point: Feistenau car park, Rettenschöss
Length: 10km
Elevation uphill: 400m
Approximate hiking time: 3h
Difficulty rating: intermediate (red mountain trails)

BurgeralmHike to Burgeralm
















Arriving at Gampe Thaya is the reward for walkers completing the 640m of vertical from Sölden.

This charming hut in the Alps is famous for its dishes and offers everything from cheese fondue (book in advance) to healthy beef salad.

Try some of the "Gampe Kaas" cheese made using milk from local Tirolean Grauvieh cows.

Hut owner Jakob Prantl makes this cheese himself in a mobile dairy which is parked up on the high pastures in summer.

The farm shop on site sells homemade cheese, schnapps, sausages and woollen socks.

Starting point: Sölden, church
Length: 7km
Elevation uphill: 640m
Approximate hiking time: 4 h 15 min
Difficulty rating: intermediate (red mountain trails)


huisgemaaktekazenGampe Thaya
















Hikes for Families

Holiday idea:

A foodie hike for all the family.

Kathrin Siller, an editor at the local newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung, is not only a fan of great food herself but also has three children who love exploring the mountains.

Her top three hikes all feature an adventure playground nearby.

Take the cable car and you'll be able to see the restaurant at Kammerköralm.

But before you head in to enjoy the delights explore the educational Triassic Trail.

Leading through the Triassic Park, the trail takes walkers through some of the finest mountains in the Steinplatte region.

It's also a journey back in time all the way to the Triassic age.

This is when much of the Earth was covered by the huge Tethys ocean.

Traces of this ancient body of water can still be found at the Steinplatte.

At the restaurant try the homemade specialties such as Tiroler Gröstl and Kaspressknödel, recommends Kathrin Siller.

Starting point: Top station of the Steinplatte-Waidring cable car
Length: 4km
Elevation uphill: 230m
Approximate hiking time: 1 h 45 min
Difficulty rating: easy (hiking trails)


In the Triassic ParkIn the Triassic Park
















Restaurant Mutterer Alm has wonderful views of the Inn Valley and the Nordkette mountains, just to the north of Innsbruck.

The hike offers lots of activities and things to explore on the hike so is ideal for children.

The local mountain restaurant is very child-friendly and the food presentation is first class.

Starting point: Top station of the Muttereralmbahn cable car
Length: 3km
Elevation uphill: 190m
Approximate hiking time: 1 h 18 min
Difficulty rating: easy (hiking trails)

Seealm Hög is a great place for all ages.

Travel up onto the mountain by cable car and explore the large adventure playground and the Six Senses Trail on the banks of the artificial lake.

Views here are fantastiic and there's also the 'Familien-Lichter-Kapelle' chapel to check out.

The restaurant at the cable car is very glamorous with a huge glass facade showing off the panoramic views as you tuck in to the regional cuisine.

Or eat outside on the terrace and enjoy the speciality fish, vegetarian and vegan food.

All this and it's very child friendly.

Starting point: Serfaus, middle station of the Alpkopfbahn cable car
Length: 2km
Elevation uphill: 35m
Approximate hiking time: 0 h 30 min
Difficulty rating: easy (hiking trails)


Mutterer Alm hikingMutterer Alm, Nordkette hiking
















For more hiking trails and food recommendations in the Tirol, visit the website here:
regionalproduceattheaussermelangalmhut_500.Regional produce at the Aussermelangalm hut















For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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