Fancy some late season skiing? How about some early season winter sports? The stunning Hintertux Glacier, in the Austrian Tirol, allows you to do both – in fact, you can ski all year round! That’s right, for 365 days of the year, this high altitude glacial resort is one of only two in the entire world not governed by a few months of winter chill to maintain its snow fields – that work’s done by the 190 million cubic metres of ice on the mountain. Now that’s some deep freeze!
While dedicated winter sports aficionados come to Hintertux for the skiing, the glacial landscape has some other unique attractions as well.
The Entrancing Ice Palace
Nature was definitely showing off when she created her very own Ice Palace in Hintertux! With a constant zero-degree temperature, you’ll need to rug up well and don a decent pair of hiking boots, but with the help of an experienced guide, anyone over the age of six can take on this once in a lifetime journey into the heart of a glacier.
When you descend the 25 metres into the Ice Palace, you’re instantly enveloped in a translucent cocoon of solid ice – and the effect is absolutely mesmerising. You’ve entered a frozen wilderness with stalactite-studded ceilings and curling, iridescent wall waves, and as you make your way into the belly of the glacier you’ll encounter vast, echoing caverns, eerie frozen waterfalls, and never ending tunnels lined with solid sheets of ice. The ephemeral beauty of the Ice Cave will leave you open mouthed and awestruck at the sheer beauty and power of the natural world.
The Flea Safari Park
If you’re bringing children with you to Hintertux, aside from glacier skiing, in summer (from July) there’s a fun and educational way to keep them engaged, entertained, and out in the great outdoors. In nearby Sommerberg, the fun ‘Flea Safari’ encompasses an easy to navigate trail and lots of fun activities at the Glacier Flea Park, which sits at an altitude of 3250m. Fictional (obviously!) character Luis the Glacier Flea is the star of the show here, and this cute mascot leads young visitors through a series of billboards and interactive activities to learn more about the fascinating mysteries of the glacier.
There’s also a bobsled run, snow-tyre carousel (for the littlies), a cable car and even a massive (supervised!) snowball battle – which is pretty hard for even the adults to resist. And in case you’re wondering about the provenance and significance of Luis the Glacier Flea, this tiny ice dwelling creature (the real one) actually sits at the top of the food chain of algae and other microorganisms that survive in this icy world.
Long live Luis, King of the Glacier!
How to Get to Hintertux
The most convenient airports to fly in to from the UK are Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich. If you want to take public transport to Hintertux, from any of these airports there are rail links to Mayrhofen (with one change), then you can get a local bus the rest of the way. By far the easiest way to get directly to your accommodation is to pre-book a private or shared airport transfer with Shuttle Direct. Our Innsbruck, Salzburg or Munich transfers will get you to Hintertux in the fastest, most convenient way – while you sit back and enjoy the wonderful scenery along the way.
If you’d prefer the adventure of driving from the UK to Hintertux, you can do so in around 10-12 hours. Unless you have multiple drivers, you should plan to complete the trip over two days – stopping for an overnight stay along the way. You’ll also need to make some preparations, including pre-booking your place for the Eurotunnel, and ensuring your vehicle is fitted with snow chains. From Calais, the most sensible route is through Brussels and Germany, which will save you quite on a lot on expensive French road tolls. It’s also a picturesque route, as you’ll travel through the Black Forest region of Germany, then to Munich and through the Austrian Alps to Innsbruck. From there, it’s a pleasant winding road through the Tux Valley to Hintertux.
Where to Stay
Gastehaus Windegg – With its lovely hillside vantage, in winter, you can literally ski right to the door of Gastehaus Windegg. This homely, traditional guesthouse sits you in the lap of nature, with balconies to relax and take in the expansive views of the pine covered landscape, the Hintertux cable car within arms’ reach to take you up the glacier, and hiking trails on the doorstep.
Gastehaus Fernerblick – Nestled right into the mountainside, with far reaching views over the Zillertal Alps, every one of Gastehaus Fernerblick‘s rooms and apartments have a balcony so you can soak up the scenery of the stunning surrounds. The bright, contemporary décor features striking large format art works of the local landscape, and the rustic furnishings and cosy open fireplaces create a warm Tirolean ambience.
Alpenbad Hotel Hohenhaus – Enjoying the true luxury of privacy and tranquillity, the Alpenbad Hotel Hohenhaus affords the ultimate in Tirolean relaxation and wellness, featuring a traditional spa and sauna village set within opulent surrounds. Guests can enjoy the unique experience of relaxing in the multiple indoor pools with spectacular views of the glacier out the full length panoramic windows, then enjoy fine dining in front of an open fireplace accompanied by wine from the hotel’s own cellar.