The villages of Niederau, Oberau, Thierbach & Auffach are set in their own valley - the Wildschönau in the Kitzbühel Alps. It is only 6 kms from the Inn-Valley motorway, yet retains its quiet picturesque surrounding. Its geographical position is perfect to reach both from Salzburg and Munich Airport, only 1 1/2 hours drive and Innsbruck only 45 min. away.
This valley has a treat for people of all ages, with children enjoying the Kid's Ski Club, teenagers speeding through the half-pipe on their snowboards and adults under the excellent guidance of qualified ski-instructors. The Wildschönau-Valley is the perfect setting for the whole family.
Mostly north-facing slopes up to 1900 mtrs and snow-cannons guarantee skiing from December until the beginning of April. Snow making facilities on the nursery slopes, enabling beginners and children to enjoy good snow conditions throughout the season. Ski-routes are for those seeking exiting powder-snow-runs or for the more adventurous under the guidance of an experienced ski-instructor.
The Markbachjoch and Schatzberg Mountains have a good range of slopes with gentle pistes at the bottom for children and beginners and some more challenging terrain further up for both, intermediates and experts.
A funpark and half-pipe for snow-boarders, a race and boarder arena (permanent race track used by the Austrian Ski Team for training), mogul-fields, speed-tracks, where you can see how fast you are skiing, plus a wide variety of entertaining activities turn the mountain into a playground !
For those who prefer to keep going after a day skiing there is plenty to keep you occupied. Floodlit skiing, skating, tobogganing, paragliding, cross-country skiing or just relaxing with a Glühwein in front of an open fire the choice is yours !
Niederau offers Apres-Ski-Bars, live-music, discos and late night-clubs. Hotels and bars offer good value for money, friendly Tyrolean service and all set in a picturesque setting you will never forget. The Wildschönau ski-pass offers you 70 kms of prepared pistes, 2 gondolas, 3 chairlifts, 20 draglifts all in an area where queuing is rarely a problem. A skibus operates free of charge between Niederau, Oberau and Auffach. The cost of a 6 day liftpass for one adult is
€ 146,20 and € 87,80 for children from 6 up to the age of 16.
Tour operators offer good family reductions. The skischools offer excellent facilities for children and a kindergarten for the 2 plus age group. Also on offer is the Kitzbühel Alps skipass, that gives you access to 668 kms of skipistes from Kitzbühel to the Wildschönau-Valley.
All in all, very good value for money !
Treasures of Tirol
The Wildschönau means wild and beautiful and it certainly lives up to its name – charming villages framed by soaring peaks, lush flower-filled meadows and church spires are built into a holiday paradise.
The scenically sensational alpine Wildschönau valley with its villages of Niederau, Oberau, Auffach and Thierbach is nestled deep in the heart of the Kitzbühel Alps, in the Tirol. It is a quiet haven, miles from the hustle and bustle of towns and cities, and the main attraction is the mountain scenery. Nature’s alpine garden doesn’t get much better than in the Wildschönau. Rich meadows abound and fragrant heaths of rosemary and Alpine azelea flourish on higher ground.
These pretty villages have a reputation for a variety of outdoor activities hard to top anywhere in the Alps. Those who like it bracing will be at home in the skies over Niederau, which has one of the best-known paragliding schools in the Tirol and hang-gliding has really taken off. Feeling daring? Why not take to the sky in with a qualified flying instructor – you don’t need any experience and children as young as 14 can practice their yoke control.
Favourite pastime of the local adrenaline junkies is canyoning, which involves jumping off a cliff face into a mountain pool before abseiling down to earth. Everything takes place in a secure gorge and the goal is to triumph over natural obstacles.
Explore the mountains with over 300 km of well-kept walking paths and two gondolas. But in the Wildschönau Nordic walking is by far the sport of the moment and the valley is home to Austria’s first dedicated trail network. You walk with poles and the upper and lower body get a work out at the same time as toning the back, legs and arms. Training is not essential but can help you reach a maximum potential. The seven trails are designed for all levels the routes lead you through rural areas past pretty mountain chalets and farmhouses.
In the valley life remains simple and traditions live on while Tirolean customs and local crafts are practiced as a way of life rather than just being wheeled out for the tourists. For a fascinating insight into how local life was in the past Oberau’s Mountain Farmers’ Museum is a must-see. Another gem unchanged by time is Thierbach where the cosy inn and car-free streets have a distinct feel of a time that has long passed.
The Wildschönau has an impressive calendar of summer events, including music festivals – the Weisenbläser (22 June 08) has exciting brass band performances. Village festivals are serious fun in these parts – Oberau (26-27 July). The valley festival takes place from 7 - 10. August 08. At the end of the season, the Alm festival on September 20 celebrates the return of the cattle and is part of a long held tradition in the area.
Despite being away from it all, Wildschönau’s villages are within easy reach of the cultural centres of Innsbruck and Salzburg.