The Zillertal in the changing of the seasons – this is probably a rather different kind of description, and if you feel like it addresses you, don’t feel insulted – those who see the world with humor live a healthier life.
For some, winter is over and spring begins in the Zillertal when the last ski lift (with the exception of the glacier lift of course) has closed. Spring starts when the owners close the hotels and a construction crane stands in front of many of them.
For us, spring begins when our meadow orchard blooms. Have you ever sat under a blossoming cherry tree, taken a deep breath, and enjoyed the sweet aroma? The cherry tree is one of those that gives strength and vital energy and has the best effect on people. Listen to the boisterous concert of the songbirds. Our spring has arrived when the early mating call of the black grouse echoes over the mountainsides that are still covered in snow. Let yourself be enchanted by the vast fields of crocuses in our alpine world. This is a time to gain strength and recharge your batteries.
For some, summer begins in the Zillertal when the construction cranes have disappeared from the hotels, when there is a building site every 200 meters on the roads, and when there is a folk festival around every corner. Of course, for us, summer begins in the Zillertal with the blooming of the alpine roses, which immerse all of the high valleys in a beautiful red shimmer. It is very important to tell you that you don’t need Disney Land for a successful summer vacation, even if there were one next door.
If you are able to walk and if you are successful in making full use of your senses, then you will find fulfillment that can hardly be found anywhere else in the world. Go about it properly: the winner is not the one that reaches the summit or the hut in the shortest amount of time but the one that pauses and takes it all in. Take a deep breath and take in the distinct aroma of the damp spruce forest, kneel down by the countless water sources in the prehistoric rock, take a taste of the watercress that grows there, and drink the water – this is what the mountain shares with you. Lick the mineral-rich rocks of the million year old waterfalls. Enjoy the feeling of being tired and sweaty; brave the wind, the heat, the cold: it’s wonderful to feel all of these things and know once again that you are truly alive. We are a part of nature.
Autumn begins in the Zillertal when everyone gets spruced up and the farmers start their tractors. They head up to the mountain pastures to bring the cows back down into the valley and thus celebrate the traditional cattle drive. In all honesty, the cattle drive was something special when we were children – whether it still is, I’ll leave that up to the spectator. I think that excessive commercialism can destroy the heart of the matter.
But I can guarantee that a hill country hike when the animals and people are gone, when peace and quiet have returned, and when the colorful trees cast long shadows is truly unforgettable. Of course, I have some insider tips: get a fishing day permit in the Wildgerlostal, sit down by the crystal-clear water, and catch the best trout that you have ever eaten. You can also listen to the bellow of the rutting stags all around. This is autumn.
You know winter is here in the Zillertal when many people suddenly have a stiff neck from wistfully looking up at the sky and pray aloud for it to finally snow. And if the prayers are not answered, they simply pray to the patron saint of the lifts to end the chamois hunting season so that winter can arrive. Then, the yearly wonder occurs – snow beings to fall throughout the valley on a starry night.
That’s actually how it is. Despite the irony between the lines, that’s what winter is like for us. No matter when you come in the winter, you can always ski. Where else in the world is this possible? You can find out how magnificent our winter can be away from the slopes from descriptions on this homepage.