Five unforgettable hiking adventures in Ischgl and the Paznaun Valley

Ready to tick an epic adventure off your bucket list this year? Discover the top hiking routes for 2021.The Silvretta group, with its 74 three-thousand metre mountains, is one of the most magnificent in the Central Alps area. From a safari in the eternal ice and spectacular sunrises on the summit, to three 3,000 metre mountains in one day, action-packed hiking across suspension bridges, or an altitude trail with nine stages, there’s never a shortage of panoramic views and active days.

Here, Christoph Pfeifer, who has been working in Paznaun as a full-time mountain guide and ski instructor for 25 years, is keen to show guests some of the best hikes in his beloved homeland. Take a look at his picks below to find out more…

An icy safari on the Jamtal glacier
Lead by experienced mountain guides, performance-oriented hikers aged 16 and over can experience one of the best-known glaciers in the Eastern Alps. Proper use of crampons and safety ropes are as much on the agenda as glaciology. The route takes trekkers past glacial mills, glacier gates and rock formations created from the ice. On route, glaciology comes to life, and participants discover plenty of exciting facts about the eternal ice, dangerous glacial crevasses and the specific features of the Jamtal glacier. After a refreshment stop in Jamtalhütte, it’s then back to Galtür. The medium-to-difficult day tour (walking time five-and-a-half hours; 650 metres ascent) can be booked in summer 2021, from July to September, every Saturday, whatever the weather. Cost per person is €49 or €39 (with the Silvretta Card Premium). Taxi transfer, mountain guide, climbing belt and crampons are included.
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Spectacular sunrise on the Mittagkopf
Early risers can take in a stunning sunrise and impressive views towards Paznaun on the summit of the Mittagkopf. Before morning breaks on Tuesday mornings, travel – by taxi – into Visnitztal for the guided sunrise hike. Still in semi-darkness, participants hike up to the Mittagkopf (2,249m) in around 45 minutes. It is an unforgettable moment when the sun slowly rises above the Samnaun, heralding the start of the day with its splendid rays. After this natural spectacle, proceed past the blossoming Alpine roses, back down to Visnitzalm, where a hearty Alpine inn breakfast awaits. A leisurely forest path leads back into the valley, passing Rotwegkapelle to get to Kappl. On this medium difficulty level tour, some 300 metres of ascent are tackled in five hours. Cost includes taxi, breakfast and guide. Children up to the age of 10 pay €27 and adults pay €44. Silvretta Premium Card holders pay €20 (children up to 10) or €29 (for adults).
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The best of three, three-thousand metre mountains
Surrounded by the mighty glaciers of the blue Silvretta – about which even Hemingway rhapsodised – experienced hikers can scale three, three-thousand metre peaks in one go during a guided-summit hike every Thursday, from the end of June until the end of September. For most, this takes circa six hours, with more than 1,100 metres of climbing. The mountains: Breite Krone (3079m), the Grenzeckkopf (3047m) and the Bischofspitze (3029m), showcase a colourful variety of plants and with a bit of luck, climbers might even catch sight of the King of the Mountains – the Ibex. The tour is suitable for performance level hikers who have a good amount of fitness. Cost: Adults €31, children up to the age of 16 €23, Premium Card holders hike for free.
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Family fun on an adventure hiking trail
This exciting 7.5 km hiking trail, Idalp, takes walkers and active families from Ischgl through three Alpine vegetation zones and four adventure-packed breaks up to the Idalp. On the Walk of Lyrics, follow in the famous footsteps of Rhianna, Udo Jürgens and Sting – all of whom have travelled to Ischgl – with three staged sound points (listen to music)  continuing to the impressive Kitzloch ravine. After crossing the ravine, it’s then on to the Fimbabach, on two spectacular suspension bridges more than100 metres in length and up to 70 metres high. Those who want to can have a short stop at the Adventure Stage. Here, Schwarzwassersee and Pardatscher See Lakes provide refreshment, and a forest and lakeside path, a bouldering wall, two climbing towers, the reed boat and a slack line course provide the action. The route continues through high Alpine scenery to the Vider Truja Adventure Park at Vidersee. Around the small reservoir lake, an adventure path with water mills, water and sand pit play area, climbing frame and a water-conducting system can be found. New for 2021, families can tackle slack lines, bouldering sections, slides and trampolines. From here, it is just five minutes to the Idalp. Those who fancy taking in the descent can go via the cable car into the valley after a refreshment stop in Alpenhaus, or better yet, why not look to the Skyfly and soar back to Ischgl on the Flying Fox at speeds of up to 85 km/hr? Families can keep their energy up along the way by making use of the barbecue areas at Pardatscher See and Vider Truja Park.
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A series of hikes on the Paznauner high altitude trail
Bringing together 11,000 metres altitude, 120 kilometres, and nine stages (that can be tackled individually), the Paznauner high-altitude trail tempts performance-oriented hikers to discover the varied natural landscape. The circular route from See via Kappl, and also Ischgl to Galtür and back to See, is as challenging as it is impressive. Whether it is one, two, three or even more of the nine stages, the ascents vary between 700 and 2,000 metres. Common to all stages are the spectacular natural landscapes that are continually changing. In between each incredible day, traditional Alpine inns, serving delicious regional Paznaun foods and providing cosy sleeping areas, await. Taking on one, two or even hiking all nine stages in a row, is up to hikers themselves.
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